WandaVision has finally concluded its epic nine-episode run in this week's finale, briefly closing the MCU door for now until The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres its first installment on March 19.
The multi-era sitcom-inspired Marvel epic put both Wanda and the Vision into a series full of hilarious scenarios and reality-bending mysteries.
After a lot of debate among fans surrounding the mysteries of the series and the opinions on each episode, The Direct has ranked every episode of the series in order of worst to best.
The first episode of WandaVision does a solid job of everything it tries to do, but it is distinctly the worst of an amazing bunch. As the series opens with the '50s era inspired by The Dick Van Dyke show, fans are introduced to the basic sitcom concept by showing the peaceful family life of two Avengers.
"Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience" largely maintains its focus on the simplistic comedic story of Vision's boss coming to dinner, however, is trickled with enough clues to a larger mystery to keep hardcore Marvel fans intrigued and watching. Much like most of the series' early episodes, the light shed on the true nature of Westview in the later episodes makes the first rewatch feel like a new experience.
Unfortunately, given the basic novelty nature of the jokes and storyline, most of the episode falls flat in reflection, especially compared to the highlights of the season. Hardcore Marvel fans are likely to enjoy the episode and persevere with the series given the promise of what's to come. However, casual fans may be turned away quickly due to the excessively weird nature and lack of the classic superhero flare viewers expect.
WandaVision's second installment improves on the first in many ways as it keeps the black-and-white visual style in the 1960s Bewitched inspired tale. The crux of the episode focused once again on Wanda and Vision's sitcom life as a couple in Westview, this time placing more emphasis on the two trying to fit into life in the town.
Throughout the story, the two bond with many of their neighbors as Wanda meets the ladies of Westview at an event planning group, and Vision attends a neighborhood watch meeting — ending up with a drunk-like reaction to chewing gum. All of this concludes in the super-powered beings pulling off a successful magical talent show performance without revealing their powers.
Once again, the episode is packed with teases of a weirder mystery to the town as full-color objects begin appearing into colorless surroundings, unknown voices call to Wanda through radios, and a SWORD-branded beekeeper appears through a sewer cover. Viewers are also treated to the debut of SWORD's Monica Rambeau, who comes to town under the persona of Geraldine, something that is explained several episodes later.
“Don't Touch That Dial” improved substantially on the comedic elements of the first installment and left viewers on an exciting cliffhanger as the world transitioned into full color while Wanda fell pregnant. Those who were hooked by the first episode will love everything about this one as it offers more of everything the last story did but in a bigger fashion.
But, much like most of the early episodes, "Episode 2" continues to lack in MCU staples, largely serving as a sitcom episode. It suffers from many of the same flaws that placed "Episode 1" at the bottom of the list.
"Now in Color" is the last — and by far the best — of the early episodes that followed the traditional sitcom model, this time in the '70s with The Brady Bunch-esque elements.
The storyline brought major changes as Wanda delivered her babies in a pregnancy that lasted under a day, leading to the birth of twins Billy and Tommy, known to comic fans as the Young Avengers' Wiccan and Speed.
Fans got to see a lot more of Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau in this episode as she helped Wanda deliver her boys. MCU diehards were also treated to a mention of Wanda's deceased brother Pietro, who was killed by Ultron in the second blockbuster Avengers film.
Rambeau's mention of the deceased Quicksilver led to her banishment from Westview in an outburst of rage from the Sokovian Avenger. That cliffhanger set up the involvement of SWORD in episodes to come.
The show's odd conspiracies continued to grow heavily in "Now in Color" as Vision began to grow suspicious of some odd behavior from their neighbors. Wanda's use of her powers against Rambeau seemingly solidified fan theories that she was the one in control of the bubble reality and set up her actions in the episodes that followed.
This episode stands out as the best of the first three as it does an excellent job of slightly modernizing the sitcom series compared to early episodes by placing it in color with an up-to-date comedic style. This also serves as the last episode that sticks strongly to the sitcom focus, with later episodes beginning to mix in other Marvel characters and elements that have turned the MCU into the hit it is today.
The very nature of "Breaking the Fourth Wall" makes the final traditional sitcom episode of the series one of the most relatable for Marvel fans. As the series has gradually jumped eras every episode, the seventh episode takes Wanda into the modern-day with inspirations from recent series like Modern Family and The Office, which many viewers ought to be familiar with.
