It's been a while since we had quite this many questions about a TV show.
WandaVision, which just released its third episode this week on Disney+, is a baffling and intriguing spectacle of both TV history and Marvel magic. We've got no earthly idea what we're watching and no way to really explain it to anyone who asks, but we're absolutely mesmerized as we're watching it
The first two episodes were essentially just straight up sitcom episodes. There were hints of something larger going on, but otherwise they played out like this was just a sitcom about a powerful witch and an android trying to blend in as if they're a regular married couple. The third episode continued to play out like a regular sitcom, but new hints to the bigger picture started to emerge, like whatever's up with Geraldine (Teyonah Parris), who we know is actually Captain Marvel's friend Monica Rambeau.
Meanwhile, someone's watching this play out from a control room, and something spooky's happening in the sewers. We at least thought we had something figured out until the very end of this week's episode, when Monica/Geraldine crash landed on the ground and was suddenly surrounded by guns. Now, we're just left with a whole bunch of questions and a few theories.
Before we dive into that, let's remind ourselves of Scarlet Witch and Vision's history in the MCU.
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) made their debut in the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as two imprisoned Hydra subjects showing off their superspeed (Pietro) and telekinetic powers (Wanda). In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers come up against the duo when they raid a Hydra facility and find themselves stuck in various delusions, thanks to Wanda's mind powers.
The twins started out on the side of the robot Ultron, but as soon as Wanda read Ultron's mind and saw that he wanted to get rid of all humans, they switched over to the Avenger side. Pietro was killed in the final battle with Ultron, and a grieving Wanda was able to quickly destroy a whole army of robots surrounding her and was rescued in the arms of Vision (Paul Bettany).
Vision was created by putting Jarvis, Tony Stark's virtual assistant, into the body that Ultron had been creating for himself as a way to fight off the evil robot with a good (or at least neutral) robot. He and Wanda hit it off pretty quickly, and by Infinity War, they had run off together to live in Edinburgh.
At the end of Infinity War, Wanda was forced to destroy Vision and the Mind Stone keeping him alive, which was then reversed by Thanos and the time stone, so then she had to watch Thanos actually kill Vision. Wanda then died with the snap and returned in Endgame for a couple epic moments against Thanos.
WandaVision is set post-Endgame, which means Vision is definitely dead outside of what appears to be Wanda's delusion. The sitcom bubble she and Vision are living in is definitely not real life, but it's the circumstances of that bubble that we're still pondering. Who created the bubble and why? Who's in charge here? And what does a beekeeper emerging from a manhole have to do with it?
Theory #1: Wanda is in control.
We know Wanda does not handle grief well, and as a former Hydra test subject, she's got decades of trauma to unpack. After the death of Vision and after having been dead herself after Thanos' snap, maybe Wanda built this world for herself to avoid dealing with reality. Geraldine/Monica Rambeau is there as an agent of S.W.O.R.D. (the new version of S.H.I.E.L.D.) tasked with helping to break Wanda out of the delusion, and the colors, the beekeeper, and the disembodied voice are all signs of the delusion falling apart.
If that's the case though, why is someone watching the sitcom from a control room? Who is watching it? And why is there a voice asking Wanda, "Who is doing this to you?"
We also then have to wonder who all the other people are—Did Wanda trap other people in her delusion with her or are they not even real? And who are they so scared of?
Theory #2: S.W.O.R.D. is in charge.
S.W.O.R.D. is a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. that has, in the comics, been about space: Sentient World Observation and Response Division. Here, the W seems to stand for "Weapon," which adds a whole new meaning and could be referring to Wanda as a "sentient weapon."
There's a S.W.O.R.D. symbol on one of the screens in the control room and Monica/Geraldine could have been sent in to monitor and help keep tabs on Wanda. Maybe Wanda became so dangerous in her grief (she is, by far, one of the most powerful Avengers) that it was necessary to find a way to keep her occupied.
This doesn't quite feel like the right theory for a couple of reasons. 1) The voice asking "Wanda, who is doing this to you?" sounds like Randall Park, who is playing former FBI agent Jimmy Woo, and we don't know why he'd be asking that if S.W.O.R.D. is in charge. 2) If S.W.O.R.D. sent Monica in, why are they pointing guns at her when she gets ejected from the bubble? Plus, there's the beekeeper in the sewer, who we'll get to in a minute.
To be honest, we don't love either of these first two theories. It would be disappointing to find out this whole thing is about an incredibly powerful woman who can't control her emotions so she locks herself away or gets locked away as a weapon. That story is part of it, for sure, but we're hoping there's a little more to it than that.
Theory #3: HYDRA is in charge.
This is the theory that makes the most sense to us: Wanda is being trapped in this delusion by some sort of villain, likely Hydra, and S.W.O.R.D. is monitoring the situation but has no control over it. Wanda was originally a HYDRA test subject and has the kind of power that an enemy would kill to have (literally). All of the old-fashioned commercials refer to HYDRA-related people or the actual word "hydra," and that beekeeper is reminiscent of a Marvel comics villain known as Swarm, who is essentially a bunch of bees wearing a coat.
Wanda definitely does seem to have at least some control here, so maybe it's a sort of Stockholm Syndrome situation. She doesn't want to leave this beautiful place, and HYDRA doesn't want her to leave because maybe this situation gives them control over her dangerous powers.
Other Thoughts and Questions:
When did the delusion start? Sitcoms started in the '50s, so did Wanda's bubble only just begin as the show did? Does time pass the same outside of the bubble as it does inside the bubble?
Why has Wanda not used her mind powers? She's been floating and conjuring things all over the place, but she hasn't done any mind reading of any kind, which was a major part of her powers when she was introduced. And speaking of powers, why did Vision suddenly get superspeed? Vision doesn't usually have superspeed, but Wanda's dead brother Pietro did.
When Wanda was starting to see the color red, it was very reminiscent of a series of trailers released before Avengers: Endgame. The trailers were in black and white, except for anything that was red. Also, just pointing out that not only was the sitcom being filmed in black and white, but Wanda and Vision were seeing everything in black and white, up until they jumped into the '70s and were suddenly in color.
How does Doctor Strange fit in? WandaVision is connected to the next Doctor Strange movie and some have theorized that he's the one running Wanda's illusion, which doesn't feel like it makes a whole lot of sense after episode three. But that weird wizard could show up anywhere and we'd be like, "Yep, that tracks."
What is Vision? Paul Bettany told us that while Marvel can bend rules, it does not break them, and so Vision is definitely dead. But then is he entirely a product of the delusion or is someone else disguised as Vision? If he's not real at all, then how many other things in this world aren't real at all? How many things are real? Could Vision be of another timeline/universe, like the timeline Captain America lived in when he went back in time to be with Peggy?
If this is all a delusion and Vision isn't real, are the babies real? What does a half human/half android person look like anyway?
Anyway, these are the questions that will keep us up every night for the next week, and we hope your brain now hurts as much as ours does.
New episodes of WandaVision arrive every Friday on Disney+.