f1bb97c8f2fed546a37c3bfbc005c3c9_4096x2730_c3884719.jpeg

After a stunning reveal of Agatha's identity in episode 7, episode 8 leaves much to be desired.

Considering “WandaVision’s” reveal last week of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) manipulating Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) throughout the series, there were high expectations for the rest of the series. However, this episode is fairly boring and does little for the story, acting as a recap of Wanda’s history that answers few of the questions the series has provoked. 

Few important events happen in the episode, acting more like a sizzle reel of Wanda’s life with commentary from Wanda and Agatha. Agatha uses these events for Wanda to reveal how she controls Westview to learn the magic for herself. Given most of the scenes depicted have already been covered in previous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this was an unnecessary waste of time. Each scene shown has little extra impact above stating what happened in a few sentences.

Wanda’s past of being experimented on by Hydra gives viewers some room to speculate. Her first interaction with the mind stone reveals an image of someone, but only a silhouette with odd headgear. Who the person was and what information Hydra may have gained are both unknown, and there’s almost no information to work with.

The beginning of her relationship with Vision (Paul Bettany) is shown at the Avengers’ compound along with her childhood in Sokovia. Both scenes show Wanda’s love for sitcoms, but add little else since movies years earlier already explained that Wanda was hiding with a Stark Industries bomb in front of her face in Sokovia and, later, her romance with Vision.

The only flashback that makes the episode worthwhile is Wanda’s trip to SWORD headquarters. This shows that Wanda was more reasonable than SWORD’s footage first depicted her. Her trip properly explains her mental state before the show began, as she leaves SWORD to move to Westview. Her move and takeover of the town are explained along with how Vision came into the picture. 

While it’s nice to have these questions answered, the rest of the episode moves at a crawl. To wait so long for the only somewhat important bits of information is annoying and feels like a waste of time.

Agatha’s reveal as a major villain was lackluster this week given her desire to learn how Wanda controls Westview. She spends the entire episode in the background, egging Wanda on to reveal how she performs her spells despite Wanda’s clear lack of knowledge. Agatha feels generic, considering she’s another villain that catches someone off-guard and threatens their children to motivate the hero. This comes off as frustrating, given that Agatha quickly reveals her manipulation including the fake Pietro without any prompting. She randomly seems to fall into one-note villain territory, making her immediately less interesting.

With only one more episode to go, this week’s was a disappointment. There’s little room to theorize about much, given that most scenes were known to have happened already. Any new information wasn’t mind-blowing and isn’t worth waiting through the rest of the episode when it can be skipped. Given the post-credits scene involving a new weapon for SWORD, the next episode still has plenty to work with and hopefully builds off the first seven episodes’ fantastic energy.

Contact Caleb Barbachem at barbaccf@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and  lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.