I’m going to be right upfront. I have very conflicting feelings about WandaVision Episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” and this recap is arriving just a smidge later than usual because I’ve been sitting with those feelings all weekend. However, I’ve also been doing what I do after each episode of WandaVision, and that’s devour every Easter Egg and theory like it’s the goddamn antidote, which is why if you haven’t read Tori’s excellent essay on the rabbit in the hat that Marvel is pulling with this show, get on that. Because my nerd feelings aside, at the end of the day, WandaVision is just f*cking fun. Case in point: After I quibble over this latest episode, I’m still going to pepper you with X-Men theories like a little kid who just found a frog outside.
♫ It Was Agatha All Along ♫ (Maybe)
So, first off, let’s give it up for Kathryn Hahn and showrunner Jac Schaeffer who really did an excellent job keeping folks guessing about Agnes even though she turned out to be the exact character from the comics everyone pegged her as before the show even aired. More importantly, “I actually did bite a kid once,” is a killer line that’s right up there with the wink, and that’s something I don’t say lightly. In fact, I’m already second guessing that decision right now. Can we take it from the top?
Obviously, with the Agatha Harkness reveal, my theory that Vision and Pietro are corpse-puppets being controlled by dueling sides of Wanda’s psyche went right out the window, which let’s be real, was going to happen. And I knew it was coming the second Agnes took Billy and Tommy so Wanda could have a mental health day. No big deal!
But while we’re on the subject of Wanda having a case of the Mondays, I’m once again glad that WandaVision is taking the time to explore Wanda’s feelings and give her interiority instead of how she’s been used in the comics during these events where it’s sadly as simple as, “Oh f*ck, the witch lady’s having girl feelings. We’re all gonna die!” That’s why the opening of “Breaking the Fourth Wall” is easily the strongest part of the episode because we get to sit with Wanda and watch her work through whatever she’s trying to accomplish in Westview as it literally breaks down in front of her face. And that’s where my conflicting feelings come from because those scenes with Elizabeth Olsen were so great, and then it tumbled directly into standard MCU fare as the show gets ready to come in for a landing.
That being said, the Agatha reveal was pretty great. Fun Fact: Kathryn Hahn actually sang the “Agatha All Along” theme song, and I never felt the “Please Stand By” message slap harder than it did in this episode. I literally said, “C’mon!” right as it hit. Not only were we starting to get some “answers,” but the show was finally letting Hahn go wild, and God knows how many times she was about to wink. It could’ve been 100!
Anyway, there’s clearly some ambiguity as to what Agatha was doing “all along.” She notably arrives in Westview after Wanda turned the whole town into a sitcom, and she seems to be more of a chaos agent than ringmaster. While the theme song shows her working her purple magic on Pietro, it doesn’t exactly show her conjuring him as much as whammy-ing him while he’s at Wanda’s door. (Color is becoming very important here as the show builds towards Wanda fully becoming the Scarlet Witch, and note that the show briefly showed Dottie watching the showdown with Wanda and Monica while tending her yellow flowers.) In the comics, Agatha is more mentor than foe to Wanda, so it makes sense that her motivations are purposefully murky as we enter the final stretch. (Mike’s Theory Time: Sparky was the beekeeper SWORD agent, and he was sent to kill Wanda.) Of course, one of the smart choices the MCU has made is to play fast and loose with the comics because it’d be pretty boring if they followed every single storyline exactly to the letter, but that still doesn’t negate that WandaVision is heading towards some dark shit. Namely…
Uh, Where Are Wanda’s Kids?
Without making your eyes roll back into your head as you exit out of this post from high levels of dork radiation, let me just nutshell the backstory of Wanda’s twins in the comics: Nobody f*cking knows because it changes with the wind! OK, that’s not entirely true, there has been one constant, which we’ve seen in WandaVision: Wanda made them with her magic, but there are significant question marks around whether or not they’re real, and she does not handle that conundrum well.
