Marvel fans have been salivating for weeks in anticipation of answers to all of the biggest questions generated by WandaVision, and now that we are in the final stretch of the show that information is finally starting to come fast and furious. Last week, of course, was the big revelation that there has been an insidious force at work in Westview, New Jersey all along, as Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness has been pulling a wide variety of chaos-causing strings – but in the latest episode, titled “Previously On,” the series has now provided some huge revelations regarding the history of Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision.
In a very special way, WandaVision has managed to upend aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we all presumed were set in stone six years ago, and it could wind up having a massive impact on the future of the franchise. But before we dig into all of the new provided by Episode 8, let’s do a quick refresher on what we thought we knew about the show’s titular characters.
What We Thought We Knew About Scarlet Witch
Audiences first had the chance to meet the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Wanda Maximoff all the way back in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and it was in that film that we first fully learned about the character’s past – particularly in regards to her hatred for Tony Stark and the Hydra experiment that was done to transform her into a weapon.
As depicted in the new episode of WandaVision, Wanda first experienced trauma at a young age when she and her twin brother Pietro witnessed the death of their parents as a result of a mortar attack on their house. The weaponry that was used in the violence was produced by Stark Industries – which was a fact that she only learned because of a branded missile that landed in the living room and thankfully turned out to be a dud. The incident at first left the young girl and boy just waiting for their deaths, but when the explosion never happened they instead simply became radicalized.
Fueled by an extreme hatred for Tony Stark and wanting an opportunity for revenge, Wanda and Pietro agreed to volunteer for experiments conducted by Hydra using Loki’s staff (which we later learned was powered by the Mind Stone). At first it appeared that her power set was in the realm of both matter and mental manipulation, but her abilities have exponentially increased in the time since then… and based on revelations in the latest episode of WandaVision it seems that we now know why.
Scarlet Witch Had Powers Before The Hydra Experiments
Despite what we were led to believe for years, it turns out that Scarlet Witch didn’t actually get her powers from the Mind Stone. This isn’t to say that the Infinity Stone didn’t have an important effect on her, as it absolutely did, but the big bombshell reveal in this week’s WandaVision is the fact that Wanda Maximoff was born with the ability to manipulate probability – just like her counterpart in Marvel Comics.
As it turns out, the Stark Industries missile that landed in the Maximoff household turned out to be a dud not because of some kind of malfunction in the machinery, but because of magic that Wanda unknowingly performed. The young Scarlet Witch was able to mentally adjust the odds of the weapon being defective, and by doing so was able to save the lives of both herself and her brother.
This revelation also goes a long way in explaining her experience during the Hydra experiments. Prior to Wanda being exposed to the Mind Stone, every other volunteer that the evil organization brought in wound up dying, and it seems that’s because all of those individuals were just normal people. Wanda’s natural gifts (let the mutant speculation begin!) allowed her to not only withstand the power of the ancient ingot, but the Infinity Stone also apparently provided a ton of juice to her abilities, and we’ve been watching the after-effects unfurl ever since.
But Scarlet Witch – who finally earns her superhero name at the end of “Previously On” – isn’t the only hero who gets her secrets revealed in the latest episode of WandaVision, as there were some key revelations provided for Vision as well…
What We Thought We Knew About Vision
Fans will remember that we also first got to meet Vision in Avengers: Age Of Ultron – the result of combining the artificial intelligence known as JARVIS with a vibranium body – but for the purposes of this feature we’re going to specifically focus on the character’s most recent history a.k.a. the time since his death in Avengers: Infinity War.
Despite the best efforts of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Vision was killed by Thanos when the Mind Stone was plucked out of his head, and in the aftermath of that event he was left as a lifeless pile of valuable tech. In the wake of the incident, as previously seen in WandaVison, the body was collected by S.W.O.R.D. – but we were led to believe that Vision didn’t stay with them for very long. Instead, security footage that was shown on the series depicted Wanda breaking into the organization’s headquarters and stealing him, presumably right before heading to New Jersey and building out her rich fantasy life.
That was a story that was easy enough to digest when it was first delivered given all of the clear craziness going on with Wanda. As we learn in the latest episode of the Marvel Disney+ series, however, the audience has been totally manipulated, and everything we’ve seen thus far hasn’t been totally truthful. In actuality, the situation with Vision is a lot freakier and weirder.
Vision Wasn’t Actually Resurrected Before… But He Has Been Now
WandaVision sparked a ton of questions a couple weeks ago when it was shown in the sixth episode that Vision has a terrifically hard time existing outside of Scarlet Witch’s hex, and it just so happens that there is a simple explanation for that: Vision isn’t actually Vision. Rather than being the aforementioned combination of JARVIS and a vibranium body that we got to know in various Marvel movies, the synthazoid that we have been watching on Disney+ was wholly created by Wanda’s magic as a means of dealing with her trauma and emotional anguish.
For reasons that are not entirely clear just yet, S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward has been using the developing situation with Wanda and her hex as a smokescreen. While he has led everybody to believe that Scarlet Witch stole Vision’s body and has been manipulating him like a puppet, Hayward knows the truth, which is that the synthezoid has been “safely” in the possession of his organization the entire time. Why? Because he’s been trying to reactivate Vision and utilize him as the weapon that he believes the Avenger to be.
What’s particularly scary is that the mid-credits scene of the new WandaVision seems to suggest that Hayward has been successful in his mission. He uses Wanda’s residual magic energy from the drone she attacked in a previous episode to power the reconstructed android, and the final moment of the show sees him coming back to life. He doesn’t exactly look normal, with all of his vibrant color drained away, but he is certainly active, and it scares us to think of how S.W.O.R.D. may start using him.
WandaVision left us with some massive cliffhangers in “Previously On,” and next week it all wraps up. The finale of the first ever Marvel Cinematic Universe series for Disney+ will be arriving on the streaming service Friday, March 5 at midnight PST/3:00am EST – but between now and then be sure to stick around here on CinemaBlend in the coming days, as we’ll definitely be continuing to dissect the exciting penultimate chapter of the show and everything that it means.