Spoilers below for the latest episode of WandaVision, "Previously On," so be warned!
If WandaVision had ended its first (and probably only) season on the instantly beloved ditty "Agatha All Along," I probably would have applauded the choice in spite of all the mysteries it would have left unsolved. That's not what happened, of course, and Episode 8 was another mind-bending look inside Wanda's mind, this time focusing on depressingly poignant moments from her past. But while everyone was paying attention to Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda and Kathryn Hahn's Agatha, Josh Stamberg's Director Hayward was making big and questionable things happen behind the scenes, both in the past and the present.
Despite being the head of an governmental organization founded by known protagonist Maria Lambeau, Tyler Hayward invoked suspicions in viewers from his earliest scenes, and the curiosities have only grown with each layer that gets peeled back on his grand mission. So join me in going over some of the biggest questions we still have about the S.W.O.R.D. leader going into WandaVision's finale.
Did Hayward Actually Know Wanda Could Resurrect Vision?
"Previously On" finally confirmed that Hayward faked the S.W.O.R.D. facility footage he showed to Monica, and showed that Wanda's attempt to retrieve Vision's body left her empty-handed. But while that was somewhat expected, Hayward's conversation with Wanda wasn't. Strangely, he brought up the concept that Wanda could bring Vision back to life, which she balked at, similar to how she was confused with Billy and Tommy presumed she could reverse Sparky's death. But was Hayward hinting that he knew more about Wanda's powers than she did? Or was that line just a calculated ruse to see how she would respond? It seemed very likely that everything being done to Vision's body parts in that specific scene was merely a performance to provoke Wanda's emotions, so did Hayward plant the seed of "resurrection" to see how it would grow inside her?
Did Hayward Know The Drone Would Maintain Wanda's Magic?
I definitely have questions about Hayward being SO certain that Wanda's Mind-Stone magic was exactly what he needed for his true Vision-related scheme, but I'll chalk that up to years of fruitless research making him desperate. What confuses me though, is why Hayward thought his drone plan would work, considering Wanda angrily blasted Monica out of the Hex without her magic sticking to Monica's clothing. And even if he did think threatening the family's life would draw a mega-response from Wanda, how could he have known she would walk outside the hex and deliver the drone to him? (Unless, of course, that wasn't actually Wanda who brought the drone out, but that's a question for another feature.)
Was Hayward Responsible For Maria Lambeau's Death?
Here, we're taking a veering left turn into malicious territory with Hayward, who has yet to truly prove himself to have evil instincts. But considering there's still much mystery surrounding Maria Rambeau's death, it's worth considering that Tyler Hayward may have been a fast-rising S.W.O.R.D. exec who saw a way to make himself the top dog without fully getting his hands dirty. He was next in line for the job, and he likely didn't have the same confidence that Maria had about everyone returning, so he might have felt a need to take control during a time when the post-Snap world was going to hell. I'm not sure whether I think Hayward was behind Maria's initial cancer diagnosis, nor how that would relate to Monica's anger over Captain Marvel. But if Maria's death had any kind of human element involved, I'm betting Hayward was that human.
Why Was Hayward Tracking Vision Inside The Hex?
Considering he was busy trying to rebuild and reactivate Vision using the leftover bits from Avengers: Infinity War, Hayward's mind should have been blown wide open by the realization that another Vision existed inside The Hex. Yet he didn't quite tip his hat with his response, and he has basically underplayed his reactions for just about everything that's happened so far. Which makes his secret goal of tracking Vision, as discovered by Darcy, all the more intriguing. Is he following Vision's movements solely from interest in magically created vibranium, possibly with the idea to create more sentient weaponry? Plus, how did he even go about getting a steady read on Vision's vibranium, considering Wanda is supposedly responsible for signals going into and coming out of the Hex?
What Is Hayward's Plan For White Vision?
It seems clear at this point – in as much as anything does – that Hayward has been setting Wanda up to be the villain so that he can appear justified in creating another sentient weapon with White Vision, which would go against the Sokovia Accords. And considering what Wanda's chaos magic has been responsible for to this point, it's not hard to imagine Hayward getting support. But to what ends? Is Hayward so pissed off at super-powered people like Wanda that he created his own in order to take them down? Hayward likely doesn't know that much (or anything) about chaos magic, so why is he at all confident that his plan will work?
Will Hayward Be Punished For Lying To Monica And Other Government Agents?
Now that we know for sure that Hayward doctored the S.W.O.R.D. facility footage from Wanda's visit, one has to wonder whether or not he'll be held responsible for promoting this conspiracy. Now, this particular fallacy is probably going to look like small potatoes compared to whatever atrocities happen when White Vision is unleashed, but can we all acknowledge the magnitude of such an act? On top of likely setting S.W.O.R.D. employees up as potential bait when Wanda was on site, Hayward presented false evidence to an FBI agent, as well as at least one high-ranking S.W.O.R.D. agent, and any other agents in the vicinity who weren't in on the plan. That's pretty serious shit, and it's also likely that other agents who were in on it would also be guilty of one crime or another.
Does Hayward Know About Agatha?
Hayward often appears to be more knowledgable than he's letting on, but is it possible he is aware of Agatha Harkness' existence, either within the Hex or outside of it? My instincts tell me no, since nobody cared very much that Agnes' "real" identity was never discovered. As well, Hayward appears to be crafting his actions as if Wanda is the only verifiable threat standing (or floating) in his way. So will viewers see Agatha and Wanda teaming up to take Hayward and White Vision down? Or will there be a last-minute twist where Hayward reveals he was well aware that Agatha was involved? Could they possibly be...working together? Could Agatha have been posing as Wanda whenever she gave them the Hex-affected drone?
I'd be silly to think that every single one of these questions will be answered in WandaVision's finale, which is set to air on Disney+ on Friday, March 5. But it also seemed silly to think that Marvel would give us a scene set in 17th-century Salem, and here we are.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.