WandaVision Episode 8 Season 1 Review: Well, That About Answers Everything

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I’m going to be rather brief with this review, and I want everyone to know there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Up until this point, I’ve had some fun with WandaVision. I’ve also been critical in places where I felt the story was shrinking rather than growing in potential scope. In Episode 8, almost every possible answer is given for what is going on. Some of those answers are satisfying, some of them are silly. Let’s start with Agnes. Going into this entry in the series, Kathryn Hahn has been fantastic with her acting. Now, as a fully-realized witch, it’s too much. The CGI doesn’t help here either, as there’s just too much purple magic, and the show begins to feel more cartoon than live action.

As for how Wanda came about bringing Vision back to life… well, that’s a bit more tricky. It’s interesting that she can create things ex nihilo, but the whole story about her being allowed to see Vision’s dead body being dissected is poor writing. Our ultimate bad guy in the story allows Wanda to peer through the easily shattered glass at her dead soulmate, and rather than exhibit any human compassion whatsoever, he seems to go out of his way to piss her off. It just doesn’t come off as natural, even for your pale skinned baddy.

The story of Vision having bought a plot of land with just a foundation sitting there also comes across as over-the-top writing. There’s no point that it wasn’t a house, except that the script needs to punch home the emotionalism. The problem is that when things don’t feel natural, it comes across as to ham-fisted.

As for the revisiting of Wanda’s past… well, it’s a little off. It felt a bit too much like opening the exposé box out of a Charles Dickens story machine. But for what it was, it did it’s job, quickly setting up the penultimate episode to come.

And finally, our answer to why things are behaving like a sitcom is sort of answered, but it’s really bad. In fact, it’s downright silly. Apparently Wanda watched sitcom seasons on DVD in poverty and war stricken Ukraine (or is it Russia?) in order to learn English with her family. Unfortunately for whoever wrote this, DVDs would not have been available in eastern Europe at that time, and VHS tapes were the actual format she would have been using. I don’t think full series catalogues were a thing back then. We’re further shown that suddenly Wanda has been watching sitcoms her whole life, and they’ve been super important to her… something you’d think we would have learned before now unless it had been a plot device (or marketing ploy) that needs a sudden explanation. It all feels incredibly forced.

So, you probably think I hate this episode, right? Well, actually, no.

For reasons 100% based on the acting of Elizabeth Olson and Paul Bettany, I’m now invested to see what happens in the next episode. I hope they don’t screw it up, but I’m interested to see how the two Visions interact with each other. I have a feeling I know where all this is going, and I wish very much this had been more about the multiverse… but I’m interested. Let it be said though, without the leading two actors for this series, there would be very little glue to keep viewers coming back. The next episode is a make or break for the first season, and maybe for the entire show. Marvel had better lean into Olson and Bettany for that finale, because they are incredible at what they do. They’re carrying this show in a way that is nearly impossible for actors to do with writing that isn’t usually up to par. They’re really that amazing.

Give them every award and every raise possible… they deserve it.

Grade: A-


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