NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “WandaVision” are present in this review
Events at Westview come to a head during WandaVision’s ninth and final episode this week, one that immediately pits Wanda and Agatha against each other, just as Hayward’s new ‘White Vision’ is also unleashed on the town. “The Series Finale” makes a solid effort to wrap up every major mystery behind this eccentric, but imaginative Disney+ miniseries, leaving us with a few interesting questions in the end, but also resolving virtually every major character conflict that has resulted from Wanda’s psychic domination of Westview. As for the expected Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins and teases however, those come with much less frequency than many Marvel fans would likely hope for, especially when some of WandaVision’s final answers feel frustratingly unsatisfying. It is appreciated that WandaVision nonetheless doesn’t wimp out of one bold dramatic turn though, namely that Wanda is, and always has been, the one true villain behind Westview.
Indeed, if you were hoping for a last-second reveal of some other eldritch Marvel super-villain like Mephisto, Chthon or Nicholas Scratch being secretly behind the actions of Wanda, Agatha or Director Hayward, you’re going to be disappointed. Everyone is acting of their own accord, no string-puller required. This also means that the villain of next year’s pivotal big screen sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the movie that WandaVision essentially serves as a multi-episode prologue to, remains a mystery for now. Despite that however, I’m very glad that WandaVision didn’t wimp out of making Wanda herself the villain. It’s a very intriguing turn for an MCU hero to have to reckon with psychological trauma, and subsequently traumatic acts that end up pushing that trauma onto innocents. The scene where Agatha releases Wanda’s control over Westview’s citizens enough to have them begging Wanda for real human connection, or death if they can’t have that, is particularly heart-wrenching!
This once again puts Agatha in the intriguing position of being an enemy to Wanda in WandaVision, a bit of a departure from her mentor role in Marvel Comics at this point, but also not a true villain. Agatha believes that Wanda doesn’t know how to properly wield her power as the Scarlet Witch (frankly, she’s not wrong!), and demands that Wanda turn over her powers to her as a result. This leads to a fairly solid magic duel between Wanda and Agatha to serve as WandaVision’s overall climax, one that’s briefly interrupted by White Vision, shortly before Wanda’s Vision engages him in turn. The actors and showrunners promised a big climactic action spectacle for WandaVision’s final episode, and they do deliver in that respect here! The final battle for Westview doesn’t feel at all hamstrung by being within a Disney+ miniseries and not a full-blown MCU movie. Finally, it’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between the MCU’s TV and movie offerings here!
Oh, and speaking of the MCU’s former TV offerings, their place in the canon once again gets thrown into question in a big way during WandaVision’s final episode. Again, if you were hoping that WandaVision would clarify where Marvel Television’s legacy MCU TV shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Runaways and Cloak & Dagger may or may not still exist in canon, if anything, the show ultimately does the opposite. Instead, the waters get extra muddied when Agatha reveals to Wanda that she’s tapped into the powers of the Darkhold, the demonic book that revealed to Agatha that Wanda is the Scarlet Witch in the first place. The problem here is that the Darkhold has already been prominently featured during both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fourth season and Runaways’ third and final season, and it looked entirely different than it does on WandaVision. This has opened up a frenzy of fan questions as to whether Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways are still in canon, so, no, there is no surprise Daisy Johnson cameo or Daniel Sousa cameo here either, if you were hoping they’d pop in among the S.W.O.R.D. agents outside of Westview.
In fact, some moments in WandaVision’s series finale almost feel like deliberate efforts to troll the MCU’s fanbase, which can be funny at times, though again, Marvel fans hoping for a more exciting resolution to some of WandaVision’s events might be angry. The biggest troll twist, and one that calls back to Iron Man 3 of all things, is the ultimate reveal of Evan Peters’ character’s identity. As it turns out, those predicting that Peters was actually Agnes’ unseen husband, Ralph were correct, but they were wrong about Ralph being the ultimate villain behind WandaVision, because, like I said, Wanda is the one and only true villain of Westview. Instead, Peters is playing a stoner actor that lives in Westview named Ralph Bohner, who tries to keep Monica from interfering in Agatha’s final battle with Wanda, only for Monica to quickly pull off an enchanted bracelet, thus freeing Ralph from Agatha’s control. This is an annoying red herring for sure, since it firmly rules out Peters truly being Quicksilver from Fox’s former X-Men movies in the MCU, though it does carry the important detail that Agatha can’t directly control Westview’s populace without enchantments and extra help, further reinforcing that Wanda is behind everything in Westview.
On the better end of fan trolling however is Paul Bettany’s claim that he always wanted to work with a certain well-known actor, and finally got a chance to during WandaVision’s final episode. Again, there was ultimately no surprise Marvel character cameo to close out this miniseries; No Doctor Strange, no Reed Richards and no Mephisto. Instead, Bettany was slyly referring to himself, since he plays both Vision’s during this miniseries’ climactic battle. The Vision-vs.-White Vision battle easily rivals the magic-fueled Wanda/Agatha duel as well, and Bettany does appear to be having a great time playing off of himself! Hayward’s White Vision is naturally a remorseless killing machine that’s hell-bent on exterminating Wanda’s Vision, though ultimately, Wanda’s Vision does get through to him eventually, awakening some of White Vision’s memory fragments, and throwing his existence into question. This leads to White Vision jetting off to parts unknown, before Wanda’s Vision has to reckon with the fact that he’ll soon be wiped from existence.
