The MCU Comes to TV: A Complete Guide to ‘WandaVision’

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Credit: Marvel/Disney+

Marvel’s first Disney+ show is now over. Despite its short, nine-episode run and brief 20ish-minute run time (with seemingly ten minutes of credits at the end of each episode), so much has happened that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Every moment of WandaVision is packed with Easter eggs, references, and tiny hints leading us into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With the final episode done and the strings it has left open, it’s time to review everything that Marvel has revealed over the course of the series. If it’s been a while since you watched WandaVision or you skipped the series and what to know everything that happened to Wanda and Vision, this guide will help you catch up just in time. Or, if you just want to recap the events of the show, we’re here to help.

Related: Is ‘WandaVision’ a Mini-Series Because of Its Tragic Ending?

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Release

WandaVision episodes dropped every Friday at 3 a.m. EST on Disney+. The series copied the successful weekly release schedule from The Mandalorian, another successful Disney+ exclusive series. This week-by-week unveiling did not allow Marvel fans to binge the show in one sitting, like previous MCU-adjacent shows that premiered on Netflix, such as Daredevil and Punisher. But now they have all been released, binge to your heart’s content every time you want to relive the show.

Related: Kevin Feige Says “Never Say Never” to Marvel Netflix Show Revivals

Instead, WandaVision — which paid homage to vintage sitcom series — appropriately mimicked more classic television scheduling, like ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. And, with a show like WandaVision, where so much happens in every scene, it makes it so much easier to digest and process when there is only one episode per week. Marvel fans have consumed the show like Galactus consuming whole worlds.

After an entire year without a new movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the end of the Infinity Saga marked the longest gap in Marvel movie releases since the one between The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010). In fact, 2020 was the first year since 2012 when there were not at least two films released. Luckily, fans are not in store for such an extensive gap again any time soon.

MCU Phase 4
Source: Inverse

Related: Everything Coming to Disney+ in February 2021

Plot

When does the story of WandaVision take place?

WandaVision picks up after Avengers: Endgame (2019). After Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) returns from the Blip. Following Tony Stark’s funeral, Wanda finds herself alone without her soulmate Vision (Paul Bettany), in a world that has changed drastically in her five-year absence.

Each episode may feel like it is jumping through time, but every installment actually takes place over the course of a single day, with the decade-themed time jumps occurring after Wanda and Vision go to sleep. However, the time inside the “Hex” does not line up with the progression of time outside.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Leaves ‘Ant-Man’,  ‘Loki’ Easter Eggs in Plain Sight

What is the main conflict of WandaVision?

WandaVision revolves around the mystery of how Wanda and Vision — who has seemingly miraculously returned after Thanos ripped the Mind Stone out of his head in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — find themselves living out idealized suburban lives based on classic television sitcoms inside a hexagon-shaped reality bubble.

The series began slowly, not giving the audience much in terms of explanation. Every clue left Marvel fans guessing. Was Wanda trapped in her new reality or did she create it? Who could be trusted? What was even real?

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Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Related: Is Wanda the Villain or the Victim in ‘WandaVision’?

What genre of TV is WandaVision?

On the surface, WandaVision may seem like one of the sitcoms on which it’s based. Laugh tracks punctuate moments of hijinks that reference moments from television history, for which both Wanda and the audience feel nostalgic.

However, themes of grief and loss pervade the subtext of every episode as Wanda grapples with everything she has been through, since even before her introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) serves as a contrast with how she handles her own grief following the loss of her mother.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Layered in between the comedic and tragic moments are decades of comic book mythology. Wanda has powerful supernatural abilities and Vision is a sentient robot brought to life using a stone forged at the beginning of the universe. To try to label WandaVision as a single genre is a folly. It is a complex and rich show unlike anything else on television. It is, at times, funny, at others sad, and even, at certain points, terrifying.

Related: ‘WandaVision’ to Receive ‘Mandalorian’-Style Documentary

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Credit: D23

Cast

Who are the stars of WandaVision?

WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision. Both actors made their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. They were both also featured heavily in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

The show also stars Kathryn Hahn as Agnes / Agatha Harkness. WandaVision is Hahn’s first performance in the MCU. She is most known for her previous work on shows like Crossing Jordan, Parks and Recreation, and Central Park as well as movies like Bad Moms.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Fans Call for ‘WandaVision’ Actor Kathryn Hahn to Get Emmy Nomination

Which characters will you recognize in WandaVision?

The supporting cast is filled with heavy hitters. Fan-favorite FBI Agent Jimmy Woo, played by Randall Park former star of ABC’s sitcom Fresh Off The Boat, returned to audiences after his initial appearance as the agent in charge of Scott Lang / Ant-Man’s (Paul Rudd) house arrest in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).

Related: “Underdog” Jimmy Woo ‘WandaVision’ Spinoff Gets a Serious Shot

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Another returning character is Kat Dennings’s Darcy Lewis, who was Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) intern in both Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Kat Dennings is most known for her role in a sitcom called Two Broke Girls, which aired on CBS.

Teyonah Parris (Dear White People) steals the show as the now-adult Monica Rambeau. Monica was first seen as a child in Captain Marvel (2019), portrayed by Akira Akbar. Monica gained the powers of her comic book counterpart, Spectrum / Photon/ Pulsar, after exposure to the “Hex”.

She is a character to keep your eye on because she will be returning in the upcoming Captain Marvel 2, set to come out in November 2022.

Related: Teyonah Parris on How Monica Rambeau Fits in Marvel’s  ‘WandaVision’

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Credit: Marvel Studios

New characters who play an important role include SWORD Director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) and Wanda and Vision’s twin sons, Billy / Wiccan (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy / Speed (Baylen Bielitz). They each have their own superpowers.

Billy follows in his mother Wanda’s steps. He can both manipulate reality and sense the thoughts and feelings of others. Tommy gets his super-speed from his uncle, Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver. Their introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be setting up a comic book team known as the Young Avengers.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

What cameos are in WandaVision?

Speaking of Quicksilver, fans were treated to a shocking cameo from Evan Peters. Peters played an alternate version of the character in 20th Century Studios’ X-Men films. The MCU previously cast Aaron Taylor Johnson as Wanda’s twin brother, Pietro. The character died in Age of Ultron, saving Hawkeye / Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and some civilians from Ultron’s attack.

When Evan Peters showed up on Wanda and Vision’s doorstep, Marvel fans set the internet ablaze with theories of how he proved the existence of the multiverse. The multiverse will be featured front and center in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). Elizabeth Olsen is scheduled to return as Wanda in the new Marvel movie.

Related: How Wanda Maximoff Can Retcon the MCU

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Credit: Marvel Studios

However, that theory of Peters introducing the multiverse was recently debunked when it was revealed that it was “Agatha all along” (you know you’re humming the song) and that Pietro — AKA Fietro — was a crystalline possession created by Agatha to spy on Wanda. Wanda was so desperate in her grief that she accepted the return of her long-lost brother, even though he looked completely different.

WandaVision star Paul Bettany teased the cameo of another actor in an interview with Esquire. He said:

“There is one character that has not been revealed. And it is very exciting. It is an actor I’ve longed to work with all of my life. We have some amazing scenes together and I think the chemistry between us is extraordinary and fireworks on set.”

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Credit: Marvel Studios

However, it appears he may have just been trolling fans, since the cameo is most likely referring to himself. He will be playing both Vision and the new all-replicated version revealed at the end of last week’s episode. There is still one episode left in the show’s run, so it is worth noting that another big cameo, such as Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), could happen at the last minute.

Related: Next Big ‘WandaVision’ Cameo Might Be A Familiar Avenger

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Connection to the MCU

How is WandaVision part of the MCU?

While WandaVision feels at times like it takes place in another reality, everything that happens is taking place on the same version of Earth seen through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before his death in Endgame, Vision purchased a plot of land in Westview, New Jersey. Wanda traveled there after failing to retrieve his body from SWORD headquarters.

In a moment of pure anguish, Wanda used her chaos magic to rewrite the reality of Westfield to transform the town into a parody of classic sitcoms that she loved growing up.

Though WandaVision initially seemed like it may take place in an alternate reality due to the illusion that envelops the entire show, everything that has happened so far has occurred in the good old Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Everything Coming to Disney+ in April 2021

When does WandaVision take place in the MCU timeline?

