Features and Columns · TV

‘WandaVision’ Episode 6 Brings Us Closer to the Real Villain of Westview

The show continues its descent into Wanda’s madness, but don’t mistake her for the show’s ultimate threat. Nor, maybe, it’s true hero.
Wandavision Episode
Marvel Studios
By  · Published on February 12th, 2021

WandaVision Explained is our ongoing series that keeps tabs on Marvel Studios’ sitcom saga about TV’s happiest tragic couple. In this entry, we turn our channel to WandaVision Episode 6 and contemplate an impending heroic rescue. Yes, prepare for SPOILERS.

Westview is in trouble. More so than we possibly imagined. Its citizens are not merely caught in some superhero psychotherapy. They’re trapped in a catatonic state, free to move only when in the vicinity of Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and her family. The poor extras deemed unimportant to her weekly sitcom scenarios are cast to the fringes, barely able to move a muscle, capable of screaming exclusively through their slowly leaking tears.

WandaVision Episode 6, entitled “All-New Halloween Spooktacular” and supplanted over a Malcolm in the Middle skeleton, extends this threat beyond the New Jersey town. The bubble, or Hex as it’s now tagged, can grow to wherever Wanda needs it to be. When her husband, Vision (Paul Bettany), pushes his secret investigation to Westview’s very borders, he painfully penetrates Wanda’s barrier, meeting S.W.O.R.D. on the other side.

Vision’s escape is brutal. His body shredding into gray strips as the Hex tries to pull him back inside, but his will refuses its grip. He wants to help, not understanding that his existence seems tied to Wanda’s magic. As he perishes for a second time, Wanda suspends her Westview meat-puppets and expels a mighty energy burst. The Hex belches and balloons, reclaiming Vision as well as various S.W.O.R.D. agents and facilities and our favorite Thor sidekick, Dr. Darcy (Kat Dennings).

So, really, Westview’s reality is not trouble, but all of reality. The Hex could swallow everything.

Is that her endgame? No way. She’s like any of us. Wanda seeks the good life denied her: a happy family and the white picket fenced home as advertised on television. She may not remember how this whole thing started, but now that she has her husband back, her brother back (kinda), and two adorable kids, Wanda will do whatever it takes to maintain them. Humanity’s free will is simply a casualty.

Then again, maybe Wanda’s will is not her own either. WandaVision Episode 6 continues its suggestion that others are pulling her strings. The very presence of Pietro, a.k.a. Cool Uncle Peter (Evan Peters), indicates a hidden force at work.

He is not the brother she knew. Her brother (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) met his unceremonious end via an Ultron bullet barrage. That Pietro ain’t coming back as quickly as Vision was restored. As we learned last week, Wanda stole Vision’s body from a S.W.O.R.D. laboratory, giving her the necessary building blocks for magical resurrection. Her brother’s corpse still rots in the ground.

The Peter that currently sleeps on her couch also appears to know more than other Westview residents, including Vision. While they’re out trick-or-treating with Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), Wanda not-so-subtlety tests Peter’s backstory. Peter recognizes her probing and shakes it off, “It’s cool. I know I look different.”

Wanda doesn’t understand. She asks him, “Why do you look different?” Peter shrugs his shoulders and replies, “You tell me.” He puts the blame back on her. The show is doing its damndest to maintain Wanda as the villain of her own story, but that narrative is starting to shake.

Quick! Let’s jump back to this week’s Malcolm in the Middle opening credits! As the camera races through the home, introducing the various starring players, it falls on the backside of nosey neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) rooting through the family fridge. Cheekily printed on her bottom is the word “Naughty.” That’s more than a fashion choice.

Since the first episode, we’ve suspected Agnes is, in actuality, Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch from the comics who has been both friend and foe. Agnes, like Peter, knows more than the average Westview citizen. Last week, she acknowledged Wanda’s ability to rewind uncomfortable situations and even encouraged her to work her magic on Vision. She was also conveniently present when Billy and Tommy hit their first growth spurt.

In WandaVision Episode 6, Agnes is found by Vision while he’s snooping around Westview’s edges. Dressed as a Halloween witch, she looks as if she’s comatose behind the wheel of her car, parked stationary at the corner of Rolling Hill and Ellis Avenue. It’s the street Wanda warned her twins never to cross.

