WandaVision Episode 9: The Series Finale

Kudos to WandaVision for the simplest episode title. The show comes to an end and spoilers follow below.

It has been a strange arc for the series. It started with a bizarre premise as an homage to classic sitcoms and it ends as a conventional superhero show with a full-on battle of powered beings. We’ve known that it was probably heading this way since episode 4 but this finale is both satisfying and also disappointing that we didn’t get more of the weird comedy show that episode 2 (in particular) offered.

The plot, in short order, Wanda fights Agatha, Vision fights the other Vision, Monica and the Wanda-Kids fight SWORD. The Other Vision gets to grip with questions of identity with a nice use of the ship of Theseus thought experiment, making Vision the Chidi of Westview (which makes Wanda both Elanor Shellstrop and Michael the Architect).

It’s a great big superhero final confrontation, which is all very Marvel and fun. It also gets very sad. Wanda is confronted with the horror of what she has done to the people of Westview but in the process comes to understand that to end everything means letting go of not just Vision but also her two children. It is not a surprising outcome but no less sad for that. Obviously “mum loses her kids” doesn’t need a lot of set-up to be intrinsically moving as a plot point, but given that the two boys have really only had two episode with much of a focus, the show did very well to give them a sense of character.

At the end, Wanda has embraced her identity as powerful magical being. The ambiguity of the Scarlet Witch in the comic books (Mutant? Avenger? Magic user?) hadn’t really transferred to her MCU version but the show has managed to make it part of the character now, even though the original ambiguity was just due to usual comic book wacky plotting. In the other-after credits scene, we see that she is now a powerful being – presumably a lead into the next Doctor Strange movie.

Monica Rambeau also gets a segue into further adventures with an encounter with a Skrull. Presumably, a lead into the next Captain Marvel film?

As for our multiplicity of fan theories, let’s check off where things ended up:

  • Yes, Agnes was Agatha Harkness but also a baddy.
  • Agatha Harkness’s son didn’t turn up and wasn’t Pietro but I guess could still have been the bird-eating rabbit.
  • Fake Pietro was just some guy — making him an actual casting easter egg rather than a multiverse-Pietro or the beachhead of an X-universe incursion.
  • Other Vision’s fate is a bit unclear.
  • The commercials never get an in-universe explanation as such but textually were just recaps of Wanda’s journey (although the Nexus one hints at events yet to occur).
  • Hydra weren’t involved except in Wanda’s backstory.
  • They never did a pun on “The Wanda Years” for a sitcom.
  • Darcy wasn’t in this episode much – that’s just an observation rather than a fan theory.
  • The other superhero turning up played by an actor that Paul Bettany always wanted to work with really was just him playing the Other Vision.
  • Wanda definitely owes Westview compensation for all her shitty (albeit grief fuelled) behaviour.
  • Speaking of which, Wanda’s idea of punishment for Agatha (returning her to the suburban life of Agnes) is also a pretty shitty attitude towards the people of Westview.
  • If this was a just universe the missing pilot from season 1 of Discovery would have turned up but that would have required a corporate merger between Paramount and Disney.
  • Speaking of which, Disney still haven’t paid Alan Dean Foster. They really should.

Overall? This was a fun and inventive series that didn’t live up to all of its promises but was entertaining every episode. It did a lot with shorter episodes and maybe that helped the show avoid spinning its wheels. Paul Bettany was always fun to watch but his best episode was the second one. Elizabeth Olsen proved she was an actor of considerable talent. WandaVision allowed her to play the same character in different ways, which also did wonders for adding depth and likeability to what had been a relatively minor addition to the MCU superhero roster. Of course, ‘likeability’ is an odd way to describe a person so driven by her own ego that she enslaves a whole town but in the annals of terrible-things-superheroes do, I can think of worse. Anyway, evil can be likeable and there Wanda takes second place to Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes/Agatha who I really hope gets to form a supervillain team with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.

36 thoughts on “WandaVision Episode 9: The Series Finale

  1. I sobbed through the end of the main part of the show. I mean, I’m not powerful enough to enslave a whole town, but I’ve done some pretty crap things in my life when I’ve been dealing with grief and/or depression issues, so I do understand what that meant. Giving up some of what feels like hard-earned happiness in order to make things right for the crap I did is often so hard to do, especially when the happiness came out of the crappy behavior. I know intentions are not magic, but sometimes…they’re helpful in understanding.

