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'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

Television

‘WandaVision’ episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn deliver excellent performances in the most emotionally driven episode of WandaVision.

Episode eight of WandaVision not only provided a necessary recap of everything that has happened in the past seven episodes proving once again why it has been one of the most unique successes in the entire MCU, but it also provided us viewers with more information on the underlying darkness and foreboding that we knew was there all along.

After last week’s major reveal, Agatha Harkness takes Wanda through a series of Wanda’s own memories with each memory providing us with more and more insight into the fractured psyche that is Wanda Maximoff. Credit has to go out to not only to Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn here, but also to the entire writing team of the series. This episode seamlessly slips between worlds, moments, memories, and tones without skipping a beat.

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The opening scene provides a short backstory into who Agatha Harkness is before jumping back into the present where Wanda is trapped in Agatha’s basement. It is here that it is revealed that Agatha is obsessed with learning where Wanda’s powers come from, which is why the old witch forces Wanda to relive the most traumatic experiences of her life. They first begin in Sokovia with Wanda and Pietro as children enjoying an evening with their parents before their home was destroyed by a Stark Industries bomb.

Like I mentioned, each memory that Agatha makes Wanda relive brings some sort of revelation surrounding Wanda’s character development and how these developments play into the quirkiness of the first few episodes of the series. For example, Wanda and her family were enjoying a sitcom before the disaster struck. Later, in the HYDRA base, we learn that Wanda is skilled (or at least becoming skilled at) in editing video footage as she stops HYDRA agents from seeing a moment in which she connected with the Mind Stone.

'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

Speaking of Vision, the truth behind his disappearance from SWORD is finally revealed. Turns out I was right about Director Hayward being a complete dick. Not only did he fake the footage of Wanda stealing Vision’s corpse, but we also see SWORD completely dismembering Vision’s body to see what makes him tick, hoping to eventually control him.

All of this painful revisiting has a major purpose outside of just providing exposition for Wanda here. Agatha Harkness is pushing Wanda to a sense of realization and almost some sort of cathartic realization. Agatha needs to see the truth about Wanda’s powers and seems almost too desperate to find out.

It should be no surprise here that Kathryn Hahn once again delivers an excellent performance. She is having an absolute blast in this role and it translates perfectly on screen. Hahn has easily been one of the comedic highlights of the series as the annoying neighbor Agnus, but in an episode as serious of this one, the humor that we have seen and grown to love is almost nowhere in sight further adding credence to her skills as an actress. In fact, I’m still wondering if Agatha is leaning towards more of her comic book depiction — less of a straight up villain and more of an anti-hero/mentor to Wanda.

'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

However, on the other side of the coin, Elizabeth Olsen continues to give the character of Scarlet Witch her dues. Silent, heartbroken, emotionally distraught, grief ridden, and desperate to know and conceal the truth, Olsen truly is the perfect foil to Hahn’s Harkness character. Wanda may be one of the most powerful beings in the entire MCU, but deep-down, she is just a whole human being. You can’t help but feel for her emotionally through every gasp, tear, and lip tremble. It’s this emotion that pours out of Wanda as she creates (maybe unintentionally) Westview for the first time.

If you weren’t already feeling the heartbreak in this episode, you definitely had to be when we learned this week why the Vision (and probably Billy and Tommy) cannot leave the Hex. Wanda was so alone that she created an entirely new version of Vision, putting him together with the power of her mind. If this wasn’t enough, in the final moments of the show, Harkness reveals that Wanda is a prophetic creature from some sort of archaic lore known as the “Scarlet Witch”.

'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

I would have been completely satisfied if the episode ended with the first on-screen mention of the words “Scarlet Witch”, but episode eight has yet another mid-credit scene where we see more of what Hayward has been up to. In episode five it was teased that we might see Wanda and Vision square off and it looks like we still might. However, this face-off might not be in the sense that we were expecting. Hayward finally manages to bring Vision back to life, but not our Vision. Instead, as die-hard comic fans will most likely recognize, we get White Vision.

'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”

With only one episode of WandaVision left, there are so many questions still to be answered. If this was any other studio, I would be a little concerned leading into next week. But, I have no doubt that the team behind this show will deliver a finale that we will all be talking about. My expectations have constantly been surpassed week in and week out and I personally cannot wait to see how this series ends next week.

Interested in watching WandaVision? You can catch new episodes Fridays on Disney+.

'WandaVision' episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”
‘WandaVision’ episode 8 recap: “Previously On…”
WandaVision E 8: 'Previously On...'
Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn deliver excellent performances in the most emotionally driven episode of WandaVision.
Kathryn Hahn
Elizabeth Olsen
A much-needed, emotionally driven episode
Director Hayward/White Vision
Wanda's and Agatha's backstories
Lots of unanswered questions leading into the finale
Director Hayward
9
Great

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