In WandaVision’s third episode, “Now In Color,” Marvel Cinematic Universe fans heard a name they had not heard in the franchise for many years: Pietro. A memory of the real world slipped through the lips of Monica Rambeau when Wanda Maximoff noted that she is a twin, as the S.W.O.R.D. agent hypnotically recalled that he was killed by Ultron (as seen in Avengers: Age Of Ultron). It was a pretty shocking thing to hear at the time – but that was nothing compared to what has been delivered at the end of Episode 5.
Given the mention of Pietro, some WandaVision fans speculated about the possibility of seeing Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver again… but it turns out that those thinking that way simply weren’t thinking weird enough. Technically they were half right, as the speedy Avenger did indeed appear in tonight’s chapter of the Marvel series, but what came as a mind-blowing shock is that the character was played by Evan Peters – who famously portrayed Quicksilver in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix a.k.a. three movies outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
So what the hell is going on? Let’s break this down!
How Quicksilver’s Cameo Is Set Up In WandaVision Episode 5
Not only did WandaVision set up Quicksilver’s appearance with the aforementioned Pietro namedrop in the third episode, but his cameo was also foreshadowed in tonight’s new arrival. There is a brief moment where Wanda is talking with her rapidly aging sons, Billy and Tommy, and they ask her if she has a brother. Doing a bit of staring into the middle distance, Wanda confirms that she does, but adds that “he’s far away from here, and that makes me sad sometimes.” She clearly doesn’t want to expose her boys to the realities of death at such a young age, and so she uses a vague dismissal (though it’s also easy to believe that his body is literally far away, potentially buried in Europe).
Unfortunately, Wanda can’t shield Billy and Tommy for long. Their new dog Sparky runs away, and he is discovered dead in Agnes’ azalea bushes, which are toxic to the species. Wanda’s sons plead that their mother use her powers to bring Sparky back from the dead, but Wanda refuses, saying that she can’t just reverse death “no matter how sad it makes us.” In the moment this reads as a pointed reference to her situation with Vision (a.k.a. grief driving her to steal his corpse and reanimate it), but upon reconsideration one has to wonder if there might be some Pietro-driven issues in the mix as well.
With that kind of set-up, you’d think that it would have been easier to predict Quicksilver’s arrival as the big cliffhanger at the end of the episode, and yet I’m writing this article with my dropped jaw sitting on the desk as I type.
Quicksilver Arrives, But Not The Quicksilver You Expect
Much of the drama in WandaVision Episode 5 is driven by the escalating conflict between the show’s titular characters – which gets chillingly intense in moments – but it is interesting that when the doorbell rings you do start bracing yourself for a cameo. The show milks the moment for all its worth, with the lingering shot of Wanda’s face, the shot of the silver hair, and the cutaways to Dr. Darcy Lewis, but in the end the juice is entirely worth the squeeze thanks to the Evan Peters reveal.
As recognized by Darcy (who is, like us, expecting the face of Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the sitcom setup renders the move as a recast – and no, we have not a single legitimate clue as to what is happening. Evan Peters obviously does have claim to the Quicksilver role, but, as mentioned earlier, the trio of X-Men movies he made exist outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. Obviously we knew things were going to start changing once Disney acquired 20th Century Fox two years ago, and there has been anticipation for the introduction of various X-Men characters into the franchise, but to see it happen this quickly and in this way is a big surprise.
Ultimately it’s something that we fully expect to play into the larger happenings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward – especially with the upcoming Spider-Man movie casting out-of-canon villains, and the next Doctor Strange movie titled Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness – but for now we should definitely focus on what it means for WandaVision. Because it could mean a lot.
So Is This Really All Wanda’s Doing?
Fueling the rising tensions between Wanda and Vision in Episode 5 is the fact that it’s confirmed Wanda is manipulating reality to create Westview, New Jersey. For most of its run it seems like the story is setting up full confirmation of Scarlet Witch as a supervillain – but I have to admit that the end of the episode and the arrival of Evan Peters’ Quicksilver makes me continue to question if there isn’t still a sinister force at work manipulating the hex-generating Sokovian.
For starters there is the way in which the doorbell slices through Wanda and Vision’s argument. Given everything we’ve seen, it’s understandable that the android has a hard time believing and trusting the woman he loves… but there’s also something that feels totally real about Wanda’s insistence that she’s not responsible for the person at the door. Admittedly this is more gut feeling than anything, but there is something about her in the moment that registers as genuine.
Far more significant is what seems like an unanswerable question: why would Wanda “recast” her own brother? If the manipulation of reality is all about grief, it doesn’t make sense that she would bring in some random person as a substitute for her twin – and the fact that it’s not actually random makes the situation that much more suspicious. This situation screams puppeteering on behalf of a larger power in the multiverse.
Is the agony of having to wait a full week for the next episode already eating at your guts? Well, join the club. Fortunately one great way to pass the time until the next episode of WandaVision arrives on Disney+ is to wildly speculate, and you can be sure that we’ll be doing a hell of a lot of that in the coming days.