WARNING: This article contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 6.
If there was anyone questioning if Marvel Studios was going to keep moving forward at a record-breaking pace after 2019's conclusion to the Infinity Saga, Disney+'s WandaVision has proven that the MCU has still got it.
Including plenty of twists and turns in each half-hour installment, the new Marvel show has taken the world by storm. And with a third of its first season still to be released in the coming weeks, there is still a lot that must be explored in the town of Westview.
One of the most shocking (and admittedly confusing) inclusions in WandaVision thus far was the appearance of Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff — specifically as the Pietro Maximoff from the MCU's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and not the version of Quicksilver that the actor had played for years in Fox's X-Men flicks.
Fans all over are trying to figure out why Marvel threw such a curveball in the series' Episode 5. There's a group of fans that are convinced Peters' Pietro actually is the Quicksilver from the X-Men films, claiming he was somehow pulled into the Hex from another dimension by anyone from Wanda's son Billy to the MCU's Sorcerer Supreme. Some even suspect that Evan Peters isn't actually playing Pietro Maximoff at all, but rather a sinister imposter meant to get closer to Wanda like Marvel's Nightmare or even the devilish Mephisto.
Pietro's sudden arrival was as unexpected as it is still left unexplained. Whatever the answer may be, his inclusion in the show became more suspicious through WandaVision's sixth episode as audiences saw him constantly dodge questions about his origins while also justifying his very specific role in Wanda's hometown of Westview.
PIETRO MAXIMOFF "AS HIMSELF"
It's important to note that Evan Peters' character in the X-Men films where he also played Quicksilver went by the name "Peter," not "Pietro." Saying that Pietro is appearing "as himself" could be reinforcing that Peters is not playing the speedster that fans grew fond of when he appeared alongside Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, but rather he is stepping in as the MCU's Pietro that audiences met in 2015's Age of Ultron.
But there may be more to it than that.
Every episode of WandaVision has included its own sitcom-esque intro sequence that corresponds to the episode's concurrent era. Each intro has been thoroughly enjoyable and relatively light-hearted, making fans smile before the ensuing tension takes over.
But within WandaVision, these intros are made for the viewership of the Westview anomaly to accompany the broadcast that the Hex emits, which is assumedly done by Wanda and for Wanda. Since there's reason to believe that Wanda creates these intro sequences for no one other than herself, this would explain why many of them have been filled with intimate family moments, serving as montages of the best moments that she's created in the small town she took over.
A REAL LOOK INTO THE MAXIMOFF HOUSEHOLD
What's interesting is that the intro for Episode 6 was shot from the perspective of Tommy, who ran around the home capturing footage of the family on a mediocre Maximoff morning with a camcorder. Rather than becoming a heartfelt history of Westview's newest era, it shows Tommy storming into the bathroom while Wanda is getting ready for the day before she's put on the full appearance that she wants the outside world to see.
The sequence then shows Tommy run downstairs to Vision, who seems to lash out at Tommy with a rolled-up newspaper after stepping through their living room sofa. This reveals that 1) Vision is using his powers more openly despite his very recent stance against doing so in Ep. 5, and 2) Vision's temper has shortened significantly, hinting that there is an added layer of tension in the household.
Coincidentally, this is also the first and only WandaVision intro that Pietro has been included in, and it seems to put a little extra effort into convincing the audience that he's really who he says he is. Despite everyone appearing with their real names (minus Agnes, probably), Pietro's introduction is the only name that is followed by "as himself," drawing further attention to his identity as the Pietro that Wanda grew up with.
Ironically, Pietro makes a "devil's horns" gesture with his hand while sticking his tongue out in this sequence, as if to mock the audience members that believe he's a devil in disguise.
PLAYING THE PART OF PIETRO
Also, if this new Quicksilver is really playing the MCU's Pietro Maximoff, he's doing a pretty poor job thus far. I'm not just talking about the fact that he looks nothing like Wanda's dead brother.
Wanda said she's tired of hiding in Ep. 5, which was recapped in the "Previously On WandaVision..." segment that played before Ep. 6, reminding audiences of Wanda's inner turmoil. It's assumed she's referring to hiding her powers from her neighbors, but there may also be a deeper meaning, perhaps hinting that she's grown weary of the charade she's playing in Westview and wishes she could truly be herself.
Oddly enough, Pietro spends the majority of his time in Ep. 6 encouraging Wanda and her twin boys to use their powers openly — and abundantly. He then helps Billy and Tommy steal candy from other kids, smash pumpkins, and cover their neighbors in silly string.
Wanda later points out that she "can't believe what a bad influence" Pietro is having on her suburban utopia, which then prompts Pietro to defend his actions as exactly what Wanda actually wants even if she doesn't realize it. Pietro speaks of his "role" as if it was specifically assigned to him, telling Wanda he's there to "do [his] part" by "coming to town unexpectedly, creating tension with the brother-in-law, stirring up trouble with the rugrats, and ultimately give you grief."
