After eight episodes, six distinct television eras, and apparently two rival Visions, Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” first — and possibly only — season is coming to a close this Friday on Disney Plus. But we still have so many questions that this twist-strewn superhero TV show has yet to answer. With just one episode left — and so much to settle in the saga of how Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) grieved the loss of Vision (Paul Bettany) by creating a sitcom reality in the sleepy New Jersey city of Westview — let’s look at the biggest dangling plot strands audiences are eager to see resolved.
More from Variety
Who Is “Fietro”?
Ever since Evan Peters showed up at Wanda’s doorstep as a guy claiming to be her dear-departed twin brother, the internet has been in a tizzy over why Peters was playing Pietro Maximoff, and not Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who originated the role in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Was Peters meant to represent Peter Maximoff, the role the actor played in the “X-Men” movies, and signal the MCU was beginning to tear the fabric of the multiverse already? Or was Peters just playing some random guy possessed by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) to pretend to be Pietro, a meta-joke meant to represent stunt recasting from 1980s and ’90s sitcoms?
Consider This: Forget the multiverse. Yes, Olsen is next appearing in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and yes, by all reports, “Spider Man: No Way Home” is all tangled up in the multiverse, too. But there is plenty going on in “WandaVision” already, and while the idea of Fietro being plucked from the “X-Men” universe seems fun in the abstract, actually incorporating that plot point into this story feels like one complication too many to deal with in a finale that has so much to resolve.
So let’s go with the random guy theory. Remember that missing witness Agent Woo (Randall Park) said he’d set up in Westview — i.e. someone new to town who wouldn’t fit in well otherwise? That’s who Agatha used as her template for Fietro. —A.B.V.
Are the Twins Real?
In one of the comic book inspirations for “WandaVision,” Agatha explains to Wanda that the twins she had with Vision — twins that shouldn’t biologically exist, given that Vision is a synthetic being — disappear from existence when she’s not around to conjure them into being.
But is that what’s happening on “WandaVision”? There are several conflicting details.
The reach of Wanda’s magic is vast (Agatha tells Wanda that the magical hex is running on “autopilot” on the edge of town), but not perfect (Vision sees townspeople stuck in loops or frozen entirely). Those townspeople, however, were real before Wanda showed up. Billy and Tommy were conceived inside the hex, gestated in less than a day, and grew to 10-year-olds within roughly 48 hours — not exactly the way that real beings behave. Was Agatha behind Billy and Tommy’s rapid aging when she sprayed “lavender” on them as babies? Or did she merely take advantage of the situation as a way to manipulate Wanda?
Another wrinkle: We see Billy and Tommy very much existing in Agatha’s house, without Wanda around. Billy even tells Agatha that her mind is “quiet,” suggesting he isn’t a magical projection from Wanda’s psyche, but a sentient being.
In the comics, Billy and Tommy end up getting reabsorbed into the soul of Mephisto, the devilish Marvel Big Bad some have surmised is behind Agatha’s machinations. (More on him in a bit.) It’s only later that Billy and Tommy’s souls are freed and placed inside actual human boys, who become the Marvel superheroes Wiccan and Speed — without, at first, understanding their supernatural origins. It’s a pretty typically mind-bending plot twist for a comic book series, but a major storytelling leap even for the MCU. So how the heck is “WandaVision” going to resolve it?
Consider This: We see definitively that Wanda created Vision from herself, out of her own heart, and it’s clear that this Vision is a sentient being with his own mind and a dawning awareness that Westview is not at all what it seems. It’s also clear, however, at this Vision can only exist inside the Hex. It stands to reason that the same is true for Billy and Tommy — they’re totally real, but should Wanda end the Hex, then she’ll lose them too, along with Vision. How Billy and Tommy could then return as their superhero alter-egos, however, remains a mystery. —A.B.V.
Is Monica the MCU’s First Mutant?
Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) blips back after five years of being disappeared by Thanos and comes back to a life turned upside down: her mother and best friend of Captain Marvel, Maria “Photon” Rambeau, has died of cancer, and S.W.O.R.D. is now in the hands of Acting Director Tyler Hayward, who “grounds” her from being able to go on missions to space. Moreover, Rambeau winds up in the Hex and falls victim to Wanda’s decade-hopping whims. She’s warned that her cellular structure cannot handle the amount of radiation the anomalous perimeter emits, but Rambeau, being the hero that she’s always been (powers or not), dives in a second time to settle things once and for all. We see Monica develop abilities like super strength and the ability to spark out a potent, blue-tinged energy (before being caught off-guard by Fietro in her investigation of Agatha’s basement).
All evidence seems to point to Monica Rambeau becoming the superhero Photon, who in the comics has also gone by the names of Spectrum, The Lady of Light, Sun Goddess and even in some storylines Captain Marvel. But is “WandaVision” the MCU’s answer to the issue of mutants— and will Monica be the first?
Consider This: In the “X-Men” films and comics, mutant biology is explained as human mutants possessing an X-Gene — an actual genetic mutation positioned on the 23rd chromosome. That gene is then “activated,” usually by aging, stress or trauma. The first “X-Men” film shows, for example, how Rogue’s (Anna Paquin) first kiss triggers her absorbent powers. But “WandaVision” and the MCU have historically not cared much about sticking to the original source material, taking liberties with its supers, villains, plots and team-ups. If the radiation that is affecting all the humans in Westview manages to not kill them all and, instead, give them superpowers, then Monica Rambeau would technically be one of the first mutants to at least be “activated.” Still, that doesn’t consider the Wanda Maximoff origin story factor, as she too is (at least in the comics) a mutant who was born with the X-Gene, only to undergo further genetic experimentation at the hands of the High Evolutionary in his citadel at Wundagore Mountain. If Marvel Studios somehow ties in that Wanda is, in fact, a mutant, then Monica Rambeau would technically not be the first one to step into the MCU scene. – M.M.Z.
What About the Rest of Westview? (Dottie?!)
Like Monica Rambeau, the rest of Westview’s resident victims (and those who later were involuntarily sucked into Westview, like Kat Dennings’ Dr. Darcy Lewis), may have been cellularly affected by the enormous amounts of cosmic microwave background radiation and cosmic magic enveloping the town.
Consider This: This could be Marvel Studios’ clever way to introduce the concept of mutants into the MCU, upping the population of superpowered humans in a way that is linear and follows the film and TV show franchise’s phased progression. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean that “WandaVision” regulars like Debra Jo Rupp’s Mrs. Hart will be revisited in later movies and series as a mutant. Rather, it sets the stage for Disney to play with a plethora of comic book characters that had either only been explored in 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” films or have never gotten the big (or small) screen treatment. However, for “WandaVision” members who were given a larger air of enigma surrounding their residential status, like Dottie Jones (Emma Caulfield) or the unseen Ralph (Agatha Harness’s so-called husband), may have more substantial roles as mutants or as some other kind of extraordinary beings — like a third neighborhood witch in the case of Dottie, for example. – M.M.Z.
What Is Agatha’s Book?
In the seventh and eight episodes of “WandaVision,” we see a book in Agatha Harkness’ basement with ancient runes carved on it, giving off a mysterious, orange aura. The way the camera panned and focused on this book couldn’t have been a mere coincidence: it’s a possession Marvel Studios wants the audience to focus on (and conjure wild theories about).
Consider This: There are plenty of magical books that wind up being important in Marvel comics, including the Darkhold, the Necronomicon and the Tome of Zhered-Na, but none of these texts have been explored thus far in MCU films (though the Darkhold has made appearances both in Marvel’s “Runaways” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). Our guess? It’s the Book of Cagliostro, the book of dark mysticism that was stolen from the Ancient One’s (Tilda Swinton) private library in the first “Doctor Strange” movie. Agatha owning the book simplifies the “Doctor Strange” tie-in for the sequel movie and potential “WandaVision” cameo highly possible. – M.M.Z.
