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Blends the style of classic sitcoms with the MCU, in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision – two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
In a late 1990s/early 2000s setting, Wanda wants to spend Tommy and Billy’s first Halloween together as a family, but Vision tells her that he is going to patrol the streets with the neighborhood watch. “Pietro” offers to step in as a father figure and takes the boys trick-or-treating, causing mischief with his super speed, which Tommy is revealed to have inherited. Meanwhile, Vision explores further away from their house and finds residents of Westview standing frozen in their positions, including Agnes. Vision speaks to Agnes’ real self and she tells him that he is dead. Outside Westview, Hayward orders Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy to leave the base for disagreeing with his decision to attack Wanda, but they sneak inside. They hack into his computer and discover that he has been tracking Vision’s vibranium signature. Vision tries to push through the static wall, but he begins to disintegrate. Billy senses this and tells Wanda, who expands the hexagonal static wall. Vision, Darcy, and several S.W.O.R.D. agents are enveloped by the new boundary.
Agatha attempts to take Wanda’s chaos magic but is interrupted by The Vision, who tries to kill Wanda before her “conditional” Vision intervenes. The two Visions fight throughout Westview while Agatha frees the residents of Westview from Wanda’s control; pleading with Wanda, they convince her to open the barrier. She stops when Vision and the twins begin to disintegrate, but not before Hayward and S.W.O.R.D. enter. Monica frees “Pietro”, who is actually actor Ralph Bohner, from Agatha’s control, and then helps the twins stop S.W.O.R.D. Vision restores The Vision’s memories. Wanda places magical runes around the barrier that prevent Agatha from using her magic, and Wanda traps her as “Agnes”. Wanda says goodbye to Vision and the twins before collapsing the barrier, and then goes into hiding. In a mid-credits scene, Hayward is arrested while Monica is informed by a Skrull that a friend of her mother’s wants to meet. In a post-credits scene, Wanda is studying the Darkhold in her astral form when she hears the twins cry for help.
Even though the season finale of Marvel’s WandaVision on Disney+ aired last week, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty left to discuss about it. The show had numerous mysteries that still have people wondering, so IGN spoke with series writer Jac Schaeffer and series director Matt Shakman to ask them about the biggest questions fans still have.
They address Evan Peters playing Quicksilver, the identities of the engineer and the missing person, why Wanda didn’t face any real consequences, and break down what was Agatha’s plan all along.
Why Did Evan Peters Play the Role of Quicksilver in WandaVision?
When Evan Peters showed up in the role of Quicksilver at the end of Episode 5 it was as much a shock to Wanda as it was viewers watching at home. Is he playing the same Quicksilver from Fox’s X-Men movies? Is this how mutants will join the MCU? Why does Wanda accept this person as her brother when he looks nothing like him? These were just some of the burning questions fans had, but as we learned in the finale, Peters wasn’t there to introduce the X-Men to the MCU, he was just Wanda’s neighbor mind-controlled by Agatha, an aspiring actor named Ralph Bohner.
Some fans felt slighted, as if Marvel played a cruel joke on them, not unlike how Ben Kingsley’s Iron Man 3 character turned out to be a fake version of Tony Stark’s nemesis the Mandarin and was played as a gag. The hashtag #SaveQuicksilver even started trending on Twitter days after the finale.
But according to Schaeffer, pulling a fast one on fans was never the intention. She explained their thinking behind using Peters and how it fit into the themes of the show.
“We didn’t want it to just be a gimmick and just be a gag because that’s no good, so there were several things in play,” Schaeffer said. “First, this is the meta-ist meta-show in the meta-verse. It’s just meta, meta, meta, and so it complemented the overall tone and aesthetic of the show in this uber way, so that felt very right and great for the identity of the show.
“But more than that, it was really about what’s happening in Wanda’s head and the idea that someone could show up and not look like her brother and that she would accept it. What’s going on with her in terms of her denial, and her self-doubt, and her disorientation that Agatha could trick her in this way? We wanted to feel that very viscerally and it seemed like an incredible opportunity for the audience to feel it too with this meta-level of casting, with all of their associations to Evan in this other space [Fox’s X-Men movies]. The idea of doing it with just any other actor, I’m like, ‘That’s not going to land.’ That’s not going to have the same thrill, and craziness, and questions, and be as disorienting, and so that was so much of what it was about for us.”
Schaeffer also highlighted how swapping original MCU Quicksilver actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Peters let them satirize how TV sitcoms would sometimes re-cast a role without the other characters ever acknowledging it (unless you’re Jazz from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).
“It is absolutely a nod to how sitcoms manage change, how they bring in a baby, how they change the actor, all those ridiculous things, which are actually to me really sinister, really, really effed up, and we wanted to get in with that texture, and use it to our advantage,” she said.
Ultimately, Schaeffer hopes fans can appreciate what they were striving for with Peters.
“I don’t want anyone to feel like a prank was pulled on them. I don’t want anyone to feel tricked and, of course, you don’t want people disappointed in things,” she said. “I would redirect to what the show is really about, and what is meaningful about the show, and what does resonate.”
WandaVision Cast and Characters
Shakman expanded on how Peters not only serves as a meta commentary on TV recasting but how the character became a pivotal element of the plot.