Oddly, that aligns almost exactly with what WandaVision writer Jac Schaeffer described Evan Peters' role in the show as: "the classic sitcom trope" where the brother-in-law comes to town to "stir things up with the family."
Schaeffer mentioned in the same interview that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was only up for the revival of Quicksilver if it "made sense" for WandaVision as a whole, giving reason to assume there is an underlying purpose for Pietro's sudden inclusion in the world of Westview.
Oddly, Pietro's supposed role in Wanda's new world is almost the exact opposite of the role her twin brother played the last time we saw him. In Age of Ultron, Pietro was Wanda's safe place, acting as a companion she could lean on and a brother she could trust. Pietro protected Wanda against the threats of the real world, which is quite a different dynamic than what played out between the two in Ep. 6 of WandaVision.
If the Scarlett Witch really is the reason Pietro came to Westview, then it seems that she still doesn't realize it, and she's even hesitant to believe her brother when he tries to make sense of it. When Wanda looks puzzled by the notion that she's the one that pulled her dead brother into the Hex, Pietro asks "That's what you wanted, isn't it?" which pushes the focus back to Wanda and makes her question herself once more while also diverting attention away from himself.
WHAT DOES PIETRO ACTUALLY KNOW?
That isn't the only time that Pietro Maximoff answers a question with another question, either.
It's important to ask how Pietro came into the Hex knowing so much, and why he's ok with all of it. In fact, he seems to know everything that Wanda knows about the Westview anomaly without giving a straight answer to a single question about himself.
When Wanda asked her brother why he no longer had his Sokovian accent, he got out of answering her by asking his twin sister why she didn't have hers either. And when Wanda began to reminisce about their shared troubled childhood, Pietro wiggled out of that too by asking Wanda if she was testing him — a question that shouldn't even have come to mind between the twins.
In fact, when Pietro later recalls his own death, he refers to himself as "some chump who got shot in the street for no reason," as if he was disgusted and somewhat resented the tragedy of the speedster's murder. This, paired with Pietro's crude Quicksilver Halloween costume, may actually be poking fun at the MCU's Pietro Maximoff, and only be provoking Wanda to anger.
Despite the "fuzzy" details of Pietro's past, he sure knows a lot about the present in Westview. When Pietro asked Wanda where she was "hiding all of these kids" up until the Halloween spooktacular, Wanda seems a bit taken aback by the question, clearly surprised that he would make such an implication about her new home.
Despite how differently this Pietro acts from the one fans know from Age of Ultron, the voiced concern for the children in Westview is actually on-par with what could be expected from Wanda's twin brother. Losing their parents at the age of ten, Wanda and Pietro experienced hell at a very young age, which could imply they have a soft spot specifically for the children's' wellbeing.
The difference here is that Pietro doesn't seem concerned about the kids. Rather, his interest seems to be invested in how Wanda was able to pull off creating this Hex and controlling everyone within it — including the kids. This is a very different set of priorities than what fans could expect from Pietro Maximoff, who in his good nature admired SHIELD's efforts to rescue the people of Sokovia from harm.
Why is Pietro so interested in Wanda's ability to keep Westview up and running? And why would he be asking about the town's kids? Perhaps this Pietro is interested in the game of mind-control as well, and evidently, there is already a certain set of twins that he already has a heavy influence on.
WANDA + GRIEF = NOTHING GOOD
If Pietro really has returned from the dead, then it couldn't have been Wanda that invited him into the Hex based on what we've seen so far. Pietro's inclusion has yet to bear anything productive for Wanda, yet he insists he's there because he knew she needed him.
Westview is supposedly Wanda's perfect world, so it would actually seem counter-productive to throw another wrench into it like Pietro to cause trouble while she knows that SWORD is lurking just outside of town.
Taking the assumption that Pietro was sent into the Hex by an outside force into account, then they were the ones to give Pietro the task of "ultimately giving [Wanda] grief." Who on Earth would want to give Wanda any more grief than she's already got?
Each time she has a traumatic experience in the MCU, the Scarlett Witch's powers are put on full display — to a greater extent than she ever uses them otherwise. When Wanda's parents died, it led to her unlocking her powers through the Mind Stone. When Pietro was killed by Ultron, Wanda released an energy blast that disintegrated any Ultron bot within her vicinity. And when Vision was killed by Thanos, Wanda almost killed the Mad Titan single-handedly.
Wanda finally has her perfect life in Westview. If someone were to ruin it for her, what level of power can fans expect Wanda to unleash as a result? Is there an outside force that is using Wanda's power to their own advantage, and is benefiting from Wanda slowly losing control of her newfound hometown?
Pietro spends this entire episode justifying and explaining away his sudden presence in Westview, which is even subtly reinforced in the episode's intro sequence when Pietro Maximoff is the only character listed "as himself." Almost as if he's trying to convince the show's audience — and Wanda — that he truly is the Pietro that previously passed away, he may be trying a bit too hard and slightly showing his hand by doing so. And although Wanda may enjoy the newfound company in her supposed long-lost brother, she doesn't seem convinced that he's the real deal.