If there’s one thing I trust Kevin Feige and company to do, it’s give us a good superhero origin story, and Episode 8 of WandaVision gives us precisely that for our protagonist, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) AKA Scarlet Witch. Spoilers ahead.
Wanda, who first appeared during “Avengers: Age of Ultron” as a side character, got an extremely rushed introduction, as she not only had to share the spotlight with her brother, but also the film’s main villain (Ultron) and the entire Avengers cast. It’s very clear Director Joss Whedon was in over his head, as that film was met with mixed praise despite it being a pretty solid entry in the series all things considered, but it was a horrible way for people to get emotionally invested in Scarlet Witch.
Episode 8 sees Wanda captured by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), an evil witch that has lived for hundreds of years who infiltrated Wanda’s TV reality, intrigued by the sheer amount of magic taking place there. In order to find out who and what Wanda is, she spends the entire episode going through her memories, from her traumatic encounter with the Stark Industries bomb that killed her parents but wouldn’t go off (which was described in “Age of Ultron”), to her encounter with an Infinity Stone that enhanced her powers, to just exactly what she did after she got de-snapped.
Turns out, no corpses were brought back to life in order for Vision and Quicksilver back, with Quicksilver being outed as a fake, and Vision apparently being something Wanda created entirely herself (it’s possible that, because she got her powers from the Mind Stone, she made new Vision out of some of its essence).
It’s unclear what Harkness will do with Wanda, and these revelations only complicate S.W.O.R.D.’s plans with Vision (it looks like she never stole Vision, which directly contradicts their claims that she did), but I have no doubts we’ll find out in a satisfying Episode 9.
But Episode 8 is perhaps the most important episode of the series, because it gave Wanda a strong origin story and an even stronger foundation as an Avenger, if she choses to rejoin them in the future. It’s clearer than ever that Disney’s decision to give her a Disney Plus show was to built up the brand of her character to get people excited to see her in future properties (unless she died in Episode 9, which would suck, as I feel like there’s so many interesting ways they could use her) in a way that’s much more deeper than giving her a feature film. TV shows not only let you take a deeper dive into characterization, it usually costs a lot less to make (though costing reportedly $25 million an episode, they didn’t save much).
This is easily the best episode of the show, and I’m interested to see how it all wraps up next week.
“WandaVision” Season 1: Episode 8 “Previously On” gets a 9/10