WandaVision: Episode 8 “Previously On” Review

I hope by episode 8, you kind of know how things work on here, but just in case this is your first time stopping by (hi, by the way!), the following post is intended to be read after watching the show, because it includes SPOILERS! (If you haven’t seen it yet and you can, watch it with tissues!)

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Agatha takes Wanda on a trip down memory lane to discover how the Westview anomaly was created.

My thoughts?

When WandaVision calls an episode “Previously On”, they do not mess around. For the longest time, we have been waiting to find out what happened, how Wanda got into Westview and how the hex started. Well, this episode delivered in every possible way.

Before we get into Wanda’s history though, we learned a bit more about Agatha. The episode starts all the way back in Salem in the year 1693. You might presume that it’s part of the witch trials, with last week’s reveal about Agnes/Agatha’s real identity, but on the contrary. Agatha isn’t on trial because she is a witch, she is trialed by her coven sisters because she is using dark magic. In an intriguing show of power, she absorbs her coven members energy, remaining the sole survivor instead of the victim, showing that despite her claims of wanting to be good, she has great potential for evil. As a final act before stepping away from the corpses, she grabs the (to us) now all too well known brooch from her mother’s coat.

Fast forward a couple centuries to modern day Westview and Agatha is still as power hungry as ever. She is amazed and intrigued by Wanda’s sheer power, but also confused by her lack of knowledge and training. Agatha is sure that Wanda is a witch too, an unwilling one who doesn’t want to share her secrets, but a witch nonetheless. So, in order to learn how she created the Westview hex in a matter of moments, when it took Agatha ages to learn even simple transformation spells, they start exploring Wanda’s memory (again, unwillingly, since Agatha is holding the twins hostage).

credit: Marvel Studios

What follows is a walk through the years, bits and pieces of Wanda’s life that shaped her. A lot of Marvel fans know about these moments, as they have been discussed in previous movies, but they have never been shown with such detail. While I understand that maybe not everyone was interested in seeing this breakdown of her life, I think it was necessary to portray that the true villain in Wanda’s life is grief and her inability to deal with it and/or catch a break from it. Let’s take a look at what we learned:

  • We start with Wanda’s childhood in Sokovia. They didn’t have much, but they were a happy little family, finding an escape in Western media while being on the brink of war themselves. This is what confirmed where Wanda’s love for sitcoms comes from – nothing bad ever happens in them, or at least it’s all good by the end of the episode. The trauma from hiding under a bed for two days because they thought the Stark Industries missile would go off, while the TV was still running in the background was powerful imagery. The loss of her parents in the process the start of all of Wanda’s grief.
    Agatha already suspects that Wanda had powers at that age, but if so, they were dormant and didn’t have anything to do with the missile not going off.
  • Next comes the Hydra complex that gave Wanda her powers. Her and Pietro were the only ones who could survive the tests, even if no one in the facility understood why. When faced with the infinity stone, she saw her future self (at least it looked like a typical Wanda costume) and it awakened and amplified her internal powers. Since Pietro is not a witch though and also gained powers, it could mean that the infinity stone triggers latent mutant genes? Just like Wanda’s magic (fueled by the infinity stone) triggered Monica’s powers? If we are going by the comics, this is a wrong assumption, as Wanda and Pietro are not technically mutants, but the MCU has treated their backstory differently, so who really knows?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • After losing her brother, Vision was her comfort at the Avengers complex. I found Wanda’s accent to be very slight in that particular memory, considering that the Sokovian incident had just happened and she was still new to the team, but memories can trick you like that, I suppose. I always adored their little moments in the Avengers movies and this was another example of why their interactions are so precious. Vision could pull her back from the brink of despair, which is foreshadowing for why losing him as well was so harrowing for her.
  • The next memory seemed like the most key one to me. Hayward has spun this narrative of Wanda going on a bender and stealing Vision’s corpse, when none of that is the truth. He LET her into the S.W.O.R.D. headquarter, he denied her simple request of giving Vision a proper funeral and antagonized her by insinuating that she had ulterior motives. Vision is nothing but a weapon to him and I did not appreciate his tone towards Wanda.
    But what is most important is, Wanda left without Vision’s body. She was distraught at seeing him dismantled, but when she touched him, she couldn’t feel him. Another beautiful and heartbreaking callback to Infinity War, where both Wanda and Vision stated that the magic/powers of the other could never hurt them, because they always said “I only feel/see you”. But now, there was nothing of her Vision left to feel. If your heart didn’t break at that, I don’t even know what to say.
    Afterwards, she calmly left, the footage of her going rampage in the lab clearly being faked. Instead, she went to Westview, where Vision had previously bought property for them to grow old on. I wish they had had a chance to do that. As she drives through town, we see the many faces of the “characters” of her own sitcom, the real citizens of Westview. The town is quaint, but it’s just a town, nowhere near the paradise we got to see before. And then Wanda can’t hold in her grief any longer and she does not just create her perfect little world, but she also creates Vision – a massive show of power and another answer to one of our many questions! Vision’s corpse is not pupeteered by Wanda, instead she re-made him.
credit: Marvel Studios

