Wandavision Episode 9 (Disney+)
Written by Jac Schaeffer
Directed by Matt Shakman
So the first of the Marvel series has come to an end in rather a standard way. All of the grand fan theories really didn’t add up to much, with the writers choosing to not go too deep into the next phase of the MCU. There’s an exact resolution for Wanda here, the story told over these episodes comes to a definite ending, but we see a new path opened up for her leading into the next Doctor Strange film. The same can be said for Vision, who has a new lease on life. I’m not sure if we will see him again when Wanda returns, but I am sure there are plans for a reunion somewhere down the line.
I have to say Paul Bettany trolled fans incredibly well with his comments on the secret cameo. An actor he’s thrilled to work with and has wanted to his whole life turned out to be himself. We see a battle between two Visions, the one manifested by Wanda when she recreated Westview and the version rebuilt by SWORD. By the end of the episode, the mental construct has to fade into nothingness as the illusion ends but out there somewhere is a reactivated material Vision. I’m not clear why he didn’t stick around to help Wanda, but I suppose that will be explained later.
Also, the Quicksilver bait-and-switch was pretty annoying to me. Casting Evan Peters only to reveal he’s playing a resident of Westview who happens to be an aspiring actor is funny on one level. The Bettany comment was genuinely hilarious, but this didn’t really add up to anything. We can surmise that Agatha Harkness imbued him with super speed. It appeared that Tommy inherited his uncle’s ability, so was that something genuinely manifested in the boy, or was he mimicking his “uncle”? In a show about bending the rules of reality, such questions don’t have a foothold. I was disappointed mainly because I love continuity craziness as a DC fan and was hoping this was a sign that elements of the Fox X-Men franchise would leak into the MCU.
However, we get a very satisfying arc with Wanda, after all the show was about her. She becomes the Scarlet Witch not just in name but manifests a new costume. Agatha is soundly defeated but left out there, maybe a cameo in Doctor Strange when the next larger problem arises? We also get introduced to the Darkhold. In the Marvel Universe, the Darkhold was introduced in a Werewolf by Night storyline in the anthology Marvel Spotlight. Chthon was a demonic Elder god and the first practitioner of magic on Earth. He collected all his knowledge of magic into this book. It has passed hands throughout history, with Merlin possessing it at one point. The Darkhold was used to create the first vampire, Varnae, so I could see this tying into the eventually Blade movie Marvel has in production. It also led to the werewolf curse and has continued to show when greedy sorcerors and witches seek to increase their power. Apparently, it appeared in the Agents of SHIELD series but having not watched that, I don’t know if they are keeping that version in canon or if this is a brand new one.
After seeing Wanda break from her grief last episode, with the finale, we watch her steel herself through losing everything she loves again. Part of what helps her pass through it this time is understanding who she is and what she is capable of. Wanda is forced to see the pain she’s inflicted on the people of Westview and realizes what’s she’s been doing is such twisted cruelty. Though she reverses her illusion, she remains hated by them, and rightfully so, they were kept slaves in such a horrid way. Wanda doesn’t expect their forgiveness and does receive sympathy from Monica Rambeau, who acknowledges how much the Scarlet Witch sacrificed to restore things.
And then we have our post-credits teasers. Monica is taken aside by a SWORD agent who reveals herself as a Skrull and hints that Nick Fury wants to speak with her. This appears to be a tease that leads into Secret Invasion, a six-part mini-series to be released on Disney Plus at an unknown date. Maybe 2022? With COVID delays, it’s hard to know where everything lines up at this point. If Marvel hasn’t even given a year yet, then this is all up in the air. At the very end, we glimpse Wanda pouring over the Darkhold only to hear the voices of her boys cry out. The next part in this storyline won’t be up until March 25th, 2022, when Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is set to come out. So buckle in; it’s going to be awhile. Wandavision was a pretty good start to the Marvel shows. In two weeks, we’ll see if The Falcon and Winter Soldier can keep the trend going.