The 8th episode of WandaVision is here! How does this Hex-tra special episode set up the series finale? What were the best moments? How does the episode grade out?

WARNING!!! This WandaVision episode 8 review contains HEAVY SPOILERS AND THEORIES about the direction of the series and the next phase of the MCU. Click below for past episode reviews of WandaVision.

What worked:

What a simply terrific performance this week by Elizabeth Olsen. Her acting has been a standout all season long, but never more so than episode 8. In fact, this entire series has shown incredible acting top to bottom. Teyonah Paris has been my personal favorite through 8 episodes as Monica Rambeau has stolen every single scene she’s had. However, Elizabeth Olsen deserves so much credit for the work she has put in for WandaVision. Not only has Scarlet Witch arrived (we’ll get to that soon), but so has Elizabeth Olsen as an actor.

This was such a beautiful and emotional rollercoaster of an episode. Just as Vision was ripped piece by piece by SWORD following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, so too was Wanda emotionally and physically during a flashback sequence. Seeing Wanda confront her trauma, bit by bit throughout this episode was difficult to watch. Most notably, the scene in Westview when we learn that Vision had purchased a property for the two “to grow old together.” This was the moment we see Wanda mentally break and ground zero for The Hex built upon her pain and grief. This episode was a left hook of emotions led by a truly inspiring performance by Elizabeth Olsen.

This week’s episode also brought home a topic that has been boiling since the series premiere. Who is Wanda Maximoff?

In order to move the MCU forward, we had to take a few steps back this week. “Who are you?” says Agatha Harkness in the opening sequence of episode 8 as she takes Wanda on an emotional journey featuring critical moments in her life stemming from her childhood. A central theme deeply rooted within Wanda Maximoff’s character has always been family. To that end, we’re given several sequences that give us a glimpse of Wanda’s past. These moments included the final moment Wanda spent with her family while watching an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Wanda receiving a glimpse into her true destiny with the Mind Stone and some of the first moments between her and Vision.

I always thought that WandaVision thrived when we see Wanda deal with the darkness of her past. Despite all the sorrow and pain Wanda has had to manage throughout her life, there has always been a purpose. Before we touch on Wanda fulfilling her destiny and accepting the truth, let’s breakdown one of the major reveals in this episode.

Mutant & Proud

The most important flashback was Wanda’s first exposure with the Mind Stone. More importantly, it wasn’t the Mind Stone that gave Wanda her powers. We learn that the Mind Stone simply amplified them. Why is that so critical? It signals that mutants exist inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, you heard that right! We’ve been waiting for WandaVision to acknowledge the fact that Wanda has been a mutant all along. Without saying it, episode 8 all but confirmed it. That is some truly exciting news for X-MEN fans everywhere.

Welcome to the Major Leagues, Wanda Maximoff

SCARLET WITCH HAS ARRIVED

We also learned a little bit more of Agatha Harkness this week. We learn that she’s essentially a witch thief. We see that she has absorbed the powers from her mother and sisters during the opening sequence. Which has brought her attention to Wanda in The Hex as well as revealed her motive: She wants to steal Wanda’s powers. Regardless, Agatha name dropping “SCARLET WITCH” was triumphant and one of the best moments of the series. Kathryn Hahn’s character has been incredible this series, but she’s in for a world of hurt next week. I expect Wanda to go full Scarlet Witch and make easy work of Agatha Harkness in the finale.

Director Hayward’s True Plan Revealed

No Pietro, I definitely did not see that one coming. Think about this: All Wanda ever wanted was to spend time with her family, watch her favorite sitcoms from her childhood and raise a family. I’m not going to lie, this was a realization that made writing this review extremely difficult for me. It also makes the reveal that Vision has been reprogramed by Director Hayward all the more difficult. Not only will Wanda need to confront the trauma from the past in the finale, but she’ll also need to handle a new threat: White Vision.

The biggest question looming centers around who is in fact running White Vision? Is that indeed a reprogrammed Vision? That’s not what I’m hoping for. We know that Wanda’s arrival in the MCU began with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Therefore, wouldn’t it be completely fitting to see a familiar supervillain return? The return of Ultron would set up an incredible final fight with Vision in the finale. It would be the spectacle we’ve all been waiting for.

If that’s not Ultron, then all know that White Vision is eventually going to betray SWORD in the finale. We also learned this week that Wanda created Vision out of thin air. This is directly why Vision has never been able to leave The Hex. The romance between Vision and Wanda have been having some issues these last few weeks, but I expect Hex Vision to make his heroic stand for his love in the series finale. I expect that Wanda will finally get to say her final goodbyes along with a proper funeral for her loved one.

What didn’t:

Nothing. This was pure perfection.

Final Thoughts & Grade

This was an absolutely heartbreaking and emotional episode that not only showcased Elizabeth Olsen’s acting, but also gave us the official debut of the Scarlet Witch! For me, this was hands down the best episode of the series to date. Within that, there were several massive reveals. Mutants exist, which opens the door to incredible possibilities moving forward. White Vision has also arrived, which signals a massive action sequence will be going down during the series finale. With Wanda finally accepting her truth, it’s time to accept ours: these next 7 days are going to be absolutely brutal waiting for next week’s finale.

Grade: 10/10 – MASTERPIECE