Warning: This article contains full spoilers for WandaVision: Episode 7! Check out our review of Episode 7 and see our full breakdown of all the Marvel Easter eggs and sitcom references so far.
With the finale of WandaVision looming, the series is finally starting to peel back the curtain and reveal the truth behind Wanda’s sitcom wonderland. Among the big reveals in Episode 7, we learned the true identity of Wanda’s nosy neighbor Agnes and a glimpse of the creepiest basement dungeon this side of The Silence of the Lambs.
While there are a great many questions still to be addressed over the remaining two episodes, it’s becoming clear that WandaVision is setting up a much bigger emphasis on the magical and supernatural sides of the MCU in Phase 4. And it might just factor into the multiverse, to boot. Let’s take a deep dive into these new reveals and what they suggest about the future of magic in the MCU.
The Agatha Harkness Reveal
The twist that “Agnes” is actually a witch named Agatha Harkness is hardly the most surprising plot twist so far. Many Marvel fans called this one early one, especially given Agnes’ habit of dressing in witch-like outfits and the fact that she clearly understands more about the nature of the Hex than most. But what is surprising is just how antagonistic her relationship with Wanda appears. Far from being the elderly magical mentor of the comics, this Agatha seems to be a literal soul-sucking vampire intent on manipulating Wanda for her personal benefit.
In the comics, Agatha is actually several centuries old and a survivor of the infamous Salem Witch Trials. We wouldn’t be surprised if this basic origin story remains intact. There, Agatha also becomes a member of a secretive colony of witches dubbed New Salem. Could it be that Westview is actually New Salem and that at least some of the townsfolk Wanda is manipulating are witches themselves? We certainly get a witch-y vibe from Emma Caulfield’s Dottie Jones, a character who may or may not be Arcanna Jones of the Squadron Supreme.
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Agatha is certainly made out to be the series’ main villain in Episode 7. At the very least, we probably shouldn’t expect her to tutor Wanda in the ways of magic. So what does she actually want? The faux-commercial segment from Episode 6 may give us a clue. That “Yo-Magic” yogurt advertisement shows a stranded person on a desert island slowly withering away from hunger. If Agatha is a witch from the 16th century, she may need to feed on souls or magical energy in order to stay youthful. Her offhand reference to a mole on her back could also be a clue, suggesting old age is beginning to catch up to her.
If so, Agatha may see Wanda’s children as a valuable, magic-rich food source. The fact that Billy senses no magical information emanating from Agnes could mean that Agatha Harkness exists as a sort of supernatural black hole, drawing in power and letting nothing escape. She probably wasn’t lying when she said she once bit a child…
Is Agatha the Only Marvel Villain?
Mind you, we assume there’s a lot more at play here than a hungry Agatha manipulating Wanda for food. Agatha-as-Agnes has made enough references to her unseen husband “Ralph” that we assume he has to put in an appearance sooner or later. Could Ralph be another Marvel villain who’s either working alongside Agatha or controlling her? We’ve previously speculated Mephisto might be the secret mastermind villain behind Westview.
It’s also worth remembering we hear an unknown male character’s voice speaking to Wanda in this episode, during the confessional scene where the interviewer taunts Wanda about everything being her fault. The later “Agatha All Along” sequence suggests it might have been Agnes herself talking to Wanda, but is it possible Ralph came out of hiding long enough to help his wife push Wanda over the edge?
That moment, combined with the odd appearance of a cicada in Agnes’ house, could point to an altogether different Marvel villain. Is Nightmare the secret architect of the Hex? Consider the fact that cicadas are known for hibernating for years or even decades at a time before waking up and feeding. Nightmare is a villain defined by his control over dreams, as well as his perpetual lust for more power. Nightmare also specializes in tormenting his sleeping victims, not unlike how the unseen interviewer is clearly trying to push Wanda’s buttons. Is it possible the Hex is a bridge between the waking and dreaming world?
Nightmare has long been rumored to be the main villain of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Director Scott Derrickson even revealed he wanted to use Nightmare before leaving the sequel. With WandaVision directly leading into Doctor Strange 2, it would certainly make sense to introduce Nightmare now.
The Harkness Family Tree
Whether or not the series introduces another Marvel villain either working in tandem with Agatha or controlling her, Episode 7 gives us important clues to her real motivations. In the comics, Agatha frequently comes into conflict with her son, the wizard Nicholas Scratch, and her seven grandchildren who form a magical super-group called the Salem Seven. As ComicBook.com points out, the fact that Agatha refers to her pet rabbit as “Senor Scratchy” is probably an intentional reference to Nicholas Scratch.
But is that a simple nod to the source material or a sign Scratch has a key role to play in the plot? One possibility is that the soul of Agatha’s son is actually trapped inside the rabbit. If she’s trying to restore Scratch, she may need Wanda’s unique ability to spontaneously conjure life into existence a la Billy and Tommy.
Regardless of what state Scratch may be in at the moment, he certainly has an established track record of hijacking small American towns to boost his already impressive magical abilities. He attempted to control the town of New Salem in an early Fantastic Four appearance, and later manipulated the town of Centerville in an Avengers storyline. The latter story even revealed Scratch was working in league with Dormammu, who just so happens to be the main villain of the first Doctor Strange movie.
As much as WandaVision is clearly drawing inspiration from both the classic Avengers: Vision & Scarlet Witch series and 2015’s Vision comic, it may also be drawing on elements of one or both of those Nicholas Scratch storylines. And if he’s in the mix, can his seven children be far behind?
The Darkhold and the Nexus
The closing moments of Episode 7 show us a tantalizing glimpse of Agatha’s basement, a very sinister place dominated by a massive, unnatural tree. Agatha also has a mysterious book placed in a position of importance. It’s safe to say both the tree and book are key to whatever plan Agatha is currently hatching.
Many fans have already begun speculating online the book is the Darkhold, a cursed, supernatural tome similar to the Necronomicon in the Evil Dead franchise. The Darkhold has already appeared in both Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Marvel’s Runaways. It’s hard to say whether Marvel might be trying to forge a link to those other TV series or if this might instead be a different but similar book.
Whatever the case, Twitter user @EcoArnao96 noticed a potential callback to the first Doctor Strange movie. Could this mystery book be the one that was conspicuously missing from the Ancient One’s library? Does that mean Agatha was once part of the Ancient One’s magical order and stole a book on her way out? That’s certainly one way to tee up the events of Doctor Strange 2. And if this book is indeed the Darkhold, it might be a clue the demon Chthon is the secret mastermind behind these events.
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As for the tree, we assume it connects to Episode 7’s faux-commercial for the antidepressant Nexus, another seemingly random non-sequitur with much deeper significance. In the comics, the entire Marvel multiverse is connected by a realm known as the Nexus of All Realities, which itself is guarded by the dimension-hopping swamp monster known as Man-Thing. That tree motif may well be a sign this giant plant is a vector into the multiverse.
Consider also that the Marvel Universe has a handful of “Nexus Beings” who can affect the flow of time and probability. Wanda is one of those Nexus Beings. The faux-commercial bills Nexus as “a unique antidepressant that works to anchor you back to your reality, or the reality of your choice.” We actually see Wanda taking several Nexus pills during this episode.
All of this points to Agatha (and possibly others) trying to hijack Wanda’s control over time and probability to usher in a reality more to their liking. This also suggests the Hex isn’t really a fake reality, but simply a fragment of a universe where Wanda wishes she lived. The Marvel multiverse is fast approaching, and once again, it seems Wanda Maximoff is the key to everything.