‘WandaVision’ 1×8 review: “Previously On” explores Wanda’s motivations

(L-R): Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Unlike every WandaVision episode that came before, “Previously On,” the penultimate episode of the season, serves to tell the original story of Westview. The whole show has been shrouded in mystery, but this latest episode of WandaVision is here to explain everything to the audience, as well as explore the root of Wanda’s grief and how it led to her actions. After Agatha Harkness was revealed to be a witch in the last episode, the show took a different turn by digging deeper into the motivations of Wanda. 

But, before that, the series goes back to Agatha’s origins in 1693 Salem, Massachusetts. Agatha’s mother and the other witches are getting ready to execute her for treason. It all goes wrong, however, and all of the witches die through Agatha’s own magic during the execution. 

After this prologue, we’re brought back to Westview. In Agatha’s enchanted basement, she questions a powerless Wanda about how she created her Westview illusion. This prompts the both of them to go into Wanda’s past to see the steps leading up to the formation of Wanda’s reality. 

Wanda’s journey starts out in her home country of Sokovia, where her family is watching The Dick Van Dyke Show. Suddenly, her house is bombed, killing both of Wanda’s parents and leaving her and her brother Pietro orphaned. She’s then in the Hydra facility where she was shown in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Her time with Hydra shows that she’s different than any of the other test subjects and is able to touch an Infinity Stone. After this, she’s with Vision at the (now-destroyed) Avengers compound.

It’s here where the relationship between Wanda and Vision starts to form. She’s lost everything; her home, parents, and brother are all gone, but Vision offers his support to her. The last part of her journey begins after the blip. Wanda goes into the S.W.O.R.D. headquarters and sees Vision’s lifeless body for herself. She then goes into Westview where she manifests the reality that WandaVision has been set in for the past seven episodes. 

This being the last episode leading up to the finale of WandaVision, some huge plot developments are brought in toward the end. The biggest of which is what S.W.O.R.D. has got up their sleeve. To combat the threat that they see in Wanda, they’ve built a clone of Vision for their use. How this doppelganger will be utilized is unknown at the moment, but if it takes orders directly from Hayward, it can’t be anything good for Wanda. Starting out as basically a riff on classic sitcoms, WandaVision has progressed greatly from its first episode. Hopefully, the last episode will be nothing short of a wild ride. 


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