Everything We Have Learned and Suspect about WandaVision & the MCU
We are five episodes into a nine-episode run of WandaVision.
The Disney+ series has built so many mysteries that even the number of episodes has proven unexpected.
A LOT is going on inside Westfield and in the entire MCU. The dialogue is tossing out vital pieces of intel at seemingly random intervals.
So, now we’ve reached the halfway point in the series, let’s talk about everything we have learned and suspect about WandaVision.
The Most Powerful Avengers Are…
Last summer, I published the first MCU power rankings, which I will update after WandaVision ends. At the time, I described Wanda as the MCU’s Job.
Hasn’t the poor woman suffered enough? Can’t we just let her live happily in Westfield with a few thousand unwilling kidnapping victims? Okay, probably not.
Still, last night’s dialogue confirmed something that I’ve mentioned before. Wanda could have beaten Thanos on her own.
The ultimate villain in the MCU knew this, which is why he called down an airstrike on everyone, including his own people.
Without that selfish, reckless decision, Thanos would have lost one-on-one against the Scarlet Witch.
Soon afterward, Captain Marvel attacked Thanos…from behind, no less. He easily tossed her aside before she returned for a second round.
Carol Danvers was winning that fight right up until Thanos punched her in the face with an Infinity Stone, specifically the Power Stone.
Marvel has published a cheeky article rife with infographics to prove that Captain Marvel holds the title of most powerful person in the MCU.
I would argue that Wanda deserves that spot instead. Either way, they’re clearly the two strongest Avengers, which leads to a secondary theory.
Wanda gained her abilities due to prolonged exposure to the Mind Stone. Danvers got hers from the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone.
Apparently, the Infinity Stones imbue beings (not just humans) with the most potent powers.
As such, the third-most powerful Avenger is…Vision! As a reminder, Ultron tried to kill Vision immediately due to pure fear of the synthezoid.
Given some of the dialogue in WandaVision episode 1-5, the next great Avenger is Monica Rambeau.
She may have received a power donation from Wanda. That would explain the odd test results after their encounter. That’s sheer speculation, though.
About Those Commercials
During four of the five episodes, WandaVision has suddenly cut to commercial, which is weird since Disney+ doesn’t air commercials.
This conceit pays tribute to sitcom history. However, it also serves a purpose that came into focus in episode five. Let’s review.
During the series premiere, the Toast Mate 2000 included the catchphrase, “Forget the past, this is your future!”
Yes, that’s what’s happening to Wanda in Westfield. The more intriguing part is the company, Stark Industries.
The Maximoff twins nearly died at the hands of a bomb made by Howard Stark’s company.
The second commercial advertised a handsome wristwatch made by Strucker, the same man whose testing gave Wanda her powers.
The next ad sparked plenty of conjecture since it’s a bubble bath called Hydra Soak, and y’all know all about Hydra.
I’d dismissed that one as a red herring, but the latest commercial cannot be waved away as trivial.
Moments after Wanda forced S.W.O.R.D. agents to aim their guns at their boss, a commercial aired…with only minutes to go in the episode.
This paper towel commercial involves the Lagos brand. Yes, that’s the name of the city where Wanda accidentally triggered an international incident.
The villain, Crossbones, wore an explosive vest. When his plans failed, he tried to kill Captain America, but Wanda thrust the explosion upward.
In the process, she blew up a building, the act that led to the Sokovia Accords.
Notably, the Lagos commercial occurred after Acting Director Hayward mentioned that incident in episode five.
Wanda Maximoff is reliving her worst moments via television advertising. Why? I have no idea.
This bit of psychological trauma does cast suspicion on the notion that she’s in control of the proceedings, though.
The producers really want us to believe that it’s Hydra’s doing, too. But I’m skeptical because:
The Prodigal Brother
Let’s start with the question on everyone’s lips right now. How is Evan Peters playing Pietro in the MCU?
My response could prove comically wrong in a few days, but I’ll risk the humiliation by telling you what I know and can infer.
Before the show began, everyone knew that Disney had acquired the Fox film library, which included…X-Men.
When Disney purchased Marvel, it missed out on a few seminal franchises, including X-Men and Spider-Man, both of which had been previously licensed.
This fact explains why there are no Mutants in the MCU. Instead, comic book Mutants have received their powers in different ways, usually as Inhumans.
Pietro gained his powers from dangerous Strucker experiments, just like his twin sister. They’re “enhanced,” whatever that means.
In the Fox movies, Mutants exist, and “Peter” Maximoff is one of them. He, too, has a twin sister named Wanda, although she only appears for a moment.
Evan Peters became a cult hero for his scene-stealing performances as Peter, while the Disney-Marvel version of Pietro died in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
WandaVision has referenced that character’s death twice now, one of which proved a precursor to Pietro’s return.
Breaking the MCU
However, Evan Peters’s presence in the MCU hints at far-ranging ramifications well beyond anything in WandaVision.