While Wanda rests for a lot of the episode by attempting to calm herself, she only ends up messing with reality even more in arguably the funniest episode to come out of WandaVision. Monica finally re-enters the town and confronts the traumatized hero, revealing her newly acquired superpowers from her interaction with the hex, allowing her to face off against the MCU's most powerful hero.
Meanwhile, Darcy and Vision take a frequently interrupted road trip through town as they attempt to return from the newly expanded border to get back to Wanda and Vision's home. The journey between the two yields plenty of funny moments including sitcom nods to the interview styles of the shows that inspired the modern comedy.
Possibly the biggest takeaway from this episode was the major cliffhanger reveal of Agnes as Marvel Comics witch Agatha Harkness. The moment was accompanied by the most iconic song to come out of the series in "Agatha All Along" with a montage of shots revealing Agatha's evil actions throughout the prior episodes.
Agatha actress Kathryn Hahn is finally given more to do in the episode prior to her reveal as the witch as she babysits Billy and Tommy for Wanda as well.
Not to mention, the story concludes with the first post-credit scene of the series as Pietro makes his return to sneak up on the super-powered Monica Rambeau as she discovers Agatha's witch-like basement.
While the episode was filled with great moments, it could be argued that most of it did little to further the overall plot of the series until the climactic cliffhanger moment. The lack of substantial content throughout the majority of the episode means the episode ranks relatively low on The Direct's list of WandaVision episodes.
Following almost two months of build-up and anticipation, WandaVision reached its climactic finale with a blockbuster scale finale that provided a satisfying conclusion to the series. However, it failed to live up to the hype generated by the cast and crew.
The episode is filled with all the amazing CGI heavy actions fans would expect from the conclusion of an epic Marvel story, although many of the fight scenes prove to be repetitive throughout the episode and extremely similar in nature.
All around, the episode provides answers to most of the fans' biggest questions, though many of these ended up being letdowns for some viewers. To an extent, the hype for this conclusion was so high and theories had gone so wild, the writers could never deliver on the level many had hoped.
Throughout the run of the series, the cast hyped up a major cameo that would surprise and shock fans. The final result of this proved to be a huge disappointment for most as Paul Bettany himself turned out to be the major cameo as White Vision.
Additionally, the late moments of the story show an incredibly emotional sequence as the version of the Vision seen throughout the series disappears out of existence, with White Vision's existence still leaving the door open to a return down the line.
The ending does an excellent job of setting up Wanda's role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the rest of her MCU future as she finally becomes the Scarlet Witch — with one of the best superhero costumes ever put to screen.
Now, this is where things took an interesting turn for WandaVision. While the first three installments kept the focus inside Wanda's Westview bubble world, the fourth episode broke that pattern.
The story took viewers back into the normal post-Avengers: Endgame world as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo and Jane Fosters' former assistant Dr. Darcy Lewis both made their MCU returns. Additionally, fans finally got a look at SWORD, the more space-based SHIELD equivalent that Nick Fury was teased to be working with in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far from Home.
This episode was packed with references to the past as SWORD's investigation of Wanda's Westview bubble explained a lot of the weirder moments of the first three episodes. Jimmy Woo was revealed as the voice that spoke to Wanda in "Episode 2," the mysterious beekeeper was revealed as an investigating SWORD agent, and Monica Rambeau accidentally stepped into the world.
Additionally, viewers were shown an uncut version of the concluding moments from "Episode 3" as a rage-induced outburst of anger from Wanda led her to send Rambeau back into the normal world to reveal “It's all Wanda” in control of the reality.
All around, "We Interrupt This Program" is one of the strongest episodes of the series. It offers viewers a well-timed break from the comedic high jinks of Westview with the kind of elements that would be more expected out of the Marvel world.
Now, this was a different one. After the reveal of Agnes as the mysterious witch Agatha Harkness, “Previously On” took Wanda on a flashback-styled trip down memory lane as the sitcom elements were put aside to focus on the trauma of her life. Before that, Harkness' origin was revealed in the form of a de-aged Kathryn Hahn in a 1600s Salem Witch trial, introducing the classic comic roots of the character to the MCU.
The acting throughout the series as a whole is superb, however, few episodes do as much to showcase the immense talent of Elizabeth Olsen as this journey through Wanda's pain did. From reacting to seeing her parents die in a bomb explosion, to her first nights alongside Vision living in Avengers HQ, the story serves as the perfect character study, letting Olsen show off her acting chops.
