This week on WandaVision – the penultimate (and longest) episode of the season – Agatha Harkness searched for answers about how Wanda conjured Westview, and SWORD’s plan was revealed.
“Previous On” started with a “Previous on …” that included clips from Infinity War and other MCU films before using a version of the Marvel Fanfare that ended with a logo that went purple, like in Agathas Magic. We then returned to Salem around 1693, where Agatha was magically tied by her circle to a stake accused of stealing knowledge in order to practice the darkest magic. Agatha argues that she simply “bent the rules”, but the circle wriggles her en masse with magic … and yet she seems not only to uphold this, but to use the process to free everyone from their life force. She wrestles herself from her magical bonds and knocks them all down with a shot of magic – before she exhausts the “mother” of the circle or even her life force.
Back in Agatha’s Westview Basement, about now …
While Wanda worries about Billy and Tommy, Agatha laughs at how her fellow witch’s accent “really comes and goes!” Agatha makes it clear that only her own magic works here because the chamber is surrounded by runes that she created. Agatha shares some of her own secrets (including the fact that fake Pietro aka “Fietro” was a Crystalline possession and not a necromancy since Wanda’s actual brother is dead) before elaborating on her professional consideration of what Wanda did to Westview set out. Scale up mind control and illusions – basically “magic on autopilot”. Wanda insists she did nothing and forces Agatha to explore her opponent’s transmissive branch by healing “some real repetitions”.
First, they visit Wanda’s childhood home in Sokovia, where we see she, Pietro, and her parents watch American sitcoms every night to practice their English. (Wanda’s first choice was a Dick Van Dyke episode in which Rob dreams of aliens using walnuts to take over the world.) The calm scene is interrupted by the explosion that decimated their home and killed mom and dad instantly. As we knew, Wanda and Pietro crouched under a bed and watched an unexploded Stark Industries rocket tone, beep, beep, only inches away … for two full days.
Agatha overlooks this first review and notes, “I see a little witch obsessed with sitcoms and years of therapy.” But she needs to know, “Where did you get the ‘big guns’ from, Wanda?”
Her next stop is the Hydra facility, where Wanda and Pietro “joined an anti-freedom terrorist organization” (as Agatha put it) to cope with their loss. As a volunteer for Hydra’s experiments, Wanda has to touch a sample of Loki’s scepter. In doing so, it reveals the Mind Stone and she is consumed by a wave of energy in which she sees what we know as the scarlet witch silhouette. “An infinity stone reinforced what would otherwise have died on the vine,” notes Agatha.
Next, Wanda is lost on the Avengers compound after losing Pietro in Age of Ultron. Here she watches Malcolm in the middle, before inviting her to a listening vision. He invites her to share about her loss to find consolation, but she says she can only feel waves of sadness dropping her over and over again. “It can’t all be grief,” he suggests. After all: “What is grief if love does not endure?” Wanda finds some solace in his POV as they settle in to enjoy a few sitcom laughs.
But now that Pietro and Vision are both dead, Agatha wonders: “What happens when nobody is there to withdraw you from the darkness? Tell me how you did it, ”Westview said. We then see the true nature of Wanda’s visit to SWORD compared to the carefully edited version director Hayward showed the troops a few episodes ago. Hayward apparently told the front desk guard to leave Wanda behind. She found Hayward and asked to see / claim the body of Vision, if only to give it a proper burial. Hayward invited them to watch his technicians hack Vision / “dismantle a sentient weapon”. After all, they don’t have the ability to bring him back to life the way they could, he suggests. Hayward isn’t going to let Wanda run away with $ 3 billion worth of Vibranium, so this is where she has to say goodbye. But when he goes so far as to claim that Vision is “not yours,” she angrily smashes the observation window and floats down into the laboratory.
After confirming that she can actually no longer “feel” vision, she quietly walks … gets in her car … and drives to Westview, NJ, what we see as a sad little town. She stops at an empty lot that we know Vision bought so that they could build a house “to grow old”. Wanda falls to his knees in grief, triggering a massive red wave of energy that turns the house and then the whole city into an idyllic sitcom enclave. She then makes a version of Vision a la Rob Petrie, and her own looks follow suit. “Wanda! Welcome home, ”says Vision as they sit down on TV for one night.
Back in the present, Wanda sees the stage lights and props surrounding the sitcom set when Agatha claps from the studio audience. Wanda hears her sons scream and when they run into the street, they are strangled by the magic of a completely witty Agatha. “You have no idea how dangerous you are,” explains Agatha, saying that Wanda was previously “a myth that is capable of spontaneous creation”.
What Wanda was up to is “Chaos Magic,” says Agatha, “and that makes you … the Scarlet Witch!”
We then go to credits and get a “bonus scene” halfway through telling Hayward that the plan from SWORD is ready to go. We realize he’s using a sample of Wanda’s energy absorbed by the drone to activate (a reassembled?) Vision!
What do you think of “Previous On” and what are your predictions for next week’s final?
Do you want to go to WandaVision or another show? Send an email to [email protected] and your question can be answered through Matt’s Inside Line.