As for where the series is headed with that question, I honestly don’t know! After the Yo-Magic commercial and the flashes of Vision and Pietro’s corpses, this show is not afraid to get dark as hell, so I’m very intrigued to see where WandaVision lands on the twins’ existence. Especially when their origin story has significant ties to the next inevitable reveal.
Without writing a novel, did you notice Wanda staring at a weird bug at Agnes’ house? Yeah, that was a huge Mephisto clue. The character first appeared in the comics as a fly, so couple that with the Mephisto hints that have been popping up in the show since the jump (See: The Faustian deal in the YoMagic commercial), along with the demon heads in Agnes’ basement, and I’m pretty sure we’re looking at Marvel’s version of the devil turning up. And, for the record, I’d like to note that the day WandaVision first aired, I predicted for Uproxx that Mephisto will be Agnes’ unseen husband “Ralph” who’ll be played by Al Pacino. Given my track record with theories so far, I wouldn’t put money on that, but I am going to be right one of these times. You can’t fight statistics!
The MCU-ness of It All
The WandaVision cast and creators have repeatedly stated that the show will eventually transition from its sitcom conceit to a “full-on MCU action movie,” and we definitely hit that mark. Christ, “Breaking the Fourth Wall” is the first episode to have an end credits scene just to make it clear that it’s MCU Time™. So I really shouldn’t be disappointed that WandaVision did exactly what it said it was going to do, but it does feel kind of deflating as we get weak superhero reveals (Film Crit Hulk has some great thoughts on how this show failed Monica becoming Photon/Spectrum, which is an all-too-common problem with Black supporting characters) and obligatory franchise world-building. In this case with the Nexus commercial that, yes, hints at the raw power Wanda possesses and is very significant to her fully becoming the Scarlet Witch, but it also sets up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and even the upcoming Loki series.
On that note, it was kind of funny to see everyone get all hyped that Monica’s engineer friend was going to be John Krasinki as Mr. Fantastic, and then it was just some random soldier lady. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fan speculation crash and burn so hard, which is why I should probably pull back on hyping X-Men clues, but I’m stupid, so I’m not.
Outside of literally dropping in Evan Peters from the X-Men films, WandaVision has been rife with little Easter Eggs that allude to Marvel’s mutants. We’ve seen Wanda turn guns on SWORD agents just like Magneto (her father in the comics), and we’ve also seen her freeze everyone in town just like Professor X. There’s also been an underlying theme of the world fearing Wanda’s powers, which she’s tired of hiding and, frankly, doesn’t think she should have to. Maybe it’s just me, but there definitely seems to be some significant back-dooring of mutant themes.
In this week’s episode, Billy mentions that he keeps hearing voices in his head and doesn’t know how to make them stop, which is a hurdle that Professor X and other telepaths like Jean Grey had to overcome when their powers started emerging. Granted, Billy might not exist — or have ever existed — by the time this whole thing is over, but I thought that was a significant moment. For the first time in the MCU, we’re seeing a young character have to grapple with having powers that have been passed down genetically, which brings me to something I forgot to mention last week. While obsessing over the meaning of that weird shark commercial, it hit me that we don’t really saw how Wanda and Pietro got their powers from Mind Stone. What if they never did, and they actually survived being experimented on by Hyrda because their mutant powers manifested just in time?
But, now, for the wildest of wild swings. As we learned this week, SWORD was trying to bring Vision back online to use as a weapon. As far as we know, SWORD could’ve had his body since the end of Avengers: Infinity War, which would’ve given them five years to do God knows what. We also saw Hayward tell his team to “get ready to launch” something and Monica warned Wanda that he’s getting ready to burn down Westview. There’s a chance we’re about to see SWORD unleash a new version of Ultron, which in fairness, would be following in Tony Stark’s footprints. He built Ultron to defend against another alien attack, why is SWORD not allowed to? It is their mandate.
My theory is what if SWORD created a different solution for super-powered beings. What if they created — Sentinels?
Header Image Source: Marvel