I've made no bones about my disappointment over the slow burn of Marvel Studio's first series to land on Disney+, WandaVision. It started as a 50's sitcom version of The Dick VanDyke Show, became a 60's episode version of Bewitched, then took a jump into the 70's by looking like something out of The Brady Bunch, and currently they've become an 80's sitcom version of Family Ties or maybe Growing Pains. These are not all the influences of what Wanda has created, but you get the idea...
Along the way we got a peek into what's happening in The Real World in fourth episode. That's when things finally got moving, and we started to understand what's happening.
Now we're at the fifth episode and the implications are huge. Since there's finally something to talk about, I'm doing just that in a spoiler-filled extended entry...
Needless to say, WandaVision and Marvel comic book spoilers abound...
What happens when repeated psychological traumas befall one of the most powerful beings in the universe? Well, if you're Wanda Maximoff, you create your own reality based on old American TV shows... which we'll call "Wanda Television." Or how about WandaVision for short? In this reality you can bring back your dead boyfriend... bring back your dead brother... and correct mistakes of the past in order to have the happy life that you've been denied in The Real World.
Pretty great, isn't it?
Problem is that you then have to populate your new reality so you're not there alone. This is easy when you're Wanda because, as we've seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she has the telekinetic ability to manipulate people's minds. All she has to do is kidnap a bunch of people to populate her new world, then get inside their heads so they become a part of it. Simple...
Except...not so simple.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Marvel movie and television adaptations have been confusing. This is because back when Marvel Comics was strapped for cash and on the verge of shutting down, they licensed out their characters to various studios. 20th Century Fox got The Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and the X-Men. Sony got Spider-Man. Universal got Namor and The Hulk. New Line got Blade. Lions Gate got The Punisher. Netflix got Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. Freeform got Cloak & Dagger. ABC got Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter. The list goes on and on. Marvel properties were scattered everywhere, and if you weren't paying attention it was tough to know which characters were in which universe. The Netflix and ABC shows were officially a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which featured characters that Marvel Studios still had rights to like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc.)... but not really because their connections were minimal at best.
Then... things started coming together. Disney bought out Marvel. Disney owns ABC. Licensing agreements started to lapse. Disney created partnerships with Sony to make Spider-Man movies and with Universal to be able to use The Hulk. Disney bought 20th Century Fox.
So now Marvel Studios (via Disney) has access to most (all?) of their characters. But what does this actually mean? Everything's a mess and nobody knows which characters are in which universe. How is Marvel going to bring everything together and get it all sorted out now that they can actually do that?
Bring on the Multiverse.
First mentioned in the MCU by Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the multiverse is a universe of universes. And, from the look of things, Marvel Studios is going to bring everything together. At last...
Plans for multiverse crossovers have been known for a while thanks to the internet rumor mill. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield who played two different versions of Spider-Man in the Sony movies have been rumored to appear in the next Marvel Studios Spider-Man movie (along with Alfred Molina who played Doctor Octopus and Willen Dafoe who played Green Goblin). Other rumors have Charlie Cox from the Netflix Daredevil series also onboard for the film...
Then you have to look at two of the characters actually powerful enough to reach into different universes within the multiverse... Wanda Maximoff (AKA The Scarlet Witch)... and Doctor Strange. Coincidentally enough, the second Doctor Strange movie is titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (due for release on March 25, 2022) and is known to have Wanda in it. Just before that is the Spider-Man movie (due for release December 17 of this year).
Connecting the dots and it's not difficult to see how the barriers between universes are breaking down and there's going to be a slew of chaotic crossovers between them.
But that's just been rumors.
At the end of WandaVision's fifth episode we see Evan Peters show up as Wanda's dead brother Pietro. But here's the thing... in the Marvel Studios universe, Pietro is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It's the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies where Pietro is played by Evan Peters. Apparently Wanda is so powerful that she was able to reach across universes and grab a new brother to replace her dead one...
There was no "Wanda" or "Scarlet Witch" in the 20th Century Fox Universe... could it be that there is only ONE Wanda and she's in the MCU? This uniqueness could be a key, if it's true.
After this shocking (or possible not-so-shocking) reveal, Darcy exclaims "She recast Pietro!"
And there it is. Universes have just collided.
And the ramifications for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward are pretty huge.
The big question is... what in the heck is happening? Is it, in fact, Wanda who is responsible for everything? It certainly looks that way! When she popped out of her reality bubble to confront the S.W.O.R.D. agents, she certainly seems in control of what's happening. She created Westview and she knows it. Just like Monica Rambeau said... "It's all her!" Or so we're lead to believe. Is she being manipulated by somebody else? Time will tell.
In the MCU, Wanda and Vision are connected. Both of them were, in effect, powered by the "Mind Stone" (of Infinity Stone fame). One could argue that Wanda is the embodiment of the Mind Stone, which is how she's able to reanimate her dead synthetic boyfriend after stealing his body.
Where things go from here is anybody's guess. And there are so many questions...
There's so much more to unpack. I haven't even gotten to Billy and Tommy and their ability to grow up... seemingly outside of Wanda's control since she couldn't make them stop crying when they were babies either. And what's the deal with Sparky the dog? Or Vision's awakening?
Marvel Studios didn't lie... WandaVision is definitely going to be a big turning point somehow. It could literally be a series that changes everything...
I guess we'll find out more when the sixth episode debuts a week from now.