MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING FOR WANDAVISION EPISODE 5!
Seriously, this is a big one. Turn back now if you’re not up to date!
Officially, the fifth episode of Marvel’s WandaVision is titled “On a Very Special Episode…”, but what it should be called is “HOLY SHIT WHAT?!?!”. In what will probably be a technique used throughout the rest of the series, “On a Very Special Episode…” jumps back and forth between Wanda and Vision’s faux suburban life (now styled like a 1980s Family Ties ripoff) and the real world outside as SWORD investigates the Westview anomaly. And it’s inside Westview where we get a jaw-dropping cameo reveal at the end of the episode, as an explosive confrontation between Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda and Paul Bettany’s Vision – he’s realized that the reality he finds himself in is all Wanda’s creation – gets interrupted by somebody at the front door: Quicksilver.
Yes, this is Wanda’s brother who died during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and who she mentioned a few times recently, back from the dead. But in a shocking twist within a twist, it’s not actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s white frosty hair we see here, but instead, it’s Evan Peters who played Quicksilver in Fox’s X-Men movies… WHOA!
And that really is who we’re seeing as it’s been confirmed that the Disney+ subtitle captioning describes the scene as “Wanda stares at the version of Pietro from the X-Men films.” But what the hell is going on? Is this how Marvel is finally going to introduce mutants/X-Men to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after finally regaining the full rights to the beloved characters following Disney’s acquisition of Fox in 2019? Didn’t Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently say – multiple times – that we shouldn’t expect to see the X-Men in the MCU for at least the next five years?
I had a wild theory last year that Marvel was going to use WandaVision to eventually introduce mutants. My theory though was that Wanda would resurrect Vision from the dead, manipulate reality to create twin sons for her and Vision in a fake suburban setting, and then also resurrect her dead brother. I speculated further that the end of the series would see them taken away again when the fake reality collapses, leading to Wanda’s role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness where her attempts to bring back her family through reality manipulation inadvertently births mutants worldwide. Thus far, I appeared to be 3 for 3 on the first part of that theory, but I think what we saw is a bit more complicated and these are twists within twists within twists.
Way back before WandaVision had even started production, there had been a wild rumour that Evan Peters would join the production somehow. It was just one of many wild rumours at the time though, and there were no further breadcrumbs so most people dismissed it as fanboy fancy. But now we know they were true. What’s interesting though is that some rumourmongers claimed that Peters was going to follow in Chris Evans’ footsteps by hopping from Fox to Disney to play a different Marvel character. In this case, supposedly a villain. But here he is as Quicksilver, right?
Well, before that momentous doorbell that interrupted Wanda and Vision’s heated exchange (with Olsen and Bettany acting the hell out of it, complete with floating screams and displays of power), Wanda was insisting that all of Westview was not her creation. And when that doorbell rang, she insists she didn’t conveniently make that distraction happen, much like how she tried to get out of an earlier argument with Vision by making the episode’s credits start to roll (a brilliant meta-play on the whole sitcom mechanic). Vision naturally doesn’t believe her, but what if she’s not lying? What if this whole thing is only partially her doing?
As I explained two weeks ago, there’s mounting evidence that Mephisto (Marvel’s version of the Devil) is the overall Big Bad here. In the comics, he actually loaned Wanda some of his power to create her twin sons. So I’m suspecting that he’s the source of Wanda’s sudden power-up here as well. SWORD agent Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randal Park), and scientist Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) confirm that Wanda is no longer just using telepathic abilities to create illusions. She is literally rewriting reality – a level of power she has never shown before. (Also, Darcy finds a way to retroactively name Wanda’s “hex” powers the same as in the comics, thanks to the hexagonal shape of the Westview anomaly)
But some of those reality rewrites don’t make sense for Wanda. As Vision notices, the town of Westview eerily has no children. The inhabitants seemingly under her control are also suffering in a painful nightmare – an action that goes against Wanda’s heroic nature. SWORD boss Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamford) is convinced that Wanda is a terrorist, conveniently providing evidence that she went against the Sokovia accords and Vision’s will and stole his dead body from SWORD HQ to resurrect him. But here’s the thing: I totally don’t trust that guy. He does everything in his power to provoke Wanda throughout the episode, eventually resulting in her marching out of Westview – complete in her Avengers costume and with her original Sokovian accent back – to lay the smack down on them daring to intrude on her dream life.