It’s only after that display that Agatha finally lets her leave this maze of memories. It’s the cries for help from her twins that bring Wanda back to reality, her children the one thing she still cares about more than anything. They are held hostage as Agatha says the words I have waited for for the longest time! We finally, finally, finally get the official name reveal for Wanda, when Agatha explains that the power Wanda possesses should be impossible. It should be nothing more than a myth. But Wanda wields chaos magic and that makes her a SCARLET WITCH!!!

credit: Marvel Studios

I hear the people who think this episode included a lot of information that was already previously covered in the movies, but when did we ever get a chance to see it with Wanda’s eyes? To feel her pain penetrating ever cell of our bodies, drowning us in the sadness she feels with her? I thought that this was an incredible show of how powerful emotions can be. How dangerous they are if not dealt with. Even Agatha said that Wanda was dangerous and that woman was holding kids hostage while saying that.
But is Agatha really a villain? In the opening scene, she said she could not control these dark powers when she pleaded with her coven. Maybe, in the years since, she found a way to control it and is now not willing to let another powerful witch go rampage on the world. While she was accompanying Wanda through her memories, she was sympathetic, albeit still very straight forward with her comments. She seemed more curious in figuring out what she was dealing with rather than wanting to do any of this herself. Sometimes it even sounded like a tinge of worry for Wanda. I’m sure it will be resolved like many other things next episode.

Now that we know real magic is involved, it seems all the more logical to have a Doctor Strange appearance in the finale, ultimately tying this show to the Multiverse of Madness. I cannot wait!

Lastly, it looks like post-credit scenes are back for good! Once again, I just really want to punch Hayward, because he is such a massive liar. All this time, he had Visions body. All this time, he made Wanda out to be the villain when he was truly the evil one. Bringing the Vision’s body back online worries me. It can’t have his mind, that’s in Westview with Wanda … I think? Who’s to say that Hayward has any kind of control over this version of the Vision’s body? Danger lies ahead.
It also eerily feels like all those theories thinking that Hayward is Ultron or controlled by him make sense. His animosity after Wanda’s betrayal understandable, his lack of faith in humanity and heroes also very on brand. It would be in tune with the animated version, so I’m curious to see if that will actually be true.

credit: Marvel Studios

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What did you think of this week’s episode of WandaVision? Can you believe that we only have one more to go? I will be devastated when the show ends …

WandaVision: Episode 6 “All-New Halloween Spooktacular” Review

You know the drill by now! These reviews/recaps are all full of SPOILERS and meant to be read after you have watched the episode in order not to ruin any surprises.

Disclaimer: I watched the episode and wrote this under the influence of sedatives and painkillers after my wisdom tooth removal, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

While Wanda and her newly arrived brother celebrate Halloween with the twins, Vision does some investigation of his own. In the meantime, Monica, Darcy and Jimmy get kicked off the S.W.O.R.D. site.

My thoughts?

I loved that the recap for the episode clearly showed how Quicksilver is supposed to look, just in case anyone missed the change in cast the last time. But even more so, I enjoyed the very Malcolm-in-the-Middle-intro and the twins narrating their day, just like Malcolm would have – we have arrived in the 90s!

The setting being Halloween, offered the possibility for so many easter eggs, aside from the fact that the first Vision and Scarlet Witch comic book issues took place around that time of the year. Everyone, including the twins, who have just discovered their powers (Speed and Wiccan confirmed – yay!), got a chance to show off their retro comic book outfits in the guise of the festivities.

credit: Marvel Studios

As I mentioned above, I am a little under the weather, so I am gonna try and keep my observations brief. Let’s once again start with what’s happening outside of Westview:

  • We don’t know Hayward’s backstory, but he really lost all faith in Earth’s “heroes” after the snap it seems. Why he would be allowed to head an organisation that mainly deals with non-normal individuals, I do not know, but he seems very bitter – leading him to kick out our favourite new trio (Monica, Jimmy and Darcy) after they’ve clearly stated their allegiance to Wanda.
  • Who else was pleasantly surprised by Jimmy Woo’s fighting skills? Just me? Okay.
  • As Monica, Jimmy and Darcy continue their investigation on their own and learn that Hayward is hiding the extent of knowledge he has about the hex area, Monica again mentions someone who will help her out with a vehicle that can get them into the area. I can’t help but wonder if we get to look forward to another fun cameo.
  • Monica being inside the anomaly has altered her DNA on a molecular level – will this be the trigger for her superpowers and turn her into Spectrum or whatever iteration they choose?

