WandaVision delivers its most game-changing cliffhanger yet.
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris, Evan Peters, Randall Park, Debra Jo Rupp, Kat Dennings, and Kathryn Hahn
While most of episode 7’s runtime rattles on at a sluggish pace, with Monica (Teyonah Parris) desperate to get through into the Hex, despite the repercussions of rewriting her DNA for a third time, and Darcy (Kat Dennings) stuck in an ice cream van, providing Vision (Paul Bettany) with vital exposition that will doubtless come in handy as the final two episodes come closer, the cliffhanger provides the biggest twist within the show so far.
As many fans have previously suspected, Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is no ordinary citizen of Westview, but rather Agatha Harkness, a character who is deeply important to Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in the comics. As it transpires, the suspicious behaviour we have previously seen from Agnes, such as whispering with Herb outside Wanda’s house to arouse Vision’s curiosity, in addition to her turning up at the most convenient moments and seemingly increasingly aware of the sitcom situation, is all part of Agatha’s plan to exploit Wanda’s new reality for some doubtless nefarious purpose. The episode stops short of revealing to us just what Agatha intends to do, but provides us, instead, with an aggressively catchy tune “Agatha All Along”.
Agnes was quite heavily viewed with suspicion earlier on in the series, but episode 6 seemingly threw her out of contention as she acted like a regular cursed citizen with Vision, though this has transpired to be a ruse, as well as revealing Agnes to be the force behind Pietro’s (Evan Peters) unexpected re-emergence (quite why he has a new face has yet to be explained, but perhaps Agnes is a fan of the Fox films). Pietro himself only appears in the first post-credits sequence that WandaVision has so far had, meaning that the episode sorely misses his electric presence and takes a slower approach, with a downcast Wanda and separated lead characters.
In another big reveal, Monica forcing her way back into Westview has given her superpowers, first materialising through her electromagnetic vision, invulnerability to the Hex, complete with blue, glowing eyes. Regardless of what fierce powers Monica possesses, she continues to prove herself as an able hero even before this, with a large degree of empathy and a desire to connect with Wanda.
Ultimately, the function of this episode is to serve as setup for a bombastic finale. All of the characters are moving into place ready for a large confrontation: with Director Hayward ready on the outside to destroy the town, Agatha finally revealing her true nature, Vision aware of his own past, and Monica now super-powered.
Unfortunately not the hour-long instalment that was suspected throughout the week, this instalment seems to be the final of the sitcom references throughout the series, thrusting next week into full MCU-mode. The references to the mockumentary style of Modern Family and The Office did serve to give this episode more of a whimsical tone, though did mean that Wanda and Vision’s reaction to their increasingly real situation didn’t feel as genuine as the characters of Monica or Darcy did, and did lessen the dramatic potential. Hopefully, Vision’s true reflection on his past, and Wanda’s overwhelming grief will come to a dramatic and emotional head in the coming episodes.
The transition from the sitcom world into the dawning realisation of something amiss in Agnes’ house was also well done, aided by the brilliant sets and the eery score provided by Christophe Beck and change in the cinematography from shaky and hand-held to more sweeping, poorly lit camera work. Seeing Kathryn Hahn fully hamming it up with glee as she reveals her true nature to Wanda really highlights her strengths, hopefully signalling much more from the actress in the final episodes of the series, having existed mainly on the sidelines until this point.
The revelation that Agnes/Agatha has been manipulating events the entire time is certainly mindblogging, and will doubtless be explored in more detail in the next episode, leaving audiences to question just what her motivations are. The flashbacks made it clear that Agatha was not the one to create the Westview anomaly, but rather took advantage of it. Yet, just what does she gain by making Wanda increasingly unstable as she has been doing with her actions since arriving? And where are Billy and Tommy? After all, Agatha was present both times that they aged up, so it’s possible that she has devious machinations for Wanda’s children, who were famously used for evil purposes in the comics.
There is still the reveal to come as to which individual Jimmy was tracking to Westview that led him to the anomaly in the first place, which could link in with speculation of the villain Mephisto, as well as Agnes’ unseen husband. This would tie in with storylines from the comics concerning Wanda and Vision’s children, but the MCU has been known to take creative liberties before. There is also the question as to the aerospace engineer that Monica has referred to before. While we did see her meet with seemingly normal SWORD members outside the boundary, Teyonah Parris recently teased that the reveal is exciting.
Less of a massive revelation, but Pietro was also confirmed to be a fabrication by Agnes, doubtless to play with Wanda’s mind, which may mean that many fan theories about WandaVision paving the way for X-Men to enter the MCU are without substance. Regardless, it seems that the synthetic world of Westview is behind us, paving the way for an all-out spectacle for the finale episodes.
WandaVision is streaming exclusively on Disney+, with new episodes released on Fridays.