An anxious wait now beckons for Marvel fans following the conclusion to Phase Four’s curtain-raiser WandaVision. The series, which ran for nine episodes, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and whet the appetite for an impressive upcoming Disney+ slate.
A post-credit sequence teased the final nod towards Wanda Maximoff’s next Marvel appearance, 2022’s ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’ Anticipation for last Friday’s series finale sky-rocketed after episode eight’s cliffhanger ending, which saw S.W.O.R.D’s Agent Hayward re-activate Vision’s corpse.
Coined as the ‘White Vision’, Hayward’s proposed sentient weapon would pose an additional threat to Wanda’s current nemesis, witch Agatha Harkness. Yet amid all the surprises that had supposedly been reserved for WandaVision’s heavily-anticipated finale, a large number of fans were left unsatisfied.
Their criticism of the series’ team of writers though, is misplaced. Any feeling of disappointment at its conclusion is the fault of the fans themselves. As has been the case throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fan theories have become a major part of the Marvel blueprint.
Those theories proved critical to determining fan excitement ahead of the release of each new episode, and for a while it appeared some theories could well come true.
Among the most popular WandaVision theories called for a cameo appearance for a major Marvel character, or for former Avengers villain Ultron to make a comeback. Doctor Strange, Magneto, Reed Richards and villain Mephisto were just some of the other names suggested to pop up at some stage. Of course none of them surfaced.
Marvel does have a habit of teasing fans and setting those theories in motion, while there was also talk of a ‘Skywalker cameo’ (equivalent to the show-stopping finale of The Mandalorian), and actor Paul Bettany alluded to an appearance of another major actor – both proving to be misleading truths. Bettany, for example, was simply referring to himself as a second Vision. But it is the fault of fans themselves in taking it from one extreme to the next.
Admittedly, several of the theories made reasonable sense; so you can’t be too critical of those that hyped things up. The eventual reality just did not come close to the expectation raised from those theories, but it was still a thoroughly satisfying finale nonetheless.
We didn’t get answers to some of our burning questions, including the final whereabouts of White Vision. Meanwhile, Agent Hayward proved the only other villain to the narrative alongside Agatha; denying fans the satisfaction of a debut for either Mephisto or Nightmare.
But while WandaVision wrapped up a few of those narrative strands, a lot has still been left open for the future. White Vision will return. Agatha Harkness will return. Monica Rambeau will return. And of course, Wanda will return in Doctor Strange 2.
What these theorists forget though is that WandaVision navigates Wanda’s trauma and her ongoing struggle to cope with her loss. The finale had to satisfy that, and the focus was understandably on Wanda losing her children and Vision again. She has lost her parents, lost her brother and lost the love of her life. The grief has unlocked a power she never knew she had, and WandaVision explores how she has coped with that.
Adding unnecessary appearances for yet-to-be-seen characters would have distracted too much from the emotionally-centred storyline and denied her the attention she deserved. Either Mephisto or Reed Richards could well have appeared earlier in the series, but once episode eight finished without a whisper from either, the moment to do so was gone.
Episode Nine was the finale we deserved; even if it wasn’t to the taste of a frustrated fanbase. But you can’t always satisfy what is undoubtedly the most difficult fanbase to please. The WandaVision fairytale continued on March 12 with the first episode of ‘Assembled‘, a documentary series that goes behind the scenes of the making of the hit series.