“Previously On” WandaVision answers A LOT of questions! What’s the deal with Agnes/Agatha (Kathryn Hahn)? How did Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) do all of this? Why can’t Vision (Paul Bettany) remember anything before Westview? What is Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) really up to? Read on for this week’s big revelations — and if you missed the post-credits scene again this week, go back!
When last we saw Wanda, she had just come under the thrall of the woman we’ve known as Agnes all season, Agatha Harkness. This week, we get a smidgen of Agatha’s origin, and then she forces Wanda onto a trip down memory lane that fills in a lot of her background as well.
Agatha was a witch studying magic above her station in Salem days, betraying her coven in her thirst for knowledge and power. The coven, led by her mother, bound her to a stake in a nighttime forest and directed their magic into her to burn her for her sins against them. To their ruin, Agatha absorbed their magic, sucking them all so dry that they dropped to the ground dead and looking like mummies. Before blasting off into the sky under the power of her newly amplified magic, Agatha helped herself to her mother’s brooch.
Today, she still wears the brooch and studies magic. She demonstrates for Wanda some of the spells she’s spent decades mastering. Each one takes expertise and concentration, and none compare to the miles-wide illusion composed of myriad spells that Wanda is seemingly effortlessly managing that include mind control, transmutation and spontaneous creation of life. She threatens Wanda’s children, motivating Wanda to comply with her direction to walk through Wanda’s memories until they can figure out how she’s doing all of this.
They start with revisiting the day Wanda lost her parents when their home was bombed in Sokovia. Before seeing the Maximoff family broken by a Stark Industries explosive, we get a taste of their domestic bliss when Papa returns from a day trying to sell DVDs of popular American sitcoms. It’s TV night, and Wanda chooses her favorite episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show (Season Two, Episode 20, “It May Look Like a Walnut“). The other options in the family’s DVD collection all align with what we’ve seen on WandaVision so far this season, but seeing how this particular program is permanently entangled with the moment she lost her parents, and the beginning of two days of the twins being trapped in their ruined apartment with their parents’ bodies, explains how it contributed to the beginning of the Westview makeover.
Agatha doesn’t find what she’s looking for in this memory, so she steers Wanda to the next pivotal moment in her evolution as a witch: surviving direct contact with the Mind Stone while volunteering as a test subject for Hydra. In addition to having her small, natural magical powers amplified by the stone that would one day bring Vision to life, Wanda watched The Brady Bunch in her little cell — another clue as to how her fantasy-made-real progressed.
The next stop is at The Avengers complex, where Wanda and Vision first connected. She remembers him coming into her room while she was escaping from the grief of losing her brother in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. When Vision asked what would make her feel better, she told him that the only thing would be seeing his face again.
Then at last we arrive at the post-Blip events that hold the secret Agatha is after. It turns out that Wanda’s visit to SHIELD was not what we’d been led to believe. She didn’t storm in to retrieve Vision’s body with any intention of reanimating him. Instead, she was shown his dismantled corpse by Hayward, who allowed her to touch Vision’s decapitated head and see for herself that the man she loved was truly gone. He wouldn’t release the vibranium in Vision’s body to her for a common burial, but knowing that he was no longer in that vessel allowed her to LEAVE IN PEACE. She didn’t steal Vision’s body — she simply walked out and drove to New Jersey alone.
Wanda is in Westview because Vision bought them a piece of property there where they could have a home to grow old in together. The town Wanda drives through to arrive at the vacant lot she owns is run down to the extreme — likely a result of five years of post-snap missing persons, and not what the town would have looked like when Vision chose it for them.
As Wanda stands in the spot that could be a living room, suddenly the whole house spins into being around her as Vision springs from her chest fully realized.
Agatha is amazed. This is chaos magic, spontaneous and dangerous. She recognizes Wanda as a “scarlet witch,” something so rare that it was thought to be a myth, and she realizes that the world Wanda has built was done so without any practiced spell casting or conscious effort. This is what she has been after.
Elsewhere, Hayward is ready to send in his big guns. Now that he has the drone Wanda charged with her own outrageous power by walking it out of the Hex and throwing it at him, he has what he needs to reboot the fully reassembled Vision he’s got with him at the mobile base. We watch a gray Vision come online as he’s connected to power direct from “the source,” Wanda / the Mind Stone.
Side note: Pietro (Evan Peters) in the wrong body is the result of a spell Agatha cast. Necromancy was out of the question because of Pietro’s holey body being on another continent, so she used a crystalline possession on a different guy to play on Wanda’s insecurities.
- WANDAVISION Finale Recap: (S01E09) The Series Finale - March 5, 2021
- WANDAVISION Recap: (S01E08) Previously On - February 28, 2021
- WANDAVISION Recap: (S01E07) Breaking the Fourth Wall - February 19, 2021