In the latest “WandaVision” recap, Agatha takes Wanda on a painful trip down memory lane in order to discover the origins behind the Hex…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The penultimate episode of “WandaVision” decided to take a trip back through time in order to give us an origin story for Agatha Harkness as well as explaining how ‘the Hex’ was made, although there are still plenty of questions left to go ahead of the finale.
Last week’s installment finally revealed Agnes’ true identity as Agatha Harkness, a witch who has been living inside the Hex and manipulating things in and around Wanda Maximoff since this whole ordeal started.
Wanda was already struggling with her mental health in the wake of expanding the Hex in order to save Vision after he tried to leave the protective bubble surrounding Westview. She tossed her so called brother to the side after he took a jab at her dead husband, which seemingly severed ties between the siblings after Pietro’s mysterious return.
In need of a break, Wanda ended up handing over her sons — Tommy and Billy — to Agnes for safe keeping but that was exactly the opening Agatha needed to lure the Avenger into a much more perilous trap. Once Wanda stepped inside the witch’s lair, Agatha revealed herself and this week she started explaining a bit more about her powers as well as trying to understand the nature of her counterpart inside Westview.
Sadly, there was no update on Monica’s fate after she was discovered by Pietro snooping outside Agatha’s home in the post-credits scene last week. By all accounts, Monica was beginning to discover the powers she’s been granted as a result of walking through Wanda’s magical bubble on more than one occasion but how she dealt with Pietro remains to be discovered.
With that said, let’s get to our recap for “WandaVision” episode 8 titled “Previously On”….
The Scarlet Witch
The episode opens in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693, which was the tail end of the infamous Salem Witch Trials where 30 people were convicted of witchcraft with many of them hanged to death. In this version, Agatha Harkness is being dragged to a pole where she’s judged by the other witches in her coven for experimenting with a brand of dark magic that’s forbidden.
Rather than burn her at the stake — even in the real witch trials no one was burned at the stake — the coven of witches all turn their powers on Agatha, presumably to drain her dead of all her mystical energy. Instead, Agatha turns the tables on her coven by absorbing all of their powers, which literally sucks the life out of each and every one of them.
The last witch standing is Agatha’s mother, who attempts to put her down but fails when she’s also drained of her life energy. Agatha’s magical powers change colors from blue to purple and she leaves Salem after snatching a broach from around her mother’s neck.
Fast forward to present day, Agatha has Wanda trapped in her basement lair and she wants answers.
Wanda’s attempts to use her powers fail when Agatha informs her that she’s surrounded by magical runes that prevent anybody else from using witchcraft except for the witch who cast those spells. It’s obvious that Agatha knows everything there is to know about witchcraft while Wanda is still utterly confused by this entire conversation.
It seems Agatha arrived in Westview in order to find out the origins of Wanda’s powers and to understand the depth of her abilities, especially considering the unbelievable amount of energy it must have taken to transform an entire town to bend to her will. Agatha clearly believes that Wanda is a powerful witch but she’s not quite yet informed about where those powers came from.
Agatha then reveals that she sent fake-Pietro — or Fietro — if you will, to Wanda in an attempt to break her out of this sitcom reality so she’d actually unleash her true form but it never happened. Agatha then explains that her Fietro was a possession spell cast on the person meant to be Wanda’s brother — so it appears this version of Pietro isn’t from another universe, or at least that’s what we are led to believe for now.
Agatha says she would have used Wanda’s real brother for this trick but that would require necromancy and Pietro’s body, which is on another continent and still riddled with bullet holes.
Long story short, Agatha is trying to understand Wanda’s powers, especially considering how much she’s been able to do with her magic in Westview. Of course what Agatha doesn’t know is that Wanda has never fully understood the depth of her powers — but she’s obviously got a lot of them.
In order to unlock those secrets, Agatha casts a memory spell to take a trip down memory lane with Wanda to find out her origin story.
Wanda attempts to resist but Agatha lets her hear the screams of her children, hidden somewhere within those walls and that is all the hostage negotiation needed to begin the journey.
The first stop is Sokovia during the country’s civil war when Wanda was living in a small apartment with her parents and her twin Pietro.
