The irony of WandaVision‘s latest episode is that while it finally lays bare Wanda’s horrifying traumas, it might just reveal her to be the strongest magic user ever. It’s all Wanda, all of it. You were right, Monica Rambeau.
WandaVision‘s Episode 8 finally confirms what fans were speculating all along—Wanda is the only real star of Marvel’s wacky new show. By taking a plunge into Wanda’s grief-ridden past, the heartbreaking penultimate episode finally revealed the truth of how Westview came to be. It was all Wanda and the raw power of her grief after Vision dies.
Wanda’s grief seems to have unlocked some of the most powerful magic ever known to the MCU. Per the latest episode, Wanda has singlehandedly rewritten reality and manipulated the minds of thousands of Westview residents, fabricated entire constructs like sitcom sets, and created two magical beings out of thin air. If that does not qualify her as the strongest power wielder in MCU, I don’t know what does.
At the end of Episode 8, Agatha/Agnes calls Wanda the Scarlet Witch and berates her for using all that dangerous mythical magic inside her to make “breakfast for dinner” (a reference to the first episode of the show where Wanda served breakfast for dinner to Vision’s boss). Wanda is indeed more powerful than any of us could have imagined, not even Wanda herself.
Losing Vision is digging something otherworldly for Wanda, but, as Agatha says rightly, she is willing to fall apart in her delusions rather than face reality. Wanda is too strong for her good. What does all that power mean for Wanda—does it make her the main villain of WandaVision? Or is there still someone invisible pulling strings by manipulating/helping her create what seems like a universe within the universe?
1. It Really Is All Wanda!
Who knew Agnes was not just a nosy neighbor but a whole nose trying to sniff out the secret behind Westview. But good for her, since Agnes/Agatha’s persistence finally answered the biggest question of the last seven weeks—who was responsible for Westview?
In the eighth installment of WandaVision, Agnes reveals herself as a Salem witch called Agatha Harkness, who has been around for over three centuries. She is attracted by the sheer presence of Wanda’s scarlet magic, which had been turning everything and everyone into sitcom props.
Taking the seat of a cruel-to-be-kind therapist, Agatha forces Wanda to go down memory lane and find out how it all began. The four-part revisit of Wanda’s past ends with Wanda reaching the real Westview after visiting Vision’s dismantled body at the S.W.O.R.D. office. She is carrying land deeds for a Westview plot, apparently bought by Vision for them to “grow old in.”
As she collapses to the ground howling in grief, a burst of scarlet energy emits from her body, and the house we have seen on WandaVision starts taking shape around her. With another bigger outburst, she casts her magic spell all over the town, thus creating the hex boundaries. In a single stroke, WandaVision clarifies that it was Wanda all along. Not Mephisto, not Agatha, not even the S.W.O.R.D. or any Nexus—just Wanda and her “persevering love” for Vision.
As the scarlet energy of Wanda’s hex expands to the edges of Westview, an entire world is created in its wake. The reality around her is changed on an atomic scale while the citizens are also mind-wiped.
2. WandaVision Finally Welcomes the Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff has been known as the Scarlet Witch in the Marvel comics for decades. But the name was used for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Agatha told Wanda who she was in WandaVision Episode 8.
The show had long been teasing Scarlet Witch’s revelation in the MCU, both before and after the premiere earlier this year. But it was only in episode 8 that it gave away names of Wanda’s powers with the creative framing of Agatha’s research into the source of Westview’s magic.
Long before Agatha coined the term transmutation for Wanda’s ability to change the appearance of things, she was turning a whole chicken into a basket of eggs in episode 1. Then, she was turning a life-sized piano into a two-dimensional drawing during her magic act with Vision in episode 2.
In the same act, Wanda had already transported Monica from backstage to inside a cabinet on stage. We also get a glimpse of Wanda affecting reality in the same episode after she rewinds time to remove the intrusive beekeeper (S.W.O.R.D. agent) from Westview. In the third episode, Wanda had created two babies inside her out of thin air!
By episode 5, we followed Darcy, Monica, and Agent Woo as they realized Wanda was not just manipulating reality but actually rewriting it. Monica herself was transformed after her stint inside Westview, with her cells rewritten to display electricity-based superpowers.