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    1. Calling it now: The Doctor Strange movie will really be a “Dark Phoenix” story, just with Wandai instead of Jean Grey- maybe that will work better than in the x-men movies… At least the end sequence hints that Red Scarlet is somehow detached from Wanda and that would explain the sudden jump in power, Wanda had experienced.

      In general it was a good finale of a good show, with less holes than feared. It was not the bizarre meta thing hinted by the first episodes, but I guess they didn’t aim for it. I’m hopeful for the other marvel series!
      And no one ever dies in comic books: Every person in this can show up again somewhere…

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      1. I think I’m just going to assume that when she rewound her and Vision’s locale, he became stuck in the town as a character and then was freed with the rest later.

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  2. I cried, a lot. The goodbye scenes were very blurry.

    At the end I was all “nooo, Wanda… er… Scarlet Witch, don’t read the evil book!!!”

    White Vision got all his memories back, so I suppose he can turn into regular-colored Vision in some future movie. He did seem peeved about being an “easily controlled” weapon.

    I think trapping Agatha with no powers in a run-down town and forcing her to be the perky neighbor with out of date sayings is a pretty good punishment (until Marvel needs her again). Wonder where she’s going to live, though — in Wanda’s vacant lot? The house that was supposedly hers was “Pietro”s after all.

    I hope Westview gets a ton of money to rebuild and hire shrinks. It looked like a nice town, even if hurting economically.

    Monica is right, authority does look good on Jimmy. I wonder where his witness protection guy is? I guess he can find him now, probably at the pharmacy. With beekeeper guy. And good job using his mad prestidigitation skillz to call in the FBI.

    (Heh. Real magic and stage magic both.)

    Does Monica get her own movie or TV show now? Was the “old friend of her mother’s” Nick Fury? I am here for Monica kicking ass and taking names, being superpowered IN SPACE.

    I’d have liked to see more of Darcy, but her one scene was perfection. I LOL. Am still hoping for more Jimmy and Darcy doing things together. Give them their own show!

    Now to wait a week with nothing on, and then “Falcon and Winter Soldier”, who have a lot to live up to after this. But hey, buddy action with superheroes, can’t be all bad. And they’re Cap’s 2 BFFs, so they have a lot to live up to there too.

    Also, all the awards possible to Olsen and Hahn, and an ensemble award to everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Monica Rambeau in the comics has a connection to Captain Marvel – well actually it was her first codename (the current Captain Marvel went by Ms. Marvel at the time). So you should expect her in Captain Marvel 2, and yes that was a Nick Fury reference.

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  3. I thought White Vision might’ve been a way to give Bettany a way out (if he so wants) while getting to keep Vision alive in the MCU. I feel like the end credits scene of Wanda hearing the voices of her kids will potentially be the cause of the crisis kicking off the Dr Strange movie and the interdimensional stuff of the next phase. Overall disappointed by the show’s sharp turn towards conventionality and away from the weird early episodes, but it was still a very good show that ties in nicely with the MCU.

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    1. Yes, the mid-credit scene sets up Monica adventuring in Capt. Marvel 2 Marvel 2 Furious, and the final scene sets up Dr. Strange 2: Magickal Boogaloo. Agatha flat out signposted that when she said Wanda was stronger than him.

      I am THERE for Olsen vs. Cumberbatch (And Wong).

      Maybe someday we’ll get the “X-Files only funnier” show we deserve with Jimmy and Darcy.

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      1. “Maybe someday we’ll get the “X-Files only funnier” show we deserve with Jimmy and Darcy.”

        It can be called ‘Agents of ATLAS’. Jimmy Woo, Darcy Lewis, an immortal talking gorilla, and what is either the Goddess Venus, or a delusional psychic with the powers to let her fake it.

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  4. I know everybody was speculating about Cumberbatch showing up as Doctor Strange (even me), but I’m glad the showrunners resisted that temptation. This was Wanda’s story, from beginning to end. She’s come out of this as a fully rounded, complex character, someone I’ll be very interested in going forward.

    As far as Agnes/Agatha being stuck in Westview, I suppose she gets Evan Peters’ Ralph as a consolation prize? I mean, that’s not too bad, is it? I thought he was pretty easy on the eyes myself.

