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Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

WandaVision showrunner explains why that villain didn't show up in the finale: 'The big bad is grief'

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Mar 12, 2021, 4:50 PM EST (Updated)

Last Friday's WandaVision finale left some fans crestfallen when a major fan theory about Mephisto turning up turned out to be untrue. Agnes' (aka Agatha's) husband, "Ralph," wasn't Marvel's version of Satan, but Evan Peters' Quicksilver, who actually wasn't Pietro Maximoff from another dimension. He was actually a Westview resident by the name of Ralph... Bohner. While some viewers felt robbed of a multiverse and the groundwork for a Thanos-level antagonist, showrunner Jac Schaeffer had a very good reason for keeping Mephisto confined to the Underworld.

"We didn’t think this series needed a big bad," she recently explained to Deadline. "I mean, the big bad is grief, you know, and that’s the story that we were telling, and then we got a bonus baddie in the form of Agatha Harkness who ended up facilitating Wanda’s therapy, so yeah, I think we feel pretty good about that."

And that's not to say Marvel won't introduce Mephisto down the road. He may very well show up in next year's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is playing a significant role. If the Marvel Cinematic Universe decides to stick closely to the comics, then Wanda's two sons — Billy and Tommy — could even turn out to be parts of the villain's essence. Her desire to be reunited with them could end up summoning Mephisto and triggering the apocalypse, just as the Darkhold predicts.

Speaking of Strange, another theory that Benedict Cumberbatch would cameo in the finale episode also turned out to be false. "I heart Doctor Strange just like anybody," Schaeffer said. "Yeah, it’s one of those things, that’s how the chips fell, that’s how the cookie crumbled, is what I will say, but I look forward to seeing him on screen with Wanda in Doctor Strange 2."

Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

WandaVision still set the stage for the magical sequel in its last post-credits sequence, where Wanda (now living in a remote cabin) is seen using astral projection as she studies the Darkhold and hears the anguished cries of her children. The sequence also features a slightly corrupted riff on Michael Giacchino's theme for the Sorcerer Supreme. Unfortunately, Schaeffer could not be persuaded to give up specific details on Wanda's exile. "We, the audience, do not know where Wanda is in the tag," she said.

Episode 9's other stinger seemed like a teaser for Captain Marvel 2Secret Invasion, or both. After Westview is returned to normal, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is informed by a shape-shifting Skrull agent that an old friend of her mother's would like to meet Monica up in outer space.

"In this particular instance with the Skrull tags, strangely that was, like, one of the first tags that I wrote, and then it went through a bunch of iterations, and then we returned to that essential idea," revealed Schaeffer, who helped write the Captain Marvel screenaply. "It’s just they evolve during the creative process,"

All nine episodes of WandaVision are now streaming on Disney+. A making-of documentary (the first installment in Marvel Studios' Assembled docuseries) arrives on the streaming platform this Friday, March 12. The second MCU show — The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — premieres the following Friday, March 19. Schaeffer's next contribution to the comic book universe is Black Widow, which is currently slated to hit theaters Friday, May 7 — more than a year after its intended release date.