A look into the mind-bending, reality shattering first step of Marvel's Phase Four in the MCU.
(SPOILERS ahead as I'll be theorizing what's to come)
The new Marvel series “WandaVision” hit Disney Plus this past Friday (January 15th). The first two episodes brought a lot of mixed reactions and responses to Marvel’s first introduction into ‘Phase Four’ of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). However one thing I kept seeing was a lot of new watchers confused or left wanting more from the first two entries of this mind-bending (and breaking) chapter of Marvel. So in an effort to try to explain why this series will be important to the MCU moving forward I’ve come up with a few “facts” and “theories” to everything you should know and watch as you experience each episode of “WandaVision”.
First things first, you’ll need to do a little background. “WandaVision” is a series that leans heavily on the ‘House of M’ storyline in the comics. It’s an important storyline in the MCU because the arc sees the elimination of all Mutants from the Universe thanks in part to one person...Wanda Maximoff. While mutants aren’t a thing in the MCU... yet, a lot of critics agree that the inverse could actually happen as a result of “WandaVision”. Meaning instead of making all mutants disappear (like in the comics), Wanda’s character will actually bring mutants into existence by creating them. Which of course will be huge and most likely mean the “X-Men” will start to take shape individually.
The next thing you’ll need to do (if you have time) is watch each episode of “WandaVision” more than once (yes, people do rewatch episodes) because there will be things you only see after a second glance. It may also help to watch an explainer/review video afterwards to help unpack and give shape to your thoughts and theories. After doing my own rewatch here’s what we know to be true so far from episode one and two:
Wanda Maximoff is in a ‘self-imposed’ alternate reality. Meaning she created this new reality so she and Vision could be together. We know this to be true because in each episode (1& 2) we see that she has control over what’s happening. And if she doesn’t like what’s happening she can easily change it by simply uttering the words.
After “Endgame” we don’t really know what happened to Wanda but we do know that she is grieving the loss of Vision. The synthezoid died at the hands of Thanos in “Infinity War” and after being ‘snapped’ away, Wanda returned in “Endgame” with an epic grudge against the mad Titan Thanos that single handedly nearly destroyed him.
As the events of WandaVision unfold, we also know S.W.O.R.D. will play a huge part in this series. Uniforms and logos from The Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division can be seen throughout the first two episodes (you’ll have to rewatch to catch them all) but they are there.
Lastly, we know that Monica Rambeau will also play a part in this series (and hopefully) other movies down the road. If you don’t know who Monica is, look no further than “Captain Marvel”. That’s where her character first appeared as the daughter of Maria Rambeau. An adult ‘Monica’ was introduced in episode two of “WandaVision” as the character “Geraldine” in Wanda’s new “reality”.
Ok, this is where things get a little dicey. This is all the confirmed and solid information we know about the series, so far. However, I do have some theories as to where this nine episode journey will take us:
For starters (Theory #1) involves another character entering into the MCU that we know very little about. “Agness”, who many have eluded to being ‘Agatha Harkness’. A witch centuries old in the comics who’s magic can alter and bend realities (even creating them) thanks to her witch-like powers. In the comics she is both a teacher and antagonist to Wanda Maximoff but it’s unclear what role she will play in WandaVision. What is clear, is her character definitely knows what’s happening. We get the vibe in both episodes that “Agness” is there to watch over Wanda because she never leaves and shows up unannounced but we don’t know if it’s to hurt Wanda or help. We also don’t know how Vision will respond to her because as of the first two episodes Agness and Vision have yet to be in the same room.
My money is on Agness being a bit of an anti-hero. Not necessarily there to harm Wanda but seizing an opportunity. I think she’ll help teach Wanda how to control her powers but I also think there is a far greater nefarious being pulling the strings in the background.
That bigger character leads me to (Theory #2) Mephisto. I think ‘Mephisto’ will be introduced as one of the big bads in “Phase Four” of the MCU because of his reality bending abilities. Mephisto is Marvel's version of satan and he could have big implications not only in “WandaVison” but also other series’ like “Loki” as well. We know this thanks to some clever dialogue in episode two of “WandaVision” where Agness’ character quips with another character “The devil is in the details…” “...that’s not all he’s in.” This will most likely connect the dots of Mephisto’s actual existence in the MCU unofficially. It’s also known in the comics Wanda’s twins (Wicken and Speed) are actually shards of Mephisto’s soul. Meaning where we left off in episode two (Wanda being pregnant) may also be a big plot point.
I actually think Mephisto will just be ONE of the villains in “Phase Four”, with others also being introduced, leading up to the actual big bad “Thanos level” villain (which I still think will be Galactus).
(Theory #3) is a little less steeped in actual facts or dialogue (for now) and is just where I think “WandaVision” may be headed. I think all the other ‘towns-folk’ in WestView are S.W.O.R.D. agents (besides Agness and Vision of course). It’s clear “Geraldine” is an agent due to the promo confirming her character as Monica Rambeau. However I think everyone else is an agent trying to break through to Wanda in this new reality she has created. I think they’ve been sent inside her reality (through some technology in the outside world) to send her reminders of who she really is. (a) Possibly in an effort to save her from someone? Or (b) to stop her from destroying reality as we know it unbeknownst to her. That part isn’t clear yet.
If it’s (a), it would mean Wanda’s being held captive, therefore having her powers magnified by someone or something (hints Mephisto). And Agness is there to make sure no one interferes. If it’s (b) it means Wanda may be so steeped in grief that she created this reality herself to cope but is unaware of the effects it’s having on everyone else’s reality. Which is why S.W.O.R.D. has come in to help stop her from doing more harm.
My last theory (Theory #4) deals with an awareness of a few things. One being we know Wanda is fully aware of what’s happening. I believe she knows this reality isn’t normal or can't remember what "normal" is. Either way, she refuses to acknowledge it out of grief. Which is why she is constantly changing things to fit the specific narrative she wants even though she is continually finding things that remind her of the outside world (or reality). I also think Vision is aware of himself but he doesn’t exactly know where, why, or how he is there. He only understands that Wanda is there and that’s where he wants to be. This particular theory is still unclear though because if Wanda is being manipulated, it would need to be so subtle to make her think she’s still in control. Or, whomever is attempting to manipulate her (SWORD or villain) they are unaware of her true power.
I know, this all sounds very confusing but the main thing you should understand about watching "WandaVision" is the heartbreak and grief. What we are watching is the slow descent into madness due to the unbearable grief of losing someone you love. Even though the first two episodes of “WandaVision” are a slow burn they are filled with easter eggs that help tell Wanda’s story. I think each episode we will witness Wanda in different stages of a mental breakdown and the repercussions that has on everyone else (protagonist and antagonist) alike. Remember Wanda is one of the most powerful mutants in the comics and I’m sure the creators will bring that power (and madness) to life in ways we’ve yet to experience in the MCU. Most likely culminating with the upcoming movies “Spider Man 3” and “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness”(I secretly think we’ve gotten a taste of what to expect from the first Doctor Strange and second Ant Man movies).
Buckle up, I’ll be back with more theories as the show progresses and we start to uncover the full role Wanda will play as the main focus of “Phase Four” in the MCU as it spans into both TV and Movies.
*All pictures courtesy of Marvel Entertainment's "WandaVision"