The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend WandaVisionThe Dark Herald
Arr Maties! Captain Herald has returned from the high seas to tell ye a tale of…well…basic, acceptable mediocrity.
So far that is all that Disney Plus has proven itself capable of providing. But at least they are still capable of delivering that. Given how converged the company has become it’s only a matter of time before even this low bar is beyond them.
And that is all that Wanda Vision is. Acceptably mediocre. The fans came up with much more interesting theories than the show eventually delivered to its audience. Still better than DC, is about as high a bar as Marvel can manage at this point. And they can only achieve that level of excellence because DC keeps lowering the bar.
I think it’s easier to start with what wasn’t Marvel’s fault.
In 2020 Disney had discovered the rather disturbing viewer practice of “streamer branch swinging.” Since most people can’t afford all of the streaming services, they only subscribe to one long enough to watch the “halo properties” and then cancel once they’ve seen them. Consequently, Disney decided to take what was a six-episode mini-series and drag it out for nine episodes. The first three episodes were clearly originally meant to be one episode. It would have still been a bowl of “meh” but at least it would have been a well-paced one. As it was, we got to see three episodes inside of Wanda’s TV world without any real plot progression over the course of three weeks. Basically, the first act went on way too long, and it wasn’t planned that way. The end result was that the audience became disengaged and left.
This was a disastrous mistake made by Bob Chapek’s bean-counters. Anyone from the creative side of things would have immediately recognized that this would ruin the pacing and it did. However, Chapek is an accountant with the soul of an accountant and now the clerks from budgeting are making terrible decisions based on “data-driven audience insights.” Except, by the time you have the data, the audience has already canceled Disney Plus and is giving HBOmax another shot because they want to watch the Snyder Cut.
The second problem was also delivered courtesy of Disney.
When the higher-ups at Disney got pissed off because Gina Carrano compared the persecution of pro-Trumpers to the persecution of Jews by the Nazis, they fired her in a rage. How dare she compare our righteous pogrom against redneck-terrorists with the holocaust?! And the blowback from the fans killed all social media engagement with Wanda Vision. Everyone stopped talking about the show. Great call Bob!
As for the show itself, the whole thing was a nothing burger. All of the reveals that were hinted at ended up being duller than the actual plot. If you googled Twins of the Scarlett Witch, then you already know how it ended.
Regardless, I feel compelled to provide a spoiler alert:
There I did it.
It turns out that QuickSilver isn’t back at all. It was not the X-Men version but just some rando from Westview who became Wanda’s “brother.” So, no Magneto either.
Probably the oddest thing was the fairly extensive red herring regarding Dottie. In the second episode, Agatha said, “she’s the key to everything around here.” Her husband was named Phil. Her roses which grew “on pain of death” were yellow and Dottie herself was blond. There were just as many easter eggs indicating Dottie was Arcanna as there were for Agnes being Agatha.
The problem is that Arcanna Jones is more obscure than Agatha Harkeness. It’s possible that she was originally supposed to be Arcanna and Disney’s lawyers found out that she was part of Squadron Supreme and that that superhero team was created by Marvel Comics to roast the Justice League, (Arcanna herself being a stand-in for Zatanna). And they didn’t want to deal with AT&T’s legal team.
The finale of the mini-series is a computer effects light show. It’s an hour-long duel between Agatha and Wanda. Agatha forces Wanda to confront what she has done to the town and the people in it. At the same time, White Vision (who was sent in to kill Wanda) was fighting Red Vision.
At the end of the duel, Wanda comes into her full power as the Scarlett Witch (that comes with a new costume of course). And she scrambles Agatha’s brain so that she believes she really is Agnes.
She and Vision return to the house and she shuts down her fantasy world thus dispelling her children and Red Vision in order to set the town free. The post-credit teaser is that Captain Marvel wants to meet Monica Rambeau, (the audience is meant to be excited by this).
So, no multiverse crossovers at all. White men were the bad guys all along. White Vision has had his memories restored by Red Vision.
But then the real Vision didn’t hook up with Wanda like you would expect him to. He just flies off.
Because the lovers couldn’t reunite without damaging the real message of this TV show.
It was all about female empowerment.
That was what the show was really about. It was a replay of Captain Marvel’s basic message of a woman needing to break through the emotional baggage that was restraining her in order to reach her full potential.
So far as the show’s creators were concerned, what Wanda did, in the end, was sad but of course quite necessary. Because domestic happiness was always just an illusion created by decades of TV sitcoms to keep women down. She had to discard these illusions so that the Scarlett Witch could rise unencumbered by the ties of family life.
A normal feminine desire to have a home, a husband, and children were the chains that bound her. At the end of the show, she chose to abandon all these things and become the Scarlett Witch. Even though that would mean she would be alone. But that was the price she was going to have to pay in order to reach her fullest potential.
Wanda’s family had to be destroyed in order for her to be empowered.
The foundation of my rating system is that there has to be at least one reason for you to see a show, movie, or what have you. In this case, there is none. Consequently…
The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend.