WandaVision was quite the fun ride that came to a grinding, almost whiplash-like halt yesterday. Yeah, the finale wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen but it pretty much didn’t live up to the hype. In fact, the finale possibly ruined the entire series.
From the first episode to the eighth, WandaVision set up so many potential threads. The first act (Episodes 1-3) gave us some lovely nostalgia with its perfect sitcom theme mixed with a leering creepiness that seemed to be hiding beneath the fake smiles and new looks.
The second act (Episode 4-6) slowed things down a little bit and started to fracture Wanda’s reality before our eyes. Episode 4 was the glorified recap, Episode 5 was the first stunning episode with a jaw-dropping cameo that never led to anything that special (which I’m fine with, but did Marvel really have to toy with us like that), and Episode 6 was an underwhelming supposed next step in the right direction.
And then there was the third act (Episodes 7-9) that finally had to wrap up this mystery box with a big beautiful bow. Episode 7 returned to the sitcom shtick with success while giving us a new Avenger in Monica through an epic that’s-how-she-gets-her-powers sequence that once again, didn’t lead to anything special. Episode 8 was the best in the series, delving deep into Wanda’s trauma with 40+ minutes of heart-wrenching material. Plus, we got the Scarlet Witch name drop which left people in a tizzy.
And then there was that finale.
I knew deep down that a finale less than at least an hour long could complete this story nicely and I was right. The series concocted so many plot threads and possibilities (possibilities that didn’t even have to include a jaw-dropping Ian McKellen as Magneto cameo or Mephisto popping out of the Darkhold like a Jack in the Box) and yet all of that potential was dumped for simplicity.
We know how Marvel works.
Interesting character narrative turns into a climactic showdown for the ages; it happens in every Marvel movie. But what this finale lacked was an impressive final battle.
What happened to that Monica/Pietro fight we were all expecting? We didn’t get it. Instead, we got a weird scene with her and a dude whose name was Bohner (btw, that’s kind of offensive Marvel) that didn’t exact play for laughs or inspire joy. As a certain blogger (Eric Foley) pointed out to me, why did Hayward get locked up? We know he’s annoying to look at and is considered an extreme A-hole but what did he do that was so wrong?
This is during a time when the Deputy Task Force still exists, which means superheroes are still viewed as dangerous individuals. He had been given governmental authority to stop Wanda who had literally taken an entire town hostage and was simply trying to stop her, by any means necessary. No, we don’t want to see our favorite heroes die but his actions were perfectly justifiable. And as Eric Foley also mentioned, he couldn’t be in trouble for throwing Jimmy Woo under arrest because he technically was going against his superior’s orders which was an offense worthy of being arrested. It just doesn’t make sense.
And the fight between the two Visions was just…hilarious, concluding in a freaking conversation about the Ship of Theseus as a plot device to bring the real Vision back into the MCU…which I’m fine with considering that White Vision becomes the real Vision in the comics anyway.
We didn’t need White Vision but Jac Schaeffer gave him to us anyway. The least she could’ve done is treat him respectfully because having him nearly crush Wanda’s skull, tackle Vision over and over again, and snarl for a total of maybe five minutes of screentime feels really lazy.
Would it have been that hard to have maybe have one last shot of him flying off, gazing wistfully back at Wanda as she fights Agatha, before disappearing into the distance so he could deal with all of that gut-wrenching data Vision had just given him.
In fact, that’s what post-credits scene are for! The last post-credits scene should’ve been like the last one in Thor: The Dark World. It would’ve been perfect! Wanda would’ve been making tea in her new recluse out in the middle of nowhere when in walks Vision saying something expected like “Wanda” before smooching her for the umpteenth time.
But no. They didn’t do that. Instead they sent him flying…literally.
But I’m getting off track aren’t I? The reason why I made this post was to highlight why the finale was like The Rise of Skywalker. Well, let me tell you.
Remember all those years ago after The Last Jedi when the Star Wars fandom was so excited for The Rise of Skywalker? There was rampant theorizing and high anticipation for a film that was supposed to be the conclusion to the Skywalker saga. What we got was a movie that didn’t even seem to connect to the previous two movies and definitely didn’t resemble any sort of care for the first six movies that made the Sequel Trilogy even a thing.
