Super Mates 96: WandaVision

Join Chris, Cindy, and daughter Dani for a SPOILER-FILLED, off-the-cuff discussion on the recently wrapped Disney + series starring everyone’s favorite Scarlet Witch and her synthezoid husband. From the sitcom tropes to the lingering mysteries surrounding the finale, the Super Mates discuss it all! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

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Clip credits:

“Wedding March” by Queen from Flash Gordon. Clips from WandaVision

26 responses to “Super Mates 96: WandaVision

  1. All fun to podcast with family, as I recently found out. As for WandaVision, what else can we say but Marvel does it again. As comic book geeks, I think you’ll agree with my assessment that if the movies are graphic novels, this felt like a 6 or 12 issue limited series. As for theories, I assumed that Vision actually bought the plot of land for he and Wanda to build on, and eventually build a family.
    I do agree that this series opens up the Marvel “horrorverse” aspects of the universe, and can we just appreciate, once again, how much planning goes into the continuity and connectivity of the MCU. Just marvelous, if you pardon the pun.
    While not disappointed by the conclusion, one aspect that I had hoped to see was the “witchcraft” that Agatha had practiced, and that Wanda now discovered was her latent powers, was the X-gene manifesting itself. Perhaps in the 1600’s it was decried as witchcraft….and now it would be called a “mutation”. I thought this could have been an interesting was to introduce mutation into the MCU, leading eventually to the X-Men. With her comic character being a mutant, I thought they may have gone this route.
    Nevertheless, it was a great season of television and I look forward to Falcon and Winter Soldier. Thanks for the podcast Franklin Family!

      1. Vision buying the lot would actually make sense. I think I may be looking for too many conspriacies/mysteries. The envelope was opened, as if she’d already seen it. So I don’t think someone mysteriously placed it in her car or anything.

        I think everyone was hoping this would be our gateway to mutandom in one way or another, but since Wanda was shown to have some level of powers pre-mindstone by disarming the Stark shell…maybe it was? Maybe she’s “The Scarlet Witch” because she had latent mutant abilities. Either way, very interested to see when the MCU will utter the word “mutant”, though.

        Chris

        1. Yeah to me the envelope was just left by Vision before the snap and events just got out of control before they had a chance to visit the lot together etc. Nothing sinister there. I think Agatha was signaled by the transformation of the town and went straight there and did a bit of reality changing magic to insert herself into the scenario.

  2. I’ll have to stick a pin in this episode. Our family picked up a month of Disney+ as a Christmas present, so that my daughter and I could watch The Mandalorian. As a result, we were able to watch the first three episodes of WandaVision, before our month ran out. We both loved it. I particularly enjoyed explaining all of the old sitcom tropes to her, and we both have had fun speculating on what is really going on.

    At this point, we’re going to wait until The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has aired, then we’ll pick up another month of Disney+ to watch the two Marvel series. So, I’ll be back to hear all of the spoiler-filled goodness of this episode sometime in April.

    Please, don’t feel that you have to wait up for me, just leave the keys to the episode under the garden gnome by the back porch, and I’ll let myself in. Thanks.

  3. I liked it a lot, but the version of the last couple episodes I’d written in my head are perhaps still superior. Agatha or not, I think the idea that Nightmare (referenced as the villain of Multiverse of Madness perhaps) was the big bad behind everything, or at least interested in this Witch-made nightmare could have been a better lead-up to the upcoming movie. That’s 1. 2 is the mishandling of Pietro as not-Quicksilver-after-all. When you’ve got a movie with Multiverse in the title coming, why aren’t you angling for the Fox movies to exist within that Multiverse? It’s just wtf otherwise. And I agree with Mick (that’s 3) that Wanda should have let the word mutation come out of her mouth, making it possible for Earth-MCU to have its own X-Men. Obviously, I don’t know how they’re gonna integrate mutants (or the FF for that matter) in the MCU (if at all, or if they continue to allow for different Earths), but it seemed to be the elephant in the room.

    And I would also have merged the two Visions (the soul and the body), but the goodbye scene is too good to be undermined by any of that business (so that’s NOT#4).

