TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on WandaVision (Ep VII-IX) – Series Finale! (2021)

A review on American Television miniseries, WandaVision ep VII- IX (2021) which marks the finale of the show. The mini-series is directed by Matt Shakman and stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda and Paul Bettany as Vision. The show is a continuation of the saga from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is a Disney Plus Original series.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episodes, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Matt Shakman
  • Cinematography by Jess Hall
  • Music by Christophe Beck
  • Produced by Chuck Hayward
  • Created by Jac Schaeffer
  • Production by Marvel Studios
  • Distributed by Disney Platform Distribution 

+ Note

WandaVision is continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Phase 4) where we get to explore more the relationship between the two popular Marvel characters; Scarlet Witch and Vision. The series is cleverly disguised as an American vintage sitcom with multi camera shots and canned Laughter from the audience in a (supposedly) TV Studio. WandaVision is clearly inspired from 50s-60s sitcoms like ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘Bewitched’ and later in color, ‘The Brady Bunch’, where situational comedy plays a key role to the show.

+ Main Cast

  1. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
  2. Paul Bettany as Vision
  3. Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Hart
  4. Fred Melamed as Arthur Hart
  5. Kathryn Hahn as Agnes
  6. Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau
  7. Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
  8. Randall Park as Jimmy Woo

+ Plot

WandaVision starts off in 1950s suburban America. A husband and a loving wife have just moved in the neighborhood and get along with their neighbors quite well. But unbeknownst to the neighbourhood, they are no ordinary couple. In fact, they are the famous Avengers; Scarlet Witch and Vision who hide their super powers in order to live a happy, wholesome life. But something doesn’t seem right about this scenario. It’s almost too… perfect? How did present day Avengers end up in decades old American TV sitcoms? Where or how did they enter this delightful comedy of errors? What is exactly wrong with WandaVision?

+ High Points

SPOILER ALERT!: (From here on out, there will be spoilers for the show as it is impossible to discuss the plot points without spoiling anything. If you still haven’t seen the show and would like to see it, you can skip directly to Overall section below).

i – So the last three episodes of the show have all been about ‘Revelations’. Agnes, the nosy neighbor from the previous episodes, is the master manipulator Agatha Harkness who played the puppet master of sorts behind the curtain. Kathryn Hahn’s heel turn has been magnificently handled by the actress and was fully aware of the fine balance between campy and solemnity when necessary. Although it was far from perfect, Agnes serves great and memorable as Scarlet Witch’s formidable adversary in the series finale (and the catchy jingle at the end of episode 7 was just the icing on the cake!).

ii – Episode 8 “Previously On” was the best episode in the series. The emotional journey of what Wanda had to go through to become what she is now, was brilliantly handled and executed. It is indeed tragic to see in the past few MCU movies, how Wanda slowly lost everyone she ever cared for; her brother Pietro Maximoff (aka Quicksilver) to Vision’s sacrifice in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). The scene when Wanda has to witness the autopsy/ dismemberment of Vision’s body was gut wrenching and one could easily forget that WandaVision is supposed to be a mere superhero show. The question was set up in the first episode; why or what is WandaVision? And the answer has been well delivered. Kudos to the writing of the show.

iii – Although very short lived, the dynamics of Wanda’s family; her husband Vision and her twin sons, was fantastic. The actors work great off one another and bring a much needed warmth and empathy to the show.

iv – The newly designed costume of Scarlet Witch is slick but also does not deviate too far from its source material. The leathery, muted red can work very well on the silver screen.

v – Once again, I have to praise the lead actors of WandaVision. They were incredibly well rehearsed with the script, delivered with such impeccable precision and skill that quite frankly, is hard to pull off. WandaVision was comedic and dramatic whenever it needed to be and none of this would have been possible if not for Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s outstanding onscreen chemistry together. WandaVision is essentially a tragic love story between a Witch and an A.I. And as silly as it sounds, the lead actors managed to make it not only believable but relatable at the same time.

vi – While in the previous episodes, the scenes involving the S.W.O.R.D. were the more ‘boring’ aspects of the show, the last three episodes manage to make them more essential and interesting for the developing plot so that the center conflict of the show could flourish. As the show went on, the characters of Jimmy Woo and Rambeau became more central and integral to the plot and with good writing, became much more fleshed out as the show reached its climax.

vii – Even with the greenscreen fight scene at the end, the Special Effects were brilliant throughout the show and never faltered at any point. 

viii – After reaching its conclusion, one can mention countless assets to credit WandaVision’s success but none can be more important than the writing itself. Jac Schaeffer and co. really knocked this one out of the park and while the finale did turn out to be just another epic MCU battle in the sky (more on that in the Low Points section), the writing was consistent in quality throughout its nine episodes. And it cannot be emphasized enough how integral the writing was to WandaVision’s success.

ix – The emotional send off from Wanda to her family was tragic but beautifully handled. After 9 Episodes, the show gave enough time and space to understand Wanda’s actions and her motivations. The loss of her loved one and her wish to have a family became a distant dream. The show meticulously handles Wanda’s character arc, the crescendo and the finale of it. Where will Wanda go from here? That is a question MCU fans will be eagerly looking forward to. 

+ Low Points

i – With all that was great about the show, the finale was a disappointment of sorts. Instead of a clever and unique way to resolve the conflict, the producers felt the necessity to end this in the most generic fashion they could think of. Wanda battles Harkness in the red greenscreened sky, shooting magic lasers out of their hands. Yawn. The show really lost its luster during the fight and will leave viewers and fans disappointed with lack of creativity. Come on, Jac Schaeffer. I’m sure your team could have come up with something more inventive than that…

ii – It was also a disappointment that Evan Peters’ introduction as Quicksilver in the MCU was used as a punchline for a lackluster joke. Why? Evan Peters was fantastic as Quicksilver and a major asset to the franchise. Why throw it all away? A baffling decision really. 

iii –  So the two Visions have a go at one another, they talk and for some reason, the reprogramed ‘white’ Vision just gets up and leaves? Were the writers really clueless what to do with him? I understand they will introduce him later on sometime in MCU but this whole conflict turned out to be pretty forgettable at the end.

iv – By taking the whole town of Westview hostage, Wanda was psychologically torturing the citizens of the town. In the end, Wanda does the right thing and gives up on her fantasy life to release the Westview citizens of torment but are there no repercussions to Wanda’s actions? Is the S.W.O.R.D.  just going to let Wanda walk away from all this? Although it is understandable that the anguish Wanda had to endure after losing her loved ones but for Wanda to just walk away from all this scott free….it just feels wrong.

+ Overall

WandaVision is a show of many accomplishments. Not only was it engaging television but it proved that even with the current pandemic, Marvel Cinematic Universe can still flourish as a miniseries on the streaming platform Disney Plus. The finale was an unfortunate and predictable letdown but nonetheless, the show was still a triumph and a brilliant in depth look into the psyche and relationship of Wanda and Vision. 

The 9 episode mini-series is now complete and available on Disney Plus.

Rate (Ep VII – IX): 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rate (WandaVision): 4.0 out of 5 stars

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