    I do think they should have spent a few more minutes on Wanda facing and apologizing to the townspeople. But from the way they were circling around her at the end, they might have tried to kill her if she’d hung around much longer.

    And yeah, this final episode, unfortunately, took a heavy dip into the usual over-the-top CGI third-actness. But that seems to be baked so deeply into superhero movies we’ll never see the end of it.

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  5. I will say, that while the CGI Battle scenes are kind of eh at this point, I enjoyed that both of our heroes won their fights via using their brains in innovative ways, rather than simply overpowering their opponents in some heroic moment – like I had the impression they were going to go for the classic trope of Power Absorber absorbs too much power and can’t handle it because in this case she’s not the fated Scarlet Witch….but instead Wanda uses the runes Agatha used earlier against her (which honestly I should’ve figured when they appeared in the “Previously On” segment in the beginning). And Vision winning via the Ship of Theseus reference.

    Like its not quite the end of Doctor Strange, which is still the cleverest ending in the MCU (albeit one tied to an otherwise uninspiring movie plot), but it’s still far more interesting than just winning through power alone as usual.

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    1. I suppose my frustration with it is that Marvel can’t allow an MCU product to simply dead-end or be its own thing. Everything must tie back into the trajectory they’re taking. In the end we got half of an inventive show, some fun brain-candy entertainment and essentially a 9 episode trailer for at least two of their upcoming movies.

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      1. There’s a glass-half-full element here. Was WandaVision an inventive show that was tethered/limited by its ties to the MCU or was it a MCU tie-in that nonetheless did some really inventive things.

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      2. “Agents of SHIELD” got way better after they left MCU continuity. Those seasons are as good as anything you’ll see on TV. I cried a lot, and laughed a lot, and maybe I need to stream some to keep my D+ subscription exercised. It was epic on a network TV budget.

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      3. Well you couldn’t have really expected that WandaVision would be a separate thing, like the Netflix Marvel series that only loosely referenced the rest of the MCU. WandaVision is quite deliberately the launch project for the entire Marvelverse Phase 4. It’s not like they hid that as the goal when they marketed and started it. But within it, they did some very cool stuff. And it’s actually four movies with a tie-in, and possibly more projects.

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      4. Yes, and that’s the glass-half-full way I’d look at it. If we start with the fact that the series was a MCU film tie-in designed to explicitly link with the continuity then…it was a really inventive and bold contribution to that genre.

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  6. “Fake Pietro was just some guy — making him an actual casting easter egg rather than a multiverse-Pietro or the beachhead of an X-universe incursion“
    Although I was a bit miffed about that, in retrospect it was a clever play with fan theories. Much better than most of what JJ Abrahams thought off (and leagues apart from lying about the name of a Vharackter before the movie comes out). It allowed for speculation, but didn’t need any special resolve net (if that’s a word)

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  7. Leaving Agatha to be a two-dimensional character in the real-life town. Reminds me of when Reed Richards left three hypnotized Skrulls thinking they were cattle.

    The bit with Wanda reading magic while we heard the kids pleading actually was heartening to me, because it meant they weren’t simply flushing the kids down the memory hole along with the goldfish that didn’t work out.

    https://archive.org/details/78_a-2-d-gal-in-a-3-d-town_chuck-murphy-pee-wee-erwins-dixieland-band_gbia0000294b

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  8. I read elsewhere a good question: why in the world WASN’T Dr. Strange there? (aside from not being able to afford Benny Cummerbund, and wanting to keep it focused on W & V).

    If Agatha could sense all those spells forming at once, surely the Sorcerer Supreme could, so why didn’t he pop out of a portal and stop it right away (aside from that meaning there’s no show).

    I guess he was elsewhere in the Multiverse and couldn’t get back in time to do anything.

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  9. I also read somewhere that there was less of Darcy than originally planned because of Covid messing up the schedule. Sigh.

    Another reason there needs to be an 8-10 episode series of “Agent Woo and Dr. Lewis Figure Out Weird Stuff”. No overarching mythology that messed up X-Files, just stand-alone adventures that need to be quipped at.

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  10. Fietro ending up being just some random shlub named Ralph Bohner struck me as exactly the right way to, y’know, mess with obsessive fans and their overcomplicated theories. I liked that quite a bit, in that context. (In my headcanon, he was also Jimmy Woo’s witness, but OTOH a few loose ends don’t matter.)