The entire show takes place a few weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Vision is dead, his body was in possession of SWORD, and Wanda had just been returned after the Blip by the Hulk’s (Mark Ruffalo) snap. Monica also has only just returned to find that her mother, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), died of cancer in the five years she was gone.

However, everything here is set before the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), which occurs eight months after the Blip. By the time Spider-Man starts, the word has started to adjust to the return of everyone following the snap.

Related: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Hides ‘WandaVision’ Easter Egg

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Credit: Marvel Studios

What do you need to watch before watching WandaVision?

To follow Wanda and Vision’s arcs through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first film you need to watch is Avengers: Age of Ultron. Wanda and her brother Pietro are introduced as villains. They joined Hydra and allowed themselves to be experimented on by the Mind Stone. They were radicalized after the Sokovian Civil War and the tragic death of their parents by a bomb built by Tony Stark.

However, after teaming up with Ultron to take down the Avengers, they learn he plans to destroy all human life. So, they switch sides to help the Avengers stop him. Ultron planned to download his consciousness into a synthenzoid body made of vibranium, created by Helen Cho (Claudia Kim).

Related: Next Marvel Series Has “200% Higher” Fan Anticipation Than ‘The Mandalorian’

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Credit: Marvel Studios

The Avengers recovered the body before Ultron could finish uploading and used it with the Mind Stone and Stark’s AI JARVIS to create Vision. Vision helped the Avengers and Wanda stop Ultron from destroying the world before they both ultimately joined the team.

Their story picks up again in Captain America: Civil War. By this point, Wanda and Vision have formed a deep and powerful connection while living in the Avengers compound. After a horrible accident in Lagos, in which Wanda accidentally kills many civilians, the government enacts the Sokovian Accords to control the Avengers. This splits the team, as well as Wanda and Vision, who end up on opposite sides of the conflict.

Captain America: Civil War helped boost revenue for Disney’s third quarter

They reunited again at the start of Avengers: Infinity War. They had been meeting in secret since Wanda was on the run, having violated the Accords in Civil War. Finally, together again, they stand with the rest of the Avengers against Thanos, though ultimately failing. Thanos was able to use the Infinity Stone to wipe out half the universe.

If you don’t have time to watch those three movies, Disney+ has a solution for you. You can find a rundown of the most pivotal moments in both Wanda and Vision’s stories on Marvel Studios: Legends. Each character has their own episode guide in the series. But, if you have extra time on your hands, why not travel down a road of nostalgia and binge some old sitcoms that WandaVision references — like Full House or Malcolm in the Middle?

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Credit: Marvel Studios

If you’re up for some reading, WandaVision is based on many classic comics that can be found in the Marvel Unlimited App. Key ones to read include “Vision And Scarlet Witch” (1982), “House of M” (2005), “West Coast Avengers” (1984), “Vision” (2015), and “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade” (2010).

Related: Marvel’s ‘What If’ comic book series reportedly to become Disney+ show

Episode guide

Where can you find a full list of WandaVision episode release dates?

The first episode of WandaVision dropped on Friday, January 15, 2021. Since then, Marvel fans have received a new episode of the Disney+ series every Friday, with the last episode aired on Friday, March 5, 2021. The weekly releases are sure to become a staple since the system has worked so well for both WandaVision and The Mandalorian. It will likely also be successful for the upcoming Falcon and the Winter Soldier, set to debut on March 19.

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Credit: Disney

How do you avoid spoilers for new episodes of WandaVision?

Since the episodes are released in the middle of the night, or early Friday mornings, depending on your time zone, avoiding spoilers throughout the workday can be a bit of a challenge. This will remain true for future Marvel Cinematic Universe television shows.

Some fans took to avoiding the internet until they could watch the show, but that is not always possible, and leaks for WandaVision came even in seemingly innocuous toy releases. However, fans discovered a Firefox and Chrome extension called “Hide Twitter Trends” that would help avoid spoilers popping up in their Twitter feeds.

Related: ‘WandaVision’ Fans Discover Amazing Extension to Block Social Media Spoilers

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Where can you find episode recaps for WandaVision?