That’s what the WandaVision finale felt like. Looking back, the finale makes the rest of the series seem pointless with gaps as large as the ones Wanda made when she tried to let the citizens out of Westview. I mean, what happened to Agent Franklin? Why did she not like having the citizens’ children around? Why did they make that catchy “Agatha All Along” song only to reverse course instantly and remind us that this was all Wanda’s doing? Things just aren’t adding up.
The finale also terribly underused three of the series’ core characters: Monica Rambeau, Jimmy Woo, and Darcy Lewis. Monica got a “heroic” moment where she saves Wanda’s children by standing in the way and letting bullets go through her with her yellow power moves (wait a minute, weren’t her powers blue two episodes ago?) but that was it. Jimmy Woo got another magic-trick reference but then he was left gazing at the Hex from afar like a goofball for the duration of the episode. And Darcy got a (hilarious) one-liner.
Where have I seen this before?
Oh yeah, Finn and Rose who too were sidelined in The Rise of Skywalker for more important characters.
And then we’ve got a villain problem.
Emperor Palpatine’s return could’ve been epic. Instead he told Rey his entire plan for possessing her because he just couldn’t keep a secret.
Sounds like Agatha to me; the stupid witch who gave Wanda a crash course on witchery and then had to watch as her plan for world domination backfired on her.
Both franchises were also afraid to let these stories be dark. Imagine if Palpatine hadn’t said anything and actually possessed Rey, hence turning her to the dark side. It would’ve been a surprise fans wouldn’t have seen coming and then the movie could’ve turned into something really interesting.
If Marvel hadn’t chickened out from the creepfest we could’ve seen something far more riveting like Agatha using the Darkhold to maybe absorb the boys, hence making herself an even more powerful witch while doubling down on Wanda’s grief which would then be the moment when Wanda would use her extreme anger to become the Scarlet Witch. You know…something along those lines.
But no…that’s not what we got. Instead we got a bunch of weird floating fight sequences, some cheesy one-liners like “Mommy will be right back”, and the Visions conversing about the Ship of Theseus.
Now, I’m not by any means saying the finale is as bad as The Rise of Skywalker because it isn’t but it definitely did not live up to the hype.
The best part about the finale were two moments:
Wanda’s transformation and full realization of the Scarlet Witch identity, complete with makeup, hair, and the cool outfit. And the moment that actually made me tear up. You know the one! Her not-so-final goodbye to Vision in his nice sweater and jeans (his best outfit yet.)
Those moments alone made the finale kind of worth it but the holes just seem to get bigger with every hour that passes.
I wish I could say that I loved this finale with a passion but I don’t like corny and ooh, WandaVision got corny for a sec. I mean I liked the idea of Wanda’s family mirroring The Incredibles but when I saw it in action I was not at all impressed. (Sorry, not a fan of the kids.)
(But Vision’s line about not having Billy and Tommy prepared for this sort of thing was kind of funny.)
All in all, WandaVision had every chance to be great but ultimately it failed in becoming just that.
(Yeah, The Mandalorian still clearly reigns supreme.)
As a whole I’ll give the series a solid B+. It was totally at least A- material…until yesterday, lol.
I thank you for reading this long review and I hope you have a fantastic day.
2 thoughts on “The ‘WandaVision’ Finale Is Almost as Messy As ‘The Rise of Skywalker’”
Wow, thanks for the shout out! 😊
I can see the comparison. I do think TROS was a worse ending, just because the magnitude of active narrative damage it did to the rest of the Star Wars saga was far greater. (There’s a post in my future that’ll deep dive the level of that collateral damage that film did when I’m bored enough… and maybe see if I can imagine a world in which the damage is contained.) WandaVision was more of a narrative crime of negligence than active badness. They uncorked a few too many bottles, and then only really finished the ones that said “Wanda” and “fake Vision.”
So if I’m giving this a letter grade, I’d call it an Incomplete. It depends a lot on what they do with those other threads in the future. There’s a hypothetical future in which they pick up those threads, do great things with them, and then the high concept affair we just saw that neatly tied off only Wanda’s story for now going into the Doctor Strange movie can be forgiven. There’s a potential to salvage this. That said… yeah. This particular stage of the play was a bit of a nothing burger. It’s kind of unfortunate that this was the place in which they left us.
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I’ve got a post coming up which explains why I think Hayward was actually Mephisto so yeah…there’s a lot they could do with the leftovers of this show (like make Jimmy Woo a MCU regular like Agent Coulson in Phase 1.😁)
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