Television

The Casual Marvel Fan’s Guide to WandaVision’s Finale

The mid- and post-credits sequences, the ship of Theseus, the Darkhold, “Ralph Bohner,” that alien, and more.

Wanda and Vision hold hands, covered by a question mark.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Marvel Studios. 

This article contains spoilers for all nine episodes of WandaVision.

Last things first. What was up with the post-credits scene? Where is Wanda? 

Wanda’s entire family is gone and her entire town resents her, so she doesn’t have much going on. It tracks, then, that she would head out to somewhere completely remote—in this case, most likely to Mount Wundagore. Per the comics, Mount Wundagore is nestled in the high hills of the fictional Eastern European nation of Transia. (Wanda, being from the equally fictional Sokovia, is sort of returning to her roots.)

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As for what she’s up to, Wanda is projecting into her astral form, à la Doctor Strange, in order to split her time between sipping tea in pajamas and investigating how she may be able to bring her family back to life. This sets up what Wanda will likely be up to next time we see her on screen: in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. 

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What’s that creepy-looking book? 

As mentioned by Agatha Harkness earlier in the episode, that’s the Darkhold, aka “the book of the damned.” (Remember when we said a couple of weeks ago that might not be the Darkhold in Agatha’s basement? Well, it was.) As Wanda points out, she never learned magic, barring that handy tidbit about runes she picked up from Agatha, so she’s got a lot of boning up to do—and once she knows how to fully use her enormous powers, look out.

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It seemed like Wanda’s kids were dematerialized along with Vision, but those voices calling for help sound awfully familiar. Are Billy and Tommy still out there somewhere?

A good guess is that Wanda, in her astral form, is hearing, and perhaps locating, the souls of her children. Something like that happened in the comics, anyway: After Billy and Tommy appeared to perish when they were turned into demon baby hands (obligatory demon baby hands link), their souls eventually made their ways into two teenage boys, who eventually became the heroes Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers. Given that we know Wanda will turn up next in the Doctor Strange sequel, it’s a safe bet we know what she and the Sorcerer Supreme will be scouring the multiverse for.

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Who was that alien in the midcredits scene? And who is she asking Monica to come meet?

A lot of what’s going on with Monica is tied to Captain Marvel, which introduced her mother, Maria Rambeau. Maria is a close friend of Captain Marvel’s, and Captain Marvel is a Kree alien. The Kree are at war with the Skrulls, a race of shape-shifting aliens who also appear in Captain Marvel. The alien Monica meets is one of said Skrulls, and the fact that a “friend of [her] mother” is reaching out, has sent a Skrull to convey the message, and apparently resides space-ward, leaves us with two possibilities. The first is Talos, a Skrull that Captain Marvel ended up helping. The second is Nick Fury, who, per his post-credits Spider-Man: Far From Home cameo, has apparently been up in outer space for some time. The cameo revealed that Talos, with his shape-shifting abilities, has been filling in for Fury on Earth, while Fury does who-knows-what in space. Maybe now we’ll find out what he’s been up to, especially given that Monica is set for the Captain Marvel sequel, and the upcoming Secret Invasion series is going to be all about Skrulls.

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Can you explain the “ship of Theseus” thing to me? And is the white version of Vision still out there, or what?

Naturally, you are familiar with the thought experiment “the ship of Theseus” in the field of identity metaphysics. But just to remind you: As discussed in Plutarch, this ancient philosophical concept explores the idea of a ship in a museum whose rotting timbers are replaced one by one, until no original part remains. Is this ship still the historical artifact it once was? If those timbers are reconstructed elsewhere into a new ship, perhaps that is the real ship of Theseus. Is Wanda’s Vision—made up of her memories of Vision and of the fragment of the Mind Stone that apparently still lives in her—the real Vision? Is White Vision—made of Vision’s actual body parts, but with none of Vision’s memories—the real Vision? The argument the show seems to be making is that they are both Vision, especially when Wanda’s Vision restores the memory data that Tyler Hayward kept from White Vision. And as far as we know, he’s still out there, combing through all his upgrades, plotting his revenge against SWORD, and maybe investing in a new paint job.

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What’s up with Pietro? And his necklace? He’s … Ralph … Bohner?

Heh heh, “Bohner.” It turns out that Pietro, like the other residents of Westview, is a normal person (an actor, actually) being magicked into behaving like someone else. The necklace was apparently enchanted by Agatha for this purpose, as the spell breaks when Monica tears the necklace off of him. As for why a small-time actor in suburban New Jersey looks exactly like the version of Wanda’s brother in the X-Men movie universe … crazy coincidence!

What was with that scene back in Salem, 1693, with all the desiccated witch husks? How did that happen?

The post-credits scene indicates that Wanda has figured out how to hang in the astral plane, so if the side jaunt to Salem takes place anywhere other than the land of metaphor, it might be there. Either that or we’re just inside Wanda and Agatha’s minds, since Wanda was a telepath before she was an all-powerful sorceress.

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Wanda has sentenced Agatha to a lifetime spent as the “nosy neighbor,” but how does that work in a de-TVified Westview?

It seems as if Westview has gone back to its glum, pre-Wanda normal, but Agatha—Agnes, again—is still under Wanda’s spell. If you think it’s bad being sentenced to life in the cast of a TV sitcom, imagine how much worse it is if you’re doing it all alone in a decaying New Jersey town.

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In general, what do all the Westviewians think happened for the past nine episodes?

They didn’t love the experience, that’s for sure—mind control, nightmares, superhero battles wrecking their lawns—and they know that Wanda’s to blame. Monica tells Wanda that they’ll never know what she gave up for them, which seems like an awfully nice way to say, “You tortured them for weeks to pretend you had a family but then realized that was bad.”

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What did Wanda mean when she told the twins, “Thanks for choosing me to be your mom”?

Not really clear, although the episode sure did make that line seem important. As we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, the comics versions of Billy and Tommy have an extremely weird and complicated history, but at least in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it hasn’t been definitively established that Wanda can create life out of nothing. If Vision’s body was filled with memories and Mind Stone, maybe Billy and Tommy’s were filled by wandering souls that chose somehow to inhabit them? Either that or it just sounds like a nice thing for her to say.

Any meaning to Tannhauser Gate, the movie playing on the marquee during the big battle? Isn’t that a Blade Runner thing?

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Dropping references to the Tannhauser Gate into sci-fi stories is common enough to have its own TV Tropes page. But the phrase, taken from the immortal “tears in rain” monologue delivered by Rutger Hauer’s dying android, has extra resonance here, at the end of the story about an android who was human enough for Wanda to love, and to die.

Any significance to all of those Squeaky Sunshine ads?

Like the giant billboard Agatha’s floating in front of when she unleashes her purple goop-beams? Well, it does say the cleanser uses “the power of the earth,” which feels like a reference to Wicca (you know, the thing all those witches in Salem were burned for practicing). As for it being “100% cruelty-free,” well, advertising has been known to bend the truth.

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What about Jimmy’s phone call to his FBI buddy, “Cliff”? Is that anything?

There are some strained theories out there in the Feverish Wandavision Speculationverse that it’s a reference to a Cliff Randall from the comics. But like Monica’s much-theorized-about astrophysicist friend, who turned out to be Reed Rando and not Reed Richards, this might just be a dead end.

Is there going to be a WandaVision Season 2?

Episode 9 is called “The Series Finale,” so, no? But this is the studio that promised “No resurrections this time,” and then went on to resurrect just about every character, so who knows.

So what do I watch now?

It’s a beautiful day. Maybe go outside, take a walk. Then start Ted Lasso.

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