WandaVision: The Series Finale

“Thanks for the lesson, but I don't need you to tell me who I am.”

How much you enjoyed this finale will depend upon what you expecting it to be.

If you were really hoping for lots of Marvel teases and cameos then this was probably something of a big disappointment. There were no big name cameos, only a few teases of future projects, and not a single X-Men set up. I've already seen many get really upset that fake Pietro turned out to be, well, a fake Pietro. Some are even threatening to boycott all future Marvel movies and shows because of this. Other are refusing to accept it and coming up with increasingly convoluted theories about how he is really X-Men universe Pietro and also Jimmy's witness and I stop reading at that point to spare myself a headache. I can understand feeling let down by the reveal that he was in fact really Ralph, but I don't get all the anger.

There is this need in fandoms these days to always be right. Fans have to have all their theories validated and their expectations met and they lash out when things don't go their way. I think that is just an unhealthy attitude to have. It's okay to just be wrong and disappointed. You don't have to take it personally when a show manages to trick or misdirect you. I was hoping for and expecting a lot of things from this show. I wanted some hint of Magneto being Wanda's father and for mutants to be introduced into the MCU. I didn't get any of that and I'm okay with it. Cameos and teases are nice things when we get them, but they are not what an entire movie or show should be about. In the end, WandaVision remained true to what it has always been; a show about Wanda and Vision. They are what mattered most, not whether Pietro is from another universe or if Doctor Strange was going to show up at the last minute.

For me, this was a satisfying end to their journey. There were some things I wish this episode had done better and I'll get into them later, but it really nailed all the key emotional beats. The final few scenes where Wanda and Vision were saying goodbye to their kids and each other were just heartbreaking. Once again I really have to commend Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. This show has asked them to do it all, from wacky OTT comedy to soul crushing despair, and they have both knocked it out of the park every time.

The only major problem I had with this episode is that it was kinda predictable. It played out almost exactly as I thought it would. The first half was just your standard big final showdown fight between the heroes and villains. It wasn't the most thrilling fight I've ever seen, most of the time it was just Wanda and Agatha throwing energy balls at each other while the two Visions zapped each other with their head beams. But I really liked how both fights were resolved. Wanda outsmarted Agatha by using her own rune spell against her, while the two Visions got into a philosophical debate in the library over Trigger's Broom The Ship of Theseus.

It is somewhat odd that we're getting Wanda's superhero origin story now after four movies and a TV series, but here we are. Wanda has now assumed her superhero identity complete with a more comic accurate costume. She is now the Scarlet Witch. What that means going forward is unclear. Will the Scarlet Witch be a hero or a villain? Despite making amends by undoing the Hex and saying sorry to one of her victims, she still did a very bad thing. Monica might've been understanding and empathetic, but the people of Westview were clearly not and I doubt the rest of the world will be either, which is why Wanda bolted out of town before the rest of the authorities showed up.

Despite these issues, I think WandaVision has been an incredible success. I loved how it took advantage of the serialised TV format to tell the kind of story that Marvel couldn't really do in a film. I loved all the sitcom pastiches, even the ones for shows I have no nostalgia for. I loved that it was in no rush to explain itself, allowing us to become immersed in the twisted sitcom world of Westview before the curtain was lifted. But most of all I loved the characters. This has always been the MCU's biggest strength for me. It's not how carefully crafted this entire shared universe is, it is the people that live in it. Marvel makes movies and shows about characters I love and want to see more of. And this show did an amazing job shining the spotlight on two who often fought not to get lost in the mix during the big team-up movies.

Notes and Quotes

--Agatha's spellbook, as many had guessed, is the Darkhold. It appeared previously, with a completely different cover, in season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

--Hayward was willing to murder two ten-year-old kids. He really is the absolute worst.

--In the post-credit scene Wanda is astral projecting and studying the Darkhold. We saw Strange do the same thing in his movie, but he could only do it while his body was unconscious. Wanda is able to astral project and stay conscious. She really is more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme.

--Of course Agatha would do a Wicked Witch tribute.

--The movie playing in the Westview cinema is called Tannhauser Gate. The Tannhauser Gate is mentioned by Roy Batty during his famous final monologue in Blade Runner.

--Loved the entire family united and doing their superhero poses together.
--Was the mid-credit scene with Monica and the Skrull setting up Captain Marvel 2, Secret Invasion or both?

--The pain of all those emotional goodbyes was dulled slightly by the fact there's another Vision out there that has all of the original's memories. Whether or not they retain the emotions that go with them remains to be seen. Is he going to have a surprise appearance in Doctor Strange 2?

