‘WandaVision’ Episode 8 Recap: This Is Your Life
The story of WandaVision when it’s all said and done is about the tragedy of Wanda Maximoff. She lost her parents, her brother, and the one person, and yes Vision counts as one, who connected with her. If you add up all of those things with her powers, you get what we saw in the eighth episodes. It was a “This is your life” moment forcing her to revisit the worst moments of her memories. Let’s talk about it!
Agatha Harkness is that Witch!
We go back to the late 1600s and see Agatha about to be destroyed at the stake by her coven. Apparently, she’s been practicing too much dark magic. The witches blast her with their magic, which at first makes it seem like Agatha’s in huge trouble. Instead, it seems as if she has learned how to absorb the power and she does, killing all of the witches.
Wanda Reliving it All
We get a little insight there that Agatha’s goal might be to harness Wanda’s powers for herself. She reads Wanda for creating a reality so powerful that she’s basically on autopilot throughout. Wanda remains confused about this. For Agatha to find out the truth, she decides that Wanda must relive the most traumatic moments of her life.
The first trip down memory lane is to Wanda’s childhood in Sokovia. We see her parents and Pietro, as there’s a war going on outside. Her father brings in DVDs of old sitcoms, which clearly inspired the reality she’s created in Westview. Clearly, this family bonded through this which makes the explosion that comes next a definitive moment in Wanda’s life. As her parents are killed, we’re taken back to the explanation in Avengers: Age of Ultron that Wanda and Pietro waited two days for a Stark drone to detonate. It never did, as we find out that Wanda was always a witch and the Mind Stone just amplified her powers. Speaking of the Mind Stone, our next pitstop is a revisit with HYDRA.
We revisit when Wanda volunteered for the HYDRA experiments with Loki’s scepter. No one prior had survived the experiments, which is funny to say. Didn’t Pietro survive too? So what did that mean for him? Once Wanda gets close to the scepter, the Mind Stone reveals itself. It shows a vision to Wanda and not the scientists, as she’s engulfed in its energy. As she looks into the light. In it, there’s Wanda in her Scarlet Witch costume. Is this her future? We don’t know yet but Agatha needs more answers.
The next thing we see is Wanda at the Avengers compound. She’s watching Malcolm in the Middle, still grieving the loss of Pietro. Vision phases through the wall in a nice call back to Captain America: Civil War. Wanda then unloads her sadness and grief onto Vision. He acknowledges that he’s never experienced the type of loss that Wanda has as he’s always been alone. He then says the seminal line of the series.
But what is grief, if not love persevering?
The bond between him and Wanda is formed there and there’s the context for everything to come after. Paul Bettany again delivers in spades in this scene. Agatha still doesn’t have her answers yet so we need one more look back.
We take one more trip to S.W.O.R.D. after the events of Avengers: Endgame and Wanda want to bury Vision’s body. There’s a lot of “I need to see your manager” energy here before she meets with Director Hayward. You can feel her desperation to see Vision. Hayward acquiesces and we see the same scene from the fifth episode, as Vision is being taken apart by the scientists. He states to Wanda that he can’t allow her to walk out with three billion dollars worth of vibranium. Wanda horrified by this zooms down to get a look for herself, which Hayward strangely allows. She can’t feel Vision anymore as their connection is gone. This is a call back to Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame with Wanda and Vision stating their connection. Overcome with grief, Wanda leaves the facility.
We see Wanda driving into Westview, and we get a look at a lot of the characters from the previous episodes in their normal setting. Wanda pulls up to a vacant property. She opens up an envelope and reveals a property deed. It reads: “To grow old in,” with a signed V. Reading this, Wanda’s emotions overcome her and her powers manifest completely. The house is created, Westview, as we know it now, is created, and she creates a new Vision. She retreats to the same sitcom worlds she finds comfort in. Agatha cuts the trip down memory lane and we see her magically choking Billy and Tommy. Wanda gets ready to fight for her kids, and Agatha states the line we’ve been waiting for. Wanda is the Scarlet Witch. Roll Credits!
Hayward Has A Vision
We luckily got another mid-credit sequence this week. We cut to Hayward’s big launch. Right outside of the hex, we see at the facility that he has successfully rebuilt Vision after multiple attempts. Using the Stark drone that we thought was sent after Wanda, the CMBR was absorbed and powers the new Vision, who is white. The White Vision, which in comics lore we know from West Coast Avengers issues 42-45 is born. It’s also clear now that Tyler lied to Monica about Wanda stealing Vision’s body. What a clever diabolical plan. What else Tyler has in store? One more episode remains, and this was a good one for contextual purposes for Wanda’s backstory. Could we have learned a little more about Agnes? Sure, but there’s one more installment of WandaVision remaining. You can appreciate the writers allowing us to sit with Wanda and absorb her tragedy, Elizabeth Olsen stands out again in her performance.
Instead of the theory board this week, let’s ask some questions that need to be answered in the finale.
1. Who is Pietro, or Fietro, like Agatha, called him this week, really?. Is it the Fox X-Men’s version of Quicksilver? Is it someone close to Agatha? Or is it something we’re not expecting? It’ll be fascinating to see how it unfolds.
2. Will we see Monica’s power set on display? Monica Rambeau showed us that the hero within her is out now. Are we going to get a light show? Or will she be more of the moral center of the show that’s she’s been so far? I reckon we’re due for the former.
3. Does Hayward have any more tricks up his sleeve after project Cataract? Is there someone that he answers to? Has S.W.O.R.D been infiltrated by him? Or is he just incredibly ambitious? After the appearance of White Vision, we can’t make any assumptions.
4. What about the children? We know that Young Avengers is something that the MCU wants to set up. Will Tommy and Billy survive the finale? Are they energy to be absorbed? Are they real? Will we get another age up? They might be a huge key.
5. What happened to Dottie? Agatha called her the key to everything in town during episode 2. Is Agatha trying to reconstitute the coven she destroyed? Is Dottie a hero in disguise? Remember there was no information on her on Jimmy Woo’s board.
6. There’s an assumption that White Vision and Vision are going to lock horns. Who’s more powerful? Will Westview’s Vision make the ultimate sacrifice? Explosive things are ahead.
7. That’s a lot of questions and we still also need to answer if Agatha’s the only big bad. We’re expecting a Dr. Strange cameo in the finale, but to what nature? Is he fighting, or cleaning up a mess? The image of Wanda in her Scarlet Witch costume could be a harbinger of things to come?
8. I have a prediction, as I think the Westview version of Vision will die protecting his family from Cataract Vision. This show filled with tragedy probably won’t end without another tragic moment.
WandaVision has been quite the roller coaster through the last eight episodes, particularly emotionally. The finale will be no different. Kevin Feige & Co. have taken a mighty swing at something different, and let’s see if the conclusion is as ambitious as the series itself.