“For a show that was very meta and that was exploring sitcom tropes, this felt like something that was fun for us to do,” he said. “This is ultimately not Pietro at the door. This is a puppet of Agatha Harkness. This was part of the narrative from the get-go. This is her way of infiltrating this house, her eyes, her ears, and her way to poke and prod Wanda, to the inevitable crisis moment that Agatha needs, in order to understand the magic that Wanda has, and to take it from her, so that’s part of our overall narrative. And it isn’t her brother. It’s someone that she has tried to convince Wanda is. And we know in Wanda’s reaction that she doesn’t fully believe it, and she spends the next couple of episodes trying to figure out who is this person, which is, I think, another thing about grief.
“Our whole show ultimately is about how we deal with trauma, how we come to terms with loss. And sometimes we trick ourselves, and sometimes we agree to see things that we know are not there, because it brings us some solace. She’s willing to fall into the arms of Evan Peters, believing that it’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, because she needs it. And I think that my heart goes out to her for that. And so, ultimately, it was on point for us thematically, it was on point in terms of the meta.”
What Was Agatha’s Plan All Along?
The catchy song “Agatha All Along” reveals how Agatha was the one pulling the Wanda’s strings the whole time. Yet it wasn’t entirely clear what Agatha was responsible for given that Wanda was the one who created the Hex and the TV sitcom world inside it, so Schaeffer broke down Agatha’s true plan and goal.
“[Agatha] senses this enormous expression of power. It is her bag to take power from people, so she showed up to investigate,” Schaeffer said. “She’s also no dummy, so she’s not going to show up and immediately announce herself. She’s going to watch, and wait, and see what she’s dealing with, and she needs the answers of, who is Wanda, and what is she capable of? What is the nature of her power? She was poking and prodding her, essentially trying to make her reveal herself or essentially detonate in a way, and it wasn’t successful. Her attempts got more and more aggressive and insidious, as the song says, until she finally reveals herself because Wanda won’t step into her truth, is how she characterizes it.”
Did Wanda Get Off Too Easy?
In the WandaVision season finale, Agatha breaks Wanda’s control over the citizens of Westview, and when they share in horrifying detail how Wanda has been mentally torturing them this entire time, Wanda recognizes what she did to them was wrong and pulls open the Hex long enough for them to escape. Later, Wanda takes a walk of shame past the townsfolk on her way out of Westview.
Given the severity of her crimes, some fans felt Wanda didn’t take enough accountability or face enough consequences. But according to Schaeffer, that was by design.
“Monica is not going to tackle [Wanda] to the ground and take her to prison. There’s not really room for accountability in this particular show, but I don’t think it’s forgivable what she’s done,” Schaeffer explained. “I don’t think that the finale is portrayed like everything is hunky-dory. She walks through those people, and they’re justifiably furious with her and feel victimized, rightfully so. I don’t think that accountability piece is part of this particular story.”
There’s a precedent for Marvel turning its heroes into forces of antagonism, like how Tony Stark became the “bad guy” in Captain America: Civil War, and it seems Wanda was intentionally left in a morally gray area.
“It was important for us to not have it be a black and white situation. [Wanda is] grieving and having to come to terms with losing Vision, saying goodbye to him and the kids, and there’s a real emotional impact to that journey. She was unaware of what she did to this town, really, until the finale, when Agatha makes it clear to her what she’s done. She’s allowed herself to stay in a kind of a state of denial for a long time about what the impact of her fantasy life is doing to the real residents of Westview. And once she realizes that, she begins a process. It’s not a clean process, it’s messy. She starts to open it up, and then closes it, but then ultimately, reverts everything to the way it was. She does make things right at the end, and she doesn’t get out of town without feeling a lot of angry stares. She’s very aware of how everyone feels about her at the end,” Schaeffer said.
Did We Actually Meet the Aerospace Engineer in WandaVision?
When Monica Rambeau said she knew an aerospace engineer who could help them enter the Hex, Marvel fans went into full-on theory mode trying to predict who would show up. The most prominent fan theory was that Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four would make his debut, played by John Krasinski, and this theory caught on like wildfire to the point where it began to trend on social media.
But as we all know now, the identity of the engineer wasn’t an iconic Marvel character but Monica’s friend Major Goodner.
According to Shakman, they never suspected such an innocuous line of dialogue would lead to that kind of fan frenzy.
“We were surprised about the aerospace engineer,” Shakman said. “That really wasn’t about a misleading Easter egg at all. Obviously, Evan Peters was a different and intentional construction in the story, but the aerospace engineer was simply Monica wants to get back in to the Hex, she’s hearing from Darcy about the challenges of that, an idea occurs to her, she’s an astronaut, she calls somebody who can help her with a rover, and that was it. So we were quite surprised that that line of dialogue took on the significance that it did. Hats off to the creative minds out there. I think it’s wonderful, and maybe we should’ve been smarter and had Reed Richards out there with the rover. That would’ve been great.”
Adding to the confusion of the moment, Monica had referred to the engineer as her “guy,” so when Major Goodner showed up, some viewers were puzzled because they were expecting a male character, and some questioned if Major Goodner was actually the engineer. Schaeffer clarified that Major Goodner is indeed the engineer, and Monica was using “guy” in a gender-neutral way.
“That’s the way that I speak. I do a lot of her being, ‘Meeting my guy.’ I find that entertaining when I degenderize language,” she explained.
Who Is the Missing Person In WandaVision?
Another mystery character fans heavily speculated about was the missing person in witness protection that Agent Jimmy Woo tracked to Westview. The show ended without the missing person’s identity being revealed, and it appears that thread was intentionally left unresolved on purpose.
“I wouldn’t want to say too much about that. Stay tuned,” Shakman teased.
So while we didn’t get to meet the missing person in WandaVision, keep your eyes peeled for them in future Marvel projects.