It took another witch, Agatha Harkness, to identify Westview’s wacky costume changes as a sophisticated use of Chaos Magic—something only the Scarlet Witch was capable of pulling off.
In Marvel Comics, Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda, can reshape reality to various extremes. She can also alter probabilities in her favor and have the universe work for her every single time with a little focus. This reality-warping sets Wanda apart from plenty of Marvel heroes like Thor or Doctor Strange who have godlike abilities or can defy the laws of physics.
Better late than never. Scarlet Witch is now officially a part of the MCU in all her reality-bending glory.
3. Wanda’s Powers Were Older than Infinity Stones
Agatha starts Wanda’s ‘therapy’ with her childhood days in Sokovia when her father, a DVD peddler, would bring home American sitcoms to watch with the family and practice English. But it was mostly a distraction from the ongoing war in the streets outside.
We arrive on the night Wanda’s parents are killed in an air raid by the Stark Industries, as revealed in previous Avengers movies. Ten-year-old Wanda and Pietro are left to fend for themselves as another Stark Industries rocket lands outside the debris of their home.
But as is true of any therapy session, Wanda learns something new about her past. Per Agatha, Wanda apparently had magic inside her since birth which she was using even as a child, long before she came in contact with the Mind Stone.
For example, Agatha pointed how 10-year-old Wanda could control the probability of the rocket going off and protect herself and Pietro. Wanda always thought they got “lucky” and the rocket was defective. But the Scarlet Witch makes her luck with the probability hex, eh?
In the comics, as long as whatever she was trying to control was in her line of sight, Wanda controlled the probability of what happens next. WandaVision‘s Wanda also seems to exhibit the same abilities. These new abilities are different from telekinesis and telepathy, which were gifted to Wanda by the Infinity Stone, per the older MCU version of how Wanda got her powers.
But as a witch herself, Agatha recognizes Wanda’s powers were actually rooted in an ancient form of sorcery known as the Chaos Magic. Present in Wanda in a raw form, these powers were simply amped up by the Infinity Stone and not created by it. Indeed, when Wanda comes in contact with the Mind Stone on Loki’s Spectre, the stone itself changes color, turning to the yellow we’ve known. Even Hayward calls Wanda the source of the Mind Stone’s powers (by default even Vision’s) and not the other way round.
As a retrospective Easter egg, the very first episode also features Vision’s boss noting how Vision’s house was full of “chaos”. The same one in which she serves breakfast for dinner.
This depiction puts Wanda in a special category of magic wielders who are also mutants.
4. Is Wanda Officially a Mutant?
Upon introduction in Marvel comics in 1964, Wanda was always a mutant and a sorceress. This meant that her mutant and magic powers were distinct. But in a 2016 run of Scarlet Witch, Marvel revealed that she was only a sorceress and not a mutant.
Wanda Maximoff, one of the most powerful characters both in the MCU and the comics, was stuck between a long-running feud between Disney and Fox. While Disney wanted to use Wanda and her twin Pietro in its MCU films, 20th Century Fox refused to give up its technically owned rights over her. Negotiations resulted in Fox agreeing to allow Disney to use the characters but without using the word mutants. (That’s why both Wanda and Pietro were referred to as enhanced beings.)
Then later, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, and WandaVision‘s penultimate episode is proof that Wanda and Pietro are officially mutants again.
5. Does All This Make Wanda the Main Villain on WandaVision?
Coming to the most important question of them all. Is Wanda the bad guy WandaVision has been preparing to introduce for its Phase 4? In its first three phases, named the Infinity Saga, MCU had a clear antagonist in Thanos. But following the end of both the Infinity Saga and Thanos, MCU is expected to build another Big Bad Guy. WandaVision was expected to introduce us to this new character. But is it Wanda?
Until episode 8, where we see that it’s all Wanda’s doing in Westview, rumors were rife that there was someone else pulling strings. But now it seems that Wanda created Westview’s sitcom reality out of thin air and the sheer power of her grief. If comics are to be referred to, such immense power could make Wanda the main villain. She is, like Agatha says, as powerful as she is dangerous.
