Episode 8 of WandaVision delivers 40 minutes of drama that elevate this show from middling Marvel madness to magnificence. Between some great acting and solid reveals, WandaVision sets Phase 4 off with a mighty bang.
We begin in Salem, 1695. Agatha Harkness is a witch, one who’s accused of practicing dark magic. Led by her Mother, the witches all blast her with a ball of energy. Only, that suddenly and inexplicably changes to purple as Agatha channels that power to her will, managing to break free from her binds and kill every member of the coven around her.
This cuts us back to the present as Wanda finds herself at Agatha’s mercy. A protection spell holds Wanda’s powers at bay, allowing Agatha to admit she’s dabbled in necromancy – explaining why Pietro was different.
Agatha is mesmerized by Wanda’s powers, desperate to know how she managed to conjure forth such powerful spells while she herself has studied for a long time to learn how to produce even the simplest of spells.
Well, with a pluck of Wanda’s hair Agatha leads Wanda into a new vision (no pun intended). This sees us in the past as a young Wanda sits with her family for TV night. While bullets rain down outside, Wanda and the family decide to pick out their favourite sitcoms, which apparently is a mainstay for the family.
This now explains exactly why all these different sitcoms have taken place, as we catch a glimpse of specific moments we’ve seen across the season. All of this comes to a shocking conclusion when Wanda and the family are hit by an explosion that tears their family apart. From the sky comes a bomb, with Stark Industries written down the side.
This defective bomb left her and Pietro stuck for two days. Agatha isn’t sure how her abilities manifested in such a way, which skips us forward through our flashbacks to Wanda thrown into isolation after getting up close and personal with an Infinity Stone. This managed to amplify her power and allow her to produce some powerful spells.
This series of interconnected doorways sees us jump to the Avengers compound too. Malcolm in the Middle is on TV while Vision tries to comfort Wanda following Pietro’s death. It’s a really touching moment, one that’s surprisingly poignant and emotional as the pair talk through their thoughts and start to grow closer together.
Now we see what led to the anomaly. Another jump sees Wanda mourning the loss of Vision, bursting into Director Hayward’s office and demanding to see Vision. He, in turn, shows Vision in pieces while being experimented on.
Hayward wants to use Vision and harvest his interiors, determined to turn the Avenger into a weapon. Hayward antagonizes Wanda though, telling her that Vision doesn’t belong to her.
Overcome with grief, Wanda leaves the facility and heads to Westview, a run down, quaint town that feels like a suburban relic of a time gone by. With a property deed in hand, Wanda’s grief manifests in a shockwave of power, creating the reality we find her in with Vision created anew.
Agatha eventually cuts us back to the present timeline within the anomaly, as she holds Wanda’s two kids up outside the house. Agatha tells Wanda that she’s using chaos magic and outright calls her Scarlet Witch.
But wait, don’t turn the episode off yet as there’s an epilogue! We cut to outside the anomaly as Hayward receives word that the crew are ready to launch. And that launch comes from a drone powered by Stark Industries seemingly controlling a new prototype model of Vision.
The Episode Review
Wandavision’s latest episode is an absolute peach, delivering a wonderfully crafted episode with plenty of big reveals and a lovely pay-off to some of the bigger questions we’ve had all season long. Understanding Wanda’s journey and how she came to create this anomaly is really well done, making the slow burn journey to this point wholly satisfying.
In fact, the first 3 episodes of this show are almost necessary to make these moments pay off, with the drawn out bed gag in episode 2 now making a lot more sense this far on into the season. With the 3 episodes given to critics at the start of this season, there was no way anyone – even the absolute best critics in the world – could predict what would happen this far on.
The result then is something that far exceeds its gimmicky sitcom stylings, managing to work in tandem with these segments to create a surprisingly touching and character-driven story. The ending certainly leaves the door wide open for more but this show looks set to be one of the best shows of the year. Let’s hope it can stick the landing!