Along with a huge portion of the Internet, my household collectively made noises of surprise and pleasure and general delight at the new episode of WandaVision, “Breaking the Fourth Wall”.
Because holy shit that was great.
As with the previous WandaVision post I put up, be advised and warned, there will be ENORMOUS SPOILERS in this post, and very likely also in the comments. Read with caution. And if you’re coming over to read this from my Facebook or Twitter, do please keep spoiler-laden comments on this post rather than answering the link on Facebook or Twitter, just to try to contain the spoilers!
SPOILERS ARE MAROONED IN THE HEX:
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
First up: we have a new superheroine. Repeat, WE HAVE A NEW SUPERHEROINE.
It was fucking awesome to see Monica’s moment of officially gaining her powers. And I saw it pointed out on one of the episode recap posts I read last night that it’s particularly appropriate that Monica got her powers because she very specifically chose to cross the Hex Wall a third time, even though she was well aware it would very likely fuck her up.
She did it anyway, because she believed in the necessity of reaching Wanda and trying to get through to her. That? That’s a hero-making decision right there.
And she got SUPERHERO LANDING POSE coming out on the other side of the wall. \0/
And lookit Monica, all glowy-eyed and seeing all the forms of energy suddenly available to her sight. I can’t wait to see how she figures out she can in fact turn herself into energy. And Paul pointed out quite correctly that she’s actually going to be faster than Quicksilver, who’s a friggin’ speedster, because she can move at the speed of light.
Going to be real interesting to see what name the MCU has her use for her hero codename, too. She’s been Spectrum and Photon in the comics–and a prior wielder of the name Captain Marvel. Paul says he’d kinda like to see Monica and Carol Danvers fight over the name Captain Marvel in Carol’s next movie, ha! Which would, I admit, kind of fit in with how WandaVision dropped a big ol’ hint about how Monica carries some unresolved crankiness about Carol in her.
Me, though, I’m kinda hoping they’ll go with “Photon”. :D
And she had her first crack at a proper confrontation with Wanda, including throwing the passionate appeal of “don’t let him make you the villain” at her. About which I am very, very happy, because it nails down what I was hoping this story would do: i.e., not make Wanda the true villain here. She’s very clearly riding that line very hard, and that’s a fascinating place to be. But I don’t want her falling onto the “supervillain” side of that line, at least not in this story.
More on this in a bit, but before I get to Wanda herself, also want to touch on the Vision and Darcy portion of the plot. I caught myself wondering, if Monica gets superpowers from this whole scenario, what about everybody else in Westview–but then I realized, the deal with Monica is, she actually actively traversed the wall, whereas mostly everybody else gets trapped within it. One crossing of the wall isn’t enough to do it. (And of course, Monica’s also the only one that got blasted directly by Wanda, for that matter.)
Which I suppose is a good thing? Because an entire community of surprise superpowers might be a problem. ;)
It was good, anyway, to see that Hexed-up Darcy was still pretty much fundamentally herself–and that she didn’t have to stay hexed for long, when Vision reached her. It was kind of hilarious to see Darcy getting to bring Vision up to speed as to his actual history, as well as the two of them getting thrown repeated random roadblocks trying to get back to Wanda.
This does raise a real interesting question though: if Vision has the capability to break people out of the mind control, when the fuck is he going to start doing this for everybody? Now that Darcy’s clued him in on who he is, Vision’s generally fundamental goodness–remember, y’all, Vision won the trust of the Avengers just because he was totally worthy to wield Mjollnir–really kind of demands that he should start freeing everybody from the Hex control.
Maybe Darcy will goad him into it? Which would be in character of her. And given that we only have a couple of episodes left, it’s really high time that actions be taken to start freeing all of the citizenry.
Particularly if we’re also now putting the main characters into position for the final conflict: Monica, Quicksilver, and of course Wanda and Agnes/Agatha (definitely more on this below!).
Much respect for Elizabeth Olsen in this episode, as she portrays Wanda’s crumbling grip on the Westview anomaly, not to mention her own mental health. I really loved the way they visually handled the world slipping, too–first one or two objects randomly changing form, and building up on that harder and harder.
And I didn’t miss either that she clearly doesn’t trust this alleged “Pietro” who’s shown up for her, either, after that crack he made before about her dead husband dying twice. It’s also now quite apparent that little Billy didn’t manifest him for his mom, either.
And when Monica shows up, and Wanda almost blasts her again, it’s also quite apparent that Monica almost manages to get through to her…
Until, of course, Agnes shows up for HER big reveal.
Which. Was. Magnificent.
I’d seen people speculating about Agnes possibly being Agatha Harkness, but it hadn’t really sunk in for me as a possibility! Partly because I have no familiarity with the character in the comics–and partly because the actress who plays Agnes/Agatha has done a stellar job with her, even dropping hints along with other temporarily un-Hexed characters about “o noes MIND CONTROL HELP ME HELP ME”.
We even get Billy giving us the final little warning that OH SHIT SHE’S IMPORTANT when he gives his line about how she’s “quiet”.
But then she reveals herself, and whisks Wanda off from Monica’s presence, and muahahahaha her theme song is a thing of beauty and a glory forever. It was great fun seeing a bunch of folks on Twitter owning up to the theme song totally getting stuck in their heads, even as they’re all going WAIT WAIT SHE KILLED THE DOG? WTF?!
All of which makes it pretty apparent that at least in terms of this story, she’s actively malevolent–which is apparently not the case with the character in the comics, from what I was reading on Wikipedia as well as the Marvel fandom wiki. But this being the MCU, they can play her however they choose to, and it’ll be real interesting to see if she persists as an antagonist, and what led her to assert control over Wanda to begin with.
With only two episodes left I feel like we have all the major characters in play now, and if anybody else is going to come onto the scene (e.g., Strange), it’ll probably be as part of the denouement? But I still think there’s a non-zero chance Strange might show up, particularly now that we have two witches on site and the Hex has grown. Strange must surely be aware of this. I’ll be real surprised if he doesn’t show up at the end of the final episode. Or maybe in a mid-credits or post-credits scene?
I’m also seeing hefty speculation about whether we’ve now gotten hints about Mephisto, particularly given that shot of the fly on the screen, which is supposed to be one of his symbols. And there’s a real suspicious-looking book down in Agatha’s suspiciously large and spooky basement!
And I’m wondering if we’re going to see Mephisto, not as part of this plot necessarily, but possibly as the big bad of the next Strange movie? Agatha Harkness and Mephisto both have been significant in Wanda-based stories in the comics, so it would not surprise me at all that Mephisto is in fact being telegraphed here.
Other questions moving forward:
- Still not sure whether Vision is going to survive till the end of this plot. But I dunno! He might!
- Also not sure if Tommy and Billy are going to survive until the end of this plot, at least in their current ten-year-old forms? Apparently they vanished in the comics too, only to manifest later as young adults Wiccan and Speed, and I’ve seen a whole lot of people expecting to see the Wiccan and Speed versions of these boys show up if the MCU is putting all these pieces into place for a Young Avengers lineup.
- S.W.O.R.D. Director Asshat needs to take a hard, hard fall. But not before he discovers Monica Rambeau is now a bonafide superhero. I want to see his jaw hit the floor. :D
And OH YES, in case you were wondering, the “Agatha All Along” theme is, in fact, on YouTube. You’re welcome.
BRING ON EPISODE 8!