Previously on WANDAVISION…
After a very eventful Halloween episode last week, the walls are starting to come in on Wanda Maximoff, even as she pushes the boundaries of the Hex around Westview, N.J.
With Vision away from the house, still recovering from trying to escape last episode, Wanda is alone with twins Billy and Tommy, as her powers start to glitch and confuse Wanda. Monica Rambeau and Jimmy Woo are off to meet Rambeau’s contact, another S.W.O.R.D. agent loyal to Monica and her mother over Director Hayward, who is readying for another assault on the Hex. And Dr. Darcy Lewis is inside the Hex, now an escape artist with the circus that appeared when Wanda expanded the perimeter, and teams up with Vision to try and figure out what’s going on.
The episode is presented in the style of 2000s classics Modern Family or The Office, with a lot of shots of Wanda talking to the camera in a confessional setting, admitting that she has no idea what’s happening to her powers and trying to convince herself that everything is going to be OK. To give Wanda a day of rest, wacky neighbor Agnes comes and takes the twins so Wanda can relax. But when Rambeau comes back through the Hex and confronts Wanda, everything starts to unravel.
With Monica trying to convince Wanda that she’s trying to help, Agnes comes over and shoos Monica away and brings Wanda back to her house. And we finally get one of the series’ big reveals: Agnes is actually Agatha Harkness – which has been speculated from the start – and has been secretly involved in much of what’s been happening in Westview.
This is surely a big deal to Marvel Comics fans, though I’m not as familiar with the Marvel Comics universe, so I really have no idea who Agatha Harkness is. Thankfully, I have access to Wikipedia.
If you’re a neophyte to the larger Marvel Comics universe like I am, Harkness has been portrayed as one of the original witches from the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s. She has also been linked to the Fantastic Four as a guardian to Reed and Sue Richards’ son Franklin and as a mentor and teacher to Wanda. In the comics, Harkness has a son named Nicholas Scratch, which would explain the show’s mentions of her rabbit named Señor Scratchy.
From the FIRST EPISODE, it’s been clear that something was up with Agnes/Agatha, as she acted just slightly different from the other residents of Westview. And Wanda must have subconsciously felt it, as she started to get more comfortable around Agnes, using her magic without hiding it from Agnes. So this reveal was expected, though it wasn’t a disappointment. Having Harkness unveiled in the seventh of nine episodes means we still have room for something bigger to close out the miniseries.
I will admit to being a bit disappointed to how Rambeau’s rendezvous with her contact played out. The brief mention of the contact last episode, without spelling out who the contact was, raised my hopes for another big Marvel name, possibly from the characters that Disney re-acquired from the merger with Fox. Alas, that was not to be, as all we got was another S.W.O.R.D. agent who provided Monica with a space rover that Monica could use to try and breach the Hex. That didn’t pay off, though, as it got stopped and spit out, forcing Monica to fight through on her own.
The best parts of the episode, though, were Vision’s interactions with Dr. Darcy Lewis at the circus. The duo were supposed to be paired up for a stage show – the strong man and the escape artist – but Vision gave the doctor her memories back, and they went off to get Vision home in a funnel cake food truck. But a long red light, a construction crew and a line of school children crossing the road keeps them from getting too far.
Vision – in a confessional sitting outside the truck – assumes it’s Wanda trying to keep him away, but it’s likely Agatha’s doing. She did, after all, kill the twins’ dog. And she brought a fake Pietro to Westview, too.
We’re set up for a pretty intense final two episodes, with Vision, Darcy and Monica working together to take down Agatha, “Pietro” and probably even Wanda. What will Director Hayward do to make everything more difficult for everyone? And how will WandaVision dovetail into the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel?
As more and more of the mystery start to get revealed, it’s going to be a lot of fun to revisit the series and catch more of the little clues that have been planted throughout the episodes.