Follow TV Tropes

Following

Recap / WandaVision Episode 8 "Previously On"

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wandavision_ep8_poster.jpg

"The only way forward is back."
Agatha
Advertisement:

Agatha Harkness demands that Wanda reveal how she put Westview under her control with her reality-bending powers. To find out, Agatha has Wanda relive her past, starting with the night her parents were killed.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Absentee Actor: Monica, Jimmy, Darcy, and "Pietro" do not appear in this episode, although Wanda and Agatha discuss the latter.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: It turns out that the Hex and everything that was happening in it was all a complete accident on Wanda's part. If Agatha is to be believed, magic of this caliber should be impossible to accomplish by a lone practitioner, especially someone with no formal training like Wanda.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Agatha Harkness in the comics was a witch who was several millennia old, having remembered the sinking of Atlantis as well as surviving the Salem witch trials, and was burned at the stake by her son Nicholas Scratch and the rest of her community of witches in New Salem, Colorado due to claims that she betrayed them by working with the Fantastic Four, but survived and went into hiding. Here, Agatha is implied to have only been around since the mid to late 1600s and was not tried by Puritans during the witch trials but instead by her mother and her coven for committing an unspecified dark magic-related crime which they described as her going above her station. They attempted to kill her by draining her life force via magic, but Agatha redirected the spell and killed them, including her mother, took her mother's brooch, and went into hiding.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adult Fear: The episode ends with Agatha holding Wanda's children hostage and threatening to strangle them with ropes of magic.
  • All There in the Script: Agatha's mother's name, Evanora, is only revealed in the credits.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Agatha's backstory suggests she flouted the rules of her coven to seek magical power and knowledge above her station. Even in the present, she's interrogating Wanda for the source of her power.
  • Amusing Injuries: Discussed by Vision while watching Malcolm in the Middle with Wanda. He apparently struggles to find the humor in this type of gag.
    Vision: Is it funny because of the grievous injury the man just suffered?
    Wanda: No, he's not really injured.
    Vision: How can you be certain?
    Wanda: It's not that kind of show.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Maximoff family has a collection of sitcom DVD box sets in a scene that the series had already established to take place in 1999 (or 2000, depending on when the twins' shared birthday is); while DVDs did exist by 1999, they didn't become massively popular until the early 2000s, and some of the specific packaging seen comes from post-2000 releases. Plus, the collection includes Malcolm in the Middle, which first aired in 2000 and wasn't released on DVD until 2002. Both The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy didn't start getting released until 2003, with the former's complete series coming out in 2005.
  • Advertisement:
  • Angst Nuke: Thanks to Agatha forcing Wanda to relive her recent past, we see Wanda breaking down emotionally and her powers going haywire after all she has lost, creating the Hex as well as the Vision that we have been watching by complete accident. The scene is foreshadowed during Monica's debrief in "On A Very Special Episode".
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: Agatha turns a cicada into a bird, which she then throws at her rabbit Señor Scratchy... who promptly eats it.
  • Audience Surrogate: Agatha becomes a dark example, growing tired of observing Wanda passively and now forcing her to elaborate how she created the Hex. She casts a spell that allows them to explore her past, commenting along the way and building theories. In the end, the interior of her house is even turned into a studio set, with her sarcastically applauding Wanda from the audience seats.
  • Author Appeal: In-Universe. Sitcoms have been a staple in Wanda's life and a source of comfort during the dark times she experienced, which would explain the themes of the Hex.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: While interrogating Wanda about how she created the Hex, Agatha demonstrates mind control spells with a cicada, then transforms it into a bird, and then she clutches the bird so hard that it squeals in pain before discarding it to be eaten by her (possibly magic) rabbit Señor Scratchy. Wanda looks visibly disturbed throughout.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • It looks like Agatha will be burned at the stake for being a witch in 1600s Salem. Then it turns out that she's part of a whole coven of witches, and they're executing one of their own for practicing dark magic that she had no business even knowing about.
    • It looks like Wanda's going to bust into S.W.O.R.D. and steal Vision's body, just as Hayward described and the video footage suggested. But it turns out Wanda never actually took the body - she just wanted to bury him, and S.W.O.R.D. let her see the body. The video footage was just edited to look like Wanda broke in and stole his body.
  • Beam-O-War: Agatha takes part in two. The first is a one-sided case in the coven's attempted execution of her. The second is a straight-up one featuring her against her mother.
