A review of “WandaVision”

When WandaVision began, I was extremely skeptical. I immediately understood that it was referencing the popular sitcom “I Love Lucy,” but I did not understand why. Later, the episode became very reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone” as lights flickered, angles changed and music became more tense. As the episode ended, I was not even sure if I wanted to watch the second episode. I eventually decided to watch it, as I had nothing else I wanted to watch at the time.

The second episode opened a la “Bewitched,” a show I fondly remember watching a select few episodes of as a child. As the episode continued, I continued to be more confused as it got weirder and weirder. At the end of the episode, I realized I desperately wanted more episodes, if only to figure out why exactly the show was so bizarre. Additionally, I spoke to my younger brother about it, and when I told him it felt very “Twilight Zone-y,” he proceeded to ask me if I have ever seen “The Twilight Zone” or if I just wanted to sound relatable. After informing him that I have in fact seen many episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” I walked away and went back to my sandwich, wondering what the next episode would be about.

The third episode continued to provide no context, and yet I was still enthralled with the events taking place. At the end of that episode, when Wanda pushes “Geraldine” out of The Hex after mentioning Ultron, we see her land in a field surrounded by armored military trucks. From there, I was officially obsessed with WandaVision.

Episode four brought back one of my favorite non-hero characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Darcy Lewis. I was initially shocked when someone referred to her as “Ms. Lewis,” and she corrected them to “Dr. Lewis,” as Darcy had previously been a goofy, fun-loving free spirit that knew almost nothing about the sciences. Thinking back to Endgame, and how they make light reference to the fact that Jane Foster was snapped away, it did make sense that Darcy would take the initiative to get her PhD to continue Jane’s work in her absence. Darcy is a completely fictional character, and yet I found myself being overwhelmingly proud of her growth, so much so that I brought it up when discussing the show with my roommates.

All of this leads to the discovery of the Hex, with Wanda as its puppeteer. This episode was mind-blowing to me, in addition to being fun in the return of characters such as Darcy and the realization that “Geraldine” was actually Monica Rambeau, who we met as a child in “Captain Marvel.”

In the next episode, the kids get a dog and lose it the same day, in addition to literally aging themselves up by a few years. This episode felt like a filler episode at first, as its main premise was simply Vision’s realization that things were not what they seemed, but what struck me about this episode was the “recasting of Pietro.” It’s worth noting that I did not like the casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” largely because they cast a white actor when they could have just as easily cast a Romani actor. This made it all the more surprising to me when the “new Pietro” was not only being played by one Evan Peters, yet another white man, but his character was also very different from the original Pietro altogether. This “new Pietro” had very “dude-bro surfer” vibes, and I was initially shocked that they chose this turn. While I can see how it was intended to be shocking that Pietro was now a stereotypical white American male, I was not shocked, because Pietro was not initially played by a Romani actor.

The Halloween episode was almost my favorite, apart from the series finale. For one thing, I absolutely loved Wanda’s costume. As I knew then, and those who did not learned later, it was based on Scarlet Witch’s costume in the Marvel Comics. Then, when they revealed Vision’s costume, as well as Pietro’s, I was excited to see that they, also, were based on their Marvel Comics character’s standard outfit. However, what ruins this episode for me was the use of the term “gypsy” by Wanda when describing her costume. I did not know this until my roommate told me, but that word is actually a racial slur that refers to Romani people in general. It is once again obvious that they cast a white actress in a Romani role, and I do not understand how this made it into the show. Obviously, it is not well-known that it is a slur, as I know many others online were also shocked to learn this, but there is no way that absolutely no one who worked on this show knew that it was a slur. It is a gross oversight by Disney and Marvel, and unfortunately, one that many Marvel fans will overlook simply because they do not know.

After that incident, the episode’s action climbs as Vision tries to leave the Hex and receive help, so Wanda is forced to expand it to bring him back in. In doing so, she also encapsulates the military base, including their cars, tents, and personnel. Just as Wanda did when Monica entered the Hex, she changed the objects to fit the world and its aesthetic, making their tents into circus tents and their personnel into clowns and other performers. Darcy had been handcuffed to a car before the Hex expanded and was unable to move out of the way, and I was delighted in the next episode when we see her talking to Vision as a magician wrapped up in chains. This was hilarious and I absolutely loved this detail.