    I think this series will be remembered well, including the ending. Despite the pew-pew CGI-driven fight sequences, the superb writing and acting kept shining through:

    “Before I go, I feel I must know: What am I?” “You, Vision, are the piece of the Mind stone that lives in me. You are a body of wires and blood and bone that I created. You are my sadness and my hope. But mostly, you’re my love.” “I have been a voice with no body. A body, but not human. And now, a memory made real. Who knows what I might be next? We have said goodbye before, so it stands to reason….” “…we’ll say hello again.”

    Well, brava and bravo. That was earned, a thousand times. These are people who understand loss.

    Which is a strange thing to see in American-made television, I must say. Americans tend to use expressions like “if I die” (emphasis added), and were always the ones puzzled when I’d say “Mom married twice, is unmarried now, never divorced” and search around for edge-case solutions like annulment. (My Israeli friends were never confused.)

    Wanda winning the big confrontation via better learning and planning was a thing of beauty, as was Vision x2 turning a fight smoothly into an ontology seminar.

    I noticed that pretty nearly the final element of imaginary-Westview to fade away was the wedding ring on Wanda’s finger. Ouch, that one got me, in all the right ways. Along with “So long, darling.”

    Agent Woo saying “Flourish” (quoting drunk Vision) as he popped the handcuffs was perfect. Darcy wasn’t the only viewer who was invested! The identity of “someone I’ve wanted to work with my whole life” was right fine, too.

    It’s been a lovely ride.

    Maybe they could add a brief end-of-credits scene with Doctor Strange sitting on a beach reading a trashy novel, to answer all of the “What was Doctor Stranger doing?” people. (Or maybe a shot of him playing bridge with Mephisto, Reed Richards, and Cthon. ;-> )

    And dammit, more Darcy, next time. (Er, Doctor Lewis.)

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  11. My eyesight at various lengths can be easily lessened and it was a very fast image so when they had Wanda’s astral projection form reading the magic book as we heard the kids’ voices, I saw it wrong as Wanda having her Scarlet Witch chaos energy imprisoned to a wall. I didn’t even see the book. My kid had to re-walk me through the scene. 🙂

    I know a lot of people weren’t as happy with the conventional comic book ending to the series, given the more unconventional stuff it starts with, but what I liked about the final episode is that it wasn’t simply Wanda coming back from her psychotic break because she has to face Agatha and figuring out the way through her grief. Wanda never quite got the family she was hoping for in the Avengers in the wake of her brother’s death. The only family she totally had was Vision and she lost him. So for a very brief time in fighting Agatha, White Vision and the unwitting military, she had that whole family working together, and that for me is always the best parts of the superhero movies, when the team becomes a team, with humor, gumption and hope. I thought they did it really well and it played on the fact that somehow, the combination of Wanda’s access to chaos magic and the Mind stone energy still in her led her to create three entities that were from her mind but were separate and autonomous from her and could surprise her. The kids did not stay in the house and had powers she didn’t plan, Vision figured out puzzles of what she was doing, etc. When she tells the boys, “Thank you for choosing me as your mother,” that was a really interesting line. The show did play, throughout its run, with what is reality; what can call itself real and its own, and I think it did those themes very well.

    My daughter also continues to have hope that they are assembling the Young Avengers for Phase 5, since we heard the kids’ voices at the end and other Young Avengers characters are or are rumored to be popping up in other shows/movies in Phase 4.

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  12. i am also in the “where is Doctor Strange” club. it would have worked if Strange had appeared at the very end for the Darkhold only to see Wanda vanish with it. heck, he’s Sorcerer Supreme and a magical firestorm blows up right over in Jersey. why isn’t he there?

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    1. Maybe in DS2 it will be explained that he is somewhere else fighting Mephisto or the Mandaolorian. Or both.

      (just noticed that Doctor Strange will somehow lead to DS9 7 further movies down the line)

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  13. Wanda and Vision’s goodbye scene I probably ought to watch again so I can see it not blurry. OTOH I don’t know how many times that would take.

    I know that when there’s a writer’s room, often everyone chips in on the script even when it’s only credited to one writer. But I want to know who wrote that, and I NEED to know who actually wrote “grief is love persisting”.

    Also I want whoever wrote the best snark and quips to write a show which features a line like “I’m Special Agent Woo, and this is Dr. Lewis. We heard you had something unusual happen here, and we believe it.”

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