  • Beyond the Impossible: As part of her interrogation of Wanda, Agatha lists off all the reasons that the Hex should be impossible. It is too big, it affects too many people, it is too complex, it operates "on autopilot," and it is all created and managed by a single witch who doesn't even know the basics of witchcraft. She wants to know how Wanda did something that should not be possible.
  • Book-Ends: The prologue ends with Evanora attacking Agatha, a younger and more powerful witch, by floating above her and blasting magic. Agatha reverses the spell and kills her. The episode ends with Agatha floating above Wanda, a younger and more powerful witch while holding her sons hostage with magic.
  • Boring, but Practical: Agatha subverts the need to fight Wanda directly by luring her into the basement - which, as proven by the Aspect Ratio Switch in the previous episode, is outside of Wanda's area of influence - where she has already cast basic protection spells that completely negate Wanda's powers.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Agatha refers to the "Pietro" in Westview as "Fake Pietro", then "Fietro".
  • Burn the Witch!: Played with. The Distant Prologue opens in 1693 Salem, Massachusetts, with hooded figures dragging Agatha (whom the audience knows is a witch) to what looks like a stake. Then it turns out they're a coven of witches executing one of their own. Instead of fire, they use magic blasts from their hands, and Agatha turns this attack against them.
  • Call-Back:
    • Once again, Vision enters Wanda's room at the Avengers Compound by phasing through the wall, instead of using the door.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Wanda told Vision "I just feel you" when the Mind Stone was troubling him, which was also one of the last things he said to her before she killed him in Wakanda. Here, Wanda says, "I can't feel you," when she stands next to his disassembled body and probes his head with her magic.
    • Agatha chides Wanda for using her powers to do frivolous things like making breakfast for dinner, which is what she did in the first episode.
    • When Wanda creates the Hex, there’s a wide shot of the town being transformed, during which you can see an advertisement on a building being changed to an ad for Lagos paper towels, with the slogan “Make cleaning up a snap!
    • When Wanda warps the movie theater, the movie being showcased on the marquee is changed to Big Red.
    • When Wanda sees Vision being disassembled, she begs Hayward to "Stop it!", much like how Mrs. Hart subtly tried to get Wanda to save her husband from choking in the first episode by saying "Stop it!"
  • Came Back Wrong: Vision, the original Vision that died in Infinity War, is back online powered by Wanda's Hex energies, only completely white and seemingly devoid of emotion.
  • Cerebus Call-Back:
    • Back in Episode 1, Wanda and Vision drive into Westview together and spot a house to live in, with Wanda using magic to buy their new home. In reality, Wanda drives in alone, having just seen Vision's broken body. The neighborhood is dilapidated, and Wanda drops to her knees sobbing in the empty lot their house was supposed to be built on. Her chaos magic not only builds the house in her grief but reshapes the rest of Westview along with it.
    • The heart on the calendar in episode 1, and the fact that Wanda and Vision initially couldn't remember what it stood for, has a sadder meaning when compared to the deed to the lot Vision got for the two of them, which has a big red heart drawn in the middle.
  • Cerebus Retcon: This episode reveals that Wanda watched American sitcoms to cope with all the trauma she endured throughout her entire life. It only makes sense she'd turn her world into a living sitcom to cope with Vision's death.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The wrecked 1980s-era UAV from Episode 5 shows up again in the mid-credits scene, where Hayward and his scientists extract the residual Chaos Energy within the wreckage and siphon it into Vision's corpse to reanimate it.
  • The Chosen One: Agatha implies that Wanda is this to witch-kind, the fabled "Scarlet Witch" who wields immense power via Chaos Magic and The Power of Creation.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: The witches of Agatha's coven all have blue magical energies, not unlike Billy's powers, whereas hers is called dark magic and is a smoky, purplish black. Wanda's is red as it has always been, but attention is drawn to it when Agatha refers to it as "chaos magic" and dubs Wanda "the Scarlet Witch" because of her raw power.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Subverted. Wanda is finally called "The Scarlet Witch" by Agatha after seven years of appearances in the MCU.
  • Concealing Canvas: Wanda's father hides the DVDs of American TV shows behind a tapestry.
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place in the flashback sequences.
    • To even begin the flashback sequences, Agatha has to pluck a strand of Wanda’s hair and use it to create doorways to Wanda's past memories. Doctor Strange had to do something similar to Thor to summon a portal to Odin's location in Thor: Ragnarok.
    • We finally get to see the frequently-mentioned scene of Wanda and Pietro losing their parents and hiding from the Stark Industries bomb under their bed.
    • Loki's scepter makes a return from the first two Avengers movies, where we explicitly see how HYDRA used it to experiment on Wanda in 2014.
