WandaVision: Season 1 Review

Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) live in the suburban town of Westview and attempt to hide their powers, but when life begins to mirror classic TV shows, they soon begin to suspect something is up. This piece about the WandaVision contains many, many spoilers about the WanadaVision finale.

WandaVision | Official Trailer | Disney+

WandaVision’s first three episodes — three out of nine — were essentially only a showcase. They showed us Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her husband, Vision (Paul Bettany) in a series of homey suburban stories about bosses coming over for dinner, nosy neighbors, and unexpectedly going into labor in the style of 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s TV. Wanda is, after all, a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the third episode started to hint at the larger plot that would come to dominate the series by the end. Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, is her name.

The show had been delivering for weeks. We uncovered new layers of Wanda’s heartbreak as Vision unearthed new layers of the reality behind Westview. From the first to the ninth episode, Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen gave some of the best performances in the MCU, which is saying a lot given the studio’s long history of great casting. As Agatha Harkness, Kathryn Hahnis, a show-stopper, Evan Peters is a joy as Pietro Maximoff, and Teyonah Parris made a splash in her MCU debut as Monica Rambeau.

As we traveled through the decades, Wanda traveled through the stages of grief. Each episode used a different look yet maintaining the same eerie undertone. It was intriguing, shocking, and emotional all at the same time. It was unlike anything Marvel Studios had ever done before, and really, anything anyone had ever done before. It was a magnificent work of art. It was exceptional. It was unpredictably unpredictable.

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda and Vision in “WandaVision” on Disney+. (Disney+)

Fans were immersed in a world of fantasy, suspense, humor, and action, for weeks. We waited with great excitement to see Agatha’s true intentions as she pulled the strings behind the curtains. We wondered what Hayward would do with Vision’s reanimated body as we watched the S.W.O.R.D. stories unfold. We stood there watching Wanda learn about witchcraft’s roots, wondering how she’d get away without Agatha’s knowledge. We also saw Evan Peters’ Pietro make a comeback in a new franchise, and speculated on which iteration of Quicksilver he may be.

Vision and Wanda embrace for one last time at the end of episode eight, in an extremely powerful moment, as she lets her fictional world crumble into nothingness. One of the few moments in the finale that really matches the show’s overall quality. Her show’s arc is complete: Vision as she knows him is no longer with us. She can’t enslave and mind-control an entire town in order to realize her ideal dream. She wants to get on with her life. She’ll have to face the truth. She’ll have to face reality.

After a mixed bag of emotions in the season finale, WandaVision, episodes 1-8, is over. We have to move on. We have to face the reality.

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