    Ultimately, having to set other things up is the reason this would get 4 stars but not 5 from me. Everything Wanda and Vision is great, but while I love Monica and Woo in this, it doesn’t really connect to the themes of the story and is a distraction from them. And if I was dissatisfied with some elements, they almost all have something to do with the expectations created by the explicit connection to Dr. Strange 2.

    I had the same general feeling about The Mandalorian Season 2 when it started presenting character upon character to set up other series.

    1. The MCU sometimes sacrifices some of the “oomf” of the individual film (or in this case series) to set up story elements down the road, or even keep them off the table until later. I think they balanced it pretty well, but yeah, I would have liked to have seen some of those opportunities taken.

      If Ralph is Jimmy’s Witness Relocation person, maybe he’s a refugee from the Multiverse in hiding, and he IS Peter/Pietro/Quicksilver? They could definitely retcon it to this. Hey, they “fixed” the Mandarin switcheroo everyone hated.

      Chris

  4. I was hoping someone on the network would take a look at WandaVision, and there’s no one better to do it than the wonderful Franklins. Thanks for the off-the-cuff comments fresh from watching the finale.

    This was already addressed, but I think the envelope in Wanda’s car was something she had already received and opened. Maybe it is what prompted her to initially go to SWORD headquarters and retrieve Vision’s body for burial. Maybe she intended to bury him on the property he had bought for them. Having failed at that, she decided to visit the property on her own. And, we know what happened from there.

    I don’t think there’s any deep conspiracy here (at least, I hope there isn’t): Wanda, in her grief, warped reality around her and caused a great deal of suffering as a result. Agatha Harkness and Tyler Hayward are just amoral opportunists who tried to take advantage of a bad situation. The story doesn’t need to be anything more than just an examination of the effects of trauma and grief, and a hidden conspiracy would have cheapened the story and taken focus away from what Wanda was experiencing.

    Of course, there is still time for Disney to screw it up by insisting on easier explanations and tidier endings as they tend to do in the more cookie-cutter MCU films, but for right now I will simply enjoy having watched a series that is right up there with HBO’s Watchmen in giving us nuanced and complex characters facing tough situations.

    Finally, as comic book nerds, can we all just take a moment and marvel (pun intended) at the fact that, of all characters, Agatha Harkness is a popular household name now AND the subject of a chart-topping song on iTunes? We do indeed live in wondrously unpredictable times.

    1. Yeah, I think the envelope thing was us getting too caught up in those Screen Crush videos we were watching. They were fun, but he went off the reservation trying to create content, so more probing and mysteries abounded. I can see the envelope as a gesture extending the conversations the two were having in Avengers: Infinity War.

      It is nuts that Agatha Harkness is now a household name, and a popular character in the MCU…especially when her former employers the Fantastic Four STILL haven’t managed to show their faces yet!

      Chris

  5. Fun show guys! I see that Dani has had the Sarcasm App installed, standard software for any teenager OS.

    The only real quibble with WANDAVISION is, it’s the first time, to my knowledge, that the MCU has taken a character from the comics and completely reversed their role. In the comics, Agatha is dark and weird, sure, but not a villain, but here she’s pretty much the bad guy. While there’s room for her to be redeemed (maybe–I mean, she did kill a dog!), I don’t know how I feel about the MCU taking those kinds of liberties with the source material like that. IDK, maybe I’m overthinking it.

    Speaking of overthinking, one area where the MCU’s always limitless grasp I think is maybe hurting it a bit is everyone was expecting some huge guest star in the final episode, which of course didn’t happen. Wanda and Vision should be enough for us, but I will admit I was smidge underwhelmed by the last episode because no one popped up–but that’s more on me than the show.

    I always felt as though Vision and Scarlet Witch were underserved in the movies (inevitable), so it’s great Disney+ is giving them space here, kind of like how Marvel would do mini series featuring the “B” level Avengers in the 1980s. Can’t wait for FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER!

    1. Well, the stars of the show didn’t help matters with bloated expectations. Bettany teased he was working with someone in the finale he’d never had a chance to before, and that had folks speculating everyone from Ian McKellan to Hugh Jackman to Benedict Cumberbatch… only to find out it was himself he was referring to. I think Elizabeth Olsen herself said we’d get a “Luke Skywalker” like moment, and I guess that WAS the big reveal of Wanda AS the Scarlet Witch.