    • The third flashback scene is explicitly shown to be taking place between the events of Age of Ultron and Civil War, with Wanda still grieving her brother and opening up to Vision about it.
  • Copycat Mockery: Agatha imitates Wanda and mimics her accent when she asks Agatha where her children are.
  • Crown of Power: Agatha's mother briefly manifests a crown of magical energy during their battle.
  • Dead All Along:
    • Neither Wanda nor Agatha resurrected Pietro in a new body — the one we've been following in Westview is a person who has been possessed by the latter. Nonetheless, it remains ambiguous as to who this "Pietro" really is.
    • The Vision that Wanda has been living within Westview is actually a construct she inadvertently created in her grief along with the Hex. Meanwhile, the corpse of the real Vision was with S.W.O.R.D. all along, who disassembled and subsequently reassembled it into a sentient weapon.
  • Die or Fly: Agatha posits that the Stark bomb that hit the Maximoff home didn't go off because Wanda's latent magical powers stopped it from doing so.
  • Digital Deaging: Kathryn Hahn is digitally de-aged for the flashback scene of a younger Agatha in 1693, making her look as if she’s in her 20's.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: A villainous one. While Agatha is astonished to meet the Scarlet Witch in person, she seems to find the fabled witch using the power of "spontaneous creation" to live out a mundane rom-com fantasy to be offensive.
  • Distant Prologue: The show is set in the 21st century; this episode opens in 1693 Salem, MA.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Agatha explains she didn't break her coven's laws; they "bent to my power." Which is akin to defending against a charge of trespassing with "I didn’t break in, the lock bent to my power."
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: A magical version. As her scene with Hayward makes clear, Wanda never thought she had the power to bring Vision back to life. She created the Hex and re-created Vision from scratch, completely by accident and without any conscious intent, having never realized just how much power she wielded.
  • Doing In the Scientist: Up until now, Wanda's powers had an explanation loosely anchored in science, being empowered through HYDRA's experimentation with the Mind Stone, and them being psionic in nature instead of "hexing." Here, Agatha theorizes that Wanda always had an affinity for magic, presuming that Wanda unconsciously used a probability hex to keep the Stark missile from exploding when she was a child. Exposure to the Mind Stone merely amplified this affinity to a level she could use to create the Hex.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title alludes to the "previously on" story recaps at the start of every episode but also to the plot of exploring Wanda's past up to the present.
  • Dying Town: The real Westview seemed to have been this when Wanda first arrived there; the main streets were largely empty, and the townspeople looked unhappy. This is undoubtedly a result of the Snap causing many towns to wither from losing half their population and the inhabitants still recovering even after the Avengers brought everyone back.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: Agatha describes Wanda's power as Chaos Magic, rare and powerful magic that gives its user The Power of Creation and the ability to warp reality.
  • Escapism:
    • Throughout Wanda's life, she would watch various sitcoms to help her cope with her life's difficulties since no matter what would go wrong in those shows, everything would always turn out okay by the end of the episode. This would eventually lead to the creation of the Hex, creating a sitcom world for her and Vision to live in to help her escape her grief of losing everyone she's ever loved.
    • While the Maximoff parents ostensibly had the kids watch American sitcoms to help them learn English, it's heavily implied that it was also to distract them from Sokovia's civil war.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Wanda may have created the Hex and magically controls every person in Westfield, but she did so in a burst of uncontrollable grief. Furthermore, it's heavily implied deep down, she feels she's making their lives better since she saw how miserable and run-down they were before making their lives a cheerful romcom. Fake Pietro noted in the Halloween episode that she tries to make them as comfortable as possible, even creating better jobs for them. When she sees Agatha slowly torture and kill a small bird on purpose, Wanda is visibly horrified.
    • In the flashback, she's horrified at Hayward's suggestion of going against Vision's wishes and resurrecting him for real (as well as she just doesn't have that kind of power, so she thinks), just wanting to give her boyfriend a funeral.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: Vision's newly repaired body is now white with blue lights.
  • Fingore: When Agatha is choking Billy and Tommy with the magical ropes, you can see that holding them back is turning her fingers black as if they were frostbitten, which notably did not happen at any other point during the course of the episode when she used her magic.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Director Tyler is attempting to bring Vision back to life and is convinced Wanda wishes to do the same. He is therefore baffled that Wanda merely wants to bury her deceased boyfriend.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Each of Wanda's flashbacks highlight how Wanda experienced all but one of these stages throughout a lifetime of loss.
