Warning — This article contains spoilers for WandaVision.
Starting off in its own disconnected sitcom world, WandaVision more recently opened itself up to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe to grandiose implications.
“Episode 5” kicked things into high gear for the Marvel series, dropping bombshell after bombshell. Not only were fans given the confirmation that Pietro Maximoff will be making a return wearing the face of X-Men actor Evan Peters, but audiences also got some more insight into Wanda’s ‘hex’ and how much she was in control.
The episode was, of course, filled to the brim with Easter eggs, including Vision's dog Sparky from the comics in non-synthesized form.
A notable line from WandaVision’s latest episode tied back to Scarlet Witch’s faceoff with the Mad Titan, but does it actually make sense?
THE THANOS LINE
In a mini-debate with Jimmy Woo over Wanda’s power level, SWORD agent Monica Rambeau says the following line:
"She could have taken out Thanos on her own if he hadn't initiated a blitz. I mean nobody else came close."
This refers to Wanda and Thanos' encounter in Avengers: Endgame, where Scarlet Witch fought an emotionally resonant battle against a man who had no knowledge of her existence.
Wanda almost got the upper hand on Thanos, using her magic to hold him down. Her chances of stopping the villain were thwarted though when Thanos desperately ordered his army to rain fire on the opposition in spite of the potential damage to his own forces.
SO, WHY DOESN’T THIS MAKE SENSE?
The statement itself is a reasonable observation to make, considering that Thanos was certainly on the ropes against the Scarlet Witch. What calls this line into question is the means of how this information could have been obtained.
The final battle of Avengers: Endgame was, quite frankly, a mess, with divergent combatants and factions from all corners of the universe. From the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, the Masters of the Mystic Arts, the Asgardians, the Dora Milaje to the tribes of Wakanda, there is a lot to keep track of and account for — and those are just some of the goodies.
Wanda and Thanos’ scuffle was also relatively isolated, with seemingly very few people in the surrounding area. With heroes scattered across the battlefield involved in their own skirmishes, it would have been difficult for them to be aware of where exactly everyone else was at any given time. The Battle of New York, this is not — there were more than six of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the final battle for Earth.
With one of the fighters being banished to dust hell, Wanda is the only that could be asked about this encounter.
This information also seems to be common knowledge, as indicated by Monica off-handedly mentioning these details to Jimmy Woo only for him to respond with his own observations. If these facts are publicly known, at least among the intelligence community, how did the news spread?
Did S.W.O.R.D. somehow obtain a play-by-play of the entire battle? Was someone off to the wings frantically taking notes and snapping pics? Was S.W.O.R.D. sent a Blu-ray copy of Avengers: Endgame (2019) through the tangled web of the multiverse and able to watch it back?
How exactly could this information have gotten into the hands of S.W.O.R.D.? Here are a few potential theories:
One possibility is that S.W.O.R.D. conducted interviews with participants of the battle to get their personal accounts. Being able to position a number of the players involved may have helped S.W.O.R.D. establish a timeline of key events. There are a few issues with this theory, though.
The length of time between the end of Avengers: Endgame and WandaVision poses a potential problem for this hypothesis. Monica Rambeau supposedly got back to work just three weeks after the Blip, placing the creation of Wanda’s hex somewhere in this period.
With S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward admitting the lower workforce capacity of S.W.O.R.D. even after the Blip, it may have been difficult to get around to everyone’s personal anecdotes.
It might have been a bit easier to ascertain the broad strokes of the battle, but the specifics of certain encounters may have been a bit harder to nail down. S.W.O.R.D. could have worked out that Wanda and Thanos fought, but it would have been much more difficult to work out that Scarlet Witch almost overpowered the Mad Titan during their confrontation and subsequently quantify Wanda’s power level.
Wanda would have been the only person able to divulge these finer details. With it being unclear when exactly Westview appeared, it is unknown whether S.W.O.R.D. could have gotten to interviewing the Scarlet Witch in time (especially considering she broke into their facility).
If Wanda couldn’t give her recount in person, perhaps she could have conveyed her story another way...
With all the analysis currently being conducted on Wanda and her hex, perhaps information was obtained from the mystery box of WandaVision itself.
Although Wanda has been careful to self-censor her broadcasts, some signals that do make it through the airwaves have some telling clues about her situation. The most apparent of these are the commercials, which often have allegories or allusions to the trauma in Wanda’s life.
We also know that Marvel fans are only seeing a small snippet of what Wanda’s sitcoms offer. WandaVision’s fourth installment revealed that an entire season was playing out in-universe, though fans have only been given one chapter of the story each episode. Meanwhile, S.W.O.R.D. has a full box-set worth of WandaVision to ‘enjoy.’
Could Wanda’s show have slipped up? Scarlet Witch was certainly frazzled in “Episode 5,” so perhaps a piece of info may have leaked through. Alternatively, one of Wanda’s commercials could have been transmitted to S.W.O.R.D., which may have mistakenly contained some information that pertained to Scarlet Witch’s encounter with Thanos.
Combine the commercial’s contextual clues with whatever intelligence S.W.O.R.D. had about the final battle of Endgame, and perhaps they could have gotten a working theory out of Wanda’s show after all.
While this could explain how Wanda’s battle went down, it still doesn’t necessarily clarify how Jimmy Woo knew about Carol Danvers almost overpowering Thanos, too. Perhaps another source of information is needed after all...
Scarlet Witch and Thanos’ fight truly seemed like a one-on-one brawl, but there is a chance that there was someone else on the field. If Marvel Studios can sneak Jake Gyllenhaal into the events of Captain America: Civil War, they can retcon a person or two into Endgame.
With so many people on the battlefield, perhaps there were a few scouts amidst the chaos to record the events of the battle. This, admittedly, would have been difficult though.
S.W.O.R.D. could, once again, come in to play to solve this conundrum. The organization was said to be involved with space operations in “Episode 4,” so perhaps they were able to obtain an aerial view of the battle via advanced satellites or drones. This would have enabled the group to get a clear view of Scarlet Witch’s attempts to take down Thanos.
Now that S.W.O.R.D. has rebranded to Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division, the organization almost certainly would have been trying to monitor the situation following Hulk’s power-surging Snap. It, therefore, wouldn’t be out of the question for S.W.O.R.D. to aim to get as much surveillance as possible, a practice that the group is familiar with as shown by Monica Rambeau using a recon drone twice within the series.
If S.W.O.R.D. really wasn’t keeping tabs on the battle though, who else could have been watching the events play out?
This is perhaps the most out-there theory of them all. What if there was a Watcher?
The Watchers were introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, explaining how Stan Lee traversed so many avenues of the MCU by acting as a Watcher informant. The all-seeing beings are primarily observers in the comics, witnessing the events of the multiverse as they unfold.
Uatu is a Watcher that occasionally defies his purpose, meddling with the lives of the inhabitants of Earth. Jeffrey Wright is officially portraying Uatu in Marvel’s What If…?, so perhaps there is a chance that the Watcher may make the jump to live-action.
Could S.W.O.R.D. have encountered the Watcher of Earth on his home on the Moon, using him for intel regarding the goings-on around the globe? It would certainly explain how such detailed information was obtained about Scarlet Witch’s fearsome face-off against her purple-faced foe.