It seems the origins behind Wanda’s fascination with TV sitcoms started thanks to her father peddling DVD’s in order to put food on the table and the family would sit down for movie night where they would all indulge in some classic hilarity from the 1960s and beyond. Wanda was particularly fascinated by “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which explains the first sitcom set up when “WandaVision” began.
In the middle of an episode, an explosion rings out and everything goes dark until Wanda wakes up to find her home in ruins, her parents dead and she’s trapped under a table with her brother Pietro as they sit terrified after a missile with the words “Stark Industries” scribbled across the front of it sits in their kitchen.
Agatha sees the look in the eye of a young Wanda and she immediately believes this was when her powers first exerted themselves to stop the bomb from exploding. Wanda counters by telling her that the missile was just defective but she sat there paralyzed with fear for two days until she and her brother finally escaped.
The next stop on the journey of Wanda’s life is the HYDRA facility where she was taken prisoner and used as a test subject for one of the Infinity Stones. As it was explained in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Wanda gained her powers thanks to the mind stone that lived inside of Loki’s scepter when he first landed on Earth in an attempt to begin Thanos’ invasion.
Wanda ends up bonding with the mind stone during the experiment and the HYDRA scientists are baffled after their security camera footage just blinks out during a transformation of sorts. Wanda eventually returns to her cell where she watches even more famous sitcoms — this time fascinated by an episode of “The Brady Bunch,” which has also been seen in her altered Westview reality.
Agatha sees this unfold and she’s convinced that the Infinity Stone unlocked Wanda’s true potential, which she believes was hidden inside all along.
Now this could be a hint that Wanda Maximoff is actually a mutant and interacting with the Infinity Stone is what allowed her powers to finally bubble to the surface. That would be a helpful explanation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to introduce mutants into the larger storyline because that would mean anybody who has come into contact with an Infinity Stone would see latent abilities suddenly activate.
That could also be a clue about the season finale — is it possible Wanda lashes out with one gigantic expansion of her powers, blanketing the entire planet and that is what wakes up the mutant gene? Something to think about going into next week’s episode.
As for Agatha’s exploration of Wanda’s past, they then move from the HYDRA facility to Avengers headquarters.
There Agatha witnesses the earliest stages of Wanda’s relationship with Vision as they bond over an episode of “Malcolm in the Middle” — another sitcom reality scene on the show — and they talk about their shared loneliness. Wanda is still grieving the death of her brother Pietro and Vision has never really known anybody because ultimately he was a creation spawned by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
The two of them share a conversation and a few laughs over the episode and we see Wanda and Vision beginning to fall in love.
Agatha now knows that Wanda has lost her parents, her brother and eventually Vision and that brings them almost back to the present day.
After returning from “the blip” and helping to stop Thanos, Wanda traveled to the main S.W.O.R.D. facility in order to retrieve Vision’s body and give him a proper burial.
Remember, Wanda disappeared when Thanos snapped his fingers so while the rest of the world moved on for five years, she was coming back to the same grief she felt just seconds earlier when she watched “The Mad Titan” rip the Infinity Stone from Vision’s head.
Wanda eventually talks her way into a meeting with director Tyler Hayward, who then shows her the disassembled parts of Vision’s body. He tells her that S.W.O.R.D. was tasked with dismantling Vision to prevent anyone else from taking those parts and turning him into a weapon.
Of course, Hayward is lying through his teeth but he does allow Wanda to say her goodbyes to Vision before supposedly breaking down the rest of the parts. He tells her she can’t bury him because there’s $3 billion worth of vibranium making up Vision’s body but she allows him the chance to see him one last time.
Wanda stares at all the broken pieces and she leaves the facility.
That means, Wanda never returned and stole Vision’s body as Hayward said earlier this season. That also means Hayward had Vision’s real body this entire time — and we find out why later.
Once Wanda settles into the fact that the synthezoid man she loved is truly dead, she begins driving towards New Jersey before eventually making her way to a small town called Westview. There she drives by a town that’s seemingly been forgotten — broken down, falling apart and filled with the people that would soon serve her sitcom reality — but first she makes her way to an open lot in quaint neighborhood.
