WARNING: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 8, “Previously Activated”, now airing on Disney +.
Up to this point, WandaVision your time has passed in the past. Whether it’s going through yesterday’s sitcoms, or watching Monica Rambeau come to the town of Westview, the Disney + series has always had an eye on what happened. And now, with the guidance of a new enemy, Wanda sees why looking back is so important in “Previously On”, the eighth episode of WandaVision.
For starters, the familiar Marvel Studios opening credits turn from red to purple at the end, which we now know represents the magic of the recently revealed Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn). In fact, they take us back to Salem in 1693, where they take her into the middle of the forest to face the judgment of her coven of witches (including her mother) for practicing dark magic. Agnes reasons that the rules were “just bent to my power”, but that excuse is not enough. She is attacked from all sides by the coven, but is able to change that to her advantage. She kills the witches and their mother in one fell swoop, reducing them to husks.
From there, WandaVision returns to the present day, while Agatha is talking to Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in her basement. The Scarlet Witch asks about her children, but realizes that her magic is useless under Agatha’s runes of protection. Agatha is in charge of creating “Felt” (Evan Peters), a facsimile of Wanda’s brother, to discover who exactly the Scarlet Witch is. She is puzzled by his mind control and transmutation abilities, and has only one question: “What is your secret, sister?”
When Wanda doesn’t know the answer, Agatha reprimands her. With no other option, he decides to force Wanda to tell the truth, some “real reruns”, while holding her children hostage. Reluctantly, Wanda and Agnes walk through a door into Cold War-era Sokovia. A young Pietro, along with his parents, are preparing for television night. Agnes urges Wanda to enter the scene as she becomes a younger version of herself.
As the family settles for its umpteenth Dick van dyke episode, an explosion suddenly shakes the apartment. Wanda wakes up in a daze, now in the cold desolation of the unforgiving war zone. She and Pietro just miss being hit by a Stark Industries brand missile. As the bomb falls, Wanda watches the flickering television, reflecting on how it all ends with the revelation that it is just a bad dream.
Suddenly, Wanda returns to her adult form. Agnes questions her about whether she used magic to defuse the bomb, which Wanda denies. Another door leads to HYDRA, which the twins joined as teenagers to “save the world.” Wanda stands in front of Loki’s scepter and is asked to interact with it. Suddenly, the Mind Stone is removed and looms in front of her. When she touches it, she is shaken by an explosion of energy, seeing a silhouette of her Scarlet Witch costume before passing out. As Wanda sits in her bleak cell watching Brady’s Bunch, confused scientists review what just happened.
Another door now leads us to the Avengers complex. Post-Age of Ultron. As Wanda looks on indifferently Malcolm in the middle, in Vision phases (Paul Bettany). Without saying a word, he joins her on the bed and offers to comfort her for her recent loss. She talks about her pain like a nonstop wave that keeps her on her feet, worried that she will eventually drown. But Vision reasons that “not everything can be pain” and pain is the perseverance of love. Wanda looks like the synth with new eyes, igniting what would eventually become a full-blown romance.
Agnes tries to lead Wanda into an epiphany about her current situation. The vision was gone and she wanted him back. That brings us to SWORD HQ, where we see Wanda begging to see Vision’s body after returning after Blip. She meets director Hayward (Josh Stamberg), who takes her to the lab where the synthosis is dismantled as part of the organization’s “legal and ethical obligation.” He refuses to allow her to give three billion dollars worth of vibranium at a funeral, and tells Wanda: “It’s not yours.”
With that, Wanda enters the lab. She grumpily realizes that she cannot feel his presence, confirming that he is gone. She returns to her car, only to find a mysterious letter. Then drive through the town of Westview, as we see contemporary counterparts to the sitcom characters we’ve seen everywhere. WandaVision. It turns out that the envelope contained a deed to a house in the city, bought by Vision “to grow old.” Standing at the base of what could have been, Wanda falls to her knees in sadness. She lets out a great magical blast, as the house we know assembles around her, the city transforms, and Vision is back, welcoming her home.
Suddenly, we are on a soundstage, with bright lights and an Agatha slowly clapping her hands in the studio audience. Wanda runs off and finds Billy and Tommy strangled by Agatha. She speaks of her powers of creation, wielding Chaos Magic on a mythical level to earn her name: Scarlet Witch. Then, in the mid-credits scene of Episode 8, Hayward is taken to a laboratory. Using some magical remnants from the SWORD missile that Wanda previously discarded, a white-eyed Vision comes to life.
In a way, “Previously On” was not only about naming Wanda, but also about her past, her pain and the origin of WandaVision. And now that we have regressed, it is time to move on. And with a new great evil, a possibly revived Vision, and only one episode left, anything is possible in WandaVision.
Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn like Agnes. New episodes airing Fridays on Disney +.
KEEP READING: A WandaVision Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Summaries, Theories, and Rumors
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