Warning: Spoilers for WandaVision through Episode 7 follow.
Welcome to this week’s Slackin’ Off!, where another new installment of Marvel’s WandaVision has spun us all around like a top and sent IGN editors’ brains into overload on the ol’ interdepartmental chat.
Episode 7, titled “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” gave us a big villain reveal, a transformative moment for Monica, and a look at what Hayward’s been up to with regards to Vision. As (most likely) the final episode featuring a sitcom-era jump, “Breaking the Fourth Wall” took us into the mockumentary format Modern Family for an episode where Wanda learned that she was not, in fact, in full control of things in Westview.
Yes, it was an early rumor, before WandaVision aired, that Kathryn Hahn’s nosey neighbor character, Agnes, would be more than she seemed. And back in Episode 3, Agnes was spotted by comic fans sporting Agatha Harkness’ necklace.
But then, last week, we saw Agnes tranced and glazed over, sitting in her car out at the edge of town. Surely, she was just a victim too (though fans also spotted she was dressed like a witch for Halloween). This week, however, we learned that it was [sing along with us] AGATHA ALL ALONG!
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Agnes was, indeed, short for Agatha Harkness, a premiere witch in the Marvel comics and a character who once trained Wanda to use her magical abilities. And she’s been the secret puppet master behind the Hex, taking advantage of Wanda’s crippling grief for, as yet, unknown reasons. We still don’t know Agatha’s endgame, but we do know that she’s kidnapped the twins and, last week, seemed more than happy to urge Vision to leave the anomaly (and into Hayward’s hands).
Read on further for some of the behind-the-scenes theorizing that’s been going on inside IGN this week, and then be sure to drop your own take on WandaVision in the comments! And don’t forget to vote in our poll at the bottom of the page…
Theory: Wanda is a Nexus Being
Since WandaVision is the kickoff for Phase 4, it’s only natural to wonder which parts of it will feed into upcoming movies and Disney+ shows. We do know, from prior reports, that WandaVision will directly influence the events of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and before that movie, Spider-Man 3, which is scheduled to release on December and, reports indicate, heavily features an abundance of multiverse-itude.
This week’s WandaVision ad break was a stranger one than usual in that the earlier commercials, back when Wanda was the main culprit, felt like bits of Wanda’s subconscious leaking through, exposing us to pivotal moments in her life (Stark, HYDRA, etc), as if her psyche was subtweeting her.
The Nexus though? And Nexus beings? Wanda, as far as we know, has never heard of this. But they are crucial to maintaining balance and order in the multiverse.
Also, as you can see from Joshua’s remark above, this concept crosses over into the Time Variance Authority, which will be a big part of the upcoming Loki series.
Theory: Monica Is Spectrum Now
And just like that, after a third trip through the Hex barrier, which had already fundamentally changed her DNA, Monica’s got superpowers. As a hero in the comics, an Avenger even, with the ability to control numerous forms of energy, Monica’s gone by the name Spectrum (among other monikers, like Pulsar and even Captain Marvel).
When Monica lands back inside Westview this week, which she did using her own grit and determination to save Wanda and the suffering citizens, her eyes glow blue and she can see the energy waves emitting from the world around her.
Though her origin differs from what happens in the comics, her abilities still arrive via a bombardment of “extra-dimensional energies.”
Theory: Agatha’s Rabbit Is Nicholas Scratch
In the comics, Agatha has a familiar, a black cat named Ebony. It would seem that Agnes’ rabbit, Señor Scratch, is filling that role here except that her son, in the comics, is a devious warlock named Nicholas Scratch. At different points in time, both he and Agatha ruled over a community of magic-users called New Salem, in Colorado.
This isn’t notable except to mention that, in a later storyline, Scratch was the mayor of a town called Centerville where all the inhabitants were possessed by demons. When Patsy Walker — aka Hellcat (played by Rachael Taylor on Netflix’s Jessica Jones) — discovered this, she and the Avengers saved the town. During this crucible, Hellcat discovered that Scratch didn’t serve Mephisto (who has been a heavily-theorized Big Bad for WandaVision). Instead, he served Dormammu. Who, if you recall, was the villain-behind-the-villain in Doctor Strange. And we did see a costume that looked a bit like Dormammu during last week’s Halloween episode!
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Theory: Enter… Chthon?
