Warning: This article will contain spoilers for episode 9 of WandaVision
The much anticipated and hotly theorized finale for WandaVision has finally arrived and with it comes a perfect conclusion to a stellar season of television. WandaVision maintains its incredible production quality across all departments for the finale. Costume and make-up (more on that later), set design, score, sound design, VFX, action choreography, every element of the episode is top notch. The production budget for this series was high and you can tell a lot of it went into this episode and it pays off in spades.
The premise for this episode is simple, it’s the climactic battle between Wanda and her family against Agatha, S.W.O.R.D., and the White Vision they brought online in the mid-credit scene of last week’s episode. This White Vision is lacking any memories or emotional attachment to Wanda, even though he’s the original Vision’s body. And so the fight essentially breaks down into Wanda vs Agatha and Vision vs White Vision. The action between the two Vision’s is some of my favorite in the MCU, with constant clever uses of their powers it’s a joy to watch.
Wanda and Agatha battle in the archaic arts and it’s awesome to see a full witch vs witch conflict play out. Agatha is able to drain others’ magic, and as a result Wanda appears to be dying as the fight goes on. At a point the citizens of Westview are brought to the forefront as it’s again highlighted what Wanda has, though accidentally, put them through. Wanda then begins to release her hold on Westview and its’ residents only to realize that her Vision and children are tied to the magic keeping this pocket reality intact.
The battle of the Vision’s comes to a standstill in the public library, when Wanda’s Vision brings up the ship of Theseus thought experiment, which raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. This metaphysical debate about identity stops White Vision from destroying Wanda’s Vision, as neither can discern whether one of them is the “true” Vision, or if neither or both are. The scene is one of my favorites in the MCU, with exquisite dialogue for the pair and an incredibly touching core of the struggle for identity. By the end Wanda’s Vision unlocks the memories locked away inside the circuitry of the original Vision. This new, restored Vision says, “I am Vision”, a character upgrade from his Age of Ultron line after birth of just, “I am.”, a shortened version of the famous philosophical statement, “I think therefore I am”. This development is also resonant of the experiences Vision has gone through since his birth, those that make him a unique individual now.
When Wanda is forced to choose between her family and Westview’s freedom, she hesitates, and keeps the town enclosed. Following this a massive battle between her and Agatha ensues. There’s a callback to her psychic manipulations from Age of Ultron, which transports Agatha back to 1693. After returning to the present Wanda begins unleashing Chaos Magic at Agatha, who is loving every second of power absorption. As Wanda begins to rot Agatha taunts in triumph, she had promised to let Wanda keep her family, but of course that was a lie.
When Agatha goes to unleash all the power she’s built up against Wanda, nothing happens. Wanda’s color returns to her skin, and behind her in the red technicolor walls of Westview there are runes. Realization dawns on Agatha’s face, “They’re runes. In a given space only the witch who cast the runes can use her magic. Thanks for the lessen.” Wanda’s a quick learner and has made all of Westview a safe haven for her. Then her transformation begins and it is without a doubt one of my favorite scenes of all-time.
High in the sky above Westview we witness Wanda transform into the Scarlet Witch, power flowing to and from her, raw energy and brilliance radiating. She’s finally revealed in a full, new costume, head piece and all. She has fulfilled her destiny and become the Scarlet Witch. From here the episode wraps itself up in an extremely emotional manner. Vision says he knows Wanda will make everything right, but not for them. The pair return home with their children as Wanda releases her hold on Westview.
The couple tuck their children into bed for the final time, and then say goodbye in the living room. The entire sequence is emotional resonate and contains some of the best dialogue in the MCU, a consistent accomplishment of this series. Wanda encapsulates her love for Vision, and the scene ends on a hint of optimism, with the notion that Wanda and Vision’s journey will continue, even as he disappears from her life again.
Before I get to my final thoughts, I’ve got to geek out in this space for just a second. I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a heavy bias for both Wanda and Vision, they’re my two favorite Marvel characters and to see them done such justice and be given such a large spotlight makes me tremendously happy. Seeing Wanda finally be called the Scarlet Witch, in a comic accurate costume (easily my new favorite MCU costume, that department CRUSHED it), is something I’ve dreamt of. Seeing her full power on display, seeing her study to become even stronger, it’s all just perfect to me. I could gush forever but I’ll stop there, just know this Wanda and Vision fan is over the moon.
Overall, the finale delivered on everything I wanted it to. It focused on Wanda and Vision, which the show always promised to be about. It gave us Wanda’s transformation into the Scarlet Witch, which the whole season was a journey to, it set Vision on a path of self-discovery as well, and has set up the next chapter of their journey, both individually and together, in the MCU. The show was an excellent meditation on grief, a compelling character driven drama, a wonderfully executed mystery, a hilarious sitcom, and far and away the most unique thing the MCU has ever done. A perfect season of television in my book.