      So I don’t think you are alone in getting your hopes up for more. But I think the story probably served the characters better by not going for these big guest cameos, but it was just a bit disappointing from a spectacle standpoint.

      As for Agatha, yeah, it’s quite a role switch for her, but they had Jasper Sitwell do a heel turn as well, so it’s not unprecedented in the MCU.

      1. The more obscure you are, the more pliable you are.

        The CW shows have been straying a lot further from the original material, so it seems more like a DC thing to do at this point.

          1. Man, when read this, l could hear the rimshot. I think you owe me some loonies for that setup, Siskoid.

          2. It’s better this way. The straight man is a comedy trope for a reason, and I am proud to serve.

  6. Hey Chris & Cindy, long-time listener here, first-time writer. I enjoyed your thoughts on this series! Watched it with my older son, we’re all big MCU fans in the house. We liked it better as it went along. I wasn’t too put off by the early episodes being mostly sitcom homages, because as you pointed out, that’s what we were shown it would be going in. I think they could have made it more creepy and disturbing, in a good way, if there had been more of those moments of “something’s not right.” I enjoyed those moments a lot when they happened. There turned out to be no rhyme or reason to a lot of it (color vs. black and white? Big deal? or not?) and I also felt like they really retconned Wanda’s “love of sitcoms” hard to make that work. That felt tacked-on. But — it allowed them a really cool opportunity to make this show something unique, and I think they succeeded. I don’t agree that this was Watchmen-level writing, but it was still fun and interesting.

    I was kind of let down by the Agatha Harkness “reveal,” because it all seemed a bit too pat and easy, and then quickly devolved into people standing around waving “hexes” at each other or other bog-standard hero vs. villain set pieces and fights. I’m also fond of the original Lee/Kirby FF run and would rather have seen Agatha in that context on screen. But somebody’s got to be the villain, I guess. Heyward was also kind of weak sauce as a villain, and I found some of the S.W.O.R.D. procedural stuff to be tiring — how many times have we seen a big bad boss figure storm into a room and say, “give me a sit-rep!” Those parts felt like lazy writing to me. Fortunately, Darcy and Jimmy Woo are so charming that you don’t notice too much.

    Things I loved most about this: the ambiguity of Wanda’s guilt/reponsibility for her actions, or lack thereof, (and her future status in the MCU, which you talked about, and I thought it was great!) and the battle of the two versions of the Vision. All of that stuff with the Wanda-created Vision knowing he had to sacrifice himself was pure gold, and surprisingly moving. And I agree with Dani : White Vision’s eyes were so cool! They made that version of the character look amazing. Never liked him in the comics, but I would love to see more of this version on the screen. Bettany nails everything about this character, in all of his various forms. Extremely well done.

    “He Captain Kirked him!” Loved that. So true! But I found that Ship of Theseus discussion really spot-on — it comes up in science fiction all the time when you’re dealing with teleportation or duplication of consciousness, etc., and yet it hardly ever gets addressed head-on. That, and the ensuing battle (which was like an MCU version of a Superman vs. Zod fight) were the best parts for me. When they were beaming their head-beams at each other, I thought of Rob’s fondness for “big blue beams” in superhero films. There you go!

    Thanks for a really fun podcast!

    1. Hey, thanks for listening and writing in, Master Villain! Are you sure it wasn’t you all along? Your name seems to indicate you may have been behind some of this!

      Some great points there. I personally think WandaVision avoided Rob’s dreaded “Big Blue Beam” ending because Wanda actually evolved as a result of the big battle. It wasn’t just a mindless CGI boss fight used to take up the last 20 minutes of the film. Agatha even warns us the coming of the Scarlet Witch is probably a VERY bad thing, which I find very refreshing and intriguing. She could go any number of directions from here, and I think they would all be valid, and very fulfilling to explore.

      Maybe it’s because of a podcast that I’m currently working on, but the Vision on Vision battle made me think of the Clark vs. Evil Superman fight from Superman III, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

      Heyward was a bit of hot air, I’ll agree. Hopefully he comes back around to cause problems in the MCU, and we can flesh out just what he wanted to do, and just how he knew what he was doing would push Wanda’s buttons.

      Chris

      1. If we’re going by MCU standards, I’m sure Hayward will be back in a upper government military role, much like Secretary of State Thunderbolt Ross!

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