The Wicked Witch of Westview: WandaVision’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By adviser Mar 12, 2021
The last episode of WandaVision premiered on March 5th. Photo: GC Images
The last episode of WandaVision premiered on March 5th.
Photo: GC Images

Disney’s latest installment in the Marvel Universe, WandaVision, is a story of grief and trauma that takes place immediately after the events of Avengers Endgame. At the end of Avengers Endgame, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) was left without her love Vision (Paul Bettany), who was murdered by the villain Thanos. The Avengers had been able to seemingly reverse the damage Thanos left behind from his erasure of half the universe, but sadly were not able to bring back Vision. 

In WandaVision, however, Wanda and Vision are shown to be an happily married couple living in Westview, New Jersey. As each episode takes place in a different iconic sitcom of each decade; including the 50s’ I Love Lucy, the 80s’ Full House, to the 2000s’ The Office, so do Wanda’s five stages of grief. 

The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Wanda’s grief over the death of Vision,  a spark that created a whole mini-fantastical world,  is what created her “WandaVision” world in the first place.

There are other points of conflict in the series as well, including the SWORD government agency sending agent Monica Rambeau (Teynoyah Parris) to infiltrate the world, who was last seen as a child in the Captain Marvel movie. Other familiar faces from the Marvel universe include FBI agent Jimmy Woo and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Randall Park and Kat Dennings), a trio of people who actively work to help Wanda. 

Although initially we are led to believe Wanda is the villain of the show, it is revealed that it was “Agatha All Along”; not-so-friendly neighbor Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), a powerful witch. 

One of the best things about WandaVision is the use of numerous easter eggs. For instance, a 50s’ commercial advertising a Stark toaster is played during the first episode. The toaster blinks red with suspenseful music as the toast prepares to pop. Mirroring, the Stark brand bomb Wanda and her brother Pietro were trapped under as children when their home in Sokovia was under attack, the scene later shown in the show. 

Yet another easter egg is the titular character of Wanda’s brother Pietro aka Quicksilver, or more so the actor that plays him. X-men universe Quicksilver actor Evan Peters pops up as a replacement for the Marvel universe Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as Agatha’s replacement for Wanda’s dead brother Pietro. 

The show’s most underused characters are Wanda and Vision’s twin sons Tommy and Billy Maximoff (Julian Hilliard & Jett Klyne). The boys are a major motivation factor for Wanda to maintain WandaVision, her perfect suburban life. The show does not make a lot of use of their superhero abilities, one having magical powers like Wanda, the other a speedster like their uncle Pietro. The boys’ powers are highlighted for the most part only in the Halloween special and the finale, but there is no deep dive into their development or their earlier used age-increasing abilities. 

Monica Rambeau, Photon/Captain Marvel 2.0 in the comics, also gained superpowers on the show. Monica’s power development is explained but we still barely get a glimpse into what she is capable of, especially compared to explanations of Wanda and Agatha’s abilities as witches. 

Wanda’s final acceptance of Vision’s death is what transforms her into her ultimate form- the all powerful Scarlet Witch. Unfortunately, along with Wanda’s final transformation comes the loss of her created reality- her children and Vision. The series closes with Wanda secluded in the mountains, simultaneously enjoying a cup of tea and exploring a spellbook simultaneously. 

This limited series is well done due to its handling of post-Endgame events as well as the sensitive discussion of grief. But because of its deep focus on Wanda and Vision, WandaVision leaves many characters underdeveloped and left behind , earning it 4 out of 5 stars. 

By adviser

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