Despite being framed as a mystery, Marvel fans have known a lot about WandaVision going into its week-to-week releases on Disney Plus. We’ve known from the onset what comic material would influence the series, who would be the major actors, and even what future Marvel Cinematic Universe projects would be directly impacted by its events. The only question truly looming over the series is “How?” and episode five of the limited series has made that question that much more tantalizing—to the point where it must be discussed.
If it wasn’t abundantly clear—I’m going to spoil a majority of WandaVision up to episode five and the implications of it and if you care at all about the MCU, you don’t want to just hear it here.
SPOILERS FOR WANDAVISION AFTER THE UNSETTLING IMAGE OF BABY VISION:
While the episode contained a lot of hints at the bigger picture of what’s going on both within and outside of WandaVision, for now, let’s jump straight to the end of the episode. Just as The Vision has begun to confront Wanda about what exactly is going on in their bizarro-world sitcom, a knock at the door interrupts them just as it has throughout the series. This time, however, it’s not someone being summoned by Wanda—it’s someone who shouldn’t be there at all. Pietro Maximoff, better known to fans as Quicksilver, is somehow alive, and he also does not look like Aaron Taylor Johnson, who portrayed the MCU version of the character in his single appearance during Avengers: Age of Ultron. Instead, playing the character is Evan Peters, whose version of Quicksilver was introduced in X-Men: Days Of Future Past and last seen propping up the ragged corpse of 20th Century Fox’s defunct X-Men film franchise in Dark Phoenix.
Furthermore, this isn’t just some kind of cheeky re-casting—well, it is according to Darcy, who watches these events play out from outside the “Hex.” Because the series loudly points out that isn’t the MCU’s Quicksilver, coupled with the fact that neither he nor Vision recognizes the other, it tells us this means something beyond the immediate shock value or Aaron Taylor Johnson not being available to return. So, what in the heck is going on here?
What is happening?
At first blush, it seems pretty obvious—now that Disney has amassed a terrifying conglomerate including 20th Century Fox, they’ve decided to move over the remnants of the X-Men franchise over to the MCU proper. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the MCU to reach for; Marvel Comics often port over popular characters from alternate realities on the regular. The Squadron Supreme, a Marvel take on the Justice League, has ported in and out of the main Marvel Universe multiple times, and last year rumors went around regarding that crew making the jump to the MCU. Famously, Marvel used a colliding multiverse event to slide Miles Morales and his cast of characters over to the mainline comics.
Speaking of Spider-Men, we were told at the Disney Investor Presentation that WandaVision would not only lead into the Doctor Strange sequel but also the next film for Spider-Man. That film has been casting rumor city, from verifiable reports of Jamie Foxx returning to the Electro role to nearly unbelievable reports that both previous Spider-Men would return to the webbed tights. Personally speaking, I assumed Foxx’s return would be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, similar to the surprise return of J.K. Simmons to J. Jonah Jameson at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, though the character exists in a different context. With this ending, however, those reports seem far more believable.
That all being said, this theory has some complications. If this is a wholesale port of the Quicksilver from Days of Future Past and Apocalypse to the MCU, there are some inconsistencies. Those films occur in 1973 and 1983 respectively, and the same episode of WandaVision confirms the MCU Wanda and Pietro were born in 1989. This would make the X-film version significantly older than the MCU version unless we’re also talking about actual time travel, which so far WandaVision doesn’t seem to be using. Additionally, the character went by “Peter” rather than “Pietro,” a purposeful change to distinguish this version from the MCU.
The biggest obstacle is how the X-film Quicksilver works versus the MCU’s origin for Wanda. Due to the previously existing rights, ownership situation before Disney purchased Fox, Wanda, and Pietro in the MCU were not able to pull from their classic origins as the mutant children of Magneto—instead, the choice was made to tie their powers to the Infinity Stones, which was also reinforced in the same episode. Bringing in the X-film Quicksilver could indeed bring mutants to the MCU, but possibly at the cost of consistency, as it would either retcon previous films or convolute them.
More than just a cliffhanger
With that in mind, let’s now bring the rest of WandaVision back to the table. Episode five featured a lot more explanation into Wanda’s influence and also their limitations. It’s confirmed in this episode that Agnes’ role as an overbearing neighbor is forced by Wanda, timed with two appearances through the door to set up the final pay off. Wanda insists that she did not summon anyone to their door the third time, where Pietro appears. If she’s telling the truth, then all bets are off. Should another even more powerful player be in play, then they easily could just snag an X-film character just to get a reaction out of Wanda. If she’s instead still trying to gaslight Vision, then she may be losing even more control of her powers. While she seems still able to control the residents of Westview, we learn in this week’s episode that despite likely being the reason Vision’s even walking, he’s still able to act outside of and beyond her influence. Additionally, it seems very likely that Tommy and Billy are resistant to her powers, given their resistance to sleeping at her command. This new Pietro arrival could be the same way, something she tried to do but has gone out of her control.
No matter what, Pietro’s appearance carries even more weight for the immediate future of WandaVision via the series’ main theme: grief. In true MCU fashion, episode five spells out in plain text that the series is ultimately a story about grief and what happens when someone can’t let go. Throughout the series, we’ve been regularly reminded of the losses she’s endured—her home, her parents, her brother, her love—and she’s been paired off against Monica Rambeau, who is recently grieving the loss of her mother. This series is almost certainly going to lead to Wanda letting go all over again, whether by choice or not. Bringing any version of Wanda’s brother into the mix further deepens the inevitability of tragedy, and it seems more and more likely that it’s not going to end well for her, much less the rest of the MCU.
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