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The WandaVision finale accepts the present and sets up the future
Sometimes you’ve gotta go through what you gotta go through to get to where you gotta get to. Wanda Maximoff has experienced a huge amount of trauma, and in turn, she has caused a great deal of trauma for others. It is the human magic of acceptance that leads her forward, even though it breaks her heart. Acceptance is never easy.
Welcome back to WandaVision (WandaVision!) for the final episode, fittingly titled, “The Series Finale.”
**WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for the WandaVision series finale. If you haven’t seen it, then fly away! Turn yourself into a bird and fly far, far away from here. You don’t want this, Dewey!**
If you were expecting big guest stars in this finale, well, there were none to be found. Elizabeth Olsen mentioned a “Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian”-type guest appearance, but we don’t know who she was talking about. A Skrull revealed themselves to Monica in the first of two post-credits scenes, but that’s as close as we get.
There was no Reed Richards, no Magneto, and no Mephisto. Even the Evan Peters version of Pietro Maximoff (Fake Pietro, aka “Fietro”) turned out to be a guy named Ralph Bohner. If he has any real connection to the Pietro of the X-Men films, it’s still a mystery.
Instead of loading us up with huge new characters, the finale focused on Wanda and the end of this stage of her journey. It is all the more powerful because of that.
Wanda doesn’t like her situation, but she finally accepts it. She does this in the midst of a series of magic battles with Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), so it’s not like there isn’t any fun to be had here.
Agatha flies around throughout the episode cackling like the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, with her feet even sticking out from under a car at one point (after Wanda throws it at her). Agatha promises to let Wanda keep her fantasy if Wanda will give Agatha her magic.
“Do you know there’s an entire chapter devoted to you in the Darkhold?” Agatha asks Wanda, referring to a troublesome book seen in Season 4 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Your power exceeds the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s your destiny to destroy the world.”
Wanda doesn’t want that to be her legacy, but when Agatha frees the denizens of Westview from their enchantment, they all beg Wanda to either set them free or kill them. Wanda has made her pain everyone’s pain, and that’s the last thing she wanted. She has to give this up, and that means giving up Westview. It means giving up her family. If Westview goes, then Vision (Paul Bettany), Billy, and Tommy go too.
Wanda and Agatha aren’t the only ones fighting, as the rebuilt, chalk-white Vision takes on the Westview Vision. S.W.O.R.D. gets in there too when Wanda, at the behest of Westview's residents, starts to open the Hex to let them leave. Her family, though, begins to fall apart — literally — as the Hex breaks, so she closes it again. Now, they're all trapped inside: residents, Agatha, Maximoffs, and S.W.O.R.D. Wanda’s family has to deal with all of them.
As her Vision says, “Listen boys, your mother and I never really prepared you for this…”
“…but you were born for it,” Wanda adds, with a twinge of her accent.
The boys zip into action to take down the S.W.O.R.D. agents surrounding them; Billy freezes them in place and Tommy takes their guns.
This is history repeating itself for Agatha, who, looking at the agents, tells Wanda that there will always be “torches and pitchforks” for ladies like them.
Their battle continues, with Agatha going so far as to pull Wanda into a vision of the time her coven tried to burn her at the stake. Wanda does break free, and after they take to the skies, Wanda fires off an insane amount of magic at Agatha, turning grey in the process. Agatha is stealing her magic, bit by bit.
We think Wanda is done for — but no! Wanda has learned. Red runes appear on the walls of what remains of the Hex when Agatha tries to finish Wanda off. We almost expected Wanda to continue the Oz riffing and say, “You have no power here!” She doesn’t say that, she has a much better line.
“Thanks for the lesson, but I don’t need you to tell me who I am,” Wanda says.
Wanda has rejected the deal, which was a lie anyway. She decides to free Westview and to let Vision go. She decides to own what has happened to her and to own who she is. With another truly glorious burst of magic, her look morphs into a new MCU version of Wanda’s classic comic book look. She’s got the red headpiece, she’s got the hair, and she’s got a dress that slightly recalls the patterns of her previous costume.
She has truly become the Scarlet Witch.
Hex Vision manages to activate memories (data that was being withheld) within the New Vision after they have an oh-so-very-Vision discussion about the Ship of Theseus. New Vision’s blue headpiece flashes yellow for a moment, his eyes become less frightening, and he says, “I am Vision.” He flies away, hopefully to be seen again.
Agatha will also hopefully be seen again, as once she is defeated, Wanda turns her into some form of Agnes who is unaware of who she really is. The Hex closes down, Westview returns to normal, Jimmy Woo calls in some help (after breaking out of some handcuffs earlier in the episode with a “flourish”), and Darcy tells Hayward to "have fun in prison."
All that’s left is for Wanda to say goodbye to her family. “We could never truly leave each other if we tried,” she says as the Hex vanishes outside Billy and Tommy’s window. “Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.”
As for this version of Vision, he doesn’t know what he might be next. “We have said goodbye before…” he says to Wanda, "…so it stands to reason…”
“…That we’ll say hello again,” she finishes.
The Hex closes, Vision vanishes, and Westview is fully back to normal. So long, darling. Wanda is left standing in the empty lot she found before this whole thing started. She lifts her hood up and makes her way to the center of town where she's met by hostile Westview-ians.
Monica greets her and says that the people of the town will never know what Wanda sacrificed for them. She also makes it clear that if she had Wanda’s power, she’d bring her Mom back. She gets it.
Wanda doesn’t understand her power, but she soon will. She flies off in her new look, and her self-schooling begins in the second of two post-credit scenes. In a remote cabin in the wilderness, Wanda makes tea. In the other room, a different version of her (in her new outfit) reads from Agatha’s book, which may be the actual Darkhold.
Watch out, Doctor Strange! Wanda is coming for you. Literally. She’s gonna be a major part of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Captain Marvel 2 (and possibly Secret Invasion) also gets a setup. As we mentioned, an agent reveals themselves as a Skrull to Monica, saying that they were sent by an old friend of her mother’s. “He heard you were grounded. He’d like to meet with you,” they say. Where, exactly? The Skrull agent simply points up.
We know from Spider-Man: Far From Home that Nicholas J. Fury is out there in some kind of spaceship, so we’re guessing that was where this Skrull was pointing.
The saga of Wanda’s Westview was never just a wacky riff on sitcoms, and it was never just a reference machine. The real magic act of this series was that it was a potent meditation on the various ways that we all choose to either overcome grief or to let it consume us. The only way out is through. This was just the madly entertaining and rather heartbreaking path that Wanda took.
She leaves the sitcoms and the fantasy behind and accepts her situation. She accepts her past, accepts her present, and accepts who she really is. Because of this, she’s now ready to face her future. She is the Scarlet Witch, and her tale is far from over.
All nine episodes of WandaVision are available to stream on Disney+ right now. Okey dokey artichokey!