The time has come where the most unique experiment Marvel has put out has reached its climax. WandaVision’s ninth and final episode delivered everything it needed to create a memorable finale for its viewers.
Beginning right where we left off last week, Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are putting their supernatural powers to the test as they face off in Westview. Agatha is desperate to know and wield the power that Wanda possesses with Wanda doing her best to push back her foe.
Since Wanda has been introduced as a member of the MCU, she has been a character all about adaptation. Throughout her entire life, she has always managed to adjust and evolve in order to survive, and her battle against Agatha is no different. Agatha was (unknowingly) teaching Wanda the rules and boundaries of her power. Taking the role of a pupil, Wanda is doing everything she can to learn from the old witch to ultimately outsmart her in the end.
This show has done a lot of things right since its premiere, and the subtle introduction to the student/teacher relationship is reflected expertly not only in the Agatha/Wanda fight, but at the same time in the Vision/White Vision scenes as well. While being sent to destroy Wanda and her entire family, it’s not long before we see Vision and White Vision crossing paths.
Paul Bettany is in prime form here as an actor. He flat out gives an incredible performance acting against himself in a philosophical debate around existence itself. The first half of this episode can be almost jarring with the amount of action that it packed into it, however, that doesn’t mean that the show loses the heart of what made this show successful.
One of the main products of this is in the truly powerful exploration of the Vision character and the idea of personhood. The real Vision who can love, sense and feel manages to show the White Vision who he really is, helping him to restore his memories before White Vision flies off.
Elizabeth Olsen delivered another great performance here once again. As Agatha pushes Wanda to see the truth behind her actions, Wanda finally comes to terms that she can no longer live in the perfect reality that she has built for herself with her dream family. This is where Elizabeth Olsen really shines. Wanda is a grieving woman who did something absolutely terrible and is finally willing to accept that and make it right. There’s no counterpart swooping in to save the day here, it’s all Wanda sacrificing her happiness to make amends.
I hope this point isn’t being understated here. Wanda literally has to give up her dream life, everything that she has longed for since the death of her husband, to save the people of Westview who have been underneath her spell. As much as you can see the pain physically on her face and the emotional turmoil she is in, Wanda knows it is the right thing to do.
This is a truly transformative moment for Wanda as she almost metamorphosizes into The Scarlet Witch that we all know and love from the comics. Not only does Wanda literally get a sick new costume, but she finally learns the truth about her powers and in coming to terms with said powers, disposes of Agatha and undoes the Hex. Wanda shows extreme character growth here. She rejects the easy option which would allow her to continue to live in Westview and, instead, decides to deal with loss and the trauma that has plagued her life.
It’s no secret that Elizabeth Olsen has been the star of this series, and the meta-series within the series that the show began as, but she really does sell every heartbreaking moment of the finale. Right before the Hex disappears, Vision and Wanda share one of the most tear-jerking moments of the series, thanking the twins for choosing her to be their mom. Not going to lie, I got a little misty eyed there.
And if I wasn’t misty eyed enough, Vision and Wanda share a series best exchange as they wait for the Hex to fully end. It almost felt as if we shouldn’t have been able to watch that moment as the two reaffirm their never-ending love for one another. It is 100% heart wrenching and a true testament to the level of care the duo has brought to their character work.
This episode ends with Wanda leaving Westview, still viewed, almost understandably so, as a villain by those who were her victims. However, she still seems to be a more empathetic hero in the eyes of Monica Rambeau, who shockingly, doesn’t get much screen time this episode. But, the little screen time she gets in the mid-credit scene does help to set up Captain Marvel 2. With the reintroduction of the Skrulls, it seems that we are in for a SWORD and space heavy Phase IV, at least until the post-credit scene.
In something that I’m sure hardcore Marvel fans will recognize, we see Wanda living in a cabin in a rural mountain range. While we see Wanda sipping tea and living in an almost interesting sort of peace, we follow the camera into the bedroom where we see The Scarlet Witch reading the Darkhold and taking in all its power.
I do think the mid-credit and post-credit scenes were cool and did their own part to help set up future MCU projects, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that we didn’t get more of a solid tease for what is coming in Doctor Strange into the Multiverse of Madness. We did hear muffled screams from Billy and Timmy… which makes me think that Mephesto will be the Big Bad for this Phase.
Slight disappointment aside, we really should celebrate WandaVision as a whole. This show entered uncharted territory for the MCU and I think it personally hit a home run, scored a touchdown, a half-court shot or whatever sports metaphor you can think of. The MCU wanted something unique, new, and different and I think it was successful in accomplishing that goal.
I said in my review of the first two episodes that WandaVision would be that show that would provide the kind of wholesome viewing experience that both Marvel fans and casual viewers could enjoy, and I’m sticking to it. I, personally, am sad to see the series come to an end as I have thoroughly enjoyed the series and the ability to watch it each and every week with my students. Even though WandaVision has come to an end, I’m even more excited to see where Phase IV goes from here and for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiering in two weeks.
Interested in watching WandaVision, you can watch the complete series now on Disney +.
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