Hasitha Fernando on the biggest takeaways from episode eight of Marvel’s WandaVision…
As we edge closer and closer to WandaVision’s series finale, things are finally appearing to make more sense. Since its debut, this genre-bending TV show has done an admirable job in injecting the odd red herring and Easter egg to keep rabid Marvel fans preoccupied, whilst throwing some major narrative curve balls to keep the general audience guessing. But by the conclusion of episode 8 we’ve come to realize that it’s time to cease our flirtation with certain fan-theories and accept the bitter truth with regard to where the story of WandaVision is heading. Yes, a lot can happen between this penultimate installment and the finale episode, but for the time being let us try to analyze and pick apart its biggest takeaways. For those who haven’t watched the latest episode of WandaVision, SPOILERS lie ahead….
1. Mephisto… who?
Well, I guess we can bid goodbye to that fan theory. From the get go some (including myself) were of the opinion that the villainous Mephisto was the real big bad of the TV show, pulling the strings from behind the curtain like some twisted puppet master. But if there’s one takeaway message from the flashback sequence of Agatha Harkness it’s that she’s not the sort to bow to anyone nor serve a master. The MCU version of Agatha is one driven by her own twisted motivations and lust for power, and it is these dark desires that put her on a collision course with Wanda in the first place.
2. The Mystery of Pietro Maximoff
Pietro’s WTF appearance during episode 5 had a lot of people thinking that this was how Disney would be introducing Fox’s X-Men characters to the MCU via the multiverse accidentally forged by Wanda. Sadly, though this was something of a misdirect, as it’s revealed that he was a fake planted by Agatha using a “crystalline possession”. No clue what that’s all about, but what we do know is that Evan Peters’ Pietro Maximoff is NOT the major cross-over event that we thought he was gonna be. But how is it possible that he exhibited super powers like the real Quicksilver? I guess we’ll have to wait for the finale next week to get our answers.
3. What is Chaos Magic?
Chaos Magic is a powerful form of magic whose very existence was not known to even the Sorcerer Supreme. It is magic that is capable of manipulating, warping and altering the very fabric of reality, thus bringing about…chaos. In the comics the dark Elder God Chthon, utilized Chaos Magic to rule the Earth as the ‘God of Chaos’. The mages of Earth however, banded together and sealed him within Mount Wundagore, the future birthplace of Wanda Maximoff. As a newborn child Wanda was touched by the hand of Chthon and that is why she was bestowed with the ability to control Chaos Magic.
Within the MCU narrative however, it seems that this particular ability is accidentally unlocked to some extent during Wanda’s exposure to an infinity stone, while being experimented by H.Y.D.R.A. But the biggest reveal in the episode is that we find out that Wanda possessed some degree of superhuman abilities, before she volunteered for H.Y.D.R.A’s program, as evidenced by how she stalled a missile from detonating as a child.
4. Becoming the Scarlet Witch
Near the conclusion of this action-packed episode Agatha addresses Wanda as the Scarlet Witch. She does so because the latter possesses the power to control Chaos Magic. While it’s quite possible that the H.Y.D.R.A experimentation did unlock Wanda’s ability to wield Chaos Magic somewhat, the instance when the true extent of her abilities gets triggered is following the traumatic events of Avengers: Endgame. In this episode we find out when exactly this pivotal transition takes place and boy, it is one painfully tragic scene to watch. Whether Wanda goes dark side remains to be seen, but I think we all know we are in for one doozy of a finale come next week.
5. The debut of White Vision?
As one of Marvel comic’s most colorful superheroes you may be surprised to know that Vision sported an extremely colorless look during one particular story arc. In 1989’s Westcoast Avengers #42 was kidnapped by an international spy agency, who feared what is capable of. By the time the Avengers tracked him down they were too late – he’d been disassembled and left for dead. However, Dr. Hank Pym was able to put him back together again, Humpty dumpty style, but the resulting output was different to the original Vision. In addition to being completely drained of color, he lacked the emotion and empathy of his former self. During this episode’s post-credit scene, we see that S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward and his minions have achieved something similar.
So, what are the implications of this new White Vision going forward in the MCU? Well, this could probably be the route Disney will take to resurrect Vision but much like the Westcoast Avengers story arc we’ll likely see an emotionless automaton-esque version of the character, which could prove somewhat problematic for the Avengers going forward. Only time will tell, but be sure to let us know your thoughts on the episode and theories for next week’s finale on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.