Marvel’s latest hit, WandaVision, continued its great start with its fifth episode, extending the Disney subsidiary’s streak of quality programming under their Marvel Cinematic Universe brand. The show’s latest episode, the fifth so far, was easily the best so far this season, with far more in the way of acting and character development than we’ve seen up until this point. Plus, the show introduced a game-breaking twist in the episode’s final moments, which is sure to have consequences both in WandaVision, and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, now that the show has reached its midpoint, let’s break down where the show is at, where it could be going, and what this could mean for Marvel’s other characters and properties.
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Spoilers for ‘WandaVision’ (through Episode 5) Follow
So it looks like I was right in my last article, at least somewhat. WandaVision is very clearly doing an MCU adaptation of the classic Disassembled/House of Marc from the early 2000s Marvel Comics. In the time since separating from the other Avengers at the conclusion of “Avengers: Endgame,” Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has apparently kidnapped the Vision’s body (Paul Bettany), held an entire town hostage, and created her own alternate reality where Vision is resurrected, and where she could give birth to her superpowered twins (though we don’t know if they will continue to grow up into their hero counterparts, Wiccan and Speed). We don’t know the extent or motivation behind Wanda’s actions, but we do know that she has functionally lost her mind as she did in that infamous arc, and now poses a threat not just to fellow good guys Monica Rambeau (Teyonna Parris), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), and Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), but perhaps even the entire fabric of the Marvel universe.
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Her Powers (Explained)
“How is she doing this?”, you may ask.
Well, if there is one thing that Marvel hasn’t done a great job at doing, it’s been explaining how Wanda’s abilities operate. We know that her powers stem from the Mind Stone, the same Infinity Stone that powers Vision, but we don’t know exactly what she can do, besides create red balls and move some stuff with her mind.
As we’re seeing in the show, Wanda’s real powers are far more complex than you might think. She technically has the ability to alter the probability of events happening in her favor, meaning she can fundamentally alter the rules of the universe to her liking. If she wants, she can resurrect Vision or mindwipe an entire suburban town, but she only ever acts out of her own interest. So if her kids want to rapidly age to prevent having to deal with the death of their dog, she can teach them a valuable lesson (albeit one that contradicts her own actions) about the “rules of the world.”
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But while we have gotten a sense as to how a lot of these crazy things are happening, we still don’t know what the end-goal is. There are still persistent rumors that there could be more nefarious actors at work in the show (I have a lot of reason to believe that Kathryn Hahn is in fact playing Agatha Harkness, the evil witch from the comics who introduces Wanda to the darker aspects of her powers, given her coincidental appearances throughout the show, and the fact that she wears a necklace that bears a striking resemblance to Harkness’s from the comics), but it could very well be that Wanda is just incapable of dealing the trauma in her life, and has just snapped as a result.
WandaVision Mid-Season Update – The Big Twist
This idea of Wanda’s inability to deal with her trauma plays a big part in the episode’s big final twist. As we know, Wanda lost her brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) during the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” She has since distanced herself from her brother and their Sokovian roots throughout her tenure in the MCU (including abandoning her oft-derided accent for most of this series). But the pain associated with that loss reached a new conclusion, as Wanda appears to have manifested Quicksilver back into the Marvel Universe, only this time, he doesn’t look like her brother.
You see, the version of Quicksilver that appears in WandaVision is actually Evan Peters’ (fan-favorite) take on the character, from the “X-Men” series of films, not Aaron Taylor-Johnson from the “Avengers” movies. It appears that Wanda has snatched the alternate version of Quicksilver from his universe and placed him in the MCU, an idea that could have a huge ripple effect in the universe.
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Why Evan Peters’ Quicksilver Return Matters
The implication here is simple: Wanda has the ability to peer into the Marvel Multiverse, and move characters between continuities. Evan Peters is just the start, it seems, as the twist opens up the door for the other various Fox characters to cross-over into the MCU, such as Ryan Reynolds’ already-confirmed Deadpool, as well as the various Spider-Man incarnations from over the last 2 decades. This appears to be the way Marvel is introducing their newly-acquired characters (Fox used to own the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, before Disney’s recent purchase of the studio), by simply bringing over pre-existing versions of the beloved characters into the MCU.
It still remains to be seen just how deep is going to be willing to go down the Multiverse rabbit-hole, with the Sam Raimi-directed “Doctor Strange” sequel bearing the subtitle “Multiverse of Madness,” a film which also stars Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, it seems like the studio is heading in this direction, and I for one am very excited to see what comes next.
‘WandaVision’ airs every Friday on Disney Plus.
By Patrick Nash
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