Sunday, April 21, 2024

WandaVision Gazes into the MCU’s Future

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Hoo boy. WandaVision gave us so much to talk about this week. After last week broke away from Wanda’s sitcom wonderland to show us SWORD’s efforts to recon the situation, I was curious to see where the show would go after Monica accused Wanda of basically owning the Westview Anomaly. I have repeated a couple of times how WandaVision turned out to be the perfect show to introduce us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future. To this point, I have meant this purely stylistically. WandaVision is entirely original from anything the MCU has ever done and, as much as I love the MCU, it needed this type of fresh start after Avengers: Endgame.

After “On A Very Special Episode,” WandaVision became the best possible choice for a different reason. That, of course, being the brilliant way it both tied itself to the past and future of the larger MCU universe. The mutants have arrived, and everything has changed.

Let’s talk about the ending cameo. Obviously, there are so many possibilities for what the Evan Peters version of Pietro Maximoff means for the MCU. It could mean the Fox X-Men movies are being properly incorporated into the MCU somehow. It could mean the characters will be brought in and given new histories. It could just be a fun cameo letting us know that Marvel is preparing to introduce the X-Men without this being THE introduction.

The possibility of the existing X-Men movies being somehow introduced into MCU canon is the most intriguing. We have at least one multiverse movie coming up with the Doctor Strange sequel. If all the rumors and cast sightings with Spider-Man 3 turn out to be true, we will have two such movies. WandaVision may very well have introduced us to the concept those movies will explore. Pietro may not stick around past WandaVision, but he could still serve as an introduction to the concept.

If we find out that some other villain exists and initially placed Wanda in Westview, this might be a villain reaching into multiverses and bringing these characters to the MCU. While Wanda clearly believes herself to be in complete control of Westview (and certainly is), I do not think she was lying about only recently realizing what was happening. In fact, I think Monica’s Ultron reference was what did it.

At the very least, Evan Peters was a meta wink and nod to the audience to tell us the X-Men will be joining the MCU, but I am fully onboard the multiverse theory.

Outside of Westview, SWORD’s activity has fans speculating about another possibility, that Monica’s “aerospace engineer” could be Reed Richards and introduce the Fantastic Four into the MCU. This is a bigger stretch, but Elizabeth Olsen has teased a cameo that she says compared to Luke Skywalker’s cameo in The Mandalorian. I doubt Pietro is meant to be that cameo, but Reed Richards sure would be.

Or maybe said cameo will be someone brought in to try and stop Wanda, like Doctor Strange.

Another theory that I increasingly believe in involves SWORD’s director, who has been shady from the start. They wanted control of Vision to judge by the literal pieces Wanda steals from them. The director is hiding things and acting differently from what Monica expects. There is something strange happening here.

Maybe he is just another shady leader of a Marvel government agency, but I think something else is going on. I think SWORD’s director is a Skrull. Perhaps he wanted to use Vision technology as part of some larger scheme and this will be the subject of Secret Invasion.

We know there is a six-part Secret Invasion miniseries coming, and Spider-Man: Far From Home showed us a Nick Fury and Maria Hill being impersonated by Skrulls. Having this director be a Skrull fits perfectly. Besides, if WandaVision is already carrying the heavy lifting of introducing mutants and multiverses, why not do something easier like introduce another Disney Plus show?

WandaVision is doing a great deal of heavy lifting to introduce us to the next phase of the MCU. It is turning out to be the perfect vehicle for doing so. Wanda is a well-known figure from the X-Men comics, so why not introduce mutants through her? She can manipulate reality, so why not introduce multiverses? SWORD is involved, why not set up the Fantastic Four and Secret Invasion? WandaVision has shouldered all this responsibility with ease.

You know, assuming they are introducing the future of the MCU through these episodes.

It is a bit of a shame that all these hints are drowning out what was a spectacular episode full of further reveals about Wanda’s control over Westview, as well as the best Vision content we’ve seen yet as he figures out what Wanda is doing and confronts her over it. This episode basically belongs to Paul Bettany. His anger and fear while confronting Wanda was the most emotional this character has ever been, and Wanda’s attempts to roll credits to somehow avoid the argument was genius on multiple levels.

Wanda herself has a fantastic episode as well, with tropey sitcom content involving crying babies and the perils of pet ownership serving to break her perfect fantasy and peek into the lengths she is going to in order to avoid her grief. The death of Sparkles especially stood out as a highly hypocritical moment considering her efforts to “resurrect” Vision.

Monica mentions feeling overwhelming grief while inside Westview. I mean, of course. Regardless of whoever created it, the entire fantasy serves as a way for Wanda to reject the reality of her losses. On some unconscious level, she knows she is wrong. She knows Westview is wrong. Considering her control over her surroundings, all these breaks do not happen by accident. Some of them may be triggered by SWORD but they do not account for everything.

The cumulative breaks in the Westview Anomaly only increase with each episode, with Vision’s discoveries acting as the most prevalent break yet, and I cannot imagine Wanda keeping this up for much longer.

You know the old adage about how lies adding up? One lie means lying more to protect the original lie, and each new lie just adds to the original lie. Keeping all those lies straight in your mind just gets more difficult with each new lie. Westview is just one big literalization of Wanda’s lies. They are the falsehoods she needs to tell herself to cope with everything she has lost and it is getting tougher to keep them straight.

Again, maybe someone else provided the fantasy for her to manipulate, but it still belongs to Wanda. She made that clear in the fantastic scene where she drags SWORD’s drone out of Westview and threatens everyone present if they refuse to leave her alone. WandaVision has obviously proven its skill with different genres and styles but it was so cool to see them switching back and forth constantly throughout this episode. Wanda’s easy transition from an 80s housewife to a terrifying mutant and back was remarkably easy and effective.

In the end, this all just continues to serve towards WandaVision’s sense of mystery, which inevitably ties to the state of the current MCU and the question of what we can expect moving forward. Is it a disservice to focus so much on everything outside Westview and WandaVision? Maybe, but here we are, and I suspect we will not stop any time soon.

Images Courtesy of Marvel Studios

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