Chthon, a powerful Elder God in Marvel comics, is a deep pull as someone who could be even more behind-the-scenes than Agatha, if there is still such a character. Agatha might be it. No Mephisto. No Nightmare. But that doesn’t stop us from speculating about Agatha potentially being in the service of a more powerful being. Once again, “Agnes” mentioned her husband Ralph this week and it would be a little odd if that never paid off in some way.
Also, in some instances, Chthon, who once possessed Scarlet Witch in the comics, looks a bit like Quicksilver. And many fans are still wondering what’s fully up with “recast” Pietro given the mid-credits scene in “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” Is he someone created entirely by Agatha (or a Pietro she plucked from the multiverse?) or is he a hidden character as well?
Theory: Fake Pietro Is Still a Mole Somehow
When we were all treated to the catchy theme song for show-within-a-show “Agatha All Along,” we saw a few of the ways she’s been manipulating things in plain sight. Not just with Wanda’s sitcom sadness but also with the fake-em-outs that seemed to make Vision even more suspicious about everything (like the strange moment at the hedge with Herb, where it seemed like they wanted to tell Vision a secret, and then her fake trance in her car at the outskirts of town). We saw her use magic on Pietro in Wanda’s doorway, but did she fully put him there or did she just change someone else, someone sent by Hayward, into Pietro?
It could have just been a tease for our benefit, but this week Agnes wanted Wanda to check out a mole on her back that she couldn’t see. It may have been a throwaway line, to goose us, but a “mole” that you can’t see feels fairly telling. The Pietro who shows up during the mid-credits scene, next to Monica as she’s about to enter Agatha’s cellar, looks a bit different. Like he’s been un-Pietro’d.
Side Theory: The Happy Endings Homage in the Opening Credits Was a Nod to the Russos
Now, we didn’t go full Office this week because WandaVision sitcoms are very specifically family sitcoms — hence Modern Family — but we did get an opening credits sequence that gave us some very Office-y music.
The visuals though? Well, that’s a little more obscure. Not just because they’re not from a mockumentary comedy, but also because they’re from a beloved, low-rated cult comedy called Happy Endings (which is awesome, by the way). So why pull from that series, which also doesn’t fall into the “family” category? Well because Joe and Anthony Russo (Winter Solider, Infinity War, Endgame) directed some of the episodes of that show which, along with Community and Arrested Development, helped ignite their careers.
Bummer Theory: Captain Marvel Inadvertently Gave Maria Cancer
Oof. And it was just last week that we toyed with the idea that Carol’s hair was short in Endgame because she’d shaved her head in solidarity with Maria, who was undergoing chemotherapy.
That could still work, honestly, but the darker idea at play here stems from Monica’s reaction to the mention of Captain Marvel. How it seemed like she was stewing about something that’d happened between the two of them. Jimmy and Darcy definitely picked up on the “I don’t wanna talk about her” vibe. And whatever did happen would have had to happen pre-Blip. Monica’s angry about something. So was her mom, Maria, being exposed to Carol and her comic radiation (perhaps over a long enough time, aiding her on a few more missions than she should have) the reason Maria had cancer?
Question: Is Major Goodner the “Aerospace Engineer” or Is There Still Someone Else?
While it’s entirely possible that the person Monica reached out to, that was teased over the course of three episodes, was just this random Major… it’s unlikely. Also, it seemed like the character was going to be a man since Carol said “I just have to meet my guy over the ridge.” Still, “guy” could have just been a catch-all random label for Major Goodner.
Consider this though: This was the week of the big Agatha reveal. They couldn’t also throw in a big Marvel character debut, like a Reed (or Franklin) Richards or an Amadeus Cho. That would be overload. If the engineer is someone big, they’d save it for the end. Also, Goodner says, “Let me show you what we brought you.” Which doesn’t seem to imply that she designed it or built it.
Still, it looked like Monica saw exactly who she expected to see when she got out of the truck. There was no “Oh, he couldn’t make it?” or anything like that, so it’s possible that Major Goodner is it.
Question: Is That Book the Darkhold?
There was a mysterious glowing tome in Agatha’s basement. Something important enough to Agatha to have it out on a pedestal, on display. The easiest guess is that it’s the Book of Sins – the Darkhold. This evil scripture was actually a huge part of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Darkforce Energy was a big plot point back on Season 2 of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
However, because of that — and the fact that those two shows, despite being spinoffs from the movies, suffered under a “one-way street” deal with regards to the MCU — and because the book doesn’t actually look like the Darkhold, it’s probably something else. So if it’s not the Darkhold, what is it?
Did you have any lingering questions or theories? Share them below, and vote in this week’s poll too!
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