The final stage of grief is acceptance and it’s the one that most of us have the most difficulty reaching. All of us have lost someone we love, someone who helped define us and make us the person we are today. Getting to the point of accepting they are no longer going to be with us is the hardest step anyone can take. For all of the special effects and fireworks of “The Series Finale”, the final episode of WandaVision is at its core an examination of someone processing their grief in all the wrong ways until finally reaching that last step.
Spoilers ahead, so you’ve been warned.
First and foremost, this final episode of the series did an excellent job of selling the multiple conflicts brewing between Wanda and SWORD, Wanda and Agatha, and the two Visions. Each of the battles was given plenty of room to breathe and each of them reached a logical conclusion (for me, it’s a toss-up which one had the better emotional impact between Wanda vs. Agatha or Westview Vision vs. White Vision). The special effects were on-point and far better than I expected given this was supposed to be a television series. I don’t want to even know how much of the budget had to be devoted to this episode but I’m willing to bet it was a fair chunk of it.
The battle between the two Visions was what I expected it to be when you have two nearly-invincible beings taking each other on. That the fight would end in a philosophical discussion on the nature of identity was an appropriate one, given that Vision has always been a creature of logic. The Theseus’ Ship Paradox boils down to this: if an object has had each of its constituent parts replaced, can it be said to be the original object? Where this leaves Vision after the restoration of his memories is anyone’s guess. I have a feeling Marvel may end up bringing Paul Bettany back in some capacity in the future. It’s just a question of when and for which of their multitude of projects.
Agatha and Wanda’s multiple battles throughout the episode were epic in scale, appropriate given the level of power the two characters were wielding. Seeing Wanda pull off using runes to capture Agatha and restrict her powers was a nice callback, proving that Wanda has learned a few tricks that she can use in the future. And the punishment of leaving Agatha trapped in her television persona of Agnes was a fitting touch. It allows Kathryn Hahn to return at a later time and allows the MCU to keep a potential villain/potential ally for future stories. While Agatha was certainly a power-hungry witch, she didn’t deserve to die for wanting to steal Wanda’s power from her. And her allusions to something being unleashed now that Wanda has full access to her abilities was a throwaway line that sounded far more ominous.
Which leads me to Wanda and her journey’s end. Watching her tuck her children in one last time and spend a few moments with the Vision she created, everything was plainly written on Elizabeth Olsen’s face. More than any other appearance in the MCU, this series gave Olsen the most meat to devour and she made use of every opportunity with gusto. As Wanda walks back into the center of town after the Hex had faded, you can see on Olsen’s face that she understands fully what terrible damage she did in her grief. I honestly can’t say I wouldn’t have done what did in that circumstance. But at the same time, there should be a price she has to pay for completely disrupting the lives of the people of Westview. If there were any doubt that she is the villain in their eyes, it was wiped away when you see the looks on their faces as Wanda walks up to speak with Monica.
Monica’s part in this story was brief but memorable, showing that her new abilities are going to be interesting to see in future stories. And the stinger at the end is a definite peek into the potential story being set up for Captain Marvel 2. Hayward being arrested at the end just didn’t feel solid enough, especially given he tried to open fire on two children. That these children were merely constructs of the Hex (or perhaps far more given the second stinger at the end of the episode’s credits) is deplorable on a whole new level.
The final shot of the show is what I believe to be Wundagore Mountain, a prominent place in the comic series, particularly when it comes to Wanda and her learning to harness her magical abilities. My suspicions regarding the book in Agatha’s basement were confirmed here: that is the Darkhold and it is now in Wanda’s possession, giving her a tool of unimaginable magical power that can put her ahead of Dr. Stephen Strange in terms of raw magical might. The voices of her children calling out for her leads me to believe this will be the reason she appears in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts on the next Marvel TV release, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when it premieres in a couple of weeks.