There is a curious moment in the most recent WandaVision episode, “We Interrupt This Program,” that I can’t stop thinking about. It occurs towards the end of the episode, with Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) sitting in front of an old-timey television set (“Not flat,” as Darcy puts it) while watching the 1970s episode of the fictional WandaVision sitcom. The pair watch the climactic scene where Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), as “Geraldine,” reminds Wanda that Ultron killed her brother Pietro. Before Jimmy and Darcy can see what we see — Wanda getting Monica out of her house and sending her back into the real world — the broadcast gets edited and cuts right to the credits. A few rewinds and replays of the footage lead Darcy to conclude someone censored the footage in real-time, but who?
It might be easy to answer this question with the same statement Monica makes after she lands outside the Westview anomaly’s forcefield: “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda.” Well, I think that’s too easy an answer. It’s certainly the likeliest answer. But to just hang it all on Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) when we’re only four episodes into a nine-episode season feels like the easy way out — especially for a Marvel TV show, which has revealed itself to be far trickier and more detailed than meets the eye. With this in mind, we should probably discuss the likeliest candidates for who is controlling — including editing, rewinding, censoring, and beyond — the fictional WandaVision sitcom episodes based on what we know so far.
Wanda Maximoff Is Controlling the Episodes
Let’s get the likeliest candidate out of the way: Wanda. There is plenty of evidence through Episode 4 that points to Wanda controlling the fictional WandaVision show. In each of the first three episodes of the season, there has been a moment where Wanda seems to snap out of her sitcom storyline and appear to control what’s going on. In Episode 1, “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” she turns to Vision (Paul Bettany) and commands him to help his boss, Mr. Hart (Fred Melamed), who is about to pass out as he chokes on his dinner. In Episode 2, “Don’t Touch That Dial,” Wanda and Vision go out into the street and see a man in a beekeeper suit (who is later confirmed to be a S.W.O.R.D. agent) emerge from a manhole. This causes Wanda to simply say “No,” as if she rejects the idea of being pulled out of her sitcom dream world, and cut back to the top of the scene so she and Vision can start the scene again. Then, in Episode 3 and as revealed further in Episode 4, Wanda uses her magic to expel Monica from her home when Monica dares mention Ultron before repairing the damage done to her home and lying to Vision about where Monica went.
It’s clear at this point that Wanda is, to some degree, conscious of what’s happening here. She knows this is not reality and does not seem willing to accept what is reality. She has proven that she not only retains her powers but can become conscious long enough to use them with precision or communicate to other characters when the blinders of her sitcom fantasy are removed. And it would seem she is consciously controlling Vision, although we have to wonder again to what degree since he occasionally “snaps out of it” and questions what’s going on. Wanda is both powerful and perhaps more present of mind than she lets on — two major points in her favor for being the lone person behind controlling the fictional episodes which are broadcast out to Darcy.
However, it’s worth remembering that Wanda’s control of her magic is still somewhat hit-or-miss. As time has gone on, she’s gained better control of it and has managed to do incredible things like, say, kick serious Thanos ass in Avengers: Endgame before eventually petering out. But if the events of WandaVision are happening less than a year after Endgame, it would be a serious leap to assume Wanda taught herself and practiced to the degree she could do some seriously sophisticated magic like censoring or rewinding an episode while she is in it and playing out the scene. This is not to devalue who Wanda is, either; I know she’s one of the (if not the most) powerful MCU characters. Wanda is capable of so much more than we’ve seen so far in her MCU arc and it’s clear WandaVision is laying that groundwork. But in the midst of serious grief post-Endgame, how much of an expert can we expect Wanda to be with her powers?
Wait, Maybe Agnes Is Controlling the Show
We still haven’t spent too much time with Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), the fictional WandaVision‘s “nosy neighbor” type, even though she’s appeared in three out of the four WandaVision episodes that have aired. So far, we know Agnes has taken a shine to Wanda and has been a guiding presence as Wanda has navigated life in the suburbs. We also know that Agnes seems to be aware (whether it’s consistently or intermittently) that something is amiss with her life in this sitcom fantasy. This is evidenced in her highly suspect conversation with Vision and Herb toward the end of Episode 3. The conversation plays out oddly, with Agnes and Herb speaking in hushed voices before raising suspicions about Monica/”Geraldine” to Vision. Agnes seems to allow Herb to get oh-so-close to spilling the tea about the true reason they’re all living in a sitcom fantasy before interrupting and trying to get the show back on track by slipping into her jaunty neighbor persona.
