Last week, reviewing the penultimate episode of WandaVision, we were wondering if Marvel Studios would be able to deliver us a memorable ending in just 50 minutes, closing every subplot left in suspense after making us travel for two months in the history of American television, starting from the sitcoms of the 50s to tell us about the character. from Wanda Maximoff and its very particular elaboration of mourning. The answer has arrived and is: almost. The conclusion of this first miniseries produced exclusively for Disney + fortunately recovered in time and returned to talk about feelings and those heroes full of defects that make us love the House of Ideas so much, but the director Matt Shakman it barely touched catastrophe when the finale of a production that became famous for its unconventional approach broke into an ordinary cinecomic climax. Let's try to understand how things went ... and where they will go in the future.
The episode picks up the narrative right where we left off: the witch Agatha Harkness she came out and took Billy and Tommy hostage. Wanda finds herself facing her first magic duel without a minimum of preparation, relying only on instinct and cunning. It's an apparent advantage when Vision appears down the street. Except it's not her Vision, but the white, authentic one, reassembled by Hayward's SWORD and programmed to kill her. Wanda's Vision arrives at the last moment to save her and so our two Avengers find themselves fighting on two fronts: witch against witch, syntezoid against sintezoid. Meanwhile, Monica got kidnapped by, uh, fietro, who we discover to be a very ordinary guy named Ralph Bohner: apparently, his powers and his double identity are the products of a bewitched necklace that Monica manages to tear from him, bringing him back to normal.
As the two Visions battle in the sky above Westview, the duel between the witches moves to the center. Let's find out more about the infamous Scarlet Witch than the pages of the mystical book called Darkhold they describe it as a very dangerous creature, even more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme - who would be Doctor Strange - and who, according to a prophecy, will destroy the world. Agatha wants Wanda's powers a little bit to save everyone, a little bit because she just wants them. To annoy her a little more, the witch frees all the inhabitants of Westview in the surroundings who, in a very poignant scene, beg Wanda to let them go. Here the episode staggers a bit, because Wanda apologizes and justifies herself for having trapped them unwittingly, but in reality we have seen her manipulate the ESA in various installments, even before things got bad. In short, apparently it was she who came out of the perimeter to intimidate the SWORD to stay away from it. Is there a narrative inconsistency, or did they want to show us a flawed heroine who, in panic, can do nothing but lie even to her own victims?
Be that as it may, Wanda tries to open the ESA to free the inhabitants of Westview, but is then forced to close it again when she realizes that undoing the spell would also mean losing Vision and her children. What little that keeps it open, however, is enough for Hayward and his minions to enter the perimeter and reach the family: the SWORD has been preparing for the attack for a while, and in a short parenthesis we also see Jimmy woo return to Hayward's presence only to distract him, retrieve the smartphone he had left there and call for FBI reinforcements. It'll be pretty much the only thing we'll see Randall Park doing in the whole episode, but Darcy will get worse. In short, the SWORD arrives on the spot that the two Vision are fighting again, Wanda chases Agatha who has already taken a generous amount of magical power and only remain Billy e Tommy to annoy Hayward's agents. The latter, being a big bastard, shoots the two kids ... and Monica arrives at the last moment to intercept the bullets, which pass through her as if made of light. Truth be told, Billy would've gotten away with telekinesis on his own, but at least we've seen some more of what will become Spectrum.
Incidentally, Hayward then tries to escape, but here comes Darcy at the last second to run over the SUV and nail him in place. "We go to jail!" it's literally Kat Dennings' only line in the whole finale. In all this, Vision manages to gain the trust of the white Vision with logic and to restore the memories secreted after his "death" in Avengers: Infinity War. Having come to the conclusion that he is the real Vision, but that he must rediscover himself, the white Vision flies away and will never be seen again. In short, only the two witches remain, engaged in a furious magical battle in the sky. Wanda seems cornered, when in reality she is only drawing the runes on the walls of the ESA, the same runes with which Agatha had trapped her in the previous episode: by doing so, Wanda cancels the spells of her rival, regains her own magic and turns once and for all into Scarlet Witch, complete with a brand new costume reminiscent of the one she wore for years and years in the comics. Agatha's fate is sealed: Wanda traps her in a mental prison, forcing her to play the part of nosy neighbor Agnes forever.
At this point, for Wanda there is only one thing left to do: cancel theThat. And it is from this moment on that the WandaVision ending regains a heart. In general amazement, the Vision family returns home. Wanda and her husband put the children to bed, as an ordinary family would do, while outside the window the ESA shrinks more and more. In a last, heartbreaking dialogue, Wanda reveals her identity to Visione, reconfirms her love and, in the hope that one day they will meet again, the ESA finally closes itself on the plot of land where it all began, in a semi-deserted block where Wanda, now alone with the mourning that has finally accepted, can not help but return to the city, take leave of Monica and, indirectly, from all the villagers to whom he has caused so much pain, and promise that he will understand how to use his powers, before leaving Westview behind.
The miniseries ends with two scenes after the animated credits and after the scrolling final ones. In the first stinger, an FBI agent who turns out to be an alien Skrull, recruits Monica on behalf of an old friend of her mother who works in space: she's talking about Nick Fury, which we last saw in the after-credits scene from Spider-Man: Far from Home. In the second scene, Wanda seems to have exiled herself to a chalet in the middle of the mountains, but while her material body lives a life of isolation, her astral projection - on the notes of the main theme of Doctor Strange - studies the Darkhold, tormented by her children's cries for help.