There she reveals a property deed that Vision purchased for this piece of land that would eventually serve as a home to them once they retired from the Avengers. This was supposed to be the place where Wanda and Vision’s house would have been built.
As the grief washes over her in one great wave, Wanda screams out in pain and the result is the Westview anomaly or better known as ‘The Hex.” Wanda’s powers transform the entire town and everybody living there into her mindless puppets as she creates an entirely new existence for herself.
More importantly, Wanda is finally reunited with Vision, who comes back alive in this alternate reality that is based upon the sitcoms she grew up loving and watching, which also helped her make it through some of the toughest times in her entire life. We now know the Vision living inside the Hex isn’t his reanimated body brought back to life by Wanda — it’s just a figment of her imagination.
The same can be said for her children, which is something we find out soon after.
Once Wanda realizes that she’s responsible for this weird sitcom reality, she looks out into the live studio audience and she finds Agatha there clapping for her one woman show.
Wanda then hears the screams of her children from outside and she flees the house to find Agatha holding Billy and Tommy by a pair of magical ropes. Agatha then tells Wanda the truth about her magical powers.
Agatha: “I know what you are. You have no idea how dangerous you are. You’re supposed to be a myth. A being capable of spontaneous creation. Here you are using it to make breakfast for dinner.”
Wanda: “Let go of my children.”
Agatha: “Oh yes, your children. Vision. This whole little life you’ve made. This is chaos magic, Wanda. That makes you a scarlet witch.”
First off, Agatha now knows that Wanda is an incredibly powerful witch with abilities she doesn’t even understand much less fathom how to control. Agatha is also now aware that Wanda brought Vision back to life as a figment of her own imagination — and it seems the same for Billy and Tommy as well.
This mirrors the comic books where Billy and Tommy were literally created by Wanda’s mind and every time she would leave or go on a mission for the Avengers, the children would just disappear because her mind was occupied by something else. Of course, Billy and Tommy are eventually animated into real life people but it’s still unknown if the series will go down that same road.
As for chaos magic — the easiest way to explain that is to understand there are all sorts of different kinds of magic as it exists in the Marvel Universe. Chaos magic is just what it sounds like — a chaotic power that allows a user to literally rip apart, alter and rebuild the very fabric of reality, often times in very unstable ways.
There’s also order magic, which as you probably suspect, does the exact opposite to restore the broken and bent pieces of the universe.
Based on these two types of powers it would seem that Wanda as a “scarlet witch” controls chaos magic while the Sorcerer Supreme himself Doctor Strange likely possesses order magic. That would help to explain the upcoming film “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” because Wanda will be playing a major role in that sequel — but as a hero or villain, we don’t know yet.
Perhaps Doctor Strange will be trying to clean up the mess left behind by Wanda Maximoff?
Regardless it’s also worth noting that the Reality stone was red in color and that particular Infinity Stone had the ability to literally warp and change reality, much as its name suggests. Obviously, Wanda’s powers have always been red in color and given her abilities, it would seem that perhaps she has some connection to the Reality stone but that’s just a working theory.
Of course, Agatha has purple energy, which is similar to the color of the Power Stone. Her former coven of witches possessed a blue color with their abilities and that mimics the Space Stone. But this may mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, especially if we eventually get to a point where it’s revealed that Infinity Stones can only activate powers in those with a latent mutant gene as previously explained.
Still it’s an interesting coincidence with the different kinds of magic and the different colors of the Infinity Stones.
Finally in the post credits scene — we find that Hayward and the team at S.W.O.R.D. have reassembled Vision’s body except now it’s a ghostly white color. They were never able to bring him back online previously no matter what kind of energy source the used.
Thanks to that drone that Wanda shot down a few episodes ago, Hayward was finally able to use some of that energy to bring Vision back alive — except now he’s a weapon of S.W.O.R.D. and it would appear he’s headed on a collision course with the Scarlet Witch in the season finale. This was another story from the comics when Vision’s memory was wiped and he came back with that same white color for his body with no recollection whatsoever of Wanda or their life spent together.
How will this all end with the finale? Tune into the last episode of “WandaVision” next Friday on Disney+!