While we haven’t seen much of Agnes yet, we do know upcoming episodes will show her breaking the sitcom spell thanks to a few previous WandaVision teasers. In one teaser, Agnes stops the scene she’s in with Wanda and Vision dead in its tracks in the 1980s episode, suggesting they start the scene again and do it differently. In another teaser, Agnes is sitting in her car in the middle of the street as it idles and seems to be in a trance. Vision approaches her, wakes her up, and then she makes a very ominous comment about the fact that Vision is actually dead.
We still have a lot to learn about who Agnes really is and if she has powers like Wanda. (It’s worth noting that Darcy and Jimmy weren’t even able to track down a record of her in their Episode 4 research but could find records of all the other characters.) Theories may abound that Agnes is actually Agatha Harkness, a character who, in Marvel Comics, is responsible for teaching Wanda how to control and refine her magic. If this is revealed to be true, then it makes Agnes a possible suspect as the person who is controlling the episodes behind the scenes. It would explain why we don’t see too much of her and it would also explain which supreme being who is in full control of their powers (Agatha has been at this witch thing longer than Wanda after all) is behind this.
Because we still haven’t gotten enough of Agnes to really get a grasp on what her deal is, it’s hard to find enough evidence to reject her as a suspect. That’s not to say it definitely is Agnes who is controlling, editing, and censoring the fictional WandaVision episodes. This is just down to the fact that, outside of playing her fictional part like the rest of the “characters” on the show, Agnes hasn’t given us much to go on. Speaking very theoretically, if Agnes is Agatha Harkness (and I’m fairly certain she is) and if Agnes/Agatha is somehow involved with training Wanda like she is in the comics and if, as a side effect of that training, Wanda accidentally created a pocket universe that trapped Agnes/Agatha and left her occasionally aware of what’s going on for a period of time that would, say, allow her to have suspect conversations with Vision and Herb, then I could imagine Agnes not being in control of the episodes. But that is a major stab in the dark based on what we’ve got so far. There is still plenty of time for Agnes to remove herself from our suspects list.
Is Someone Else Controlling WandaVision?
There is a third option here: The person controlling the fictional WandaVision episodes is someone we haven’t met yet. It’s highly likely that I’m just playing it safe and the real answer is that it’s Wanda or Agnes. But even if it is one of these two characters, my MCU galaxy brain demands I suggest that there could be a still-unknown third party controlling one of these very powerful characters to act out an evil plot on their behalf. The evidence suggests that whoever is doing the controlling is a seriously powerful being capable of creating what amounts to a pocket universe that can engulf an entire town, cause amnesia in the people both trapped in the universe and those who live within a certain radius of it, and create a TV show hidden within cosmic microwave radiation that is being broadcast out into the world. That is a lot of work for one character to do, even if that character is superpowered like Wanda (and probably Agnes).
With WandaVision now kicking off the MCU’s Phase 4, one has to wonder if a new villain will be introduced. Technically, the fact that WandaVision is airing first when it was originally meant to follow Black Widow back in 2020 means it was probably never meant to introduce Phase 4’s recurring Big Bad, so we may not get a Thanos-level tease here. But Episode 4 moments like Jimmy casually theorizing if the Skrulls are behind this suggest we should keep our minds open to the possibility that a force greater than Wanda or Agnes with the power to do things like pull random people into its scheme is involved.
If there is an unknown third party controlling the fictional sitcoms or controlling Wanda or Agnes to do its bidding, then it will have to be introduced into WandaVision in Episode 5 or 6. Those episodes roughly mark the mid-point of the season and the turn into the final act of the season, which means this new and all-powerful force needs to get into the mix so it can establish itself and let the chips fall where they may. It would be a pretty bold storytelling strategy on WandaVision‘s part to introduce a new potential culprit behind the fictional episode censoring, editing, and so forth. But Marvel likes to takes risks every once in a while and I must admit: I’d be impressed if this show had the guts to do it.
A new episode of WandaVision airs Friday, February 5 on Disney+. For more, check out the latest teaser for upcoming WandaVision episodes and get caught up on where WandaVision sits in the MCU’s timeline.
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