(Major spoilers ahead for the first four episodes of the first Marvel TV series, “WandaVision”)
It’s not a Marvel Cinematic Universe project if you’re not immediately bouncing theories off of friends or asking a question about something that wasn’t explained. The first four episodes of “WandaVision” are out now on Disney+, and naturally, there are a lot of questions to unpack. Namely…what the heck is going on in Westview?!
What Actually Is Westview?
You don’t need to know that the MCU is an action movie franchise instead of a sitcom to catch all the big clues that there’s something off about the otherwise idyllic small town where Wanda and Vision live. After all, creepy things keep happening and of course, the show keeps changing eras. So is Westview even a real place?
After episode 4, we have an answer: Yes, Westview is real.
Or at least, it’s the name of a real town in New Jersey, where as it happens the Witness Protection Program has been hiding an FBI witness. And when the witness stops communicating with their handlers, FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) — who you’ll remember from “Ant-Man and The Wasp” — shows up to check on them. That’s when he discovers something weird: A highly specific amnesia affecting locals and, apparently, anyone with a personal relationship with them, that prevents people from even knowing about Westview’s existence.
For instance, the two Sheriff’s deputies stationed just outside of Westview who insist that there is “no such place,” and claim to be from “Eastview” instead.
Around this time Jimmy is joined by S.W.O.R.D. agent Monica Rambeau (more on that below), who discovers an energy barrier surrounding Westview. She quickly ends up sucked inside the barrier and, as we saw in the previous episodes, into the sitcom reality (more on that below). So, whatever the final explanation for all that ends up being, Westview is definitely a real place, albeit a highly altered one.
What About the Citizens of Westview? Are They Real, or Just Figments of Wanda’s Imagination?
Episode 4 gave us an answer to that one too. After Monica (Teyonah Parris) was sucked into the sitcom Westview, S.W.O.R.D. established a huge mobile research center surrounding the entire area and recruited a team of scientists to figure out what the hell is happening; they eventually devised a way to actually watch Wanda’s fake sitcom reality as if it were an actual sitcom.
And that’s when we learn that almost all of the ‘characters’ we saw in the first three episodes of “WandaVision” are the real citizens of Westview who’ve somehow been reality-warped into their current roles.
But ominously, S.W.O.R.D. and the FBI are unable to identify the real world identities of three Westview ‘characters,’ including Wanda’s pushy best friend “Agnes” (Kathryn Hahn), who back in episode 3 seemed to be aware that things were very wrong. We’re guessing that’s going to be important (more on that below).
Why Are Wanda and Vision Even in Westview?
This is, we guess, the true central question of this story. We still don’t have an answer to it yet, alas. But it’s probably a huge clue that Episode 4 nails down the precise period in the MCU timeline when “WandaVision” takes place.
In the cold open, we learn that Monica Rambeau was a victim of The Snap in “Avengers: Infinity War,” because we see things from her POV as she comes back to life during the mass-resurrection near the end of “Avengers: Endgame.” The story then skips ahead three weeks as Monica returns to her old job — S.W.O.R.D. agent — and gets her first new assignment, which just so happens to be the trip to Westview.
And as we learn during episode 4, the events depicted in the first three episodes of “WandaVision” occurred over what amounts to a single night of television in the real world. Which means at most, the bulk “WandaVision” happens just over three weeks after “Endgame.”
This is important because Wanda was also a victim of The Snap; even worse, just before she was dusted, she had to watch Thanos murder Vision right in front of her. So it is that when she was absolutely bent on revenge and ended up nearly killing Thanos herself after coming back for the “Endgame” finale. And don’t forget, while kicking Thanos’ ass she furiously told him “you took everything from me.” It’s a good guess Vision was at least part of the “everything” she was talking about.
And speaking of that, there’s a moment in Episode 4 where we briefly see things from Wanda’s point of view. Right after she evicts Monica from the sitcom world, Vision walks into the living room of their house and for a brief moment looks just like the pale, dead-eyed husk he was at the end of “Infinity War” after Thanos ripped the Mind Stone out of his forehead. Wanda very quickly restores him to his normal appearance and pretends nothing happened. But uh.