So, the good news here is that Vision is ultimately resurrected in the MCU, in a way! The bad news however is that White Vision is no longer in love with Wanda, nor does he even properly know Wanda at this point, meaning that Wanda still has to sacrifice her great love after deciding to release Westview from her illusion. After embracing her identity as the Scarlet Witch, complete with adopting a cooler, sleeker version of her Marvel Comics costume (complete with red crown!), Wanda eventually overpowers Agatha, and punishes her by turning her into the very role she had in Westview; The nosy neighbour, Agnes. Wanda then resigns herself to undoing the Hex, thus freeing everyone in Westview to resume their old lives. Finally, Wanda tells Agatha that she knows where to find her, should she ever need her. This is good, because it foreshadows that the mentor/student relationship between Wanda and Agatha from Marvel Comics could still exist in the MCU later. We’ll no doubt be waiting until some time after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for that to properly develop though.
This just leaves the issue of Hayward, and unfortunately, his exit is ultimately a little too rushed. Darcy simply shows up out of nowhere to ram Hayward’s car and trap him, thus ensuring Hayward’s arrest for his manipulation of Wanda and obstruction of justice, while Darcy simply disappears afterward. We also don’t ultimately get clarification as to who Jimmy’s FBI witness was, even though Jimmy placing a call to a superior named, “Cliff” does nonetheless carry some interesting implications for the MCU’s upcoming Secret Invasion miniseries on Disney+. It’s not guaranteed, but it is possible that, “Cliff” could be “Cliff Randall”, a disguised alien from Marvel Comics that could easily wind up being a Skrull in the MCU. That’s certainly not the only Secret Invasion tease we get either, since another FBI agent appears to want to debrief Monica in Westview’s movie theatre, only to reveal herself as a Skrull, before telling Monica that an old friend of her mother’s wants to meet her up in space. This appears to be a reference to Nick Fury undertaking some mystery project with the Skrulls, as teased during the final post-credits scene for the MCU’s previous movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Yes, it’s seriously been almost two whole years since we’ve had a new MCU movie! Wow…
As for the resolution we get for Wanda herself, she gets one last night with her Vision and her two children, before emotionally saying goodbye to her husband. Wanda confirms that her Vision was indeed created from the piece of the Mind Stone that lingers inside her though, and because of that, she’ll know that her Vision will always be there with her, despite a new Vision now having been created for the MCU, one that doesn’t know Wanda at this point. As the Hex then comes apart, Wanda watches Vision vanish again, and eventually finds herself in the same empty lot where that mysterious deed brought her for the very start of WandaVision’s events. After apologizing again to Monica and the townspeople, Wanda then flies off to a solitary existence within a remote cabin.
During a subsequent post-credits scene for this final episode however, we also see that Wanda has stolen the Darkhold, and is astral projecting to learn its magic, similar to how Doctor Strange learned magic in his eponymous 2016 movie. We also hear Billy and Tommy crying for help while Wanda does so, possibly suggesting that the souls of Wanda’s children still exist somewhere, and that Wanda is desperately trying to save them and restore them. This ill-advised magical meddling is likely what will lead Doctor Strange to Wanda, and will no doubt serve as the basis of conflict for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This final resolution confirms that, while Wanda has resolved her traumas to the point of not coercing innocent people into her magic and reality manipulation, she still hasn’t completely learned her lesson. Wanda is still tapping into powers she doesn’t understand, and is still threatening the fabric of reality through trying to salvage Billy and Tommy. I suppose one could speak the mantra, “Progress, not perfection”, but I doubt that Doctor Strange will be quite so diplomatic after he inevitably learns about what Wanda has done! Thus, WandaVision’s final resolution for Wanda herself is pretty great in all respects, resolving events in Westview while allowing Wanda to reconcile her grief surrounding the former dead Vision, without completely eliminating Wanda’s sub-conscious lust for power and control, even if the altered re-introduction of the Darkhold nonetheless creates serious canonical questions for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways. Are those shows fully non-canon now? Maybe the upcoming Loki series and its emphasis on alternate timelines and realities might have more insight into where the MCU’s former Marvel Television shows stand in the canon?
Anyway, beyond Wanda, other final resolutions in, “The Series Finale” can be a bit more mixed. Vision coming back to the MCU, even in a new form, is cool, as is Monica finally being summoned by Nick Fury to assist in whatever weird Skrull project is going on in space right now, which will likely be the foundation behind the MCU’s upcoming Secret Invasion miniseries. Despite that however, those hoping for an introduction to a big Marvel arch-villain like Mephisto or Nightmare didn’t get that in the end. Marvel fans will probably also feel especially sore about Evan Peters’ ultimate reveal as a crappy actor named Ralph Bohner, essentially making him Trevor Slattery 2.0. Finally, the way that Hayward was stopped, along with the subsequent involvement of S.W.O.R.D. in the Westview Anomaly, also feels too quick and cleanly wrapped up, especially when WandaVision doesn’t even bother coming up with a real resolution for Darcy in the end, who simply disappears with barely any explanation.
Finally, WandaVision also doesn’t confirm whether or not it’s sowing the seeds for the first mutants in the MCU, despite Monica getting her light-manipulating powers from repeated trips in and out of the Hex. Even so, we ultimately get a good, if not quite great conclusion to WandaVision overall, one that definitely sends Wanda’s character in an exciting new direction, even if not everyone gets quite as satisfying an exit. With plenty of promising teases for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Secret Invasion teed up in the fallout of WandaVision however, Marvel Studios continues to prove that there’s lots to look forward to in this franchise, even in the post-Thanos era. That’s especially true for the freshly-minted Scarlet Witch, who finally feels like she’s living up to her proper potential as a richly-developed wild card superheroine for the MCU!
- Wanda embracing the best and worst of her new identity as Scarlet Witch
- Fun climactic battle with movie-quality production values
- Exciting epilogue teases for future MCU projects
- Unsatisfying Ralph reveal
- S.W.O.R.D./Hayward subplot feels hastily wrapped