If the Fox universe version of Peter/Pietro can appear in WandaVision, Hugh Jackman can show up as Wolverine, too.
Similarly, Ryan Reynolds can bring Deadpool into the MCU. And, taking this theory to its logical extreme, Chris Evans can return as…Johnny Storm.
Yes, in 2005, Evans played a member of the Fantastic Four, six years before Captain America: The First Avenger.
On a more serious note, literally any character from Fox’s Marvel universe is now in play in the MCU.
Similarly, Disney’s new agreement with Sony allows Peter Parker to walk between worlds, so to speak. The Spider-Verse is real now.
Presumably, Wanda just broke the seal and opened the gate to the multiverse.
From a business perspective, this move qualifies as a masterstroke for Disney. Who wouldn’t want to watch a Deadpool/Hulk buddy movie?
From a storytelling perspective, Wanda just broke down the walls, and it appears that she was manipulated to do so.
Her own children seemed to ask her to bring back the dead, almost as if they had a nefarious purpose for doing so.
Speaking of which…
The Weak-Willed Witch
In episode two of WandaVision, the entire town held a fundraiser for the children. Now, Vision has pointed out that there were no children at the time.
All the comments throughout this episode persuaded Wanda to become a mother, a task she performed at breakneck speed.
During episode five, Billy and Tommy found a dog, and that critter perked up at the mention of Wanda’s brother.
When a drone arrived in town, Sparky the pup appeared to run off, almost as if he were searching for something.
Later, Agnes, the Nosy Neighbor, is holding the now-dead dog and claiming it ate some azaleas. But did it? Why should we take that at face value?
What if the dog found something it shouldn’t have, and so Agnes or someone else killed it?
I give WandaVision so much leeway with its storytelling that I’m allowing for the possibility that Sparky retrieved Pietro from an alternate universe.
Yes, that’s crazy, but so is everything else here. All I know for sure is that after mentions of Ultron and Pietro, the dead Maximoff returned.
Similarly, in nine days, Wanda invaded a secure government facility, stole a dead synthezoid, got married, had twins, and brought back her dead twin.
What did you do last week? Yeah, she’s making the rest of us look lacking in our focus and dedication.
Someone or something is undeniably bending Wanda to its will, even as S.W.O.R.D. swears she’s the victimizer.
That leads to several lingering issues, not the least of which is who is doing all this.
Given the emphasis on SHE in episode five, the show hints at a woman. That narrows the suspects to Dottie, Agnes, and Sharon, at least within Westfield.
Many believe that both Nightmare and Mephisto are coming to the MCU in a big way soon. So, speculation centers on them.
My wife has developed an excellent theory that it’s Karl Mordo, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character from Dr. Strange.
You may recall that he turned on Dr. Strange at the end of that film, maintaining that there are too many sorcerers.
During a post-credits scene, Mordo killed a dude and took the guy’s power. Imagine if he did the same to Wanda!
Since we know that Wanda will appear in the Dr. Strange sequel, this possibility comes with some intrigue.
In fact, one of Wong’s final comments sets this up nicely: “Word of the Ancient One’s death will spread through the Multiverse.”
As a reminder, the next Dr. Strange movie includes the subtitle “In the Multiverse of Madness.”
However, the background imagery of Mephisto strongly suggests that he’s involved in some way, too.
To a larger point, I’m stunned that we’re more than halfway into WandaVision and still don’t know who is running the show.
We’re tracking plenty of stuff right now, some of which may prove significant. However, I suspect that red herrings abound to keep us off-guard.
Something that matters comes straight from the mouth of Elizabeth Olsen. Have you noticed that her Sokovian accent comes and goes?
Re-watch some scenes from Avengers: Age of Ultron, and you’ll remember how thick it was.
For later MCU appearances, it gradually went away. During WandaVision, it’s popping up at random intervals.
I don’t believe this is a Kevin Costner-as-Robin Hood situation. Olsen is doing this intentionally, but I could only speculate as to why.
Something else weird is that clocks seem ubiquitous in Westfield, which appears to be a metaphor extension of Wanda and Vision lamenting their lack of time.
Another oddity is that Agnes demonstrated in episode five that she knows she’s in a sitcom or under Wanda’s spell or whatever.
Also, Wanda cannot control her twins, the only ones in town who have proven impervious. She must literally beg them not to age up even more.
If Wanda were telling everyone else what to do, the twins would bend to her will. If anything, the reverse appears true.
Next, based on information from episode five, WandaVision occurs only weeks after Avengers: Endgame. Wanda’s still processing her tragedy.
The newspapers may tell this story. The newspapers shown during the episodes show something about motherhood on the front and T.V. on the back.
Finally, on a non-Wanda note, Monica has zero interest in talking about Captain Marvel. She may be mad that Danvers didn’t save her mother.
That’s a seed planted for Captain Marvel 2 (or sooner).
Feature Image Rights: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Records