Episode 4 doesn’t explain why all of this is happening, but we do find out how. After a repeat of the scene from Episode 3 when Monica was forcibly evicted from Westview, she offers what feels like the definitive answer: “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda.”
It’s easy to forget, after Wanda spent the last few movies mostly just using her powers mainly to pound bad guys and create force fields, that Wanda also has mind powers derived from the very same Mind Stone that brought Vision to life. And as we saw in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” they’re powerful enough to make people imagine their entire reality had changed. In each subsequent appearance she was a little more powerful so it’s not unreasonable that she’s gotten good enough to imagine reality into whatever form she wants it to be. Not a bad way to deal — or escape from — some pretty serious personal trauma.
Though we have to ask: Why is it a sitcom? As it happens, Darcy Lewis (and Jimmy) had the same question.
So What’s Darcy’s Role in All of This?
We haven’t seen Darcy Lewis since “Thor: The Dark World” and while we don’t know what she’s been up to, we do know she’s now Dr. Lewis in the field of astrophysics. Darcy is one of the select people brought in by S.W.O.R.D. after Monica’s disappearance in an attempt to solve what was going on in Westview. She’s also the one who uses her smarts to figure out how to display Wanda’s reality — aka the fake sitcom we IRL viewers have been watching since episode 1 — to the outside world using an old television.
As a result she and Agent Woo become audience surrogates — hell, they’re literally the audience in-universe — watching the same fictional show we saw during the first three episodes and asking pretty much the same questions we’re asking here in this very article. Darcy even starts crying during the childbirth scene, because “hey, I’m invested.” That’s a pretty good joke, Marvel.
Beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see how much Darcy’s role evolves over the rest of the episodes. But we’re definitely here for it.
What’s the real story behind Monica Rambeau?
We knew coming into “WandaVision” that “Geraldine” is actually Monica Rambeau — the young girl we met in “Captain Marvel.” Now we know a lot more about her.
First, as we suspected she’s an agent of S.W.O.R.D., the outer space offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D. established to deal with otherworldly threats instead of earthbound ones. It also turns out that she’s working in the family business: Some time between 1995, when “Captain Marvel” took place, and 2o18 when Monica was snapped into oblivion, her mother Maria “built” S.W.O.R.D. “from the ground up,” according to the group’s current director.
Monica isn’t tied to S.W.O.R.D. in the comics, but in the MCU Maria was a former Air Force pilot — and Carol Danvers’ best friend — who played a crucial role in the events that would lead Nick Fury develop the Avengers Initiative. So it makes sense that she’d be brought in to help establish S.H.I.E.L.D.’s outer space equivalent, and that Monica would eventually join since, we’re told, she “grew up here.”
Sadly, Maria died during the 5 years between the events of “Infinity War” and “Endgame” and Monica doesn’t get to be reunited with her. But considering how important of a character she was in “Captain Marvel,” and considering there’s so much we still don’t know about Monica’s life since the 90’s, we suspect we’ll be learning a lot more before “WandaVision” is done.
Why Was Monica in Westview?
Thanks to episode four, we now know the answer. Having been limited to strictly earth-bound missions after coming back to life in “the blip,” Monica is sent to Westfield to assist the FBI in the search for a missing person by providing a S.W.O.R.D. drone. When she arrives, she discovers that force field surrounding Westview, then touches it and gets sucked into Wanda’s reality.
Right now, we have no idea why or how she became Geraldine with no apparent memory of her real life until Wanda sang a Sokovian lullaby that made her remember Ultron. But those answers are probably coming soon, as is the answer to…
Why Can Monica Enter Westview but Others, Like Jimmy Woo, Can’t?
When Monica shows up, she asks Jimmy why he hasn’t gone into town to look for his missing person. “Because it doesn’t want me to,” he tells her. “You can feel it too, can’t you? Nobody’s supposed to go in.” This is probably why he didn’t get close enough to discover that it’s surrounded by an energy field. But Monica seems unaffected and was able to walk right up to the energy field, which promptly sucked her into the Wanda’s sitcom reality.