So what if Hayward is in on this whole thing? Hell, what if he’s behind it all? What if “Tyler Hayward” is just one of several faces worn by Mephisto? And what if one of those other faces was Evan Peters’ Pietro? Having Peters actually be Mephisto would line up with those earlier rumours. It could also mean Wanda wasn’t lying when she claimed that she didn’t cause that doorbell distraction and isn’t painfully manipulating everybody and everything in Westview.
Introducing Mephisto in his comic book form of basically being the biblical Devil would always be problematic. So what if Marvel has tweaked his origin so that he’s now some form of multiversal entity of evil. So when he decides to appear to Wanda, what better way to keep pushing her buttons than by bringing back her dead brother wearing a different face which he just grabbed from a Pietro from one of the other universes in the multiverse?
Just why he could be doing all of this to Wanda is the big mystery, and I think that will be the big reveal in the finale. The only possibility I can think of for now though requires a deep dive in the comics to the relatively obscure and mostly forgotten 1990s Scarlet Witch miniseries from Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett, and John Higgins. There’s too much in that series to get into fully, but the big takeaway was that instead of just being a witch with “hex” powers or a mutant using chaos energy to alter quantum probabilities, the writers proposed that Wanda was a nexus being.
In short, a nexus being is the living lynchpin of a universe. Only one exists on every parallel universe and is the node through which that entire universe’s mystic energy passes. If they were to be killed before the next nexus being for their respective corner of the multiverse is chosen, it unbalances their entire home universe and opens it up to multiversal attack. If Marvel was actually tapping into this story (which hasn’t been used as canon for decades) it would explain Wanda’s sudden power-up and tie into my theory of Mephisto being a multiversal entity of evil as corrupting Wanda will give him a proper way into our universe. But this is now completely and utterly in the realm of wild speculation.
What is becoming more concrete to me though is that if Mephisto is behind everything, Wanda’s not the only target of his manipulations. I think mysterious neighbour Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is being forced into this whole pantomime against her will as well. She knows more than what she’s let on, that much is clear based on her cryptic past behaviour. But in this episode, for the first time, she seemingly drops her “character” by asking to redo a scene from the top, signifying awareness that she is in a “sitcom”.
Later, following Billy and Timmy, Wanda and Vision’s totally not normal twin kids, aging themselves up first from infancy to five-years-old and then ten-years-old all in the space of a few hours just so that they could be old enough to get a dog named Sparky, said pooch dies after eating leaves from a poisonous bush in Agnes’ garden. This prompts the twins to ask Wanda why she doesn’t just bring the dog back to life. Strangely, this appears to also catch Agnes off-guard as she asks “You can do that?”.
She apparently doesn’t know everything that is happening here, which rules her out as the main villain, as some suspected early on. It’s also worth reiterating from past articles that Agnes is almost certainly the fake identity of Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch in the comics who is more of a mentor to Wanda, not her enemy. We’ve heard from Marvel that by the end of WandaVision, Wanda will finally adopt her Scarlet Witch name which is a big deal (Fox and Disney previously had a complicated split ownership of the rights so Marvel couldn’t use the names Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch or mention they’re mutants while Fox couldn’t mention that they were Avengers). And who better to help Wanda fully embrace that iconic moniker than an actual witch?
As much as these clues line up though, the brilliant way at how WandaVision has played out means that I actually have no idea where the story is heading. Feige and showrunner Jac Schaeffer have kept surprising me over and over again thus far, and I am pretty sure they’re not done yet.
Last Updated: February 8, 2021