Warning — This article contains spoilers for WandaVision.
Another week, another WandaVision. "Breaking the Fourth Wall" slowed proceedings down until the big, bad reveal that Agnes is the one running the Westview show. While fans wait yet another week to find out what Agatha Harkness has planned for the Scarlet Witch, there's luckily another new in-universe WandaVision commercial to discuss and dissect in the meantime.
The first two Westview adverts hinted towards Stark Industries and Baron von Strucker's formative impact on Wanda Maximoff's upbringing. Meanwhile, "Now In Color's" commercial included some sinister soap that referenced the devious organization Hydra. Events from Captain America: Civil War were then the focus of the fourth ad in the lineup, referencing a seminal moment from Wanda's past.
Although "All-New Halloween Spooktacular's" in-universe marketing material seemed to take a complete detour from the televised trend, the commercials as a whole have acted as allegories for Wanda's ongoing MCU trauma.
It seems that everything has come to a head after the most recent advert, with "Episode 7" including some not-so-subtle nods to Wanda Maximoff's mental health and how she is coping with the constant trauma she can't seem to escape. While the message of the commercial seems relatively straightforward, some interesting choices could point to the origins of Westview and where it could go from here...
NEXULPROMOCIDE: THE BEST IN ANTIDEPRESSANTS?
After the animated advertising affair shown in the previous episode, "Episode 7" goes back to formula with another live-action commercial that parodies the ridiculousness of certain 2000s-era pharmaceutical ads.
The advert opens in a gloomy, under-saturated world with a woman sat glumly on a park bench as families around her enjoy their lives. A female narrator poses several questions, such as if the woman is feeling depressed or “like the world goes on without [her.]” Storm clouds form above, acting as some on-the-nose pathetic fallacy.
The woman is asked if she “just want[s] to be left alone” before flopping onto a double-bed that acts as a reminder of Wanda's tragic loss.
Luckily, Nexus offers a solution boasting “a unique antidepressant that works to anchor you back to your reality. Or the reality of your choice.” The drug contains a host of side effects though, including “feeling your feelings, confronting your truth, seizing your destiny, and possibly more depression.”
Our protagonist visits a pharmacy to pick up these life-changing meds while the ad warned that one “should not take Nexus unless your doctor has cleared you to move on with your life.”
Renewed and refreshed, the woman exits the pharmacy to a better, brighter world. Nexus' slogan then closes out the ad stating “because the world doesn't revolve around you. Or, does it?”
A COLORFUL SOLUTION TO WANDA'S TRAUMA
The Nexus advert follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, continuing to chronicle the journey of Wanda's trauma once again. Instead of focusing on a contributing past event though, "Episode 7"'s commercial seems to be an allegory for the yet-to-be-seen origins of Westview and what led to the town's creation.
If you've been sticking with The Direct's in-depth analyses of these abnormal advertisments, you'll know that the use of symbolism through different colors is important. This week, the color grading of the shots in the newest commercial aid in our understanding of the story it's trying to tell.
For the uninitiated, color grading refers to the visual appearance of film footage which is altered through adjustments to many factors — such as the saturation, contrast, brightness, and color — to achieve a certain look or style for a film.
One criticism lobbied at certain Marvel flicks is their limited color palette on-screen, which is often muted to keep the films more grounded. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War are culprits of this, having a relatively grey visual language. Despite this, WandaVision has utilized a vibrant, larger-than-life visual style to match the show’s television roots.
The supposed Wanda Maximoff stand-in from this week's ad goes from a grey, washed-out world to a colorful, oversaturated reality, representing Scarlet Witch's transition from her cold world in the MCU to the radiant and cheery television utopia of Westview.
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame, Wanda seems to have fallen into a deep depression — her mental health clearly suffering after the tremendous losses she's experienced over the years. The Nexus offers the Scarlet Witch a way to remedy this, forging a new path away from the trauma of the real world via a new reality entirely. And because of that, Wanda is happy.
Rather, Wanda is happy for a little bit. Whatever the "Nexus" is, it doesn't sound too helpful for Wanda Maximoff in the long run. After all, what kind of antidepressant causes more depression?
So what in Westview is the Nexus? There are a few different concepts from the Marvel universe that could fit the bill.
The mightiest of Marvel fans may have perked up after hearing the term 'Nexus,' as it shares its name with the NEXUS Internet Hub from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Located in Oslo, Norway, the NEXUS is the biggest Internet exchange hub in the MCU, where all the world's data passes through.
Tony Stark used this network to find out the mystery hacker that was changing the world's nuclear codes to thwart Ultron's plans. To Iron Man's surprise, he discovered that it was his long-lost AI — J.A.R.V.I.S. — who had spread across the Internet to prevent Ultron from enacting his plans.
So, could the Internet have cured Wanda's depression? Despite the world-wide-web's vast collection of prank shows and cat videos, this seems unlikely. For instance, how would Scarlet Witch conjure a hexagonal reality based on different television eras using the power of the Internet? Although a far fetch, stranger things have come from the internet world.
But what if the NEXUS wasn't used to make Westview at all? Remnants of J.A.R.V.I.S. were scattered across the net in Age of Ultron, who Marvel fans will know is a precursor to Vision. Perhaps Wanda used the NEXUS to piece back certain parts of Vision's memories, allowing her to replicate what was lost. Director Hayward was unable to reconstruct the synthezoid, but perhaps Wanda Maximoff was able to think ahead in this regard.