    • Denial: Following the first flashback, the adult Wanda refuses to believe her burgeoning magical powers prevented the supposedly dud Stark missile from going off.
    • Anger: The second flashback in Agatha’s words: “Your reaction to the bombing of your civilian apartment building and the murder of your parents was to join an anti-freedom terrorist organization?”
    • Depression: The third flashback shows Wanda's ongoing sadness following Pietro's death and how Vision first connected with her by comforting her in her grief.
    • Bargaining: The final flashback shows Wanda going to S.W.O.R.D. headquarters asking (with varying degrees of forcefulness) for Vision’s body, so that she can bury him and hopefully find closure. Though Director Hayward refuses her request, she could’ve taken the body if she believed it would've made her feel better, but she realizes it wouldn't.
    • Acceptance: None of the flashbacks show this, but the process of revisiting her history of losses and realizing how she created Hex Westview ultimately brings her to this place. Her growing acceptance is demonstrated by her developing willingness to walk through each door. Wanda went from being coerced into walking through the first door, to reluctantly walking through the second door, to normally walking through the third door, to boldly walking through the final door.
  • Foreshadowing: Hayward presumes that Wanda wants Vision's body to bring him back to life and is surprised when she says she just wants to bury him. Small wonder that it later turns out that he's the one who wanted to use her to bring Vision back.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Wanda creates the Hex, there's a very brief wide shot of the town being transformed, during which you can see an advertisement on a building being changed to an ad for Lagos paper towels, with the slogan “Make cleaning up a snap!
    • During the same sequence, there's another brief shot where you can see that the original movie being played at the theater was Tannhauser Gate, which is suspiciously appropriate for a TV show involving a sentient android.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: By Agatha's evaluation, Wanda showed small signs of being a magic user before she came in contact with the Mind Stone. Now she's the mythical Scarlet Witch, capable of creation from nothing and weaving together numerous high-level spells that then run automatically, all unconsciously.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Agatha's spells are spoken in Latin, as are the spells of her coven in 1693.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It's strongly implied that Agatha envies Wanda's raw power. She notes with disgust that it took her years to study basic illusions that Wanda does perfectly on a wide scale on pure instinct, with no formal magical training whatsoever.
    Agatha: Years of study to achieve even the smallest convincing illusion. But Westview through your lens, Wanda... Every little detail in place down to the crown molding. You're even running illusions miles away at the edge of town! Magic on autopilot!
  • How We Got Here: The episode shows previously unseen aspects of Wanda and Agatha's lives and how Wanda came to gain her powers, as well as where the Hex came from.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: The new Vision under Project Cataract has icy blue eyes.
  • I Have Your Wife: Agatha forces Wanda to relive all her past traumas so she can see how she achieved the Hex with the threat of holding her children hostage.
  • Inspiration Nod: The Dick Van Dyke Show heavily inspired the first episode, Bewitched heavily inspired the second, The Brady Bunch heavily inspired the third, and Malcolm in the Middle heavily inspired the sixth. Here we see Wanda watch them (save Bewitched, which we only see a DVD case of) in different flashbacks.
  • In the Hood: The witches that capture Agatha wear black cloaks with big hoods during the formal trial and execution.
  • Intangible Time Travel: When exploring Wanda's past, neither present-day Wanda nor Agatha can interact with said past.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: During Wanda's flashback to HYDRA's experiments on her, the head scientist mentions — on an open mic which Wanda can hear — that no one else survived the experiments so far, much to the irritation of his fellow scientist, who then turns the intercom off.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: In the mid-credits scene, Hayward refers to Vision as "this thing," which is a stark contrast to when he referred to him as "he" in Episode 6.
  • Jump Cut: Happens when HYDRA was exposing Wanda to the scepter. From her point of view, she saw a brilliant golden light silhouetting a mysterious figure. From the scientists' perspective (and their video feed), she was literally standing up one second, then lying on the floor the next.
  • Jump Scare: An explosion that destroys the Maximoffs' apartment in war-torn Sokovia suddenly goes off while the family is enjoying a night of watching The Dick Van Dyke Show.
  • Just Think of the Potential: S.W.O.R.D has dismantled Vision's body because he's the most sophisticated android on Earth (and his vibranium is worth billions), much to Wanda's horror. Now they've brought him back to "life", so to speak.
  • Life Drain: When Agatha's coven attempt to execute her with simultaneous magical blasts, she turns it around by using the beams as conduits to drain the magic and life out of them, leaving nothing but withered husks behind.
  • Logo Joke: The Marvel logo changes from its usual red to the eerie purple of Agatha's magic, leading into a flashback that explains the witch's origins.
