WandaVision, Marvel Studios’ first ever TV series, was one of the funniest entries yet, inspired by decades of American sitcoms. But it was also one of the most depressing.
WandaVision was about Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) confronting a deep and emotional loss at its core. Wanda may be an Avenger with superhuman abilities, but she still has a human heart.
There will be spoilers ahead. And, as WandaVision pointed out, she’s lived the most heartbreaking of lives, losing everyone she’s ever loved: her parents Iryna (Ilana Kohanchi) and Olek Maximoff (Daniyar), her only brother Pietro Maximoff (Aaron-Taylor Johnson, not Evan Peters), her lover Vision (Paul Bettany), and her — real? — twin boys Tommy (Jett Klyne) and Billy (Jett (Julian Hilliard).
WandaVision’s basic idea, in which most of the episodes were modelled like sitcoms, was a mechanism for Wanda to deal with her emotions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. Wanda (Michaela Russell) grew up in Sokovia watching American sitcoms before her parents were killed in a blast, as seen in WandaVision episode 8.
Her (and her younger brother’s) survival in a war-torn country left them with permanent wounds, but Wanda’s suffering continued when she lost Pietro when the Avengers attempted to stop Ultron (James Spader) — in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Wanda found a new connection in Vision after the incident, someone who was just as alone in the world as she was. But, following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, she also lost Vision.
Not once, twice, or even three times now, thanks to WandaVision episode 9. Wanda consented to “kill” her beloved in order to keep the Mind Stone — the yellow diamond buried in Vision’s forehead that gives him life — away from Thanos (Josh Brolin).
All of Wanda’s anguish was for naught, as the enormous purple behemoth reversed time and stole it anyhow, killing Vision for the second time while she watched helplessly. Wanda, along with half of the universe, was wiped away in Thanos’ Snap before she could even begin to process his loss. WandaVision is set just a few weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame, as Wanda has returned to the land of the living.
Grief is frequently the first act of a storey, especially for studios like Marvel, which specialise in generating big-budget action movies. After losing his mother in Guardians of the Galaxy, a young Peter Quill is carried across the cosmos and transforms into Star-Lord.
After losing his guardians in Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker enters a cosmic struggle and learns to be a Jedi. The characters embark on a trip, spurred by their grief. Grief serves as a catalyst rather than a destination. WandaVision, on the other hand, is not one of them.
WandaVision was also able to investigate a character’s inner life in a way that had never been done before because to its longform nature. No other Marvel Cinematic Universe property has had as much time to explore how a Marvel superhero is feeling. After a point, even the three-hour Endgame had to go back to the plot.
Of course, having a talent like Olsen on your side helps. The 32-year-old has always been a supporting part in Marvel flicks, with cameos in two Avengers films (Age of Ultron and Infinity War) and Captain America: Civil War, as well as a cameo in Endgame, but here on WandaVision, Olsen shows what she’s actually capable of.
Olsen kept up with the demands placed on her by the sitcom beats, even though they altered with each episode. And, while the dramatic beats were more in line with what she’d done previously in the MCU, there were scenes on WandaVision episode 8 that allowed her to delve further into Wanda’s emotions. And she came through. Olsen proved to be a fantastic actress throughout the film’s five-hour plus length.
As we saw in WandaVision episode 8, Wanda’s anguish expressed itself as the Hex, which she made after crumbling and giving in to “chaos magic” at the site of the Westview, New Jersey mansion that Vision had chosen for their future, as Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) put it. Wanda’s coping techniques were the ever-changing comedy eras (which Olsen nailed), as she was unable to live with the anguish and misery she had experienced.
That became an early selling point for WandaVision, since it would pay homage to American comedies throughout the decades. WandaVision used about a dozen of them over the course of its nine-episode run, which ended on Friday, including The Dick Van D.
WandaVision began as a comedy parody, but as the series progressed, it evolved into a reveal-driven show. We learned in WandaVision episode 4 that Wanda was the mastermind behind Westview and that she had perfect mind control within the Hex. “Pietro Maximoff” (Evan Peters) appeared out of nowhere in WandaVision episode 5, implying that the X-Men would make an appearance in the MCU.
Marvel was merely teasing us. Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) revealed in WandaVision episode 7 that she was a witch named Agatha Harkness who had been manipulating events (including Pietro’s entrance) in order to establish herself as the MCU series’ villain. In “White Vision,” the eighth episode of WandaVision, we were introduced to a secondary villain.
WandaVision also had to do the usual effort of setting up future MCU entry because it’s a Marvel property at the same time.
