This review contains WandaVision spoilers.
WandaVision Episode 7
There are only a couple of episodes left of WandaVision and in case you were worried you’d have to wait and see who has been behind the nefarious nature of Westview then worry no longer. As we hit the end of WandaVision episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” we learn who’s been pulling the strings.
And while you might be expecting one of the two big bads we discover today, the last one might take you by surprise. But before all that we join Wanda in a Modern Family inspired beginning where Elizabeth Olsen perfectly deadpans her way through a cold open. She recalls the events that ended the previous episode as if they were nothing more than a drunken night. You know, rather than transforming an entire SWORD base and trapping its inhabitants.
Olsen once again shows why she was the perfect lead for Marvel Studios’ first TV show and why it’s a crime that Scarlet Witch hasn’t been given a proper story like this before. She whips between heartbreaking and hilarious with the quiver of her lip. As she does a lot of direct-to-camera work this week, we get plenty of pure Olsen emoting. While Wanda “punishes” herself with a day to herself, the twins are worried about their mom, and Billy (Julian Hilliard) is fretting about his burgeoning powers. Luckily for Wanda, Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) arrives and offers to take the children away so she can relax. Without Vision there to stop her–which he did on previous occasions–Wanda allows her neighbor to take the twins back to her home.
While Wanda makes quite a point of saying this will be a day dedicated to her, this is really an episode about two of Westview’s other women. Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) have both become fan favorites since the show started and this week we get to see them come into their own in very different ways.
For Monica, it’s the realization that Director Hayward allowed Wanda to kidnap Vision in order to reactivate and control his sentient synthezoid weapon. While we already knew that he was as Darcy put it “a dick,” this is confirmation that he’s also a corrupt bad guy with plans to destroy Westview and its inhabitants. Armed with a space rover and high-tech gear, Monica embarks on a mission to break back into the Hex. But when the vehicle is rejected, she decides to go in alone… changing her fate forever.
If you’re a comic book fan you likely won’t be shocked that Monica gets powers from going through the Hex. We already knew that she’d been changed by her previous visit. After showcasing her personal strength and will by pushing through the barrier, she’s gifted a new set of skills. From what we see in the episode it looks like Monica can see the spectrum of light, which makes sense as after she became the first woman to hold the mantle of Captain Marvel, Monica took on the mantle of Spectrum. While we don’t see many of her powers here, we do see her face off against Wanda and survive. So we know she’s packing some serious heat, and that’s a good thing as when we leave Westview this week we’re dealing with a whole new kind of threat.
We also need to deal with the conundrum of Vision (Paul Bettany). We last saw him trying to escape Westview, which led to Wanda expanding the Hex and creating even more chaos, turning the SWORD base into a circus. We find Vision at the edge of that family fun palace, desperate for help. Lucky for him, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) is right there. Of course, she’s now a circus escape artist and has no idea who Vision is. But with the help of the Mind Stone, Vision changes all of that and soon has an ally to help him find himself again.
Dennings and Bettany are great here, the former bringing a blunt humor to the horrific recollections of what Vision, Wanda, and the Avengers went through. Darcy is a truly great character and we want more of her in every part of the MCU, but for now we’ll luxuriate in her playing getaway driver for a synthezoid in a funnel cake truck. Bettany is a great straight man, selling the utter bafflement that Vision clearly feels as he picks apart his past.
To be honest, though, he should be more worried about his present than his past, as Wanda has an unexpected guest. While she tries to relax, Monica arrives desperate to tell her the truth about what Hayward has been doing and his maniacal plans for Vision. But just when it seems like Monica has broken through to Wanda–and shown off her superhero pose–they’re interrupted by Agnes. Parris is undoubtedly the hero of this series, not just as Monica who is clearly the central heroic figure but also for her performance filled with nuance, heart, and complexity. Monica has always been on Wanda’s side, even after being trapped by her mind magic, and she has put herself at risk again and again to try and help. But this time Wanda’s meddling neighbor pulls Wanda away from her potential ally, and the pair head to Agnes’ home.
We’ve never seen Agnes’ home before this episode and it’s appropriately creepy. We briefly saw the boys enjoying the “quiet” that the home offered but yet when Wanda arrives the kids are nowhere to be seen. And in a totally not creepy suggestion, Agnes tells Wanda that they might be in the basement… you know, that totally normal place where kids like to play.
Alas, as Wanda soon discovers, Billy and Tommy are not in the basement at all. In fact, it’s more like a strange magical lair than a basement. Stone pillars surround the room and a strange book glows on the side. If you’ve been thinking that Agnes might actually be the Marvel Universe’s very own witch Agatha Harkness then give yourself a pat on the back because once Wanda is trapped, Agatha reveals her true name and face as well as giving herself her very own musical introduction.
Hahn has been one of the best things about WandaVision all season. Her comic timing, dedication to the weird, and nuanced performance have made her one of the show’s biggest enigmas and talking points. And it looks like for once us theory-heads were right. Agnes was really Agatha and she’s been behind everything bad in Westview. While Hayward might have allowed the Hex to happen so he could restore Vision, Agatha has been the one manipulating Wanda. We get to learn how in a wickedly funny musical interlude that introduces a new show called “It Was Agatha All Along.”
Hahn delights in the reveal, playing the villain with aplomb as we see how she was affecting each and every moment of the show so far. It’s a massive twist which even the biggest Agatha-theorists might not have seen coming as the witch is often an ally rather than an antagonist, though she has been both in the comics.
And if you’ve been wondering where Pietro is, then make sure to stick around after the animated credits for the show’s first mid-credits sequence, which sees a fateful meeting at Agatha’s place. While we say it each week, this honestly might have been the best episode of the season so far, and we cannot wait to see if WandaVision can continue at this quality and really stick the landing.