With that, Marvel’s first Disney+ show has come to an end and its finale has me feeling similarly to how I have felt about these past few episodes: very mixed. All though the finale features some decent emotional beats, it feels all too simple compared with the ambition that started the show off. That simplicity makes this ending feel underwhelming and anticlimactic. It’ll be curious to see in reflecting back on the season how we got to this point but for now I want to focus on the finale.
We start off with a whole bunch of CGI battles with Hex Vision vs Chrome Vision and Wanda vs Agatha Harkness. These sequences were entertaining, but I also didn’t care about these fights at all. I truly feel that Marvel missed the mark in trying to make this finale feel like more of an MCU property with a big CGI battle in the end. The show at its core has been about Wanda wrestling with her grief and the consequences of her actions. These battles mainly serve to pad the runtime and added nothing to the overall narrative of the central story. There were some great special effects, especially with all of the witchcraft magic going around, but I was never invested in the show for the effects. I was invested because of the conflicts these characters were going through.
Wanda’s journey through this show has been the one consistent strong point that kept me hooked and intrigued. I loved her transformation into the Scarlett Witch and the implications that has for the future of the MCU. Knowing that she will be in the new Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness movie next year, I am certainly still invested to see what she can do and more importantly what she will do with these powers. However, when it comes to the morally grey areas of her character and the emotional impact of her goodbye with Vision I think the show again completely misses the mark.
Wanda is the villain of this show, and a compelling one at that. She has committed dark actions in keeping an entire town hostage in order to live out her fantasy. Seeing the townsfolk turn against her begging for their lives back was amazing!!! But…that should have been more of the focus of this finale and frankly the past few episodes. Seeing Wanda having to confront the consequences of her actions would have made for a more compelling finale. We definitely understand why Wanda did what she did making us sympathize with her, but I was more interested to see how Wanda would have confronted that guilt. She essentially gets off scot free by being allowed to leave and live a secluded life in the mountains, and that’s kind of a cop out for the morally grey areas the show was going for. I hope that Doctor Strange will pick up on these threads, or maybe even a season 2 as there is so much more to mine here that goes beyond the CGI fights we have so tirelessly gotten from the MCU.
Then there’s her goodbye with Vision and her family which was a great emotional beat, however Vision transferred his memories into the Chrome Vision and the Chrome Vision escaped, indicating that we haven’t seen the last of Vision. This goodbye feels haphazard because I was just waiting for the Chrome Vision to appear and for Wanda to be happy again. I am glad that the show didn’t opt for that, but I feel that if you are going to have this 2nd Vision let him be with Wanda. If you want Wanda to let Vision go, truly move on, and process her grief, don’t have a 2nd Vision in your show. Doing this is allowing Marvel to have its cake and eat it too and diminishes the powerful emotional impact this farewell should have had.
I try not to follow fan theories too much as I want to see what the showrunners and directors put out and try to see their vision for a show or movie. However, the actors and showrunners themselves were falsely promoting this show to have some explosive reveals or cameos and they just never came. Elizabeth Olsen stated that there was going to be a “Luke Skywalker” level cameo, where was that??? Paul Bettany stated that there was a big actor he was excited to work with, and he was just talking about himself?? Evan Peters Quicksilver from the X-Men movies, a fan favorite character I might add from that franchise, is just Ralph BONER??? I can’t help but feel cheated and messed with. The people involved with this show were just trolling us, and that is what makes this finale feel more underwhelming. Either don’t say anything and let us enjoy, or deliver on your promises.
Also Agatha was just a means to an end, a catalyst to help Wanda embrace the Scarlett Witch title from the comics. There was never going to be any development for her character or motivations, but at least we got to see Kathryn Hahn relish in the scenery. Director Hayward is just again a big old jerk who goes out in less than probably a minute of screen time. Other than Monica Rambeau, (and Jimmy Woo because I love him), no character from the S.W.O.R.D. sequences really ended up adding anything to this show. The same can be said for Agatha Harkness. It would be interesting to see how this show would have differed if it didn’t have those elements and just stuck to the mystery building and character complexity that was so strong in the earlier episodes. Ultimately, the show is Wanda’s story and when the finale focuses on her exclusively there is still great moments to enjoy. Elizabeth Olsen deserves praise for making a one dimensional character into someone so rich and morally complex throughout this series. I am definitely excited to see more of her very soon.
I know it sounds like I am being harsh on this show, and I am curious to see how my opinion changes after I have binged the whole show again. I did enjoy this Marvel show, and it certainly was a bold and risky move for Marvel. But this finale needed to capitalize more on the riskier and complex elements of its characters and conflicts rather than trying to deliver CGI battles and fan service accurate costume reveals. WandaVision will definitely be remembered for the risks it took and the complexities it set up for Wanda going forward. I just wish that things would have been more focused coming to the end rather than trying to fit in with the wider MCU tropes. Keep an eye out for a full season review of the show, as I definitely feel I have more to say on this Marvel property.