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COLUMN: Wanda confronts her grief in 'WandaVision' series finale

<p>A still from Disney+&#x27;s &quot;WandaVision&quot; is pictured. The finale of the show came out March 5 on Disney+. </p>

A still from Disney+'s "WandaVision" is pictured. The finale of the show came out March 5 on Disney+.

After eight weeks of mystery, fan theories and cliff-hangers, the first project in Marvel’s Phase 4 has finally come to a thrilling conclusion. On March 5, the limited series’ last episode premiered on Disney+. 

Some fans were disappointed with the lack of major bombshells and cameos from the Sorcerer Supreme or a certain member of Marvel’s first family. However, the limited series brought Wanda and Vision's journey to a satisfying conclusion and gave the newly dubbed Scarlet Witch a lot of room to grow in this new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The episode picks up immediately where the previous episode, “Previously On” left off. Agatha has Wanda’s twin children Billy and Tommy tied up with a magical child-leash and, in a clever call-back to Captain America Civil War, Wanda throws a car at her. 

In a faux emotional moment,  S.W.O.R.D. 's creation, White Vision, tries to kill Wanda in a surprisingly brutal way, but OG Vision saves her and the 2v2 fight begins. As the season’s tensions culminate in a final battle, Wanda finally discovers who she is outside of her grief, similar to Doctor Strange’s arc in his first movie, and embraces her identity as Scarlet Witch.  

One special treat was the inclusion of not one, but two post-credit scenes setting up future MCU installments. After weeks of only one or no scenes, it’s exciting to see how “WandaVision” sets up the rest of Phase 4. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” just jumped up a few spots on my most anticipated movies of Phase 4. Scarlet Witch is going to give Stephen a run for his money, because Stephen can only do what Wanda’s doing in that second post-credits scene while unconscious. 

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany both show great range portraying concerned parents and ass-kicking superheroes within a 2-minute span. Their chemistry and enthusiasm in their roles should be acknowledged with Emmy nominations. Marvel has taken a step into new territory with Wandavision’s emotionally thrilling, rather than a visually thrilling, conclusion.

Sitcom veteran Debra Jo Rupp, who plays Sharon Davis/Ms. Hart delivered the most chilling line of the night, a stark contrast to her character's cheerful demeanor in earlier episodes. The moment is authentic to the series overarching story and sets up how the rest of the world will see Wanda in the years to follow – not as a hero but as someone to be feared. 

The series did not end in regular MCU fashion. There was no grand villain monologue, no 20-minute fire fight, and our heroes did not win in the end. But “WandaVision” was never about good vs. evil. It was about Wanda Maximoff confronting her grief and learning how to move forward. 

What replaced the typical Marvel third act story beats was replaced by intimate, character-driven moments between Wanda and Vision, their children, Agatha and the townsfolk of Westview. These emotional moments created stakes beyond just destruction and bruised egos, showing us a part of the MCU the movies couldn’t get into. 

In the previous episode, audiences were shown all the traumatic events Wanda went through. “The Series Finale'' shows Wanda overcoming these tragedies and confronting her trauma in a healthy way for the first time.  

Wanda has been through a lot, but so has Vision and the episode doesn’t let anyone forget this. The episode centers on Wanda, but I’d be remiss to not discuss the epic clash between androids. The choreography is great and the show's massive budget shines through as the two robots held nothing back: phasing into each other, flying around and shooting lasers out of their heads. However, the fight does not end in a typical Marvel way — shout out to the Ship of Theseus. 

What makes the finale so important to the larger MCU story is that Wanda is finally independent. Whether it was her brother Pietro, the Avengers or Vision, someone has always been there for her to lean on or to tell her who she was. From Tony’s reasons for keeping her in the Avengers compound in Civil War to U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross calling her a megaton bomb in that same movie, Wanda was constantly told what she was and how to behave. 

“But I don’t need you to tell me who I am,” she says to Agatha in the midst of their magical street brawl. 

Wanda is her own person now. She didn’t have a code name before because she was still coming to terms with who she is and now, she has. The most powerful being the MCU has been fully revealed because she is no longer scared of her power or herself. Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Scarlet Witch, we’ve been anxiously anticipating your arrival.

Stray Observations

A few random thoughts I had while watching the episode:

  • No way all this set-up was for a boner joke, I chuckled but do better. 

  • Scarlet Witch vs Agatha Harkness gave “Hulk” (2003) vibes, “Take it, take it all!”

  • Expensive CGI battles < a thought experiment, what a Vision way to handle fighting himself. 

  • The humanization of Wanda’s victims was especially powerful because we usually don’t hear the perspectives of ordinary citizens in big MCU films except when the plot demands it, like in “Civil War.” 

  • Wanda’s Scarlet Witch costume is phenomenal, huge credit to the costume department because they absolutely nailed it. 

  • I knew Hayward was a bad guy, but shooting children at point blank? WILD. 

  • Monica’s powers are only going to get crazier people, get ready. 

  • “Secret Invasion” is going to be a lot of fun, and I’m glad Monica will no longer be reporting to a racist, wannabe child-killer.

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