  • Magic A Is Magic A:
    • Agatha's coven uses chanting, hand gestures, and spell components to cast magic. This takes years of study and practice to perform and requires focused concentration to maintain, only capable of acting on a small scale with singular targets. The illusion of Westview within the Hex is maintained by a simultaneous series of mind control and transmutation spells, done on a massive scale and acting automatically without conscious thought. Agatha wants to find out how Wanda managed this and uses runes to nullify her powers to create an opening to interrogate her.
    • This is quite different from the magic of Kamar-Taj, where the sorcerers use hand gestures and tools rather than incantations to cast their magic.
    • However, they are both very similar to the magic used by Morgan Le Fay and the Minorus, which use a combination of the above two versions.
  • Magitek: Absent the power of an Infinity Stone, the only way to power the Vision's robotic body is to use Wanda's chaos magic.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Hayward has been working to bring Vision back online under his control for as long as his body was in S.W.O.R.D. custody. Everything he's done so far has been to this end, including subtly gaslighting Wanda into trying to bring him back and flat-out lying to Monica about Wanda stealing Vision's corpse.
  • Manipulative Editing:
    • In-universe. It turns out Wanda never stole Vision's corpse and resurrected him as Hayward claimed. She had been allowed to enter S.W.O.R.D.'s facility by Hayward and wanted to see Vision's remains to give him a proper burial. The worst thing she did was break a window, but she left the facility without taking the Vision's body or harming anyone. Hayward played the clips of her opening a door with her powers and breaking the window to see Vision out of context to frame her as the villain.
    • Done inadvertently by Wanda in the scene where the Mind Stone unlocks her powers: when HYDRA views the video footage, it inexplicably cuts from Wanda approaching the Mind Stone to Wanda passed out on the floor. This is similar to what she has been shown to do on the Show Within a Show, editing out unscripted moments like Dottie cutting her hand, blasting out Monica, and the S.W.O.R.D. drone.
  • Matricide: Agatha killed her mother during what was supposed to be Agatha's own execution for some unspecified magical crime. The strange brooch she's worn ever since was taken from her mother's body.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: What exactly prevented the Stark Industries missile from exploding inside Wanda's house? Agatha believes that Wanda somehow managed to subconsciously cast a probability hex that prevented the bomb from exploding. In contrast, Wanda thinks that the bomb was merely a dud and that she and Pietro were just lucky.
  • Meaningful Rename: While we don't yet know his new code name, the 'white' Vision is the product of a S.W.O.R.D. project called Cataract. Cataracts are a whitening of eye lenses, or in other words, 'a whitening of Vision'.
  • Mind Manipulation: Agatha demonstrates mind control magic by having a cicada crawl over Wanda's face.
  • Mood Whiplash: The cute scene of a young Wanda happily watching an old sitcom with her family is interrupted by the explosion that destroys the Maximoffs' home, kills the parents, and leaves the kids waiting for another bomb to go off and kill them as well. The viewers who already know Wanda's backstory can easily guess what is about to happen; this adds a layer of intense dread and a feeling of impending doom to an otherwise happy scene.
  • Mundane Utility: Agatha mocks Wanda, whom she refers to as the legendary Scarlet Witch, for using her control of Chaos Magic to create her perfect suburban existence, instead of something grander.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The whole reason Agatha came to Westview is because she sensed the "afterglow" of all the high-level spells that Wanda subconsciously cast to create the Hex and wanted to investigate.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Agatha presumes Wanda always had her powers, believing that she kept the missile that fell in her home from exploding for two days by using a probability hex. As previously stated, Hex magic is what her powers were referred to in earlier stories, and her main power before going full Reality Warper was the ability to manipulate probability.
    • When the Mind Stone empowers Wanda, she sees a vision of someone (presumably herself) in the full Scarlet Witch costume as depicted in the comics, headgear, and all.
    • Wanda constructs her house during the creation of the Hex by conjuring blocks of matter into place. This is reminiscent of how her matter-rearranging reality-warping powers were depicted during the House of M storyline.
    • The above scene is filmed similarly to how Magneto demonstrated his powers in X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • When Vision is reconstructed and brought back online by S.W.O.R.D. he's pure white, much like one of the more prominent times he was brought back without his personality or his memories of Wanda in the West Coast Avengers comics (only there, Vis turned white after he'd been taken to pieces by sinister government figures, not because).
    • Wanda and Pietro as children are seen wearing the colors of their comic costumes: red for her and blue for him.