It’s not clear why the compulsion to stay away didn’t affect Monica, but remember that in the comics, Monica is known as the superhero Spectrum, who can transform herself into any form of energy and is able to control everything from gamma waves to X-ray waves to radiation. It’s entirely possible she already has powers in the MCU, even if we haven’t seen them yet.
What’s S.W.O.R.D. Got to Do With It?
Assuming you watched the first episodes of “WandaVision” on Disney+, you definitely saw that red toy helicopter with a weird sword logo on the side. We now know that the helicopter is actually a S.W.O.R.D. drone, originally sent in by Monica before she gets sucked into Westview.
As discussed above, after Monica disappears into Westview, S.W.O.R.D. sets up a mobile research station surrounding the entire town, and assembles a team of scientists to figure out what the hell is going on.
We doubt this is going to happen, but relevant to any discussion of S.W.O.R.D. is that it was created for “X-Men” comics, and the organization’s history is pretty well tied to that of mutants. We wouldn’t have thought much of that fact before Disney merged with 20th Century Fox, when mutants were off the table for the MCU. But now, anything is possible.
What to Monica When Wanda Ejected Her From Westview?
In episode three, we saw Wanda eject Monica from her reality — literally — after she “broke through” and brought up Wanda’s brother Pietro and Ultron. In episode four, we saw where Monica ended up: back in New Jersey, outside the facility that the FBI and S.W.O.R.D. have set up to monitor Wanda’s world.
Perhaps more interesting is the fact that Wanda didn’t just use any powers to force Monica out of her reality. She used her Scarlet Witch powers. This is the first time we’ve seen them used in “WandaVision,” as all of Wanda’s magic thus far has been pretty by the book. So the fact that this moment is what finally brought out her real powers seems pretty significant.
It’s worth noting that Wanda herself seemed to be caught off guard at the reveal of her powers, but we don’t know yet whether that’s because outside forces have played a role in erasing that part of her or if it’s because she’s just in denial about her grief. Another interesting thing, however, is that after Wanda uses her powers, she sees an image of Vision — except he’s gray and dead, the same way we saw him at the end of “Infinity War.”
Of course, when Wanda realizes this, she quickly corrects the narrative and tries to shake it off. But we know Vision is starting to doubt just how genuine this reality is, despite Wanda’s best efforts. And it’s fair to say that using her powers might have started a small breakthrough that will lead to more dominoes falling.
What About That Beekeeper?
We knew the beekeeper was associated with S.W.O.R.D., since he had the logo on the back of his suit. But we finally have the mystery of his background somewhat solved after episode four. The beekeeper was a S.W.O.R.D. sent in to try to find Monica, and the reason he crawled out of the sewer is because that’s how he was able to make his way into the town. That suit, by the way? It was actually a HAZMAT suit that was transformed into a beekeeper suit when he passed through the force field into town, the same way the drone turned into a toy helicopter.
Wanda says “No” and appears to rewind time when she sees him. But unlike Monica’s ejection, we don’t know what happened to the beekeeper after Wanda rewound time. Did he get ejected also? Did he unknowingly get integrated as part of Westview?
This guy is probably not a significant Marvel character on his own, though. The show credits stuntman Zac Henry as the beekeeper, and it’s not super likely that they’re going to give him a starring role.
Who Is Agnes?
Agnes is clearly more than a nosy neighbor — But aside from her barging in on Wanda a lot and also clearly taking a dislike to “Geraldine” (actually Monica), we don’t know a lot about her and how she fits into “WandaVision.”
However, episode 4 drops a pretty big hint: While Jimmy and Darcy are able to confirm that the ‘characters’ they see in the “WandaVision” fake sitcom world are Westview citizens who have been reality-warped, Agnes is just one of just three they couldn’t match to a missing person from the real world. Clearly she matters.
One popular fan theory is that Agnes is a cover for the Marvel witch Agatha Harkness, one of Wanda’s mentors whose decision to erase some particularly traumatic memories from Wanda’s mind helps set in motion the “Avengers Disassembled” and “House of M” storylines with, uh, enormous consequences for the Marvel comics universe. We don’t know if we’re headed for a MCU version of all that, though it should be remembered that this show will tie somehow into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Which reminds us, is Westview somehow tied to that multiverse? And is Agnes even from our universe?
