Griffin Sendek | multimedia editor
After eight long weeks, WandaVision has finally come to a close.
The season finale is emblematic of the show itself — brilliant in its quiet moments, and held back by questionable story decisions.
Episode 9, “The Series Finale,” though one of the longest episodes of the series squanders the extra minutes, succumbing to the same pitfalls of boring homogeneity of the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU.)
The story of WandaVision, for the most part, stopped moving forward after episode 7, and as the credits rolled for episode 8, it was obvious there wasn’t enough time left to bring everything established to a satisfying conclusion.
The finale takes place exactly where the previous episode left off. No more sitcom pastiche, no changing decades as it gets straight to the point with a fight between Wanda and the witch, Agatha Harkness.
With the episodes so far being light on the action, this sudden climatic shift felt somewhat out of place for WandaVision, a change that wasn’t entirely needed. The action of that episode is hampered by the fact unlike many other elements introduced throughout the show — it doesn’t provide anything new.
The MCU has always had issues when it comes to villains, unfortunately, WandaVision was no exception. Though Katheryn Hahn’s character was present from the very beginning, the reveal of her evil witch identity appeared so late in the game she couldn’t effectively function as an antagonist.
A good portion of the episode is dedicated to Wanda and Agatha flying through the air high above Westview, hailing red and purple magic at one another.
The battle was flashy but of little substance. The sequence may have been fine in isolation, but within the context of the rest of the show, this final battle was one of the least compelling scenes WandaVision had to offer.
This CGI-fest, mid-air magic laser battle between Agatha and Wanda felt empty, standing in stark contrast to the confrontation between both the Westview Vision and the reanimated body of Vision in the Westview library: a fight transformed into a philosophical conversation.
The strength of Vision’s character and Bettany’s performance never came down to their ability to fight, but in the theory and exploration of what it means for a machine to be alive. And that’s exactly what unfolded in the scene in the library.
All of WandaVision’s characters are decently written and well-performed, but the overall story was unable to give ample room to breathe.
Evan Peter’s Quicksilver, though a fantastic reveal, didn’t amount to much. Monica Rambeau’s character also didn’t really have the screen time to reach a satisfying arc.
S.W.O.R.D. director Hayward, with a strange shift to mustache-twirling villain in the latter half, was dispatched unceremoniously.
When the dust had settled, the battles are all won and the couple returns to their dream home for one final evening together. This was when the episode could once again slow down to focus on its biggest strength — Wanda and Vision’s relationship. Thankfully the writers chose to give Wanda and Vision one last quiet moment together, a touching and beautiful scene of love and loss as the Wanda’s hex around Westview finally crumbles and Vision fades back into nothingness.
When WandaVision began, it was different from anything else Marvel had ever done, and ended following the traditional MCU affair, adapting to set up future projects rather than coming to its most satisfying conclusion.
That’s what is most disappointing about this finale: the show started in a spot uniquely its own and slowly but surely got roped in to fill the predefined mold of what the MCU typically is.
I have lots of criticism for the finale; however, it cannot take away how much joy and entertainment this show provided week to week. The finale, disappointing as it may be, in no way ruins the show.
WandaVision remains well worth a watch and has me waiting in excitement for the next installment of Wanda’s story.
The first season of WandaVision might be over, but Disney is just getting started with this year’s Marvel content.