The showrunner of WandaVision seems to have an idea about why the show’s finale didn’t go as planned.
Marvel Studios’ Disney+ projects tend to have a consistent trend among themselves: the shows almost never stick the landing. Even during the company’s first crack at the world of streaming with WandaVision, the highly praised series did not hit a home run with its finale.
That’s made apparent by how Episode 9 of WandaVision’s first season is the lowest-ranked episode of the show, sitting at 85% - it certainly isn’t a terrible episode, but it could have been better.
Many feel the finale quickly fell into generic MCU action sequences, offered up questionable character choices (like not having any consequences for Wanda causing so much suffering), a very disappointing Ralph Bohner twist, an anti-climatic ending for Paul Bettany’s Vision, and more.
Why Did the WandaVision Finale Stumble?
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, written by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, just released to the world, and it includes new information from WandaVision creator and head writer Jac Schaeffer about why the finale turned out the way it did:
“The finale was just this ongoing question... Which is pretty typical for Marvel projects—the climax of a Marvel movie is just iterated and iterated until the very end.”
The complete passage from the book explicitly noted how the creatives behind Marvel's show "had to leave room to maneuver at the end of every storyline, knowing that the studio might abruptly change its future plans:"
"And as the Marvel Universe spread ever larger, Feige was juggling more and more active film and TV sets. Feige was largely a hands-off executive, but in this new era, he was occasionally required to show up on set to soothe ruffled feathers and settle “creative differences” spats. As a result, most Marvel shows were sturdier at the beginning than at the end. Writers were hamstrung in their efforts to build up to a satisfying conclusion because they had to leave room to maneuver at the end of every storyline, knowing that the studio might abruptly change its future plans for a given character."
Previously, in an interview with Comicbook.com, Schaeffer admitted "the finale was the thing that was rewritten the most times" and how it was "the hardest thing to find and craft and bring home."
Marvel Studios' Tendency to Change the Ending
If there’s a problem with a Marvel project, it can almost always be traced back to the constantly shifting variables. For the creatives, it can’t be easy to always be worrying that the final act of a project’s story could be changed at any minute due to a character choice in another film or movie, as Jac Schaeffer called out.
Though Marvel’s tendency to change stuff up can be problematic, WandaVision also suffered from the side effects of the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many projects, the series had to be reworked and adjusted so that it remained possible to complete in the ever-changing world climate.
A lot of stuff originally planned never made it to fruition—including a big confrontation with a rabbit turned demon, a meeting between Wanda and White Vision, and a big “zombie [like] battle” as the town of Westview confronted the Scarlet Witch.
While it’s hard to say that this issue with Marvel Studios will ever be truly fixed, the company is set to make massive changes in how it does its television shows. This would include having a proper showrunner (and not just a head writer like before), multiple season runs, and testing the waters with pilots.
Fingers crossed that after two years of rocky streaming results, the MCU might make some proper headway with its quality TV problem.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+.