An end that is a beginning
The WandaVision finale is a gigantic set-up for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, be it films or miniseries in digital delivery. Teyonah Parris has already been confirmed in the cast of Captain Marvel 2 alongside Brie Larson and Iman Vellani, who will debut earlier in the Ms. Marvel miniseries. Her post-credits skit promotes not only the new Carol Danvers-centric film, but the miniseries as well. Secret Invasion which has just been announced and which will have as protagonists Nick Fury and Talos, struggling with the Skrull invasion that gave the title to the mega comic crossover of the same name several years ago. Wanda and the Darkhold - the cursed book already appeared in the TV series Agents of SHIELD and Runaways - represent another less hypothetical premise: we have long known that Elizabeth Olsen will return to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, only at this point it is difficult to determine whether as a heroine or as a villain: let's say that Agatha's words - "you don't know what you unleashed" - don't bode well.
Surely the future of Park and Dennings is more complicated, which the screenwriters have dismissed really coldly in this final episode. They could become recurring characters in Disney + productions a bit like Rosario Dawson did as Claire Temple in Netflix's Defenders cycle. All is silent on the involvement of Paul Bettany, which instead we do not know when and how it will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although the White Vision in freedom can not help but suggest its return on a permanent basis in the next formation of the Avengers. Considering the very important comic history of this character, closely linked with the unforgettable cycle of stories written by John Byrne, it is difficult to believe that Kevin Feige aren't keeping him warm for an important role. And the rumors of Billy and Tommy in the last scene seem to confirm more and more the idea that Marvel Studios are slowly preparing the first formation of the Young Avengers. In short, the final series focuses on a lot of meat ... but it loses sight of itself.
The bitterness in the mouth?
There is nothing to say about the last minutes of the final series. The direction, the editing and the music perfectly accompany the Visione family in its last moments together. It is a dramatic and at the same time very normal scene, full of tension for what is a real end of the impending world but poignant in the words that our protagonists exchange in front of the window. WandaVision, thanks above all to the extraordinary interpretations of one Elizabeth olsen by Emmy and a Paul Bettany who always manages not to exceed the limit, he had the great merit of framing and marvelously defining two heroes who in previous films, including the one about their own origins, had just been sketched. Let's face it: Wanda is the villain here, no ifs and buts, but Olsen's over-the-top acting and script that continually oscillated between surreal and science fiction managed to dig a hole in our soul.
This does not, however, take away from the fact that those last minutes can be reached through a final episode almost completely oriented on the action and the blows. And thank goodness that Shakman, in a recent interview, had anticipated that this would not be the case. But in reality, a bit of everything WandaVision has ridden gigantic waves of hype mounted by ambiguous and cryptic communication. Leaving aside all the clues scattered to make us believe they would have turned up Mephisto o Nightmare, but then catapult us into the supernatural anyway with the introduction of Agatha Harkness and the Salem witches, the most striking case is represented by Evan Peters, a real hype machine that consciously played with the expectations of the public. Nothing to say, the writers have been very good at planting this red herring, and while we were sure from the beginning that there would be no crossover with the Fox X-Men, we have to admit we were a little disappointed when the his casting turned into a flash in the pan.
Also because it continues to be senseless. Why Agatha would have to choose another person to play Pietro Maximoff... an actor who, in our reality, played the same character in another cinematic storyline? In short, if there hadn't been all that mess with Fox and Marvel rights we told you about a few weeks ago, this nonsense device would probably have had a lot less resonance. It is evident that the writers used it to grab the attention of the viewers as soon as the series took a more ordinary drift, abandoning the black and white and the recorded laughter, but the fact that there was no concrete narrative justification in the story of WandaVision is unsettling. We have to admit that it seems like a deception, like when Paul Bettany anticipated that he would be working with an actor with whom he had always wanted to act: we all imagining a cameo of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Douglas or Ben Mendelsohn, and then in the end he was talking about himself.
Fortunately, the technical quality of the episode lifted our spirits at the second viewing anyway. At the first we were so busy taking mental notes and following the furious battles on the ground and in the air that we had not focused on the always right choice of music or on the excellent computer graphics during the battles, which mercilessly humiliate the episodes of The Flash or Supergirl of the CW. If that's the starting standard for Marvel Studios TV series on Disney + then we will see some good ones. But the digital platform had already flexed its muscles with The Mandalorian. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the all-action miniseries coming out in a few weeks, will be the test of fire, in this sense, but WandaVision has been an extraordinary journey that has amused and moved us. He has managed to use the language of television like very few other series have done so far, and all for a very successful character study on the meaning of life, death and love. It is a pity that in the highlight he lost a few pieces on the way.
WandaVision completes its journey with an action-packed episode, closer to a traditional cinecomic than to the unusual formula with which the miniseries began, but which picks up in an exciting finale that lays the foundation for the film and television future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the end, Marvel Studios successfully pass their first test on Disney + and in a few weeks we will start again with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ... but we will miss the bizarre and originality of the first episodes of Casa Visione.
- Great special effects for a television production
- Extraordinary Olsen and Bettany as usual
- The last few minutes are a blow to the heart
- A traditional cinecomic ending to a miniseries that began on completely different notes
- Not all of the characters got the space they deserved and some subplots remained pending