--Darcy only getting one line and then disappearing was a disappointment. I wanted to see her reunite with Monica and Jimmy and interact with Wanda. Did Kat Dennings have a scheduling conflict or something? Just so weird to have such a major character disappear like that.

Vision: “Wanda, I know we can't stay like this. But before I go, I feel I must know. What am I?”
Wanda: “You, Vision, are the piece of the Mind Stone that lives in me. You are a body of wires and blood and bone that I created. You are my sadness and my hope. And mostly you're my love.”
Vision: “I have been a voice with no body. A body but not human, and now a memory made real. Who knows what I might be next?”

Darcy: “Have fun in prison.”

Wanda: “Boys, handle the military. Mommy will be right back.”

Agatha: “Same story, different century. There'll always be torches and pitchforks for ladies like us, Wanda.”

Wanda: “Boys. Thanks for choosing me to be your mom.”

Three out of four thought experiments in identity metaphysics  
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig

9 comments:

Shari said...

What I loved the most about WandaVision was how inventive it was. So, for me, the finale was a bit of let down. It was so buy the numbers despite being well-executed. I loved the series and would recommend it to anyone but, like you, I'd been hoping for something I didn't expect.

DCorp said...

I definitely agree with the predictability aspect. WandaVision was so cool because it felt like Marvel was willing to experiment with the formula a bit, and the emphasis on mysteries made it super fun to tune in every week to uncover new bits of imformation. However, it just felt like they played it way too safe with this finale, I wasn't surprised once!

I wasn't really expecting much from all of those crazy theories about Mephisto and Doctor Strange, but I was at least expecting something to come out of Evan Peters' appearance. It's fine if he doesn't play Quicksilver, but it feels like he was just included in the show as shock factor since he really doesn't do much after the sixth episode.

It's still a solid ending, pretty much everything Marvel makes is at the very least well-done, it just feels so standard coming after an episode that entirely revolves around a superhero dealing with her traumatic past.

Samantha M. Quinn said...

Thanks for the quick and thoughtful review!

I wanted to answer your question, while not really a question. The whole reason for the Scarlet Witch reveal is about character rights, while Marvel had the ability to use Wanda and Pietro Maximoff they couldn't reference their superhero personas or the fact that they were mutants. With the Disney/Fox merger they can now use their names properly. That's why it took this long for Wanda to finally become the Scarlet Witch. The fact that they hinted that little Wanda could use her magic means to me that they are planting seeds for Mutants as well.

As for Fake Pietro, well the whole witness plotline was dropped and it would be a good way to bring in Evan Peters as Quicksilver without actually being explicit about it. Agatha was controlling Ralph, but did that necklace also give him his powers? That was never explained.

Totally agree that Darcy was dropped, and I don't know why. You could kind of say the same for Monica who had such an important role only to have almost a cameo in this finale. Sure she had her big superhero save, and that may lead to interesting relationships with the boys later on (possibly surrogate mother if Wanda goes over the deep end).

I'm curious about the Theseus Vision, with his memories he may be looking for something to replace Wanda for an emotional connection. That could lead into a potential season 2, with Vision creating a synthazoid family much like that wonderful limited comic book series. That could be the way to introduce Viv (Vision's daughter) who was not only notably absent in this series, but nearly as popular as the boys in the comics.

Finally, that post credits scene featured Billy's voice asking for help rather distinctly. I bet a part of the Multiverse of Madness will involve bringing back the twins.

Lamounier said...

I loved the finale, though there were a couple of things I didn't like. Let's see...

Hayward: what the hell happened with this dude? How did he go from douchebag to completely evil guy who shoots children? I mean, if anything, wouldn't he care about his career? Such a weird development.

Fietro: okay, I'm not upset like some people are, but I don't like when a show teases the audience and goes nowhere with the story. It always reminds me of a particular subplot in Buffy season 7 that has no payoff and the writers admitted later that it was just about messing with the fans. I mean, Kevin Feige and co. had to know people would go nuts about the multiverse and all. So while I don't care that Fietro is not Quicksilver from another universe, I'm annoyed that the Powers That Be cast Evan Peters for, well, nothing.

Agatha: effective villain, I just think they pushed the Disney villain envelope a bit too far here.

And I second you being disappointed with Darcy only showing up for two seconds, Mark.

