The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its long form storytelling. After being in existence for over a decade, its characters have undergone massive arcs. One of the benefits of sustaining these character storylines is the change to revisit past installments through a different lens after seeing where the characters wound up. And, perhaps, no character benefits the most from this retrospective ability than Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Her arc from frightened youth, to misguided soldier, to Avenger and, finally, the Scarlet Witch is one of the most drastic in the MCU. So looking back at how this happened in WandaVision can tell fans a lot.
Now knowing that Wanda will eventually turn to villainy in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’s interesting to see every act she takes in WandaVision as one step on a dark path. In fact, when looking at Wanda’s journey as a whole, it almost seems inevitable. Yes, she did a terrible thing in WandaVision and it seems strange that an Avenger could be responsible for something so horrific. But it was largely explained away as an unconscious act. Wanda didn’t mean for it to happen. But the fact she would then transition to consciously being a villain is a slow progression where the events of the show make more sense. After all, Wanda was a villain to begin with (both in comics and the movies). She tried her hand at being a hero, but perhaps the dark source of her powers was too much to resist.
Wanda’s fate wasn’t revealed in Multiverse of Madness. It was implied she died, but it was also never confirmed. We just don’t know if the Scarlet Witch will make a return. If so, WandaVision will just be another stepping stone in her journey. But in the shadow of her heel turn, this show provides amazing insight in how grief and trauma can eat away at a person, justifying the worst sides of their character. If anything, good storytelling elevates not just the story itself, but the stories that came before it. And currently, that is where WandaVision lies in its relation to Multiverse of Madness.
WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are streaming now on Disney+.