WandaVision just had its series finale and left some fans defeated and a couple of bucks loss. With Marvel fans obsessively trying to find clues through trailers, interviews, and comics, it’s no wonder why some feel tricked.
Hardcore fans may have had theories about the comic book villain, Mephisto, or the multiverse once the first teaser launched. Who could blame them since Wandavision is meant to tie directly into the Doctor Strange sequel? They were expecting mind-blowing revelations. What they got was a heartfelt story about Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) dealing with the death of Vision (Paul Bettany).
So, why was this ending anticlimactic? To understand the “outrage”, it’ll have to start from the beginning. When WandaVision premiered its first two episodes, viewers were left confused. The ‘50s and ’60s style sitcom starring two members from The Avengers? Though strange at first, both episodes would slightly pull the curtain aside to show that all isn’t right.
Character glitches and colored objects appearing in a black and white world, left fans to speculate as the weeks progressed. Countless YouTube videos and articles later asked:
“Who was behind it all?”
“How is Vision alive?”
“Who’s that mailman?”
“What’s with Agnes’s rabbit?”
The show was able to give some answers during the fourth episode and the continuing press interviews.
Gathering the Clues
With Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), there were answers. The sitcom world surrounding Westview was made of cosmic microwave background radiation. Other than that, the citizens in that world are real people trapped in what was deemed “The Hex”. Understandable insight, but it couldn’t be this episode that gave some answers and teases.
In the middle of the series, Elizabeth Olsen took the time to sit with TVLine. Since the show was after season two of The Mandalorian, she was asked if it’ll have a “‘Luke Skywalker Moment”. She gave a simple, “Yes…I’m really excited…”. Suddenly, other outlets reported that there’s an upcoming cameo bigger topping The Mandalorian. This answer echoed co-star, Paul Bettany’s, statements he made to Black Girl Nerds. He raved about how he’s been wanting to work with this actor all his life, and their chemistry was “unbelievable.”
Wanda the HEX is Going On?
Viewers believed that this episode may have been the casting both stars were speaking of. In the now ‘80s style sitcom, questions built up like how Wanda and Vision’s sons age and who’s Monica space engineer. Questions then turned to more theorizing when a surprise cameo appeared at Wanda and Vision’s door. Fans went ballistic when Pietro/Quicksilver shows up. However, it isn’t Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s version. But, the Fox X-Men version, portrayed by Evan Peters.
Since then, the theories started piling up:
‘Was Quicksilver pulled from the X-Men universe?’
‘Why this version?’
‘How we’re getting mutants.’
‘Who is Monica’s connection?’
‘How we’re getting the Fantastic 4?’
‘Does Mephisto have something to do with this?’
The Theory of Everything
With all these questions, it was up to the last four episodes to answer them all. Did they succeed? Not in the way it was expected. The first mystery solved was Monica’s connection being a soldier with loyalty to her late mother. The first red herring, but not the last.
What was Given
The final episode was filled with a witch battle, Vision v.s. Vision philosophical action and tons of theories debunked. Though the action was up to Marvel movie standards, it still doesn’t forgive the disappointing revelations.
Turns out it was Wanda all along with Agnes, a.k.a. Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), taking credit in a theme song. Those suspicious townspeople like Dottie and that mailman? Just a woman named Sarah and a pizza delivery guy. That cameo Paul Bettany talked about, was himself. And Pietro/Quicksilver is the heavily mentioned Ralph…Bohner. Yes, that “Luke Skywalker” cameo that Elizabeth Olsen was talking about, may have been Evan Peters.
Pouring Red Herrings
That’s right, the series finale had more herrings as red as the Scarlet Witch! No Mephisto, no multiverse, and “no more mutants”. Why did this ending not live up to the “hexpectations”? Two words, fan theories.
The Fan Theory Culture
It’s not new for Marvel/MCU fans to speculate on the material before the final product releases. That’s the fun of enjoying them, along with pointing out some expertise. However, like its sitcom aesthetics, this series was a lesson in the end. That lesson was learning about “expectation management”. Taking a step back to think about the series, it succeeded in telling a story about Wanda dealing with grief. It focused on her psyche and the anxiety of having to come to terms with who she’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, with all the possibilities after Phase 3 of the MCU, fans looked to the show for bigger.
All were amazed and satisfied with what Avengers: Endgame presented. Tons of nods to the comics, pay-offs for the previous 21 films, and a grand finale. With all of that to live up to, or even exceed, Marvel may have felt that they can do it all over again. But a recent virus decided to doodle on Kevin Feige’s blueprints.
Blame it on the Pandemic
Due to the pandemic, Marvel’s projects were drastically shifted. Black Widow was pushed a year later when it was intended to kick off Phase 4. The Falcon and Winter Soldier meant to be the first Disney+ series to launch. However, due to the global lockdown, they halted production and failed to make their original premiere month, August 2020. Leaving Wandavision to fill in the vacant Marvel space on streaming service, moving it up from its Spring 2021 slot. Yes, shifting dates dented the order of Phase 4, but it doesn’t explain the YouTube theory videos and blogs.
He can HEXplain.
With many debunked theories from the finale – Pietro being a boner joke and no big cameo – the disappointment is understandable. It had to take show director, Matt Shakman, to go on Kevin Smith’s Fatman Beyond podcast, and explain the final product. He explained that various circumstances lead to what was launched. With dates shifting and several limitations due to the pandemic, all Shakman could do was his best to tell a cohesive story. As for the talk about Evan Peters casting as Ralph Bohner? Shakman and Marvel looked at it as a funny nod for the series. Perhaps someone at Marvel Studios neglected to warn him that the fans speculate like crazy.
At the end of it all, the series was no season eight of Game of Thrones. Wandavision was another unique story added to the MCU. Fans got to watch the evolution of a character that didn’t get that opportunity in the movies. This became a character that everyone could relate to. Whether it’s from her love of sitcoms to escape or dealing with a difficult loss, fans felt for her. They’ve even utilized the main comic book storylines for the transformation that fans anticipated since Age of Ultron.
Though it couldn’t match the fans’ comic-book-related speculations, it reminded that speculations and theories are all for fun. Like predicting the final score of the NBA Finals or Oscar winners, theories aren’t meant to be true. In the meantime, Marvel fans have to keep some deep-cut theories moderate. Based on the effect of the pandemic, the shift in MCU content will be as confusing as Wanda shifting through decades.