WandaVision has mostly followed Wanda’s depiction from the 2005 storyline House of M when she creates an alternate reality to escape the grief of losing her twin sons. Such was the power of the Scarlet Witch in this story arc that even an ensemble of Marvel heroes united could not make her return to normal. In retaliation, she managed to render most of the world’s mutants powerless.
In the end, Charles Xavier had to intervene to pull back Wanda from her alternate reality and restore order to the world. Not Mephisto or Agatha or any other villain, Wanda’s grief becomes the world’s biggest threat.
Will WandaVision go down a similar path? Probably not, and I have two reasons to back my stance. First, the introduction of White Vision will not allow Wanda to escape Vision’s passing away for very long.
5.1 Who is White Vision?
The mid-credits scene (if you hung around for it) of episode 8 shows Hayward reviving Vision’s body outside Westview. He uses Wanda’s own scarlet magic to revive Vision. But following dismantling, Vision has lost all color and is a ghostly version of himself—White Vision or Cataract as Hayward had named the project.
In the comics, White Vision was also created after dismantling the original colored Vision. Upon return, the White Vision is rebooted in a way, losing all his past attachments. He no longer remembers Wanda as the love of his life or Tommy and Billy as his children. Wanda will be forced to acknowledge that the Vision she fell in love with does not exist anymore.
Some are saying there are two Visions on the show now—one inside Westview created out of thin air by Wanda and another assembled by S.W.O.R.D. agent Hayward. Episode 8 implies that Wanda does not take Vision’s body with her from the S.W.O.R.D. office. However, I think it is the same Vision, and WandaVision is hiding a trick or two up its sleeve. If Vision was with Hayward all along, who or what was he tracking in episode 6? Hayward is clearly caught tracking Vision’s vibranium inside Westview by Darcy.
So then, how did Vision leave Westview? Maybe Agatha helped Hayward retrieve Vision from Westview by taking Wanda hostage in her basement for a trip down memory lane? The timing of Agatha’s revelation of her true self seems very suspicious otherwise. Maybe Hayward and Agatha have joined hands for mutual benefits—one gets the most powerful sentient weapon, and the other gets the powers of the most powerful witch.
Perhaps we will have an Avengers’ Scarlet Wanda and S.W.O.R.D.’s White Vision having a showdown in the season finale. (After all, the show is named after the two, Wanda & Vision!) A bit of a downer than if there was a greater evil manipulating everyone involved—Wanda, Agatha, Hayward—who would then sit back to enjoy as everyone warred among themselves.
5.2 Where Do Tommy and Billy Fit in All This?
Secondly, why I think Wanda is still not the big villain is because of Tommy and Billy. Their creation is yet to be explained. Will the twins simply disappear once Westview’s hex is removed by Wanda? If they were to survive and continue as Young Avengers, how will their creation be justified?
Besides, in the comics, Wanda created her twins using shreds of the devil, Mephisto’s soul. In which case, it is very likely he is still the other villain hanging out in the wings, having struck a deal with S.W.O.R.D. and Agatha for his own vested interests—Tommy and Billy.
In the comics, one of Mephisto’s powers is the ability to capture the souls of those who have recently died. So when Wanda was killed by Thanos’ snap, it is possible that her soul was trapped by the demon, and the effects are being felt only now that she has returned. The fact that Wanda’s powers never worked on Tommy and Billy could imply that they are not entirely Wanda’s creation.
But in case I am just overthinking Mephisto (won’t be the first time), then maybe Wanda is indeed all-powerful to create her own babies.
Let’s see what the season finale has in store for us. Let me know where you think WandaVision is headed in its season finale.
6. About WandaVision
WandaVision is a Disney+ MCU miniseries created by Jac Schaeffer featuring the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Vision. Cast members include Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, Evan Peters, Debra Jo Rupp and Fred Melamed.
The series takes place three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Wanda Maximoff and Vision are living an idyllic suburban life in the town of Westview, New Jersey, trying to conceal their true natures. As their surroundings begin to move through different decades and they encounter various television tropes, the couple suspects that things are not as they seem.