After consideration, the shared 'Nexus' name is likely a coincidence, suggesting that a concept much larger aided Wanda in her creation of Westview.
The Nexus could be a reference to a deep cut from the comics, drawing from the concept of "Nexus Beings."
The idea is...confusing to say the least, so bear with me for a moment. The definition of a Nexus Being is relatively fuzzy, but it is often interpreted that one Nexus Being exists on each parallel world in the Marvel multiverse, and they possess powers that personify the reality that they exist in. Alternatively, they can refer to characters that are the same throughout all interpretations of the multiverse, meaning that no other versions of them exists.
No two Nexus Beings can physically exist in the same reality at once, but they can project themselves to other realities if they so please.
Nexus Beings are characters that can vastly alter the timeline of the reality that they exist in by manipulating probability. Due to their ability to affect the time stream, the Time Variance Authority keeps a close eye on their activities. The TVA is making a significant appearance in the upcoming Loki series, so could the organization also interfere with whatever's going on in Westview?
It is notable that both Scarlet Witch and Vision have been considered Nexus Beings in the comics at certain points, which could add credence to the concept being used in the series. The advert also specifically says that Nexus will "anchor you back to your reality," suspiciously similar wording to how Nexus Beings function in their reality.
Although Wanda Maximoff has been altering reality more so than time, there have been some notable temporal aspects of Westview that could point to this idea playing out.
The quaint-yet-sinister sitcom town has traversed several decades of television, changing its era almost every week. Could the time period be changing each week due to Wanda altering Westview's time stream? Perhaps the dome of the Hex allows Wanda to alter time within that given area. This could also explain the rewinding, cutting, and pausing of episodes that has been seen thus far.
Manipulating time could also explain how a very dead Vision could come back to life. Thanos was able to reverse the robot's fate with the use of the Time Stone, so why can't Wanda do something similar? Vision may only be able to survive in Westview because it is consistently set in the past, a time when Vision was conveniently still alive. Perhaps when the Hex catches up to the present, Vision will once again perish.
So how did Wanda get this Nexus Being status in the MCU? Perhaps this new commercial has another clue. As the ad features a female narrator, perhaps this could represent Agatha offering Wanda her own version of an antidepressant: the way to creating Westview.
NEXUS OF ALL REALITIES
The Nexus term has another tie-in to Marvel Comics that could help to set up Wanda Maximoff's appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Nexus of All Realities is, as the name suggests, a gateway to all other realities in the multiverse.
Dedicated gamers might know the term better from the recent Marvel/Fortnite crossover entitled Nexus War, where several Marvel Comics characters and locations crossed over into the popular battle royale.
Now that Agatha has revealed herself as another witch in Westview, perhaps she helped Wanda in accessing the Nexus and led her a way to move past her pain.
The inclusion of The Nexus of All Realities — and subsequently the multiverse — could do some important legwork for Marvel Studios on two fronts. Firstly, it could finally reveal how Westview came to be in the first place, but it could also explain how an Evan Peters-themed Pietro slipped through the Hex's cracks.
The commercial referencing how Nexus allows the user to access "the reality of your choice" is a strong indication that this is the winning theory, opening up the multiverse for Wanda to choose the reality that she so desires.
Its inclusion would also open up the concept of the multiverse to other MCU projects, allowing the Doctor Strange sequel and Spider-Man 3 to run wild with universe-hopping shenanigans.
Although it may just be referring to the pharmaceutical ad format, the warning that users "should not take Nexus unless your doctor has cleared you to move on with your life" may support this. Could this be a reference to a certain strange doctor? The Sorcerer Supreme is set to star alongside Scarlet Witch in the upcoming Multiverse of Madness flick and fans have wondered whether he could make an appearance in Wanda's Disney+ show first.
If this hypothetical doctor is taken to be Stephen Strange himself, perhaps Wanda consulted the good doctor on whether to access the Nexus or not. Alternatively, this could be heralding the imminent appearance of the Sorcerer Supreme in the series, curing Wanda's current ailments and whisking her off to his solo film.
The Nexus of All Realities is guarded by Man-Thing (not to be confused with DC Comics' Swamp Thing). Originally acting as any average marshland monstrosity would, Man-Thing eventually found himself protecting the Nexus against a whole host of other-worldly beings. You know, just typical swamp monster things.
Agatha Harkness' basement seems to have been overgrown with various vines and shrubbery, which could be a reference to everyone's now-favorite marsh-dweller. Perhaps the witch defeated Man-Thing, allowing her to access the Nexus of All Realities to gift to a depressed Wanda Maximoff.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE NEXUS?
Unless the series surprises fans with an all-new era in its final moments, it seems that WandaVision's commercials have come to a close. The adverts have chronicled Wanda Maximoff's trauma throughout the MCU and now shown where this trauma leads. Perhaps the last two episodes of the Disney+ series will see how these events truly played from Wanda's perspective, giving fans a full grasp on how Westview came to be.
Whether the Nexus makes Scarlet Witch an all-powerful being or opens up the doors to the multiverse, the truly compelling story is Wanda Maximoff's struggle with her own trauma and grief. Marvel Studios has continued to tell an underlying story of Wanda's mental health, first being hidden in WandaVision's adverts before being addressed and pursued by a concerned Monica Rambeau. Wanda is enduring a deep, deep sadness, and it will be incredibly satisfying to see how the MCU will finally get her the help she deserves.