Will WandaVision’s Big Bad Be Mephisto?
WandaVision Episode 4 – “We Interrupt This Program” – took audiences outside the Westview static and into the real world. And away from the idealized sitcom world of Westview, the Disney+ series dropped even more hints that the villain Mephisto is involved in what’s happening in the Garden State.
Mark of Mephisto in WandaVision
In the fourth episode, Randall Park‘s Agent Jimmy Woo of the F.B.I., Kat Dennings‘ Dr. Darcy Lewis, and Teyonah Parris‘ Agent Monica “Lt. Trouble” Rambeau of S.W.O.R.D., team-up to figure out what’s happening in the small suburban town of Westview after successfully establishing a perimeter.
To start, the group gathers around the T.V. (after realizing there is A LOT of cosmic microwave background radiation, A.K.A. CMBR, coming from Westview, the radiation responsible for television static), to watch Elizabeth Olsen‘s Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany‘s Vision, and the other townspeople.
As the episode within an episode begins, Agent Woo questions the hexagonal shape’s meaning. Are these hexagons just a nice nod to the Scarlet Witch’s “hex” powers? Probably not.
In the source material, Vision and Wanda’s story is closely tied to Mephisto, who is sometimes extra-dimensional demon and sometimes the Marvel Comics-version of Satan. Mephisto plays a central role in the birth of Wanda’s twin children, Tommy and Billy, and her trauma after he takes their souls to the underworld for awhile.
Then, because the Scarlet Witch is manipulated and forced to forget her family against her will, the events continue to shape her story for years to come.
Already the events that happen to the Scarlet Witch in WandaVision have offered up several hints that Mephisto will be the big bad of the series, so here’s what we have gathered from our sleuthing:
Multiple References to Hexagons
As Ashley Saunders at Comic Book Resource pointed out, all four episodes of WandaVision have multiple references to hexagons: (1) Episode 1 ended with a cutaway to Wanda and Vision inside a hexagon; (2) Episode 2 had a hexagon when six stars twinkled around the moon; (3) Episode 3 opened with a The Brady Bunch-style opening, except the characters were inside hexagons, not circles; and (4) Episode 4 revealed that the perimeter of Westview is shaped like a hexagon.
Turning the Mephisto On, Is a Six-Sided Hexagon
So what is a hexagon? And why is it important to WandaVision? In mathematics, a hexagon is a polygon with six vertices and six angles, meaning it’s a shape with six sides. Ya know, 666. Of all shapes in sacred geometry, the hexagon is believed to be one of the oldest symbols.
For example, in Mystical Judaism, the hexagon is a symbol of creation; and in Revelation 13:18, which reads, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six” – 666.
And, this applies to Wanda’s backstory in the comic, and it might hint at an additional villain, but 666 is used in antisemitic crime. In addition, Nazis warped the meaning to support the six-sided yellow hexagonal-mark stigmatizing Jews throughout Europe.
And in the world of Marvel comics, the beast is Mephisto, which could be why audiences are seeing so many hexagons on screen. However, I would like to say that the hexagons could also be a nod, or hint, to the villain Swarm.
Agnes (A.K.A. Agatha Harkness)
In Avengers West Coast #51 by John Byrne (writer), Mike Machlan (inker), Bill Oakley (letterer), and Bob Sharen (colorist), the Scarlet Witch’s mentor, Agatha Harkness (who is probably the basis for Kathryn Hahn‘s Agnes) suddenly returns from the dead. Perhaps, notably for WandaVision‘s plot, Agatha uses her witchcraft to reanimate herself after being burned at stake – now, ain’t that the devil’s work?
In the source material, Agatha goes through the resurrection effort to help Wanda save herself – and eventually her children, even if this happens several years later, and maybe just maybe, the children save the parent – “deep in the realm of Mephisto.”
In #51, after Master Pandemonium kidnaps Wanda’s children, the Avenger’s waste some time arguing about their favorite classic sitcoms (including Bewitched) before heading to Pandemonium’s realm through a portal. On the other side, there is a tranquil park masking “darkness older than humankind” – also known as hell, the lair of Master Pandemonium and Mephisto.
If it’s Mephisto, and the West Coast Avengers story line, it does open up a world of possibility for the Luke Skywalker level cameo in WandaVision – maybe, Nathan Fillion‘s triumphant return as Simon Williams, A.K.A. Wonder Man?
The Twins – Billy and Tommy
By the end of the third episode of WandaVision, Wanda and Vision are parents – quickly going through each fruit-sized stage in thirty minutes (which made me laugh because, even in 2016, a doctor has used fruit analogies when explaining something to me). The sitcom high jinks wrap-up with twins, Billy and Tommy, quickly being born (who are the same twins kidnapped in the comic mentioned above).
In early comics, there is more of an exploration of Wanda’s internal struggle with wanting to be a mother, knowing that she and Vision will have a hard time physically conceiving together because she’s a mutant and he’s an android. Unlike WandaVision, her pregnancy doesn’t just happen through the magic of a talent show (for the children).
Instead, Billy and Tommy have to wait a WHOLE 12-issue series, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch, to be born.
However, in Avengers West Coast #52, Marvel revealed that Wanda’s children were actually missing pieces of Mephisto’s soul, and he removed them from reality, at least for a little while.
Marvel later revealed that their souls weren’t destroyed but reborn to different parents: Billy became the oldest son of Jeff and Rebecca Kaplan, while Tommy is the only child of Frank and Mary Shepherd.
Theme and Variations – Devil’s Interval
The Oscar-winning songwriting duo of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, told IndieWire that they wrote the “bright and cheery” theme songs to make audiences feel paranoid.
When tasked with creating a unifying motif for the show, the songwriters’ chose the devil’s interval.
Lopez said in the interview with IndieWire, “We put a tritone in the main theme which is [considered] the devil’s interval, and it might feel creepy, sometimes dreamy.” Also, Anderson-Lopez points out that the “Wanda-Vis-ion” pronunciation in the pilot, complete with a tritone, is a theme and variation throughout the entire series to continually keep the audience on edge.
Is it possible that the Anderson-Lopez and Lopez’s decision to use the devil’s interval in the WandaVision Original Soundtrack will mean more to the show than just creating a sense of eerie?
The Number 23
Since the WandaVision trailer, there’s been some speculation surrounding the number 23. Early in the series, both Wanda and Vision are perplexed to find a heart on August 23 on their kitchen calendar. Various sitcom mix-ups ensue involving an anniversary date-turned-work-dinner mix-up.
In the premiere, the heart ended-up meaning a dinner date with Vision’s boss, Fred Melamed‘s Mr. Hart, and his wife, Debra Jo Rupp‘s Mrs. Hart. However, as Marvel-heads know, the dinner (and near-death experience of the boss) isn’t the only thing the number means – there were 23 MCU movies that preceded WandaVision.
Plus, there’s the matter of Marvel’s love of the meta-textual (23 is also associated with death). So as I’ve mentioned before, the first episode’s decision to call attention to the number 23 might be super-duper important.
In some numerology circles, the “23 enigma” refers to the belief that all incidents and events directly connect to the number 23, according to Avery Kaplan at NeoText. There are many examples, but importantly for Mephisto, there is the “fact that 2/3 = .666666.”
So that’s right. The number 23 brings us back to the Mark of the Beast – and Mephisto. MIC DROP.
Could the August 23 dinner with Mr. Hart be an indicator that he is the MCU’s Martin Preston, A.K.A. Master Pandemonium? After all, a suburban businessman turned agent of hell would fit the Marvel Universe, don’t you think? Let MarvelBlog know in the comments section below.