With Episode 9, “WandaVision” is over (at least for now; it’s not impossible we’ll get a Season 2 down the road). And its finale (titled “The Series Finale”) was pretty good. Spoilers ahead.
It’s been quite a journey. While I still am not a fan of its weekly release schedule — and I stand by my criticism that it was a mistake initially releasing Episodes 1 and 2 to the public without Episode 3 — “WandaVision” has been a pleasant, if predictable ride. And it has proven to be a necessary, long overdue solo endeavor for Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), AKA Scarlett Witch, a character that had been limited to big event films in the MCU (the last three “Avengers” films, plus “Captain America: Civil War”), where she had to share screen time with dozens of other characters.
In the “WandaVision” finale, Wanda faces off against the villainous Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), a witch who has the ability to absorb the magic and life energy of other witches, while Vision (Paul Bettany) faces off against White Vision (also Paul Bettany), a character you would have missed had you, like me, skipped Episode 8’s end credits scene (turns out S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Tyler Hayward [Josh Stamberg] fixed Vision’s corporeal body, which came back to life once it came into contact with Wanda’s magic, though he tried to have his memory wiped in order to use him as a weapon).
Without spoiling too much (seriously, go watch it yourself), Harkness helps Wanda unlock her true power as the Scarlett Witch — which includes a cool, revamped version of the original Scarlett Witch costume from the comics (turns out it didn’t take much for her tiara look good in live action) — while the Visions resolve matters pretty much exactly how you’d expect them to: Peacefully.
The show ends with Wanda ending her TV world, allowing everyone trapped to go free, which came at the cost of TV Vision and her children — though they might not be gone forever. It gives her a meaningful arc, as she finally allows herself to let Vision and the fake life she’s built in her bubble reality go. While nothing new, and though it does lack the emotional resonance and nuance needed to elevate it above the safe standards of other works in the MCU, it clears the path for new adventures for the character, while giving us a clear reason to root for her in future films.
While we were introduced to Wanda Maximoff in other Marvel films, “WandaVision” really functions like her origin story, recontextualizing scenes both shown and mentioned in works like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and doing the necessary leg work to give impact and meaning to them, while adding necessary mythos and missing backstory to her tale.
It’ll be interesting to see what Marvel does next with both Wanda and Vision. If its others MCU shows are of this quality, 2021 looks very promising for Marvel and Disney Plus.
“WandaVision” Season 1: Episode 9 “The Series Finale” gets a 9/10