WandaVision Episode 8 puts all the pieces in place for next week's epic finale
The biggest episode of the show so far has arrived!
As per usual, we're going in deep on the latest episode of WandaVision, so if you don't want spoilers, come back to this later.
But if you've seen the episode already, then here we go...
After last week's revelation that Agnes was, in fact, Agatha All Along (congratulations to the entirety of the internet on guessing that correctly), you'd almost expect this week to focus solely on her and her reasoning for tormenting poor Wanda.
That turns out not to be the case, as besides from the stark opening scene, all of the penultimate episode is devoted to Wanda's peaks of sadness, and we get a staggeringly strong case for her current emotional state.
But let us go back to that opening, which drops us into Salem in the year 1692, and actually kicks off with the Marvel logo itself being somewhat warped by Agatha.
We see Agatha is being putting on trial for being a witch... but by other witches. They accuse her of using powers beyond her years, and we discover that one of the witches intent on punishing her is her own mother.
The coven attempt to use their powers to burn her at the stake, but it backfires as Agatha manages to absorb their powers, ultimately killing them all. Even her mother would rather risk death than let Agatha go free...
... which is exactly what happens, and that is pretty much all we're getting in terms of Agatha's backstory, and her direct involvement with Wanda.
What we get is a kinda of magical-waterboarding, interrogation scene in Agatha's secret basement layer, as Agatha REALLY wants to know how Wanda ended up possessing such unfiltered, overflowing powers. So she uses her powers to take Wanda on a literal walk down memory lane, stopping off at particularly emotional punctuation points.
First we get Wanda's childhood home in Sokovia, with young Wanda and her brother Pietro, along with their loving parents, all being big fans of classic American sit-coms (which explains a lot). It turns out the family where happily watching an old episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show when one of Tony Stark's missiles crashed through the ceiling and killer their mother and father.
We've known this about the Maximoff twins since Age Of Ultron, but Agatha seems to think that the reason the bomb never went off is because Wanda put a spell on it to permanently diffuse it.
From there, we move on to the next room of this forced psychotherapy, we head into Hydra's secret testing lab, where Wanda is exposed to the power of Loki's sceptre (nabbed from the end of Avengers Assemble), and the Mind Stone within giving Wanda some kind of glimpse into her own future...
... before she collapses, and, weirdly, the Mind Stone reverts back into the sceptre. Looking back over the footage, the scientists see it has somehow been edited to completely cut out everything that the Mind Stone revealed, showing that this weird editing power of Wanda's has been around for a while now.
Agnes reckons that the Mind Stone has helped to amplify Wanda's powers even more, before shunting her on to the next room, which shows Wanda in the Avengers compound, likely just before the events of Captain America: Civil War.
Wanda is grieving the loss of her brother, and Vision comes in through the wall, his lack of human emotion actually helping her unfold her own. Initially, she argues that "The only thing that would bring me comfort is seeing him again", which would explain both (A) her immediate acceptance of Fake Pietro aka Fietro, and (B) her bringing back Vision, but Vision's frankly beautiful question of "What is grief, if not love persevering?" does seem to soothe her somewhat.
And then we're on through the next portal of grief, with Wanda arriving at the SWORD HQ and demanding to see Vision's body. Realistically, this was the series of events that happened to her across Infinity War and Endgame: she killed Vision, Thanos reverses time, he kills Vision in front of her, Thanos snaps half of existence into dust (including her), she comes back to life, takes part in a huge fight against Thanos and helps kill him, she discovers that five years have passed by, Vision is still dead, and now his body is missing.
That is A LOT.
And then she's confronted with this.
Director Hayward is being a total douchebag with her, constantly referring to Vision as an "it" instead of "him", and seemingly actively trying to expose Wanda to some truly horrific imagery of her dead partner. Wanda just wants to bury his remains, but aside from not wanting to part with three billion dollars worth of vibranium, Shepard also asks "Are you sure? Because not everyone has the power to bring their soulmate back online?"
Now... that definitely seems like a leading question, doesn't it? We'll get into that further in a bit.
But Wanda smashes through into the lab and tries to see if there's anything left of Vision within his remains, but she feels nothing. She leaves, gets back in her car, and drives to WestView. Only when she stops at an empty lot and looks at a map, do we see why she's here at all. And oh no, now we can't stop crying...
Yep, Vision had picked out a house from them to live a happy little life in, and it's all too much for Wanda. Her parents. Her brother. The exposure to the Space Stone. Vision's death and how his remains are being treated and not being able to bury him.
The grief overtakes her, before exploding out of her, creating The Hex, which devoured and transformed WestView and all of its inhabitants.
And now we're all caught up. Agatha has Wanda's twins on magical leashes, explaining on Wanda's powers were meant to be a myth, a being a spontaneous creation, and that she is incredibly dangerous. Agatha explains that her kids and even Vision's revival is something known as Chaos Magic.
In the comics, Chaos Magic is "the name of a magic so powerful that it was thought to be non-existent by even Doctor Strange. This magic can manipulate, warp and reconstruct the very fabric of existence and reality to the user's very whims and bring about total destruction to the cosmos."
Wanda has now fully become the Scarlet Witch. Cut to credits.
Except not really, because we've got our set-up for the Big Oh No! moment that will surely be the centrepiece for the next week's finale:
- Agatha gives a bit more info into the arrival of Pietro. "It wasn't literally me. Just eyes and ears. A crystalline possession. Necromancy was a non-starter since your real brother's body is on another continent. Not to mention, full of holes." So Agatha was controlling the Fake Pietro, and apparently pulling another Pietro in from another universe was easier than reviving the dead Pietro one in this one.
- Read our deep dive on Wanda/Scarlet's increased powers and how it may tie in to the Loki show.
- Back in Episode Five, Director Hayward told Monica and co. the following...
... and now we know that is blatantly untrue. Oh, he's definitely up to something!
We'll have to wait until 8.01am on Friday, 5 March when the final episode of WandaVision airs on Disney+.