    • In a 1998 issue of Avengers written by Kurt Busiek, Agatha Harkness revealed to her former magic pupil Wanda that her powers were not just probability-altering hexes, but an ability to channel "chaos magic." Here, the reveal is given by Agatha again, but under completely inverted circumstances.
  • Necromancer: Agatha reveals that she could have tried to use necromancy on the real Pietro's body were it not for the fact that it was buried on another continent and full of holes, meaning necromancy can animate a corpse but not repair it.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The shot where the reflection of the Scarlet Witch can be seen in Wanda’s eyes was edited in the trailers to just be the glow of the Mind Stone radiating on Wanda, with no reflection of the Scarlet Witch visible.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The reason S.W.O.R.D. is able to animate Vision's remains as a sentient weapon under Project Cataract is due to them siphoning the Chaos Magic energy from the destroyed drone that Wanda tossed at them in Episode 5.
  • No Indoor Voice: A young Pietro in Wanda's memory is excitable enough to shout all the time. Agatha lampshades this.
    Agatha: Oh, he’s loud, isn't he?
    (after Pietro starts yelling for Wanda to come over)
    Agatha: I mean, we're right here.
  • Offing the Offspring: Agatha's mother tried to have her executed, but instead Agatha ended up killing her.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: We see the full version of the scene that Haywood claimed in Episode 5 showed Wanda breaking into S.W.O.R.D. and stealing Vision's body. It turns out she wasn't doing anything of the kind; while she did break a window to get into the lab where Vision's corpse was being experimented on, it was only to see and touch him one last time and say farewell, after which she left quietly. She did break a door open, but that was out of impatience rather than malicious intent.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Lampshaded by Agatha, who dryly notes that Wanda's Sokovian accent comes and goes after she asks where her children are.
    Wanda: [in her native accent] Where are my children?
    Agatha: [in a bad Russian accent] "Where are my children?" [in her normal voice] That accent really comes and goes, doesn't it?
  • Origins Episode: The episode tells the story of how Wanda became the Scarlet Witch and unlocked the full potential of her power.
  • Our Mages Are Different:
    • Agatha is a magic user, as was her mother, and they were part of a coven of witches in Salem. It seems they are distinct from the Sorcerers of Kamar Taj. They are also mages who had to study for years to gain their powers.
    • Agatha identifies Wanda as a witch of chaos magic, which even to other mages is near unheard of. She deems Wanda the Scarlet Witch, a kind of chosen one apparently. Thus, Wanda uses magic via The Gift, lacking formal training.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Agatha casts a spell that allows her to view a few of Wanda's memories as a third-party observer. Wanda herself flips between being a third-party observer and a participant.
  • Portmanteau: Agatha calls the Fake Pietro she's summoned "Fietro."
  • Power Floats:
    • Agatha's mother floats as she attacks Agatha with a spell.
    • Agatha floats when she has Wanda's sons captured and threatens to hurt them.
  • Powerful, but Incompetent:
    • As seen in Endgame and the flashback in this episode where she creates The Hex, Wanda's abilities only reach their maximum potential when her emotions overcome her. With no training or insight into how to do it, she's incapable of calling up that much power on short notice. She also knows nothing of actual spell work, which led to her walking right into Agatha's trap and not knowing how to defeat her and save the twins.
    • The same applies to the younger Agatha in the flashback to Salem. She has defied the coven's laws by accessing powers far above her station, which warranted her execution. She pleads with the other witches that she did not realize what she'd done. When they refused to buy her story and tried to kill her, she overrode the execution spells and killed all of them, including her mother.
  • Previously On…: In addition to the clips of previous episodes and MCU installments that play at the beginning to establish the happenings in the show, this episode is titled "Previously On," as Agatha takes Wanda on a trip down memory lane to find out what gave her the capability to exert such power over Westview.
  • Proscenium Reveal: After Wanda revisits a memory of her creating the Hex and Vision, she looks around to notice a studio set, including cameras and seats for a live studio audience, currently empty except for Agatha.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Even though she's doing it for purely selfish reasons, Agatha ends up giving Wanda some much-needed therapy by walking her through her traumatic past.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Agatha is at least 350 years old, having been an adult 330 years before the show.
  • Reflective Eyes:
    • When Wanda encounters the Mind Stone for the first time and presumably sees herself in her classic comic book outfit, the reflection of it is seen in her eyes.
    • Another example in the Sokovian memory can also be seen as a subtle Foreshadowing: Wanda is looking at the unexploded bomb, and the blinking red light is reflected in her eyes, reminiscent of the red flashes when she uses her power.
