Synopsis: “Previously On” is very much a trip through Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) past. Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) continues her scheming, which last week’s episode revealed her as the culprit of. Also, the fate of Vision is further explored, and role that Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) played in it. And finally, we hear, via Agnes, confirmation of crucial information we’ve all been waiting for.
A smart way to do an origin story. The events of previous MCU storylines have been re-explored. This was unsurprising, but managed well. For example, the method for it to happen. Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) using magic to show Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) her own past was effective, and powerful. Furthermore, it allowed for character development. That’s really what makes for a good story. With the MCU, however, we also needed canonical referencing, which we discussed the importance of in WandaVision: Five Things To Expect. That feature also discussed the death of Vision (Paul Bettany), and how he’d be brought back. We got our answer to that, this week.
By the end of things, we were in no doubt Wanda is very much a victim. Crucially, perhaps of the cruelty of life itself, as much as anything. But regardless, things have taken their toll. At least we now have details of events. This means our “Wanda World Theory 1, in WandaVision: Five Theories turned out to be the right one. Now, we’ll truly start to see what Wanda can really do with her powers.
A great dynamic between Elizabeth Olsen and and Kathryn Hahn, as Wanda and Agatha. Olsen depicted a vulnerable and scared person exceptionally, whilst Hahn provided a character that is only giving a glimpse of their true nature. Hahn’s impishness masked a real violence, doing so by knowing the character’s motivations superbly. The same is true of Olsen, who depicted fear with great skill.
CGI & Effects
Seeing Wanda “build” Westview was impressive. And not just due to the graphics – though they were superb. Because of her grief, Wanda snapped. May the Verse Be With You felt this may have been the case. The words of “A Scarlet Spell” commented on love as a force. The same is true of Vision’s Vision. Both the illustrations of those poems, by our resident artist, had great resonance, in “Previously On”. Effects are always much more powerful when they are part of a good story. This was an example of that in practice.
A good set up for the big finale, next week. What’s particularly impressive about the storytelling is the fragmenting. The switching between linear and non linear has really shown us Wanda’s state. We also now have another facet to the expanding MCU, too. With more magical people now very much on the agenda, so much is possible. Agnes’s story suggested the power is ancient, and some are stronger than others. Her obsession with Wanda is due to her suspicion, that Wanda is indeed especially powerful. The origins of The Scarlet Witch mantle are now here. Recently, we focused on Wanda’s character journey, in From Wanda Maximoff to Scarlet Witch. “Previously On” provided a roadmap to how it all happened. Next week’s finale looks set to show the implications of her transition.
WandaVision airs weekly, Fridays, on DisneyPlus. There’s 9 episodes in Season 1. We’ll feature the show in coming PodCast Episodes.
- CGI & Effects9.5
- Incidental Music9.0