After eight episodes of being different and building hype WandaVision goes conventional for it’s sign-off. It still packs an emotional punch but the majority of it is just superhero on superhero, glowing lights in the sky action.
Maybe it’s the problem with modern pop culture where expectations get built up so much that they can’t be match but I was expecting more. I don’t know what I wanted, it didn’t have to be a massive cameo or an earth shattering revelation, but what we got was the same ending as many other superhero films or shows.
Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) ends up being your standard cackling arch villain. There’s no deep reason or explanation for her being there. Her sole purpose is to dump exposition and take power. The story needed a character to call Wanda (Elisabeth Olsen) the Scarlet Witch and that is what Agatha does. Kathryn Hahn plays the role well but there enfs up being no layers to the character. With a little bit more work from the writers she could have been the MCU’s new Loki. The same can be said for Director Hayward, a military man who could have just been doing his job, who ends up trying to shoot children.
What lifts the episode is the emotion brought to it by the acting powers of Olsen and Bettany. Wanda knows she is behind this false world and she is the only one that can stop it but if she breaks the illusion Vision and her sons will be gone forever. But they are the heroes of the story and they will? do what’s right. You can see the pain, grief, and depression on Olsen face throughout and the sorrowful tones of Bettany’s delivery are moving.
After not having much to do in the last couple of episodes Paul Bettany pulls a double shift here playing two versions of Vision who are engaged in both a physical and philosophical battle. After coming to the conclusion that both are and aren’t the real Vision at the same time the colourful Vision unlocks the white Vision’s memories. This plot is just wrapped up by the White Vision flying off and you left with the feeling this was just set-up for something else.
In fact the whole episode felt like Iron Man 2, a film that seemed to exist just to lay the ground work for other films. White Vision’s story will continue elsewhere, as will Monica Rambeau’s. But to understand her ending you will have to have seen the bit at the end of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. A Skrull tells her someone has been watching her and points to space. There was no reason why she couldn’t have said Nick Fury has been watching her and that would have had more of a impact on for a casual viewer. This is serialised storytelling but it doesn’t mean you can’t give characters endings and answer questions. And we know Wanda’s story will continue in ‘Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness’. What we don’t know is if she will be a protagonist or antagonist but the wrinkle added here is that Agatha says the Scarlet Witch is more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme.
I was also left with the feeling that the creators of the show were toying with the fans. It turned out there was no reason that the new Quicksilver was played by Evan Peters, who played the character in the X-Men films, and he was just another person from the town. This just felt like a cheat to get people talking. There were also a lot of hints that felt deliberately written in to get people excited but there was no follow through. This is a dangerous thing to do to your fan base and up until now something that Marvel hasn’t done.
The final end credits scene also had a massive feeling of déjà vu. It was the exact ending from ‘The Incredible Hulk’. The hero has hidden themselves away in the wilderness and it looks like they have the dangerous power under control only for there to be a last second reveal that the powers still there.
A disappointing end to a magical series.