This week’s episode of WandaVision, titled “Previously on”, is certainly the most heartbreaking instalment yet. The series began as a comedy based on different styles of American sitcoms, but fans knew there was something much darker hidden under the surface. In this weeks episode, we are taken on a journey through Wanda’s most upsetting memories, with our newly discovered villain, Agatha Harkness, leading her through a house full of haunting nightmares.
Episode 8 begins with a flashback to Agatha’s past in Salem, Massachusetts. Initially, it seems as if Agatha is about to be burned at a stake by an angry mob as part of the infamous Salem Witch Trials. It turns out, however, that the people accusing her of committing a crime are actually witches from Agatha’s coven.
After pleading for forgiveness the other witches at the trial, including Agatha’s own mother, proceed to shoot beams of blue magic at Agatha to kill her. Following a few moments of pain, Agatha reverses the beams and uses her own magic to drain the magic and life out of the other witches. As they collapse to the floor, Agatha turns her attention to her mum, the leader of the coven, and quickly disposes of her, before removing the familiar broach that she has worn throughout the series from her monther’s body.
The episode then returns to the present day with Wanda trapped in Agatha’s basement. Unlike previous situations we’ve seen Wanda in during the series, she can’t use her magic to fight her way out. Cunningly, Agatha has used her own spell to disable any other witch’s magic within the basement. As Agatha interrogates Wanda we begin to learn of her true motives. You see, Agatha has practised magic for centuries, yet she can’t do the things that Wanda has managed to do inside the hex.
Agatha is hungry for knowledge and after Wanda tells her that she doesn’t know how she has done it, Agatha forces her into reliving her most traumatic life events to learn how she became so powerful.
They first go to Sokovia, where Wanda and her family are from. Wanda and Pietro can be seen as young children who are spending the evening with their parents while watching the sitcom The Dick-Van Dyke Show. Just when they are sat down together enjoying the episode, a bomb destroys their home and kills both of their parents. We then see the moment that a Stark Industries bomb lands without detonating. This was already knowledge to us, but Agatha’s reaction was most intriguing. Was the reason for the bomb never going off actually Wanda using her powers unknowingly or was it really just pure luck? Agatha makes us think something deeper happened that night…
The two then venture to the Hydra base where Wanda volunteered for Strucker’s human enhancement program. In an early experiment, Strucker uses the Mind Stone contained in Loki’s staff and explains to a colleague how no one has managed to survive the experiment. During the scene, the Mind Stone moves close to Wanda before exploding in bright yellow light. Out of the light, a silhouette can be seen that appears to be a future version of Wanda in her famous comic book outfit.
It is at this moment that we interestingly discover Wanda’s ability to edit video with her mind. After collapsing and being removed from the room, the Hydra members try to review the video footage from the experiment, but the brief moment where Wanda connected with the Mind Stone isn’t there. The video jumps from Wanda looking at the object to suddenly being lay on the floor.
Wanda and Agatha then move on to the Avengers compound where we see a touching moment between Vision and Wanda. Vision enters the room as Wanda is watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle on TV. In the scene, a structure collapses on top of a character and Vision can’t understand why it’s funny that a man just suffered a grievous injury. Wanda explains that he’s not really injured “because it’s not that kind of show.” This moment provides us with some insight as to why Wanda has created the sitcom setting inside the hex. People don’t die in sitcoms, so there’s no longer any chance of her losing another loved one.
As the pair continue to discuss the grief that Wanda is experiencing, Vision offers words of comfort that even leaves Agatha with a tear in her eye. Whilst explaining that it can’t all be sorrow and how he has never felt the emotion because he has never lost someone, he shared a line that many fans will remember for years to come:
It is at this moment that Agatha begins to realise that it was Vision’s love that had stopped Wanda from descending into darkness. With her parents, brother and now Vision gone, the secret to the hex is almost within reach.
For the final trip down memory lane, we see the moment that Wanda entered S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ and stole Vision’s body. Except she didn’t. It turns out that Director Hayward has been lying all along and that the video he showed to Monica, Darcy and Jimmy in an earlier episode was nothing more than clever editing.
As it turns out, Wanda is surprisingly calm for someone who was grieving the loss of the only person she had left. Rather than seeking to steal Vision’s body and revive him, she simply wants to give him the funeral that he deserves. After pleading with a security guard at reception to be let in, it is actually Hayward who invites Wanda into his office. Following a short discussion, he then shows her Vision’s body being taken apart in a lab below his office. His motives later become clear in the episode’s post-credits scene.
After smashing the window and jumping down into the lab, Hayward orders his guards to leave her alone as she approaches Vision’s head, which is now completely separate from the rest of his body. As she hovers her hand over his head, she realises that she can’t feel him anymore, and leaves shortly after empty-handed.
After leaving S.H.I.E.L.D.S. HQ, we watch as Wanda drives to the Westview, however, it isn’t like we have seen it previously in the series. Before Wanda’s hex, the town is quite drab, with its citizens going about their mundane lives. Eventually, Wanda approaches a plot of land and opens an envelope containing the deeds and a note from Vision.
Crippled by grief, she collapses to her knees in a flood of tears, when suddenly a bright red light begins to shoot from her body and we slowly watch as the hex expands around Westview, and Wanda’s home from the first episode is built piece by piece around her.
The red light then begins to switch to yellow as we witness Wanda manifesting a new version of Vision out of nothing. Wanda was so unbelievably heartbroken that she created an all-new version of him, and explains why he was unable to leave the hex previously. This could lead to the theory that Billy and Tommy could have been made in the same way. An extent of her imagination. Which begs the question of whether the twins would be able to leave the hex or not?
Agatha then goes on to reveal that Wanda is only intended to be a myth revealing she is what is known as the ‘Scarlett Witch.’ This is the first time we have heard this name mentioned in the MCU.
In the post-credits scene, we discover what Hayward has really been up to — bringing Vision back to life! If you’re a fan of the comics you will know that this new version is ‘White Vision’. This could be a hint for a major dispute in the final episode between Wanda and the ‘new’ Vision.