Marvel Studios WandaVision aired its electrifying series finale this weekend, but viewers everywhere are hardly free from its spells. Breathing new life into the Marvel Cinematic Universe one episode at a time, WandaVision was an epic tale of love and grief, pain and eventual healing, as Wanda refuses to experience a world without those she cherished the most.
Anchored in the flawless performances by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and telling a strong, well-written, character-driven story, creator Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman completely altered our streaming experience. Met with skepticism and engulfed in the traditional “hex” of secrecy involving every MCU production, WandaVision was announced in April 2019, months after reports came out that the studio was working on projects for Disney+, involving characters that never received their own full-length movie.
Ushering in a new era of the MCU, and its Phase Four, WandaVision debuted on January 15, 2021, as a nine-episode show that could easily be described as “I Love Lucy meets the Avengers”. With just one episode released every Friday, WandaVision completely took over the lives and minds of Marvel devotees all over the world, some of which would wake up at the wee hours of the morning in a mad race to avoid spoilers.
Chronologically set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision follows Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and the mysteriously resurrected Vision (Paul Bettany) as they try to adjust to normal life as husband and wife, in the suburban city of Westview, New Jersey. However, nothing is what it seems, and their troubles start as soon as they move into their new house.
The first great surprise of WandaVision was the score and soundtrack, led by the Frozen and Frozen 2 duo, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. They quickly captured the spirit of the show and created the most original, catchy soundtrack since Let it Go. The song Agatha All Along is likely to live rent-free in everyone’s mind for a very long time.
Additionally, each episode of WandaVision resembles and pays homage to a specific decade of sitcom history, with the first two episodes recorded in black-and-white, and in front of a live audience. Costume and set design did a phenomenal job throughout the series, and you can distinctly see where the visual references were coming from, down to the smallest details.
And It was a real treat to watch how naturally Olsen and Bettany work together, whether they’re madly in love or fighting the bad guys. Their chemistry is beyond natural, and both of them are perfect as a couple. The love and happiness their characters display transcend the imagination, but so do Wanda’s pain and grief. Elizabeth Olsen is a master actor, and her range is absurd. She completely disappears into her character, giving Wanda space to communicate a huge scope of emotions, from happy 1950s housewife to present-day Wanda with villain tendencies.
The song Agatha All Along is likely to live rent-free in everyone’s mind for a very long time.
Ultimately, WandaVision‘s success was due to an extremely well-written, character-based story. Both Jac Schaeffer and Matt Shakman knew from the beginning what they were trying to accomplish by exploring Wanda’s unbearable grief and give her the chance to grow into the legendary sorceress known as the Scarlet Witch. Nothing more, nothing less.
WandaVision was an experiment that worked out great. The level of dedication put in by those who created the show paid off by giving viewers the kind of television experience that we have not seen in a very long time. What’s next for Wanda and Vision after the show, we’re not sure. Elizabeth Olsen is reprising her role as the Scarlet Witch next year, on Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness. However, there’s no doubt that wherever Marvel decides to take these two, we will be there to watch.