This does not bode well for anyone involved!
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 8, “Previously On.”]
If you stayed through the credits of this week’s WandaVision, titled “Previously On,” you were treated to a perfectly devious scene featuring Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) and his secret S.W.O.R.D. plan, Cataract. Turns out, Hayward is a pun lover, and Cataract is literally causing “double vision.” The S.W.O.R.D. director uses a sample of the Westview Anomaly’s energy field to bring Vision—the real Vision—back online, his eyes and body now a soulless grey-white color. This feels…bad, and that’s before you factor in the comic book history of White Vision, which ended with even more trauma heaped on the head of Wanda Maximoff.
To start, we have to go to the pages of writer/artist John Byrne‘s West Coast Avengers, specifically the storyline “Vision Quest.” In it, Vision is kidnapped and disassembled by an international government spy consortium. This is most likely not happening on WandaVision. But where television show and comic book story meet is what happens after the Avengers recover Vision’s body. Former Ant-Man Hank Pym is able to rebuild the synthezoid, but with a few caveats. First, he’s entirely white now. Second, he’s technically “alive,” but only in the computer sense. His emotional attachments are gone. He has no memory of falling in love with Wanda, or even what it means to fall in love in the first place. White Vision is basically all ones and zeroes, no heart.
The exact details differ—in the comics, Vision is missing Wonder Man’s brainwaves, while in WandaVision, he’s missing the Mind Stone—but the implications are the same. The Vision that’s about to walk out of that S.W.O.R.D. tent and into the Westview Anomaly isn’t Vision of the Avengers. He is, quite literally, a Sentient Weapon and not much more. If he remembers Wanda at all, he won’t remember any of the emotional attachments they made over the course of a few years.
As for what it means for the WandaVision finale? Well, it basically just confirms that everything is about to go to total crap. The same story arc that gave us White Vision is the one in which Wanda had to confront the fact her twin sons, Thomas and William—played by Jett Klyne and Julian Hilliard in WandaVision—don’t technically exist, a devastating blow that reverberated through the next few decades of Wanda’s stories. (It turned her into a full-blown villain a few times.) But you don’t really need to know much comic book history to guess what this means for WandaVision‘s finale. Wanda, so traumatized by her life’s constant losses that she grief-bombed an entire town, who was just walked through the bullet points of her pain by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), is probably not going to have a super chill reaction when she sees her husband brought back to life—the only thing she ever wanted—and there’s no recognition in his eyes.
WandaVision is currently available to stream on Disney+. Catch up on the Marvel Disney+ series ahead of the finale on Friday, March 5.
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