[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 9, “The Series Finale.”]
I begin the writing of this recap with the belief that it might actually be a pretty straightforward episode of television to cover. Frightfully so, in fact. (Frightfully because there are witches involved? I’m going for a theme here.) To be sure, WandaVision‘s “series finale” (full-on entitled “The Series Finale”) does wrap up the story of the weirdness happening in Westview, offering up both narrative and emotional closure, but there are also a fair number of loose ends that will very likely factor into upcoming MCU adventures (and despite the episode title, don’t exactly rule out a second season).
Things pick up right where Episode 8 left off, with Wanda facing down Agatha, who has both Tommy and Billy ensnared. The first of many magical fights reveals what Agatha’s ultimate goal is — now that she’s figured out that Wanda is the Scarlet Witch of legend, she wants to suck away Wanda’s power for herself, as she’s “someone who knows what to do with it.”
Wanda manages to take her down temporarily with some help from a telekinetically powered flying car (leading to a pretty hilarious Wizard of Oz homage. But while she takes advantage of the short break to tell her boys to go inside, a new complication arrives: as teased in the post-credits sequence last week, the White Vision has arrived with one directive from his new S.W.O.R.D. masters — take Wanda out.
Fortunately, the color version of Vision arrives just in time to tackle his doppelganger, and while Agatha taunts Wanda from the sidelines about how it’s awkward to see “your ex and your boyfriend together at the same party,” Wanda and her “husband” are united in their objective to fight for their home. Do you like mid-air fight scenes? Well, do I have an episode of television for you!
Meanwhile, Monica’s watching all this happening from afar after being nabbed by “Fietro” — while he still has Quicksilver’s powers, Monica manages to deduce that the real man holding her captive is Agatha’s pawn and, in reality, an actor named Ralph Bohner (snort). And here we thought we’d never meet Agnes’s “husband”! What a twist! Once Monica manages to sever the literal tie around his neck powering Agatha’s control over him, she’s free to join the battle happening outside.
In the town square, Agatha is having a grand ol’ time taunting Wanda about how “there’s a whole chapter” about her in the Darkhold, the magical book of the dammed we saw before in Agatha’s lair. And Agatha also has a very clever twist up her sleeve, weaponizing the mind-controlled citizens of Westview against Wanda by removing said mind control. Free to speak their minds at last, they beg for the chance to hug their families, tell missing loved ones they love them, or in one case be allowed to die. It’s a pretty dark sequence, not going to lie, and Wanda’s so overcome by it that she loses control briefly, nearly making things worse before realizing what she’s done and cracking open the barrier around Westview, making it possible for the people to escape.
While said escape is happening, Agatha keeps up the attack, while S.W.O.R.D. takes advantage of the open barrier to come in for their own assault. This leads to a Great Moment In MCU Parenting: Wanda turning to her 10-year-old (four day old?) sons and saying “Boys, handle the military. Mommy will be right back.”
Tommy and Billy use their powers against the S.W.O.R.D. goons, but things take a scary turn when the soldiers start firing their guns — fortunately, Monica arrives just in time to show off her shiny new superpowers, which include the ability to phase in a way that makes her bulletproof and stops the bullets hurting the kids.
There’s of course another fight in progress, as Vision faces off against White Vision, the two of them doing a very good job of destroying the local library. But it’s words, not lasers or fists, that end up saving the day, as Vision manages to engage with White Vision on a classic “identity metaphysics” question: The Ship of Theseus, a thought experiment very relevant to their respective situations, as two recreations of the same entity. Vision (or at least, the guy we’ve come to accept as Vision this whole time) uses this as an opportunity to reactivate the “data” that White Vision contains, opening up memories that cause White Vision to lay off his attack.
This allows Vision to rejoin his family in battle, but Wanda pushes him aside to take down Agatha herself, using Agatha’s trick from before — lining a set space with magical runes — to disable Agatha’s abilities. Wanda then transforms Agatha back into “Agnes,” even while Agatha tells her “you’re going to need me.” Agatha’s justified in this, given that their fight has clearly unlocked a whole new level of power within Wanda. But all Wanda says is “if I do I know where to find you.”
Outside of Westview, our pal Agent Woo (capable of his own kinds of magic) has managed to call in the FBI to stop Director Hayward, and inside Westview, Hayward himself gets taken out when Darcy arrives in her funnel cake truck, just in time to slam into his Hummer with a cheery “Have fun in prison!” With White Vision flying away, Agatha trapped again in her nosy neighbor persona, and the FBI in control of S.W.O.R.D.’s illicit shenanigans, things are pretty much wrapped up… Except for the fact that Wanda now has to “set things right.” And that means saying goodbye to her family.
So, she, Vision, and the boys go home, and they tuck their sons into bed as the barrier outside grows ever closer. “Boys… thanks for choosing me to be your mom,” Wanda says, and then she and Vision go downstairs for yet another goodbye.
Given the situation, Vision has some questions about the nature of his reality — specifically, who he is. “You, Vision, are of the piece of the mind stone that lives in me. You are a body of wires and blood and bone that I created. You are my sadness and my hope. But mostly, you’re my love.”
And this leads Vision to try to find the bright side of his eminent erasure from history: “I have been a voice with no body. A body but not human. And now a memory made real. Who knows what I might be next? We have said goodbye before so it stands to reason…”
Answers Wanda, “we’ll say hello again.”
“So long, darling.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
The barrier arrives, restoring everything to where it was before Wanda’s world-changing burst of grief, and she returns to the center of town to meet an understanding Monica and acknowledge just how much hurt she caused the people of Westview by losing control. “I don’t understand this power, but I will,” she tells Monica before leaving town just as the calvary arrives.
In the first of two post-credits sequences, Monica compliments Jimmy Woo on taking control of the scene before being asked to speak with another agent — who, inside the movie theater, reveals herself to be a Skrull! Not just that, but one who was “sent by an old friend of your mother’s” to set up a meeting. When Monica asks where said meeting might happen, the Skrull agent just points up, and Monica smiles.
In the second sequence, we see Wanda hanging out in some remote mountainous location (I’m betting on Switzerland, but don’t hold me to that). But while she makes a cup of tea in some very cozy sweats, we see a second Wanda, in full Scarlet Witch mode, floating in the air studying the Darkhold as the voices of Billy and Tommy cry out for help… perhaps from some sort of… multiverse?
Okay, maybe not so straightforward, as episodes go, but also not packed with some of the bigger twists we might have expected. (No sign of Benedict Cumberbatch, despite the rumors, and yes, the actor that Paul Bettany said he’d always wanted to work with was in fact himself.) But while you could argue that the S.W.O.R.D. stuff was pretty unnecessary/extraneous (I certainly barely felt the need to mention any of it in this recap, despite being a huge Jimmy Woo fan), that’s because the episode instead focused on providing some serious emotional denouement for… well, maybe not Wanda. Wanda’s still got some grieving to do — or maybe not, given where we leave her.
But certainly for those of us who have spent the last two months invested in this show, especially the way it made us care about a love story that the MCU had previously let play out entirely in the spaces between scenes, “The Series Finale” delivered a pretty satisfying ending. Yet, at the same time, I kinda hope that the title is a lie.
One last one for the road: “Flourish!”
All nine episodes of WandaVision are available now on Disney+.
‘Stranger Things’ writer and EP Curtis Gwinn will serve as showrunner.
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