Saturday 27 February 2021

Ghostly grief of Wanda's past

Spoilers for the latest episode of Marvel Studios' WandaVision streaming on Disney+. If you haven't caught up with, or started watching, WandaVision and don't want to find out what's going on, please look away from the screen now.

The penultimate episode of WandaVision brings all the feels and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has never resonated more deeply! It serves as an unfiltered exploration of loss and grief through the lens of comic book tropes.

After trapping Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in a basement of horrors, Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), revealed as a survivor of the Salem witch trials, takes Wanda on a timey-wimey tour of her traumatic past. Is Agatha a mentor or meddler?

Wanda has to confront moments that have shaped her destiny towards becoming the Scarlet Witch, the most powerful Avenger, ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Surely Benedict Cumberbatch is going to cameo as Doctor Strange in the season finale?

From the violent death of Wanda's parents to twin brother Pietro's (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) death in Avengers: Age of Ultron to Vision's (Paul Bettany) death in Avengers: Infinity War, it's a heartbreaking story arc worthy of Shakespeare and, like the return of Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian, left me in an ugly mess.

Anyone who has seen a dead loved one will relate to the overwhelming sense of powerlessness and nothingness.

The myth Wanda had ghoulishly reanimated Vision is dispelled when it's revealed she conjured him back into existence in her grief-stricken state in the sitcom simulacrum of Westview. Bad Marvelites (myself included) for thinking Wanda was channelling Dr Frankenstein.

Olsen's acting prowess proves this was her show all along (not that I ever doubted it). And there's a mid-credits scene that ups the ante to the nth degree for the season finale, which I refuse to spoil.

WandaVision has been a ray of light during the seemingly endless darkness of a global pandemic. The weekly release schedule has seen fans united in their enjoyment of the series on social media and many (myself included) are going to be bereft when it ends.

Yes, there's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to look forward to next in the MCU. However, Wanda's story has been an emotive journey, far more rewarding than I ever dared dream.

WandaVision concludes Friday exclusively on Disney+.

What do you think will happen in the season finale? Let me know in the comments below.

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