  • Retcon: Avengers: Age of Ultron has Pietro's detailed description of the destruction of the Maximoff home, including that it was during dinner and that the floor fell from under them. This doesn't happen in Wanda's flashback here; instead, the family was watching an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show when the bomb hit, and it caused the roof to collapse.
  • The Reveal:
    • Like her comics counterpart, Agatha is a literal Salem witch who's hundreds of years old. The mysterious brooch she wears belonged to her mother.
    • Wanda has always had some iteration of her Chaos Magic powers, which is why Agatha believes the bomb in her apartment building never went off — she was subconsciously using a probability hex to keep it from exploding and exposure to the Mind Stone just expanded what she could already do. For her part, Wanda still believes the bomb was simply a dud.
    • Wanda never stole Vision's body. The Vision that she's been with is a recreation she conjured on instinct, which is why his survival is tied to the Hex.
    • Wanda created the Hex with a massive outpouring of grief, casting a multitude of mind control and transmutation spells that transformed Westview into a Retraux '50s sitcom with Wanda and Vision at the center of things.
    • As for why Westview of all places: it was where Wanda and Vision were supposed to build a home and settle, before the war against Thanos happened, that is.
    • The sitcom filter imposed over Westview is Wanda's idea of a tranquil suburban life, as she used to watch classic American sitcoms to cope with the hardships in her life.
    • Project Cataract was an attempt by S.W.O.R.D to bring Vision back as a sentient weapon using his remains, which failed until Wanda threw the drone she destroyed at Hayward in Episode 5. They then siphoned the energy from the drone into a new, pure white Vision.
    • The "Pietro" we've been seeing is not actually Wanda's brother with a new face, but someone Agatha's possessing to spy on Wanda. She couldn't raise Pietro's body from the dead (though more for practical reasons, like his body being buried in Sokovia and being damaged beyond repair, rather than lack of ability). This is why his appearance and memories are off: looking like a different version of the character that we know and thinking he got shot "like a chump for no reason" rather than the Heroic Sacrifice his death actually was.
    • "Dennis," the mailman/delivery guy is actually an unnamed pizza delivery guy.
  • Runic Magic: Agatha has set up a collection of runes in her basement. According to her, only the witch who laid down the runes can use her magic in their radius.
  • Salem Is Witch Country: In Agatha's flashback, we see she lived with her mother and a coven of other witches in Salem in 1693. Young Agatha apparently broke some magical law and caused a problem for the coven, and so they are executing her. But Agatha proved more powerful than they realized, and she sucked the life and magic out of all of them, granting her the level of powers we've seen her use in the present day.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Agatha does this when she is the only person sitting in the 50s studio audience to mock Wanda after revealing how she made her own sitcom paradise.
  • Series Continuity Error: In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron created the Vision by bonding Vibranium to synthetic human tissue using Doctor Helen Cho's Regeneration Cradle. In this episode, Vision's vivisected body contains wires and circuitry, with no trace of organic matter. However, his head clearly contained wires and circuits when Thanos ripped the Mind Stone out, so it may instead be a Retcon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Agatha's mother's name, Evanora, is also the real name of the Wicked Witch of the East in Oz the Great and Powerful, which is also a Call-Back to Episode 3, where that film was playing at the movie theater, according to the marquee.
    • When Wanda creates the Hex, the original movie being played at the theater was Tannhauser Gate, which is suspiciously appropriate for a TV show involving a sentient android.
    • Agatha mentions that she is holding Wanda's children in her "bewitched basement." As shown in the last episode, the house that Agatha/Agnes lives in is the actual Bewitched house, whose basement would be the "Bewitched basement."
    • Their house is on Sherwood Street, named after The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz.
  • Silence of Sadness: No dialogue is spoken for about 4.5 minutes from when Wanda leaves S.W.O.R.D. HQ up to the constructed Vision welcoming Wanda to their 50s sitcom home.
  • Special Edition Title: The Marvel logo at the beginning transitions from red to purple before fading in smoke to a flashback to Agatha's attempted execution by her coven. Also, for the first time, the credits don't begin with the "PLEASE STAND BY" test pattern. Instead, we get an eerie black screen.
  • Stepford Smiler: Agatha calls Wanda out on this, remarking that despite her efforts to get Wanda to abandon the illusion of the Hex, she'd rather stay in it even as both her control over it and her sanity are fraying by the second.
  • The Stinger: The mid-credit scene reveals that Hayward has managed to revive Vision's body with the help of the leftovers of Wanda's magic on the 80s S.W.O.R.D. drone. He prepares to send this new Vision into the Hex.