For one thing, it functioned as Monica Rambeau’s (Teyonah Parris) origin narrative, with the Hex assisting in her transformation into a superhero, as seen in WandaVision episode 7. Parris has already joined the cast of Captain Marvel 2 with Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, who will get her own Disney+ series later in 2021.
As the WandaVision episode 9 mid-credits sequence stated, Captain Marvel 2 will most likely continue her storey, which involves allegedly meeting Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). It will almost certainly reveal why Monica dislikes talking about Carol, as we saw in WandaVision episode 5.
Monica was the first person to use the Captain Marvel moniker in the comics, long before Carol. Is it possible that Captain Marvel 2 will put a new spin on this? It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, especially given their strained relationship.
Then there’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is set to release in March 2022 and is a direct continuation of WandaVision’s storey, as Marvel has constantly stated. Olsen will appear in the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Doctor Strange sequel, which will see the titular sorcerer unleash “unspeakable evil” as he battles former ally Karl Mordo, according to the description (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
Wanda stated at the end of WandaVision episode 9 that she intends to completely comprehend her abilities, implying that she may seek Strange’s help in this regard. The post-credits scene from WandaVision episode 9 hinted at a different storyline, one in which Wanda is trying to figure out how her twin twins Tommy (Jett Klyne) and Billy (Julian Hilliard) are still alive.
If the twins are genuinely alive — and this isn’t a deception — WandaVision may have also set up Marvel’s far-off future. Tommy and Billy grow up to be the superheroes Speed and Wiccan, who are both members of the Young Avengers, in the comics.
Given what we know about the MCU’s future, I have a feeling this will connect to the universe – it’s right there in the title of Doctor Strange 2. The multiverse is said to be explored for the first time in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which will be released in December 2021 and will tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The same can be said for the Tom Hiddleston-led Loki series, which will premiere on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar on June 11th.
That’s two different series (WandaVision and Loki), as well as one movie sequel (Spider-Man: No Way Home), all of which are leading up to another sequel. As a result, WandaVision appears to represent the dawn of a new interconnected era for Marvel, in which the company can — and will — make even more connections than ever before.
Previously, movies set up future (Avengers) get-togethers; now, it’ll be more like a spider’s web. That’s owed in part to the advent of Disney+. To get the most out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans must keep up with all of the shows and films. However, for some, this may start to feel like homework. In 2021, there are a total of ten MCU entries.
However, Marvel’s success — the franchise is the most successful of all time, grossing more than $22.5 billion (about Rs. 1,63,711 crores) at the box office worldwide, and WandaVision is one of the most streamed original series — demonstrates that people are prepared to embark on the adventure. It’s why, including its own sister firm Lucasfilm, nearly every Hollywood studio has attempted to emulate this approach (with different degrees of success).
Following the global success of The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm used the second season of the Star Wars franchise to start its own cinematic universe. Marvel tried The Mandalorian way before, with MCU spinoffs on Netflix and elsewhere (a la Daredevil and Jessica Jones), but it never really took off. Disney is now bringing its movie stars to television screens with Disney+.
With the exception of Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) debut in The Mandalorian season 2 finale, Star Wars has yet to do so. Lucasfilm appears to be keeping its big-screen ambitions separate from its Disney+ forays for the time being.
In some respects, the MCU has always been one big TV show. Its films always felt like episodic experiences, despite the fact that they were shown on IMAX screens and had budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The latter is true for WandaVision and other planned MCU shows, except that they are currently being beamed directly into our homes in pieces.
WandaVision is the first actual MCU TV show because of this. While most Marvel films are around two hours long (unless they’re branded “Avengers,” in which case they’re 30 minutes to an hour longer), the Disney+ series didn’t have that limitation. WandaVision programmes lasted between 22 to 47 minutes.
Others (like Loki and The Falcon and the Winter Solider), according to Marvel CEO Kevin Feige, will be even lengthier, with episodes lasting 40–50 minutes — longer than typical TV dramas but shorter than the hourlong shows that Netflix has (sadly) become accustomed to.
WandaVision’s storytelling benefited from the longform approach, as did the fact that it wasn’t obligated to be an out-and-out actioner. However, this isn’t the case everywhere. The Falcon and the Winter Solider, which premieres on March 19, looks a lot more like Marvel’s big-screen offerings.
However, WandaVision has demonstrated that Marvel does not take its hegemony for granted. It’s prepared to attempt new things on the same massive canvas as its blockbusters – after all, the company just delivered the biggest movie of all time with Endgame, so why not? Try informing someone, with the power of Doctor Strange’s Time Stone, that Marvel would soon be releasing a sitcom with the Avengers, which would be about a superhero processing their pain. WandaVision is the name of the company.