Fans have been enjoying WandaVision on Disney+ for a month now, but the show has clearly been ramping up the intensity for more of an MCU feel in the last two episodes. The fifth episode taught us so much, but it’s the ending of the most recent installment of WandaVision that opens up a world of possibilities. I’ll likely add another post about what we’ve learned from WandaVision so far and what it means for the future, but right now I want to deal with the fifth episode’s final scene.
First of all, to understand the ending of the episode, we need to look back at an earlier scene. By looking at her “Geraldine” clothes, Captain Monica “Photon” Rambeau makes the startling discovery that Wanda’s powers have been dramatically increased. So far in the MCU, Wanda has minor telepathic abilities, as well as some vague ability to telekinetically move things and fire energy blasts. Now, finally, it looks like we are seeing her in all her reality-warping glory.
Wanda clearly has the ability to control thousands of minds at once. She made herself pregnant. We have seen her turn a piano into a cardboard cutout and a kevlar vest into new 1970s-era clothing. She’s no longer manipulating energy–she’s warping reality itself, as easily as with a simple thought.
The Ending to WandaVision Episode 5, Explained
This sets the stage for the final half of WandaVision’s fifth episode. Wanda first relives her pain of loss when her kids ask about her brother, then she teaches them the lesson that she can’t reverse death. (It’s worth a longer discussion, but I would guess that she was able to revive Vision because, though he gained sentience, Vision is still at his core a machine, not a living–and dying–being.)
After a fight with Vision–during which Vision broke through Wanda’s attempt to “end the episode”–someone shows up at the door. Vision assumes it’s just a distraction to end the fight (and Wanda’s denial is not particularly believable), but she gets the door anyway and sees someone who introduces himself as a “long-lost bro.” The visitor is not, however, someone she recognizes as Pietro Maximoff. As Darcy Lewis assumes, it appears as though she simply “recast” her brother. He is, however, someone fans might recognize–as Peter Maximoff, the same character in the X-Men franchise from 20th Century Fox.
And Darcy’s assumption is definitely possible. It could simply be an Easter Egg. Perhaps we’ll discover that Wanda wanted someone to replace her brother, so she picked someone who mildly looks like him, and drew him in and brainwashed him. Somehow, though, I expect that’s not what we’ll see. That would be disappointing and not too much fun. No, I expect this to be a game-changer in the MCU.
Welcome to the Multiverse
The most likely explanation is that this is the real Peter Maximoff from the X-Men films. He is an alternate universe version of Wanda’s brother. She can’t reverse death, but she can bring analogous characters from other universes into the MCU one.
First of all, we have to acknowledge that the title of an upcoming MCU film (release currently scheduled for March 2022) is Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. It has long been rumored that the MCU will move into exploring the multiverse, and unless the name of the upcoming film is a huge misdirection it’s likely to happen.
Marvel also has another problem. With Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, the MCU can now properly expand to include the X-Men (and the Fantastic Four, among others). Of course, how do you start bringing a team as huge as the X-Men to the MCU? Do you ignore the X-Men’s history and just start a new history of mutations at some point in Phase 4 or later? Or do you find a way to say the X-Men have always been around, and hidden, and somehow wave away questions like “why didn’t they help when Thanos invaded”?
Well, thanks to Wanda’s expanded powers, the MCU now has a better answer. The X-Men have always existed, apparently, just in a different universe than the current MCU. And now Wanda can apparently pull people between different universes.
The possibilities for future changes to the MCU with this are almost endless. Does Wanda bring Magneto over as a chance to replace her father? Can someone convince her to bring over more major X-Men characters? This doesn’t have to happen in WandaVision, either–this can be some part of the upcoming Doctor Strange film storyline. Perhaps this can explain some of the rumors about Tobey Maguire and/or Andrew Garfield appearing in a future Spider-Man film.
The future of WandaVision
In fact, now that Wanda can fully warp reality, the MCU can use her to set up any story it wants. She is clearly a good person who is mad with grief. She’s a hero, but also currently unstable. With her abilities, we have the chance to see Wanda as a hero or villain who does literally anything.
Of course, this tells us nothing about what will happen in the current series. WandaVision clearly draws from the House of M and VisionQuest storylines in the comics. But this is not a straight-from-the-comics adaptation (nothing in the MCU has been), so there are lots of potential directions this can go.
I’m not here to predict what WandaVision will do. I’m here to enjoy it, just like any other fan. I don’t have access to sources or spoilers–that’s why I can’t be positive if this was an Easter Egg or a full-on character from an alternate universe. What I can do, though, is explain what I know.
Wanda’s reality-warping abilities has given the MCU the chance to create a brilliant retcon of just about anything. It’s a wonderful way to introduce us to the X-Men, and more. I’m just as excited as everyone else to see where this goes.
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