Vision seeks to aid her, and when he touches her temple, Agnes snaps from her haze. She panics when she recognizes the Avenger before her. She asks, “Am I dead?” When Vision inquires why she would think such a thing, she responds, “Because you are.”

Agnes appears to be no better or worse than any other Westview neighbor, but this exchange with Vision pushes him to go outside the Hex. She’s pretending, behaving like a puppet when she’s never done so before this moment. Her chance encounter with Vision sends him through the barrier where he nearly dies—again, sparking Wanda to enlarge her domain.

Agnes is brewing a spell of her own, siphoning Wanda’s power to do so. Wanda is desperately working to control a situation she doesn’t have a full grasp on. When she tells Peter that she doesn’t remember how her sitcom world began, we must believe her. Someone is playing a game, and Agnes is looking more and more like a dungeon master.

However, as Wanda doesn’t fully grasp the villainy striking out against her, she’s also unaware of the friends racing to her rescue. While Darcy got swallowed by the Hex, Agents Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) flee for assistance. Recognizing S.W.O.R.D. Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) as a baddie in his own right—he wants Vision’s Vibranium body for nefarious purposes—the two agents turn on their comrades. As the Hex expands, they’re off to meet up with a mysterious ally.

Do you smell that? It’s another MCU guest-star!

Who? Not sure, but the possibilities are not as infinite as the Avengers roster. Last week, Monica started texting with an aerospace engineer? Clearly, that’s not going to be Hawkeye or The Falcon or Black Widow on the other end of the line. Many have speculated that her pal could be someone like the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards. Yeah, that would be pretty damn amazing, but would such a significant new MCU player pop in for an episode or two?

Yeah, sure, why not? With WandaVision possibly establishing a Multiversal threat that will lead into Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2, dropping Mr. Fantastic into the plot would firmly establish this series as the MCU gamechanger many didn’t believe it was, based on its heavy sitcom send-up start.

Then again, Mr. Fantastic is not the only big brain on the Fantastic Four. Sue Richards, Reed’s wife and partner, could qualify as the aerospace engineer. She’s more than The Invisible Girl introduced at the start of the 1960s. A splashy introduction on WandaVision would go a long way in establishing a new order where she steers the ship while Reed remains locked in his lab, worrying about theoretical cosmic hazards.

Disney+ also looks anxious to establish a Young Avengers. After all, we know we’re getting a new Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld), a Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and an Iron Heart (Dominique Thorne). WandaVision Episode 6 reveals Billy and Tommy as budding superhero agents, and they’re just one growth attack away from Young Avengers eligibility. With that in mind, could the genius brain Monica is racing toward be Iron Heart, a.k.a. Riri Williams?

The idea is appealing, but Riri is a teenage character, and I’m not sure how that would work, considering Thanos blipped Monica. Riri would have been a child when Monica vanished, so unless they met up right before the Westview incident, Iron Heart doesn’t look like a possibility.

Disney+ recently announced a World of Wakanda series. Shuri to the rescue? Oh, that sounds rad.

Reed, Sue, Riri, or Shuri — yeah, maybe, but it’s more than likely that the aerospace engineer is a character like Jimmy Woo. Someone who is a cool deep cut from Marvel’s comics stable who will mean something to some, but nothing to most. While we’re distracted by the engineer’s identity, WandaVision‘s real secondary hero is on the rise: Monica Rambeau. As Darcy points out in this episode, her exposure to the Hex is already altering her biology. Monica is changing, transforming.

Once again, looking at the comics, Monica is shifting into her role as Photon the Avenger, and eventual Captain Marvel successor. Her comic book counterpart gained her electromagnetic abilities after she was exposed to “extra-dimensional energy.” Hmmm…extra-dimensional…multiversal. Whatever Wanda is doing inside the Hex will no doubt have an everlasting effect on reality’s very-thin fabric.

People can change. Our world can change. Every planet, and every possible dimension, can change.

WandaVision Episode 6 ends with an extreme close-up of Wanda’s glowing red eyes. The gaze is not much different than Ultron’s evil stare. It’s scary, and we wait to see how a hopefully restored Vision will react. The things unsaid between them can no longer remain so. Another confrontation between the two is ready to occur. If they can come to an understanding, then they can start to inspect the Hex’s origins and the question of Wanda’s memory.

Will the real villain please stand up?

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)