top of page

WandaVision Is Telling Marvel’s Saddest Story

We're in for something different from the very first moment of WandaVision. These are familiar characters-Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany)-on a new medium (Disney+) in a new format (TV), but things are, well, different even beyond that.

We don't open up, like Captain Marvel or Avengers: Age of Ultron, with a fight. We're not opening up with an abduction, like the original Iron Man of 2008. We open up with a cackling live studio audience and over-the-top comedy bits and theme songs in an almost-obnoxiously-committed tribute to sitcoms of the '50s and' 60s. It's awesome... but it's definitely weird.

The viewing audience of WandaVision is chiefly trying to figure out what the hell is happening. But another key mystery should constantly linger in the back of every MCU fan's mind: how is Vision alive?

And that, really, is where the story takes a tragic turn. He isn't. No big twist, no big backstory revealing how Vision has risen like a phoenix; no, anybody who has seen Avengers: Infinity War knows exactly what has happened. Vision, as we knew it, is dead, ripped out of his head by the Mind Stone, drained for good by its pink color.

Wanda is one of the MCU's most powerful beings, and it seems obvious that WandaVision is more than the eye meets. But the few clues we have so far tell us she's in control (or, at least, from her POV, we're seeing things play out).

When Mr. Hart, the boss of Vision, began to choke during Episode 1 at dinner, her perfect sitcom reality began to glitch; Vision was frozen, and couldn't help until Wanda directed him.

At the big moment in the back end of Episode 2, and even clearer hint comes when a beekeeper with the SWORD insignia on his suit emerges from a hole in the ground. She's already seen the logo on a crashed toy helicopter earlier, a bright, bright red contrasting with the rest of the grayscale of the world, and it's clear her mind knows there's something up, whether or not she's aware of it.

To see this beekeeper, Vision is stunned, but Wanda just says "no" and rewinds everything. She knows who this is, and where it comes from; she just has no interest in dealing with and facing reality. That's the future problem with Wanda (as is whatever Agnes is up to, which is clearly something).

But knowing WandaVision is a reality of the mind of Wanda, developed to deal with stress and trauma, only sets viewers up for the pain that we know is coming. Wanda lives her perfect sitcom life, from decade to decade; it's funny, it's adorable, and it's fun to watch. She has a perfect life, a perfect city, and a perfect, dreamy husband. But we, the crowd, know this isn't possible.

And thus WandaVision becomes a bittersweet experience. In the back of our heads, while the superhero hijinks, in-jokes, and mystery of it all are fun, we know that our heroine is struggling and our hero is dead.

20 views0 comments


bottom of page