Is There a Bigger Bad Beyond Agatha?
As catchy of a tune as “Agatha All Along” is, it isn’t the first time that a character has asserted that they or someone else in the story is the main cause of the Hex anomaly— after all, Dr. Lewis and Monica had pointed fingers at Wanda for being entirely at fault for the sitcom prison, it turns out that she wasn’t entirely to blame. If we’re following that train of events, is it possible that neither Wanda nor Agatha is 100% culpable, and a third unveiled intermediate entity has been puppeteering, or at least influencing, both magical gals this whole time?
Consider This: Honestly, it could all be as simple as it sounds: It really was Agatha all along who has been pulling all the strings behind-the-scenes to find out the truth behind the Scarlet Witch’s powers by keeping the sitcom illusion as stable and steady as possible. Whether or not Agatha has existing alliances with other Big Bads in the Marvel comics that could become relevant in this current MCU phase and in future ones — like Mephisto, the Grim Reaper, Nicholas Scratch, Salem’s Seven, Nightmare, Chthon, Ghost Rider, etcetera — doesn’t necessarily predicate their villainous involvement in “WandaVision,” at least, for this season. – M.M.Z.
Who Is the Mysterious Guest Star?
For weeks, Paul Bettany repeatedly teased that “WandaVision” will feature a mind-blowing actor in an unannounced role. To IndieWire, Bettany said he’s “always wanted to work with” this actor, that “we have fireworks together,” and that “the scenes are pretty intense.” After Evan Peters’ surprise appearance, Bettany told Esquire that the mysterious cameo he was talking about hadn’t happened yet or been leaked, and he even seemed to suggest he wasn’t referring to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. (More on the good doctor in a bit.) “We have some amazing scenes together, and the chemistry between us is, I think, extraordinary,” he said. “It was just fireworks on set.”
Naturally, with a show as wildly popular as “WandaVision,” Bettany’s comments have whipped up a frenzy of speculation, including by this very publication — could it be Ian McKellan’s Magneto? Or Michael Fassbender’s? What if Dick Van Dyke showed up as himself? Who could it be?!
Consider This: Bettany was talking about himself. With the revelation that Vision within the Hex was created by Wanda, whereas S.W.O.R.D. had used Wanda’s magic to reconstitute Vision’s real body into a ghost-like sentient weapon, it’s inevitable that Wanda’s Vision and Ghost Vision are gonna tussle — creaking “fireworks” and giving Bettany the first opportunity in his career to act against himself. The cheeky scamp was making a joke, and we all fell for it. —A.B.V.
Will Vision Survive the Finale? Can He?
“WandaVision,” first and foremost, is about grief, and how the losses of Pietro and then Vision compounded within Wanda’s psyche to lead her to create the sitcom world of Westview as a refuge from the chasm of emptiness those deaths caused in her. If “WandaVision” were to end this season without Wanda confronting what she’s done, and finally allowing herself to accept Vision’s death and move forward, well, then, this wasn’t the show that we all thought it was going to be.
That only takes care of one Vision, though — the one Wanda created within the Hex. The ghostly white version of Vision resurrected by S.W.O.R.D. is tangibly real in a way Wanda’s version isn’t. If Wanda was able to recreate Vision once, what’s to stop her from doing it again, this time with a body that doesn’t need her chaos magic to survive? Unless Wanda’s Vision defeat’s ghost Vision first.
Consider This: Have your tissues ready. Vision’s gonna die. Again. And then again. —A.B.V.
Will S.W.O.R.D. Survive the Finale?
We’d never heard of S.W.O.R.D. in the MCU before “WandaVision,” but apparently the organization existed for years at the direction of Monica’s late mother Maria. In her absence, however, S.W.O.R.D.’s mission has turned sour, with acting director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) fixating on weaponry and resurrecting Vision’s body. One would not expect that to turn out well for Stamberg, at least, but it also could spell the end for S.W.O.R.D., too. After all, Marvel has a way of using its militaristic institutions as a convenient storytelling tool that ultimately implodes by way of corruption and mismanagement. (See: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s demise in “Captain America: The Winter Solider.”)
