The WandaVision finale may have premiered last week, but Marvel's first Disney+ original series remains very much at the forefront of the pop culture discussion. Cast and crew are finally able to share their thoughts on the making of the show and the reactions it's received from viewers.
Of course, the latter includes the often heated debate about fan theories, and there were plenty of those surrounding WandaVision. One of the most prominent was that the demon Mephisto (seen in Marvel Comics but not the MCU yet) was the one truly pulling the strings of Westview. However, that turned out not to be the case; Mephisto is never mentioned, let alone seen, in the series.
Now, the head writer of WandaVision has cleared up this fan theory gone awry...
THEORIES VERSUS STORYTELLING
In an interview with Deadline, WandaVision head writer Jac Shaeffer was asked why Mephisto was not included in the series. In response, she explained why the show's creative team "didn’t think [the] series needed a big bad:"
"We didn’t think this series needed a big bad. I mean, the big bad is grief, you know, and that’s the story that we were telling, and then we got a bonus baddie in the form of Agatha Harkness who ended up facilitating Wanda’s therapy, so yeah, I think we feel pretty good about that."
Fan theories about Mephisto or another Marvel Comics villain like Nightmare being the one controlling everything have been a major topic of discussion on social media as well, particularly in regard to how Wanda's story is shaped in the show versus how it would be if someone else was controlling her actions under the Hex.
Mackenzie Dohr, another WandaVision writer, responded to the general discussion about these theories, saying that "WandaVision was a story about WOMEN:"
Elizabeth Olsen believed that Wanda Maximoff "has a tremendous amount of guilt” as she secluded herself from the world after the finale of 'WandaVision.'
Kevin Feige explained that they had to cut Doctor Strange from the WandaVision finale because "it would have taken away from Wanda," revealing that they "didn't want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie."
Kevin Feige confirmed that a deal was finalized between Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel to appear in the final episode of 'WandaVision.'
THE REAL VILLAIN OF WANDAVISION
Grief being the big bad of WandaVision means that it's important for the characters, particularly Wanda, to be in control of their own actions.
If a traditional villain was pulling the strings from behind the scenes, the show would be about someone taking advantage of the vulnerable state of another person and not the person experiencing the grief learning how to deal with it. As is, having Wanda be in charge of the Hex with Agatha messing things up allows both themes to be explored but keeps the latter at the forefront.
The idea of a man being in control of one or both of these two characters (and Monica, whose superhero origin story plays out in WandaVision) would take away a lot of the understated power of the series. WandaVision isn't explicitly about "girl power," but it includes it in a way that is perhaps more meaningful than a story directly about that theme.
There are still relatively few onscreen superhero stories with a woman at the forefront, so the show's female characters largely driving the narrative is significant. Their agency over their actions is key in achieving this; whether they're doing the right thing or the wrong one, they are ultimately the ones in charge of their own destiny in WandaVision, and that helps to normalize stories with women driving the action and storyline.
All nine episodes of WandaVision are now available to stream on Disney+.