Up until now, fans thought they knew everything there was to about the backstory of Wanda's powers and family history, but the episode still managed to dig up new dirt on the character. Few could have expected the revelation the reality-bending witch had her powers from birth and was in fact only enhanced by HYDRA's experimentation of her with the Mind Stone. Better yet. it was explained that her magical roots led to her finally being given the name of Scarlet Witch.
The penultimate episode concluded with an intriguing setup for a blockbuster finale as Agatha takes Wanda's sons and reveals her as the Scarlet Witch, offering her the comic book superhero name for the first time in the MCU.
"Previously On" provided hardcore fans with a deep character study of Wanda's life, however, most of the episode reveals hardly any new information and instead focuses on the exposition of what is already known. Despite this, the episode can truly be considered a work of art and features some of the deepest emotional moments to be put to screen in the MCU.
Following an intense and hectic fifth episode of the reality-bending series, "Episode 6" keeps the pace and stakes high with a '90s Halloween extravaganza with a touch of Malcolm in the Middle.
Some big changes were made to the overall style with this installment as the era moved closer to the modern era with a single-camera style of filming, replacing the classic sitcom multi-camera style of past episodes.
Both Billy and Tommy finally showcased their powers for the first time in this episode as the entire family donned their respective comic accurate superhero costumes as part of the Halloween festivities.
Meanwhile, on the outside, Monica, Jimmy, and Darcy went rogue from SWORD and out on their own to try and save the people trapped inside Westview from Wanda's clutches. The dynamic between the three was superbly written for characters who have never previously met, so much so that the episode spun out into viral calls for a spin-off series focussed on the trio.
The Halloween trick-or-treating scenes were filled with amazing moments with Pietro, who is a stand-out in this episode as he — clearly under external control — taunts Wanda by reminding her of her lifetime of trauma.
"All-New Halloween Spectacular!" built toward an amazing concluding scene as Vision investigates the outskirts of Westview and attempts to escape the bubble, forcing Wanda to expand the boundaries to save his life.
While the episode does take a drop from the previous episode, it is still by far one of the best of the series and left viewers with just as many new questions as answers.
Wow. That's about the only word that can be used to describe the fifth installment of WandaVision. The sitcom elements of the story take place in the 1980s with inspirations from Family Ties, but that's far from the most important part of this episode.
The storyline is incredibly well-paced with plenty going on as Wanda's sons rapidly age themselves up to ten and get a family dog — only for it to die hours later. SWORD uses an '80s drone to infiltrate the town before Wanda has to step outside the bubble for the first time to retaliate. Vision realizes Wanda's involvement in controlling the town's citizens and confronts her about it. And, most importantly, the episode concludes with the shocking arrival of Evan Peters as a recast Pietro.
Elizabeth Olsen is given the opportunity to shine as an actress as she gets to play so many versions of Wanda at once. From the caring and loving mother to the rage-fueled Sokovian attacking the agents of SWORD to protect her home, Olsen really shows her versatility and talent from beginning to end.
This was the first episode to flip back-and-forth between the perspectives in and outside the bubble as SWORD attempted to learn more about what's going on. In many ways, the series showcases how cleverly self-aware it can be here as the characters ask all the questions fans are thinking.
Additionally, a lot of the viral speculation on the series stemmed out of this episode. Not only did Fox X-Men actor Evan Peters return to the role as a recast version of the MCU Pietro, but Monica's long-discussed “aerospace engineer” friend was mentioned for the first time, driving fans crazy with theories.
In the eyes of some, this episode could be considered one of the best things to stem out of the MCU since its original conception ten years ago. It really shows the amazing potential Marvel has with their Disney+ series' when they step outside the box to make something unique, mysterious, and exciting.
WANDAVISION: MARVEL'S MASTERPIECE
Most seem to agree that WandaVision has had an amazing nine-episode run, standing out in the MCU as one of the most unique creations to come out of Kevin Feige's interconnected world.
The thought of seeing Marvel Studios create such a deep character study exploring the mental trauma of a superhero's life would've once seemed like an impossible feat for the studio, and yet, here it is. Feige and the Marvel Studios team have successfully proven the amazing potential a long-form Disney+ series has to enhance the MCU and set up future projects.
While the series had its high and lows, and some elements of it have proven controversial among the fan base, the final result is arguably the greatest story to come out of the Marvel universe yet.
Fans can look forward to seeing where Wanda goes next when returns in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness next March.