Consider This: “Captain Marvel 2” is set to bridge the storylines for Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica, and “Ms. Marvel” Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and S.W.O.R.D. could be a helpful storytelling engine for making that happen. And there is that “Fantastic Four” movie on the horizon, too… —A.B.V.
Do the Fake Ads Foreshadow Anything?
A Stark toaster, a Strücker watch, bar of HYDRA Soak soap, roll of Lagos paper towels, a Yo Magic yogurt and a pack of Nexus antidepressants: put these items together and it’s just a confusing hodgepodge of Marvel Easter Eggs thrown in “WandaVision,” but the penultimate episode of the series at least confirmed that the commercials were— in Wanda’s bizarre way— part of the grander coping mechanism that had thrust thousands of civilians in a televised time-loop. The commercials spoke to different factors of Wanda’s past. The most obvious ones being the toaster (reminiscent of the bomb that killed the Maximoff parents); Strücker and HYDRA products recall the experimentation and brainwashing done on the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as young adolescents; the Lagos paper towels reference the mess Wanda and the other Avengers made in Nigeria during the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Less clear, however, are the Yo Magic yogurt and Nexus antidepressants— could they possibly have a link to Wanda’s future?
Consider This: Instead of foreshadowing, the fictitious yogurt and antidepressant brands will explain elements of “WandaVision” and the Scarlet Witch’s origin story that have yet to be mentioned on screen, namely, how Wanda Maximoff is able to tap into Chaos Magic (was it bestowed on her by a superior mutant or cosmic entity?) and whether she not only was born a mutant, she also was born a Nexus Being. According to canonical Marvel Comics lore, Nexus Beings are rare individuals with the ability to affect probability (and thus the future) and can alter the flow of the Universal Time Stream. They also can produce unbelievably powerful offspring. Noted Nexus Beings that have gotten airtime include Odin Borson (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner, Famke Janssen). – M.M.Z.
Will Doctor Strange Show Up in the Finale? Or any other Avengers?
We already know that the Scarlet Witch will be making an appearance in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” wherein Benedict Cumberbatch will be reprising his role as the Sorcerer Supreme. The movie will be helmed by former “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi. Not much is known thus far about the sequel’s plot, slated for a March 25, 2022 theatrical release, only that it follows Strange’s adventures and his research on the glowing green Time Stone. Wanda’s involvement in the narrative remains unclear— but will it begin to make more sense by the end of her standalone series’ ninth and final episode?
Consider This: Marvel Studios chief Kevin Fiege has remarked, repeatedly, that “WandaVision” directly links up with the events of the “Doctor Strange” sequel. Moreover, the film was set to premiere immediately following the conclusion of “WandaVision” on Disney Plus, before the pandemic shifted the flick’s debut timeline. So, it seems that a Cumberbatch cameo in the finale is logical, but Strange’s motives for that likely appearance are largely a mystery. Will he have to extricate Wanda from the aftermath of her sitcom bubble to get her to journey across the multiverse with him? Is he forcibly taking Wanda with him to study her capacity to wield (at her own will and, possibly against it) Chaos Magic and the Mind Stone’s powers? Knowing Marvel, Doctor Strange’s cameo will probably only open more doors for explosive fan theories about the fate of “WandaVision” and what it all will mean for the second Strange movie, rather than neatly wrap up the Scarlet Witch’s reality-warping shenanigans throughout the series.
As far as other Avengers (like the Hulk, Black Widow, Falcon, the Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Thor) making a guest appearance, these seem less likely, though perhaps Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) could show up given that their spinoff show is premiering shortly on the Disney streamer. And Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel could also make it to the series, as she has ties to Monica Rambeau—though, according to the show, their relationship is currently strained. —M.M.Z.
Best of Variety