Whether Agnes is Agatha, or if she’s good or bad, has yet to be established. But she certainly seems to be pretty aware that the sitcom reality of Westview isn’t real, and seems pretty scared of letting Wanda find that out.
Who Are Wanda’s and Vision’s Twin Babies?
We don’t actually get confirmed names of the twins, though Wanda and Vision do debate between “Tommy” and “Billy” — which matches up with Tommy Shepherd and Billy Kaplan, Wanda’s twins from the comics and two of the Young Avengers. We’re pretty sure that this is the introduction of the superheroes Speed and Wiccan, especially since Marvel seems to be building to an eventual Young Avengers team-up. But only time will tell.
How Is Vision Even Alive?
Yes, “Endgame” brought back everyone Thanos snapped out of existence in “Infinity War,” but unfortunately Vision wasn’t one of them.
It’s never been stated outright why, but the likeliest explanation seems to be that only people Thanos specifically snapped out of existence using the Infinity Stones could be brought back using the Infinity Stones. And as we noted above, Vision wasn’t snapped, he was straight up murdered outright by Thanos.
Whatever the reason, “Endgame” seemed to firmly establish that Vision was permanently dead. So how is he in Westview, living a happy married life?
The most obvious guess is that this is a reality constructed in Wanda’s mind, similar to the House of M comic storyline, and “WandaVision” Vision is simply a fantasy. But even so, Episode 4 reveals that whatever is happening in Westview, it is capable of creating tangible, physical phenomena. And it can’t be denied that Vision seems quite capable of acting independently and not just as an extension of Wanda’s imagination.
Could it be that Wanda really, somehow, brought Vision, or something close to Vision, back to life? Sadly, until we know what’s actually going on here, it’s tough to speculate on whether this story will lead to Vision’s return in films.
What’s Up With Those Fake TV Commercials?
“WandaVision” takes its sitcom homages seriously, and that includes fake commercials in the style of the eras the episodes parody. They all feature winking Easter eggs that refer to Stark Industries or Hydra, which is a fun thing to pick apart. But why include them at all, other than to add another layer of accuracy and detail to the sitcom parody?
Episode 4 confirms that those commercials aren’t just there as a meta joke, they’re actually happening. As in, Darcy and Jimmy are able to see those commercials while monitoring the sitcom reality as if they’re real, actual commercials. Which means for whatever reason they’re something Wanda is, whether deliberately or subconsciously, actively including in her fictional reality.
What Happens When Vision Eats Other Things?
In the second episode, we saw what happens when Vision eats a piece of gum, swallowing it by accident. It stayed lodged in his body, affecting his movements. (He is an android, after all.) Vision tells Wanda in the first episode that he doesn’t eat food, and the gum incident seems to affirm why. But the gum only incapacitated him slightly, it didn’t exactly hurt him. So what happens when he eats other food? Does it affect his inner-workings the same way? Does it have no affect at all?
Who Was That Voice On the Radio?
At one point during the second episode, a radio begins spitting out distorted sounds before a voice starts calling out to Wanda. “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?” Now that we’ve seen the other side of the conversation, it’s confirmed that this was Jimmy Woo, who was trying to make contact with Wanda so S.W.O.R.D. and the FBI can figure out what’s going on.
How did Wanda Become Pregnant?
OK, get your birds and bees jokes out of the way now.
Now that you’re finished, this could just be an example of “WandaVision” doing a sitcom storyline, with the simulation simply making it happen because it’s supposed to. But it’s still pretty weird! And there are big implications to this — in the comics, Wanda’s twin boys grow up to be superheroes like their mom.
Why Do Westview Residents Keep Chanting “For The Children”?
This chant would be weird under any circumstance, but that weirdness is amplified by the fact that there were zero children in the first two episodes of “WandaVision.” Obviously, this bit has some kind of significance, but it’s hard to guess what it would be just yet. We do have one idea, however, which you can read here.