Those things aside, the finale worked for me. I *loved* Wanda outsmarting Agatha. When she was giving up her power, I knew she was up to something, I was just so curious to see what it was, and I absolutely loved the reveal. Another badass moment was the super family getting ready for battle, with Vision saying to the boys "your mother and I never prepared you for this" and Wanda replying "but you were born for it." What an awesome line, and Olsen's delivery was great. Monica short-lived team-up with the children was awesome too.

It says a lot about the writing of this series that they got us so invested in the family Wanda created. I was devastated that Wanda had to let them go, but I understand that the entire season was building up to it and it wouldn't be right to find a way around the moral dilemma they built for her. She had to undo her wrong doings, no matter how great the cost. Wanda and Vision saying goodbye to each other has become my favorite scene in the entire MCU. I mean, is there a better moment in the MCU than Vision pondering about his existence ten seconds away from ceasing to exist? Some stories try to go deep and fail, that was actually deep and Paul Bettany hit all the right marks. Terrific acting. I know White Vision is out there figuring out who he is, but man, I really learned to love Hex Vision and am genuinely upset he is gone.

After watching the episode, I was disappointed that the kids didn't survive, so I was really happy when I read that there was a second post-credits scene that I missed (of course there was, silly me), and I'm really happy that the boys are out there and supermom will gallop to their rescue. I'm also choosing to ignore all the theories that say that those voices were not of Wanda's children, that it's a demon trying to lure her. If I have one concern is that I don't want Wanda to go evil. This episode hinted that at least twice, but I think Wanda being the foe yet again would undo her arc in WandaVision.

sunbunny said...

I think the series and its portrayal of grief is so relevant to where we are as a planet right now. And Wanda did the right thing. She let her fantasy family go; I can’t even imagine how hard that was for her. I also don’t want her to be a villain but I’m fine with her being a little morally flexible. I hadn’t heard that Billy’s voice might have been Mephisto. I don’t want that. I want the kids back.

This was a great series. Great. I loved it the whole way through. Awesome review, Mark!

Kathy said...

I thought the finale was a little disappointing too. Not not because "Oh, no! Marvel didn't give me what I was predicting! How dare they?" that so many people have. After all, I'm not a writer of this show.

But, yes, I was disappointed in Fietro. It ended up just being the stereotypical stunt casting. And that is disappointing. Although I was predicting mutants, maybe Pietro from the multiverse, I would have been fine if they actually paid it off. Instead, it was just stunt casting, only made to do a boner joke.

I was also disappointed in the climax of Vision/White Vision's fight. Where did White Vision go? He now has Vision's memories unlocked. Is he going to be a hero or a villain? I will be satisfied if it's made clear in an upcoming movie or show. I'm just hoping that it's not dropped.

All in all, I really liked the show. I like what it had to say about grief. But I don't know if I'll revisit it any time soon. However, boy, do I really like Elizabeth Olsen now. I've always liked Paul Bettany (at least, starting with A Beautiful Mind), but wasn't sure what I felt about Elizabeth Olsen. Now I'll give it up for her. Girl is a talented actress.

Josie Kafka said...

The only major problem I had with this episode is that it was kinda predictable. It played out almost exactly as I thought it would.

Yes!

This episode made me think about what drew me to Wandavision. And I don't think it was the plot, which when we break it down is not too inventive. It was the way it played with relationship of medium and message with all the different TV formats.

I'm currently trying to decide whether or not to keep my Disney+ subscription to watch the other Marvel shows as they roll out, or to just cancel it and renew it at a later date for a massive binge.

Although I really enjoyed this last episode, I'm not sure that the Marvel shows are going to be "watercooler" TV for me if they wind up following the same superhero narratives. I have nothing against those stories--hooray, supes!--I just don't feel that same excited drive to stay current with them.

Otherwise: big thanks to the Agents of DOUX who lured me into watching this with your great reviews.

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

Just came across this article, which sheds some light on the finale: https://theplaylist.net/wandavision-finale-changes-20210308/ Especially this bit:


"And if you watched the finale and thought that the supporting characters, such as Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), and Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), had their parts reduced from early episodes, you’re not wrong. Apparently, Shakman says that there was a whole subplot where the three of them would try to find the Darkhold in Agatha’s basement and discover that her rabbit, Scratchy, was actually a demon. But with the CGI taking a lot time and the show running out of time, things had to change and the story was altered."

TJ said...

Slightly disappointed is the series finale as it kind of turned out like a generic action packed Marvel movie.

But overall this series has been fantastic. Best Marvel series to date. I am definitely curious in what's to come.