Normally when watching a season finale of a television series you expect some amount of closure. There’s a lot of responsibility on a season finale to tie up all the loose ends of the season while also setting up potential story threads for the upcoming season. Despite how great a season has been over the course of ten to fifteen episodes, the season finale is a make and break moment and some shows, no matter how tremendous they are, can buckle under that weight. There’s nothing more deflating than a subpar season finale, really takes the wind out of the sails. It’s like having a five-course meal where the first three courses shine and set your taste buds all a glow and then the last two courses leave you wondering if Mcdonald’s is still open on the way home.
The expansion of the MCU into television has left me wondering if normal is what’s going to be the course of action moving forward. We all know that, as of right now, the bread and butter of Marvel Studios are movies. And while Disney+ has given the company a new way to expand and explore their storytelling, the real money is in movies that gross over a billion dollars not in streaming services that barely cost seven bucks a month. Don’t get me wrong, the formula is brilliant and I’m clearly here for it. The more MCU stories I can consume the better. And the duality of movies and television opens the doors to new audience members to get in those movie theater seats which means more of that cheddar cheese Star Lord was talking about for Marvel. Television also allows us more time to spend with our favorite characters, or even develop new favorites, as these shows set the board for more massive stories like Secret Invasion and possible multiverse hijinks. Television really allows the MCU to explore characters and stories that might not make it into a big-budget film… but could have the potential in the future all depending on how the fan base reacts.
There is no denying how successful Marvel’s first fore ray into television has been. WandaVision has been nothing short of a cultural phenomenon and sure that might be me waxing poetic but the show’s impact on the pop culture landscape can not be downplayed. After over a year of no MCU WandaVision, has kicked off Phase Four in such fantastic fashion giving us something new, not only for the MCU but for how superhero stories can be told. While this is a show full of sitcom nuggets, science fiction, superheroes, and magic it’s also a deep exploration in grief, a tremendous character study, and really delves into what it means to be human. Something that should feel weird in a superhero universe but when you think about it, we’re not watching superhero movies/television shows just for the powers and action pieces. We watch to see a bit of ourselves in our heroes. To relate to them. To find a common thread, and WandaVision has given that to us in spades. I feel what Wanda is going through because I’ve experienced these emotions in my life, as have many of you, and the show is resonating hard with its audience because of it.
The human element of WandaVision isn’t the only thing that’s drawn fans in. The weekly episode release schedule has given the fanbase something to discuss for these past eight weeks, and it’s been a blast. Taking the time to discuss MCU possibilities, theorize about Wanda’s powers, what does white Vision mean, who is Pietro, who is Agnes, and bops like “Agatha All Along” has carried the show throughout the season and given it quite the life once the credits start to roll.
We’re sitting in uncharted waters with WandaVision. Never before have we had a television series set within the MCU that we know will deeply impact/lead into future films, looking at you Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness and possibly Spider-Man No Way Home, which adds some question to what to expect from this season finale.
Knowing what we do about how the MCU operates, I wouldn’t go into this finale expecting to get all the answers. Where’s the fun in that anyway? WandaVision has been a very personal journey for Wanda, Vision, Monica, and the rest of the gang and I expect those loose threads to be tied up. What happens to Vision? Monica’s powers? What happens to Wanda next? What’s going to happen to the twins once the Hex comes down? These are kind of essential questions to this story and I expect answers to them while we also set these characters up for what comes next. For Monica, it’s Captain Marvel 2 and Wanda has Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness to prepare for. What this means for the twins and Vision is yet to be seen. One is dead and the other two… do they even really exist? I have comic book knowledge and don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll remain silent. But these are the pressing character questions I expect this finale to tie together.
As for the bigger MCU questions and ramifications, I wouldn’t hold your breath. WandaVision is a piece on a board taking us to a larger story and while the weekly format has allowed us to theorize to our heart’s content, I fear that some fans will be disappointed in the show if we don’t get answers to things like mutants, the multiverse (something we haven’t actually seen in this show), the Fantastic Four, or if anything in Westview was actually Mephisto. These ideas or concepts have made for tremendous water cooler talk but aren’t the backbone of this series. We might get some teasers in a post-credit stinger or with a bit of foreshadowing but WandaVision was never intended to do the heavy lifting of introducing mutants to the MCU. That’s just fan impatience in wanting to see the X-Men and while theorizing can be fun, it does put these unfair expectations on the show as can be seen by everyone who thought the aerospace engineer was going to be Reed Richards.
This is Wanda’s show, not the Phase Four show. Everything that stems off of WandaVision is gravy but when push comes to shove this is her show about her journey. And yes, I’m just as excited as the next person when it comes to Phase Four of the MCU but sometimes it’s okay to put a little restraint on that excitement so you can appreciate what you’re watching at the moment. WandaVision has been bold in its storytelling and has changed the way we view certain characters. That’s what television allows for, an audience to develop a deeper connection with a character. Phase Four is still developing, this is our first step forward, it’ll be good to remember that come Friday. Don’t expect all the answers but prepare for the larger journey ahead. This is the MCU after all.