‘WANDAVISION’: Putting Together the Pieces
Episode 5 of WandaVision was not only the most well-written, well-executed and exciting episode of Marvel Studios first foray into streamable TV but also the first time the creative team left clues big enough for us to potentially finally put together what exactly is going on in the Maximoff Anomaly. Some of what we saw was fresh and some of what we saw tied back into things we’ve been thinking about since Episode 1. Applying deductive reasoning to Marvel Studios properties can be a lost cause, but given the enormity of what I think I saw yesterday, let’s give it shot.
The Reemergence of Wanda’s Accent
When Wanda left the Hex to confront S.W.O.R.D., she not only put on an impressive display of power, she also reverted back to speaking with a Sokovian accent. A hot topic of discussion in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the accent waned and essentially disappeared over the course of Wanda’s MCU appearances. Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Elizabeth Olsen in her 3 most recent MCU films explained that part of the reason her accent had faded was that she had been trained in espionage under Natasha Romanoff; in a 2020 interview with Inidwire, Olsen explained that the accent hadn’t disappeared and that her experiences with the Avengers in the United States had caused it to fade. Hearing yesterday was startling and it was meant to be.
Wanda’s Lack of Control Over the Twins
Episode 3 was the first time we saw it, though it took until Episode 5 to really understand it: Wanda holds no power over her children. She couldn’t postpone their arrival, she can’t control their minds (even as babies) and they are clearly aware of what’s happening in Westview unlike everyone else who is under her power. We’re led to believe Wanda is in charge of everything, but over the course of the episode it becomes entirely clear that is not the case.
Aunite A’s Uncanny Ability to Know Everything
Everyone has been waiting for the other shoe to drop with Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes and it may have finally done so in Episode 5. As Vision not-so-subtly tells us, Agnes seems to have a knack for knowing exactly when to be there for the twins. Somehow she knows they can’t sleep and that they are suddenly in need of a dog house. It’s also no coincidence that in Episode 5, she’s present for both times the twins age up and there when Wanda talks them out of doing it for a third time. If you think back through the earliest episodes of the season, Agnes made several comments about Wanda having children and certainly seems to be incredibly interested in them now.
Dr. Darcy Lewis
WandaVision has brilliantly reinvented Kat Dennings’ Darcy. So far nobody has been more instrumental in understanding what’s going on inside the anomaly than Darcy, both for S.W.O.R.D. and for viewers. Darcy dropped 2 big clues in Episode 5. The first being her cool nickname for the anomaly (the hex) and the second being that Wanda is displaying more power than she’s ever shown before.
Monica’s Comments to Wanda
One of THE biggest hints from Episode 5 also seems to clarify something from Episode 3. During the aforementioned standoff with S.W.O.R.D., Captain Rambeau steps forward to reason with Wanda, mentioning that for someone who is a telepath and therefore should have easily seen through Monica’s “Geraldine”, Wanda was very willing to let Monica in and have her help deliver the twins. It’s also of interest that while Monica was in the house, the normally helicoptery Agnes was reduced to a gossipy bystander.
“I don’t know how any of this started in the first place.” and “I didn’t do that.”
Following Vision’s discovery that Wanda is controlling the minds of the people of Westview, he confronted his wife and refused to back down. What followed was the most protracted discussion about the strangeness of the town to date, including an admission from Wanda that while she is definitely in charge, she doesn’t remember how things started. Not long after that and just as Vision begins to confront Wanda about her wrongdoings, the doorbell rings. These interruptions have been all too common over the course of the show, but Wanda’s admission that she’s not the one doing this paired with her surprise at the arrival of someone claiming to be (but who is certainly not) her brother make it clear that there’s a bigger game afoot.
So What’s Up With Wanda?
I’ve long thought that the folks who complained about the first 3 episodes of WandaVision would be running back for clues they missed when the season was over. I was wrong because Episode 5 is the time to do that because the clues above point in the direction of someone more powerful than Wanda being in charge of what’s going on. As Dr. Lewis pointed out, Wanda has never wielded her power at this level nor manifested it in this way. That points to someone having potentially taught her how to do it, someone with a different connection to the energies of the universe than Wanda’s. While Wanda is certainly controlling the minds of the citizens of Westview, the clues above are enough to convince me that she’s not doing so CONSCIOUSLY.
Wanda reverts back to her accent because she’s being controlled, puppeteered into making that show of power against S.W.O.R.D. So while it’s Wanda talking, it’s Agnes pulling the strings, explaining why the accent Wanda has worked so hard to hide finds its way out. Agnes always knows when to be there or to cause a disruption because she quite literally has a “plant” in the house giving her info. Olsen has referenced the plant in more than one interview which would be really strange if it were just another set prop like a couch or a table.
Darcy and Monica are both onto something significant in Wanda’s ability to manifest new powers and her subconsciously allowing Monica, who she may well view as someone who could help free her from whatever is controlling her, to enter her life. It’s almost certainly their insistence that Wanda is not acting totally of her own volition that will lead to them doing something off books to help her out.
Who Done It?
If someone is controlling Wanda, all signs point to Agnes and to Agnes being Agatha Harkness. Why is Agnes doing this? They told us in Episode 2 and it became pretty clear in Episode 5: for the children. There’s enough evidence to suggest that Agnes is incredibly interested in Wanda’s children, and given Billy’s power set and destiny in the comics, it makes sense that she’d be particularly interested in him. While there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Agnes is the mastermind behind all of this, the one thing I still can’t quite wrap my head around is how Wanda came into contact with her in the first place. Maybe in an effort to reconnect with someone who knew her parents somehow? Maybe in an effort to find some relief from the many traumas that have shaped her life over the past several years? Whatever the case, her interactions with Agnes aren’t leading down any good paths and I expect things to get worse before they get better. I suppose we’ll all find out together over the next 4 weeks.