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WandaVision director Matt Shakman talks ‘inevitable’ finale, explains reasoning behind the sitcom choices
After weeks of speculation and stunning reveals (bet you already got that “Agatha All Along” theme song in your head), the upcoming final episode of WandaVision is nearly upon us. And the show’s director Matt Shakman is pretty sure that many viewers will inevitably be disappointed when the finale doesn’t confirm whatever theory they’ve constructed over the course of the season. Still, even if it doesn’t satisfy everyone’s fan theories, Shakman hopes viewers ultimately like the story and how it was told.
“I hope that they feel like the journey was satisfying for them,” Shakman told Entertainment Weekly. “I know there are so many theories out there; there will be a lot of people who will no doubt be disappointed by one theory or another. But we’re always telling this story about Wanda dealing with grief and learning how to accept that loss, and hopefully people will find that the finale is surprising but also satisfying, and that it feels inevitable because it’s the same story they’ve been watching the whole time.”
Indeed, as the penultimate episode made crystal clear, WandaVision has always been about dealing with grief. “The whole show has really been about Wanda processing grief,” Shakman said. “That's been the engine behind everything, from the earliest episodes all the way up until now.”
Episode 8, “Previously On,” reveals not just Wanda’s trauma of losing the people in her family (her parents, her brother, Vision), but also her connection to classic American sitcoms. And the creative team behind the show explicitly sought out sitcoms that focused on the family unit.
“We were looking at family sitcoms. There are a great many wonderful shows like Taxi or The Office that could’ve been inspirations, but the ones that we focused on were the ones that were about family because that’s obviously what Wanda yearns for,” Shakman explained (though we here at SYFY WIRE are pretty sure "Breaking the Fourth Wall" was indeed a sendup of The Office, but nevermind). “She loses her family when she’s young, she loses her brother, she loses Vision and the family that might have been. So the family sitcoms were the strongest thematic connection to that.”
He added that the team “didn't recreate any one show,” but rather “took inspiration from all kinds of different shows.”
“We looked at so many different shows, and I have some small nods in there,” said Shakman, while noting there's even an homage to the show that made star Elizabeth Olsen's sisters famous. “There's an opening title sequence to episode 5, where we do the crane shot from Full House, where they're having the picnic, or we run through the park with them as a nod to Lizzie growing up just behind the camera on that show.”
So, will Wanda defeat Agatha and regain control of her life, or will she fail to escape the cocoon of nostalgia and comfort television and sink further into despair? Jeez, that got dark fast. We’ll find out this week — here’s hoping it’s the former!
The final episode of WandaVision debuts Friday, Mar. 5 on Disney+.