  • Supernormal Bindings: Two instances of magically conjured chains
    • First, when Agatha is bound to a stake before being judged by her coven.
    • The next is when Wanda is in Agatha's basement, discovering she can't use her powers due to being within Agatha's wards. Agatha then binds her in similar chains that also suspend her in the air.
  • Taught by Television: The first flashback reveals the Maximoff family taught themselves English by spending a night each week watching American sitcoms. This actually is a popular method of learning English for non-native English speakers in real life, as American sitcoms reflect natural English speech (i.e., slang and casual street talk), and they provide entertainment.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Alan Silvestri's theme from The Avengers (2012) is played in a minor key during the flashback of Wanda watching Malcolm in the Middle with Vision.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Agatha hangs shade on the idea that ten-year-old Wanda and Pietro's house could be reduced to rubble, killing their parents, without them coming to any further harm despite being next to an unexploded bomb for two days, and posits it was Wanda's magic asserting itself to protect her and her brother. Wanda still believes they simply got lucky, and the bomb was a dud.
  • Title Drop: If simply because the episode starts with a Previously On… montage like the past few episodes.
  • Tragic Keepsake:
    • Wanda carries a property deed with her that shows the layout of the lot where Vision wanted to build a house for them "to grow old in."
    • Agatha's brooch is revealed to have been her mother's, who she killed along with the rest of her coven after they attempted to execute her for going above her station in the coven and using dark magic.
  • Transmutation: Agatha demonstrates transmutation to Wanda by transforming a cicada into a bird.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As Agatha explores Wanda's memories during the episode, she realizes that Wanda has no magical training or knowledge whatsoever, yet she's weaving together multiple high strength, automatic spells across a large area indefinitely, all unconsciously. She eventually concludes that Wanda is a fabled witch capable of harnessing Chaos Magic that her coven called the Scarlet Witch.
  • Visions of Another Self: No pun intended, but when the Mind Stone empowered Wanda, she saw an image of a figure in the full Scarlet Witch costume silhouetted by its blinding light.
  • Visual Pun: The most recognizable symptom of cataracts are milky-white eyes. Project Cataract takes on the appearance of a full-white Vision.
  • Wham Line: When Wanda finally escapes Agatha’s house to confront her, Agatha gives some insight into what Wanda really is:
    Agatha: You’re supposed to be a myth. A being capable of spontaneous creation. Here you are... using it to make breakfast for dinner.
    Wanda: Let go of my children!
    Agatha: Oh, yes... your children... Vision... this whole little life you’ve made... This is Chaos Magic, Wanda. And that makes you the Scarlet Witch.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Wanda visits the plot of land she and the Vision had purchased to build their home and has a total breakdown, which led to her magically building the house herself and creating a simulacrum of the Vision, meaning that the Vision that we have seen for the past 7 episodes was created by her alone.
    • The body of the original Vision was always with S.W.O.R.D., who brought life into his body using the Chaos Magic that Wanda put into the drone she took down and left at their feet. Vis's body is now pure white. The last shot of the episode is him waking up and looking at his new form.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Already hinted at, but now outright confirmed that Director Hayward has only ever considered Vision an advanced machine to be dismantled and rebuilt to serve S.W.O.R.D., not a person. When he spoke with the obviously grieving, horrified Wanda when she visited S.W.O.R.D. HQ to collect Vision's body, Hayward only talks about him as a piece of technology and exotic material, even referring to him as "it" more than once.
  • Wicked Witch: The other Salem witches consider young Agatha too powerful and dangerous even for them and arrange to execute her.
    Agatha: Mother, please! I can be good!
    Evanora: No, you cannot.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Agatha holds Billy and Tommy prisoner with magical loops around their necks, which she pulls on in a way that clearly hurts them.
  • invokedWrite What You Know: In-Universe, the episode reveals that Wanda has always loved sitcoms since her childhood; hence she rewrote/warped the reality of Westview to look like them.
  • Wrong Context Magic: The entire reason Agatha was in Westview in the first place was so that she could figure out how Wanda could perform magical feats Beyond the Impossible, feats that she — a witch with centuries of experience and dark powers backing her — couldn't do.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: Agatha taunts Wanda with the phrase "your magic's no good here" verbatim, pointing out the circle of runes she's standing in that nullifies her powers.

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Wanda Creates Westview

Out of her grief, Wanda unlocks the fullness of her powers, remakes an entire town, and recreates her lost love.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealityWarper

Media sources:

Main / RealityWarper

Report