WandaVision: Previously On (Ep. 8)

Episodes 1-6 of this series were just kind of fun to watch for nostalgia purposes. Episode 7 was very relatable and finally provided us with answers as to what was going on.

But Episode 8. Oh baby episode 8. It’s what our brains do to us right before we fall asleep. Remember that time we experienced a lot of trauma? Let’s think about that instead of falling asleep.

We see her family’s apartment get destroyed with the Stark Industries bomb that never ends up going off, even after they waited two days trapped in the apartment. How she and her brother volunteered for the Hydra mind stone experiments (make sure to notice the Scarlet Witch shaped person reaching out to Wanda in the light of the mind stone). Her time in the apartment with Vision after the Lagos accident from Captain America: Civil War. Plus we get to find out that the head of SWORD lied when he said that Wanda stole Vision’s body. She came to the facility to claim his body for burial, tried to reanimate him, but whispered “I can’t feel you” and left with nothing.

All the while Agatha keeps asking “how did you do it?” Taking over an entire town, throwing up the dome over it, bringing Vision back to life, having the twins – how did she make it all happen? What spells did she use? Agatha forces her through all of her history to try to figure out what Wanda knows that she doesn’t.

The internet has been ablaze with discussion over the different one liners that felt devastating in this episode. “What is grief but love persevering?” “It’s not that kind of show.” Among others, these were lines that moved people to tears, reaching inside to press the button on their own grief. None of these moved me, in fact I expected this kind of dialogue once I saw that this episode was going to be the ghost of Christmas past but for witches.

It’s difficult not to feel overdramatic when I say that my adult life has been a series of survival periods. If I can only get from point a to point b then I can finally rest. I can survive this, and then I can relax. But then the next thing happens, and the next thing happens, and before you know it 15 years has passed and you are full to the brim with the stress of survival and the trauma of loss and disrespect plus you’re EXHAUSTED, but you have to keep going because if you don’t, you won’t survive. You have to endure it, because what other choice do you have?

The moment that broke me, personally, was watching Wanda drive though that broken down town and arriving at a plot of land that only had the foundation poured. When she unfolds Vision’s gift to her and it says “A Place to Grow Old In” and even this gift is emptiness and she’s left with nothing, everything she has endured, every burden she’s shouldered, every mistake and effort and heroic act has led to an empty plot. That moment of realizing that she has nothing left, when she drops to her knees and screams and everything she wanted bursts into being from the center of her magic, reader when I tell you I was sobbing uncontrollably I am not being over dramatic. I couldn’t hold back the crying. The wordless scream that said ENOUGH SUFFERING I AM TAKING WHAT I WANT AND CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED rang so true in my soul that I wanted to be able to do that for myself but I can’t because magic is make believe.

So Agatha learns what she set out to learn: that Wanda is the mythical Scarlet Witch who can do magic without spells or runes and simply pull things into reality at will. Agatha is not a fan of that, and the episode ends with her choking the twins as a way to get Wanda to giver her what she wants, Wanda’s magic.

This episode was for the long-suffering ladies who just want a moment of peace, for something to go right, for a respite in this absolute shit storm of a life. Something about this episode will speak to you. It’s the best episode of the entire run so far, by far. This is the heart of the show.

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