Obviously, there was something else and very important happening, but let’s get into that in the next section.

credit: Marvel Studios

Now, what has been happening inside Westview:

  • There are now children in Westview! We still don’t know where they were kept this entire time, but my theory that the adults were playing along “for the children” (as mentioned in episode 3) could work. Then again, we did find out that Wanda kept families and couples together when she created her own world.
  • I am so confused about Pietro Maximoff! He does seem to have some of the MCU’s Pietro’s memories as well as the same look when he uses his powers. However, his personality does seem to be closer to the X-Men one. But, what if he is neither?
    The longer I watched him, the more I could see him being someone different entirely (Mephisto? Nightmare? Both of them combined??). He does call the twins demon spawns, which might seem like a fun joke, but would be a fitting reference to Mephisto. Also, he just knows too much? Whenever Wanda tests or questions him, he does seem to have an answer. His “jokes” are often cruel, which does not feel fitting to either iteration of Quicksilver, and most of all he didn’t think there was anything ethically wrong with what Wanda was doing, he just wanted to know how she did it.
    Also, during one of the 4th wall breaks of the twins, he looked directly at Billy (maybe he is not affected by the TV world constraints?). His interest in the twins in general is a bit disconcerting if he isn’t who he claims to be.
  • If you noticed Wanda and Pietro saying “Kick-Ass” is a noticeable way, it’s probably because Aaron Taylor-Johnson as well as Evan Peters were in that movie and it was a really nice nod to both of them.

Ad Break: This ad was very strange and morbid. A kid on a desolate island gets Yo-Magic yogurt from a shark, but due to being too weak and hungry, can’t open it and dies. This could have several meanings, one is that the people who are not close to Wanda’s magic (e.g. those living at the edge of town, barely moving) are bound to die OR that someone is feeding off of Wanda’s magic (because she felt all alone in the world after Vision passed).
The definite meaning is still unclear, but I did notice a trend with each ad, which is that they all focus on a different infinity stone. If my theory is right, we’d have one more stone to go.

  • toaster: looks like Visions head therefore the mind stone?
  • Strücker watch: time stone?
  • Hydra Soak: soap is a blue cube like the teseract – space stone?
  • paper towels: red liquid reminiscent of the reality stone?
  • lonely island with skeleton (Red Skull on Vormir) – soul stone?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • While Wanda is off testing Pietro and spending Halloween with the kids, Vision gets to the outer edges of town and sees that people are looping there, barely moving and visibly in pain. He also encounters Agnes there, who got lost on the way to the town square and got stuck as well.
    When Vision let’s her real persona surface, she asks if he is here to help as part of the Avengers, which he doesn’t remember, and then reminds him of his own fate. He eventually lets her return to her TV persona, but is ever more determined to help the people of Westview.
  • Vision ultimately ends up crossing Wanda’s border. When he exits the force field, he struggles to move forward and gets pulled back and falls to his knees. The imagery is very similar to when Wanda had to destroy the mind stone in Infinity War, killing Vision in the process. Both times, Wanda’s powers are the cause of his demise.
  • S.W.O.R.D. just stands by as Vision gets torn apart, cuffing Darcy rather than letting her help. When Billy’s powers get triggered by his father’s pain and he lets his mother know about what is happening, it is clear how little Wanda cares for this current version of Pietro – throwing him across town square when he tries to interfere. She then, likely due to a lack of time, doesn’t go to Vision and pulls him in, but rather expands the border of the town to include him and in the process also the S.W.O.R.D. operational site (which funnily enough turned into a circus with clowns and everything).
credit: Marvel Studios

The implications of the town/hex field expanding once again open up so many new possibilities. Will this be a strain on Wanda’s powers, as she has to stay in control of ever more people? Did Monica and Jimmy escape the expansion or are they now sucked in like Darcy? Will Darcy maybe get powers too? So many new questions!

I think it’s fair to say that the stakes are getting higher with each episode. We only have three more to go in the series and, at least I don’t, have a clue what is going to be the resolution to it all, but I am excited to find out!

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What did you think of this episode? Are you as excited for next week as me? Let’s talk!