Julien Neaves, Editor
Well he did warn us, didn’t they? WandaVision Matt Shakman did say the finale would not satisfy all Marvel fans with all their many theories. And it seems quite a few folks are still nursing their disappointment even four days later.
Now I have been a supporter of the show even from its early experimental episodes, but I must admit the finale was something of a let down. It wasn’t Iron Man 2 bad, but more Age of Ultron meh, which is fitting with the several callbacks and post-episode Disney+ recommendations. Hey Disney+…
Well that’s enough jibber jabber from me. With a town-engulfing hex-sized SPOILER ALERT let’s break down the finale in four easy-to-chew slices:
Slice 1: You want MCU action, you got MCU action!
I believe the Powers That Be knew they had to deliver some big MCU-style action set pieces at some point, and so they decided to save them for the finale. Sounds like a solid plan, right? And I loved the look of White Vision and the pretty cool Vision on Vision action. That sounded much more risqué than I intended. And I even thought it was inspired that the fight ended with a philosophical beat-down rather than a physical one. I imagine White Vision is currently at a Buddhist temple contemplating his life like Ace Ventura in the first act of When Nature Calls. The whole family teaming up a la The Incredibles was a cute moment too.
And while the Wanda vs Agatha showdown had a lot of visual interest it kinda fell flat for me. For me sneaky, plotting Agatha was much more entertaining than one-note, taunting supervillain Agatha. And is old Aggie a mutant with the ability to fly? Because if not, then how in the hell was she able to hover mid-air after Wanda had blocked her powers with the runes. Come on man. The writing before this was so meticulous. What happened?!
Slice 2: Bohner and Blunders
And speaking of blunders, let’s deal with the boner in the room. Wow, this article is coming off a lot more sexual than I intended. Apologies. So yeah the whole Evan Peters/Quicksilver mystery was just an elaborate fan troll. No parallel universe, no multiverse, nada. Just the set-up for a penis joke. Now Peters being used as a conduit for the Fox mutants to enter the MCU was highly improbable, but they could have done something better than a cheap joke.
It was also a joke that dragged in Monica Rambeau in an episode that wasted her and the rest of the supporting cast. There was so much build-up with Monica over the previous episodes and she was easily one of the best aspects of the show. But for the finale she barely did anything other than take down Ralph Bohner, stop some bullets, and chat with Billy/Wiccan and Wanda. And I was hoping for a scene where she used her shared grief to help guide Wanda to making the right decision. But her heart to heart came after the fact, rendering it somewhat moot. The focus seemed more on setting up some sort of spin-off for Monica (which admittedly I would be on board for) than providing a satisfying conclusion to her arc.
And Jimmy Woo and Darcy fared even worse. Did SWORD really leave a captured Jimmy unguarded with his phone? Seriously, someone fell asleep at the writing table on this one. And Darcy got all of one scene, a quick quip and then a mention of her offscreen. I didn’t need a whole subplot for these two but this all felt like an afterthought.
Slice 3: It was Wanda all along
Wanda, Wanda, Wanda. Whatever shall we do with you? As a casual comic book fan I appreciated that she was now fully the Scarlet Witch. And I LOVE that new costume as it is a sleek and striking modern take on her classic comic book look. While her abilities arc is straightforward, Wanda’s emotional arc is a little murky.
Now we did have the touching moments of her saying goodbye to the boys and to Vision before finally removing the Hex. And Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s acting here is as stellar here as it has been for the entire series. But two things undermined the emotional stakes. One, we know that White Vision has gotten all his memories back so there is a clear possibility he will be the new Vision or some form of Vision. And then there’s the post-credits scene where Wanda’s Scarlet Witch form seems to be attempting to rescue her children. I thought the whole point was for her to grieve and let go. Kinda hard to let go when there is a replacement version of your husband flying around and you appear to be trying to resurrect your magic children. So then what was the point of it all?
And forget Mephisto. Forget Agatha. Wanda is the villain of this story. She held an entire town hostage and tortured them for days on end. Now that is some supervillain-level stuff there. And she thought they were “at peace” in her fantasy world? Seriously? I know she felt bad about it, but other than some hard looks from the freed residents (in Trinidad and Tobago we would call it “cut eye”) there is no justice for her horrible actions. She just flies on off to her cozy cabin when she should have had herself locked up in The Raft for what she did. Let’s hope there are some consequences for her down the line.
Slice 4: That old magic
WandaVision began as one of the most unique MCU shows ever but ended squarely in the typical MCU formula. Where did all the kookiness and experimentation go? But we still have some unique and quirky television leading up to this point, and some interesting character development.
The show also has had some major implications as now magic is canon. And yes, I know we had Dr Strange and Thor before this, but there was a scientific (well, superhero-movie scientific) explanation for both of their abilities. With Agatha now we have magic as just magic, until we’re told otherwise. And I can’t say I’m a fan of that direction but we’ll see how it goes.
Returning to WandaVision, I will say I did generally enjoy the show, moderately disappointing finale notwithstanding.
Editor Jules’s Review: 6.5 out of 10
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.