The next episode brought something that I wish we could have in every new thing that Marvel releases: a kick-ass villain song. Indeed, as soon as the music began to play, I recognized the theme song from “The Munsters,” and as the text came onto the screen in that same creepy font, I felt very smart for getting the reference. Still to this day, I will find myself singing the beginning of “Agatha All Along” and accidentally slipping into “The Munsters” before realizing I have switched songs. Everything about “Agatha All Along” was perfect, and my roommates agree that we need more villain songs of the same caliber.

The flashback episode was very exciting. I absolutely love that Agatha was an actual witch from the Salem witch trials, but rather than being burned at the stake by normies who were afraid of her, it was her own coven. I continued to be shocked when she killed all of them in turn via draining the life out of them. This backstory for Agatha was unexpected, but I love the direction the MCU is taking her character, and most every other character in the MCU for that matter.

It was also quite shocking to learn that Wanda had in fact not stolen Vision’s body, and had actually left SWORD peacefully. In a number of the fan theories I had read, they referred to Vision as being puppeteered by Wanda, with one of them saying she is “most likely piloting around Vision’s dead body.” It was interesting to see how the narrative was twisted, to say the least.

I am not ashamed to admit it: at the end of episode eight, when Agatha referred to Wanda as The Scarlet Witch, I did in fact start internally screaming and externally flailing in excitement. Much like when, in the movie theaters, when a character says the name of the movie and we all internally think to ourselves, “they said the thing!” This was a very cool moment for me and I have no shame in my overexcited reaction to this revelation.

After all of this buildup, with both good and bad moments, I have to say that I have mixed emotions about the series finale. It was not a bad episode; on the contrary, it was probably my favorite. However, I cannot help but be disappointed as I feel that I am left with more questions than answers. For example, at the climax of the episode, Wanda casts runes to prevent Agatha from using her magic. This for me begs the question: when did she learn to do that? Am I intended to believe that she has a photographic memory and managed to remember all of the runes from Agatha’s basement, and that she was even able to recall the one that was behind her head? Or rather, now that she knows she is a witch, she just knows how to use runes now? This did not make much sense to me, and I am disappointed, to say the least.

We also do not get told much about what the internet seems to be calling White Vision, meaning the version of Vision that SWORD built to destroy the Vision we know and love. He simply flies away, and Monica does not mention it at the end of the episode. Are we really to believe that SWORD is going to let White Vision exist somewhere? Why did she not seem more concerned? This puzzles me, and I hope that some day we receive some kind of answer about where he went.

When Wanda tucks her boys into bed, and holds Vision as the Hex is closing, I was very close to tears. However, my MCU tears are exclusively reserved for anytime I watch “Endgame” and see Peter Parker talking to a dying Tony Stark. While part of me wants to hope that, as Vision hints at, they may be together again someday, I am skeptical that Vision will return. We already know that Wanda is going to play a big role in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and I doubt Vision will have time to show up.

The post-credits scenes are probably what frustrate me most about the series finale, as they leave us with an absurd number of questions. Why do the Skrulls want to speak with Monica? What could possibly be wrong? I understand that this was to make us desperate for more answers and more content, and unfortunately, it worked.

In the second post-credits scene, Wanda is in a house in a secluded area. She makes tea as the camera moves to show us that she is astral projecting, and as Scarlet Witch, is reading the Darkhold as we hear the voices of her vanished children. Astral projection is something we see in the original “Doctor Strange” movie, as a part of the mystic arts. Similar to the runes she casts, are we to believe she is suddenly a master of the mystic arts? Why is no one alerting Doctor Strange, who they often refer to as a “wizard,” to teach magic to Wanda, who they keep referring to as a “witch?” Obviously, this is setting up for the second Doctor Strange movie, and while I understand they wanted to keep us asking questions and creating hype for the movie, it is still disappointing that we are left with so many questions at the end of this series.

WandaVision was truly a roller coaster of a show. It had moments that made me laugh, some that made me (almost) cry, and some that had me very angry. Overall, I think it is a wonderful work of cinematography, and should be commended for that. As a piece in the MCU, it is a little disappointing, but I am hopeful that we will receive more answers about this show in the rest of Marvel’s Phase 4.