Inside the Magic has covered WandaVision episodes and their associated theories as they aired. But, if you want a recap before this week’s finale, here is a quick summary of everything that has happened so far:

Episode 1, “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” was shot in black and white to mimic the 1950s classic Dick Van Dyke Show and served to introduce fans to the strange circumstances of the show.

It was followed by episode 2, “Don’t Touch That Dial”, when the show moved forward to the 1960s. Homages included the very appropriate Bewitched. The plot centered on a neighborhood talent show that was eerily “For the children” and featured a mysterious man in a beekeeper suit emerging from the sewers. The man was later revealed to be a SWORD agent sent to investigate what was going on inside the “Hex”.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

The third episode was “Now in Color” and parodied sitcoms from the 1970s, such as the Brady Bunch. Wanda was suddenly and inexplicably pregnant and shenanigans ensued around the birth of the twins, Billy and Tommy. When a neighbor, Geraldine, suddenly brought up the death of Wanda’s twin brother, Wanda ejected her from Westview.

Fans were finally given some answers in episode 4, “We Interrupt This Program”. It took place largely outside the “Hex” and showcased the team of SWORD agents investigating the strange phenomenon. Audiences learned that Geraldine is actually Monica Rambeau and, now that she was free from Wanda’s control, she teamed-up with Woo and Darcy to try to put the puzzle together.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

In episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode”, Wanda and Vision found themselves set in the 1980s and struggled with their newborn sons. Though they do not stay newborn for long. They rapidly age up to 10 over the course of the episode. They adopted and lost the family dog, Sparky, all in the same episode. It ended with the shocking entrance of Evan Peters as Pietro.

“All-New Halloween Spooktacular”, the eighth episode, saw Wanda struggling to maintain her delicate illusion as Vision began to question the circumstances in Westview. Now in the 1990s, Wanda tried to reconnect with the new version of Pietro, only to reject him when Vision tried to leave the “Hex” and almost died. Wanda expanded her reality bubble to save him.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

The seventh episode, “Breaking the Fourth Wall” brought the sitcom motif into the mid-to-late 2000s. Now that Wanda has expanded the “Hex,” she struggled to maintain it. Monica re-entered the boundary to help Wanda and warn her about Director Hayward’s dark plans for Vision. The episode ended with the earworm of a song that reveals it was Agatha all along, manipulating Wanda.

In “Previously On”, the eighth episode of WandaVision, Marvel gave audiences a background on Agatha, who killed her coven during the 1693 Salem Witch Trials. She was drawn to Westview after Wanda cast her spell on the town. She wanted to know how Wanda was able to do it and has been manipulating her for answers. Impatient, she kidnapped Wanda’s sons to force her to relive some of her worst memories to establish how Wanda created Westview.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

The final episode, appropriately titled “The Series Finale”, gave fans some of the action that normally pervades a Marvel movie or television series. Wanda battled Agatha in an epic magical showdown. Wanda revealed she was a quick learner when it comes to magic and spells and took on the mantel of the Scarlett Witch for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Vision from inside Westview took on his white counterpart created by Hayward. Ultimately convincing him to deny his prime directive by restoring his memories. The issue of who or what is the White Vision is left in the air as he departs from Westview on his own.

In the end, with all her enemies defeated, Wanda has to accept what she has lost and move on from her grief. After tucking Billy and Tommy one last time and saying her sweet goodbye to the Vision that she created from the piece of the Mind Stone still insides her, Wanda allows the “Hex” to fall and leaves with the DarkHold. In a post-credits scene, she is seen studying the spellbook in astral form a reference to Doctor Strange.

Monica Rambeau is recruited by a Skrull, though for what remains a mystery. But it seemed like she was headed into space, where both Nick Fury and Captain Marvel currently are. And Monica will return in Captain Marvel 2.

WandaVison also featured bizarre commercials that reference some of the trauma Wanda has experienced in her life. They have been funny, and sometimes disturbing, tidbits that break up the episodes. Each episode has also featured reoccurring hexagon shapes that harken back to Wanda’s powers in the comic books being called “Hex magic.”

Now that you are all caught up for the final episode, what are your prediction for how WandaVision will end?

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