REVIEW: The finale of “WandaVision” is solid, despite the juvenile joke reveal

While the finale of the hit Marvel show provided a full character arc for Wanda Maximoff, the show also contained a very disappointing reveal.


Image courtesy of Disney+.

Zachary Weinberger, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: This review was originally in the March 8 “Catching You UP” newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

You mean to tell me that a finale of a popular television show has caused a divide among fans on social media? You don’t say.

Marvel Studios and Disney+ just ended their first show connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in WandaVision. My review for the first two episodes you can find here.

Seven episodes later, the show has had many people speculate theories about Marvel characters appearing from the likes of Doctor Strange, Magneto, and even Mr. Fantastic.

Do any of them show up in the finale? No, but is that really a problem?

I’ve seen many reviews call it “underwhelming.” All because your favorite Marvel character didn’t show up?

My problem with MCU movies in the past, like 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” is that it relied a ton on fan service rather than focusing on the plot or character development. One of the strongest points of the show is the grief and anger that Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has, where that stemmed from and her ultimately realizing the harm she caused to many.

What the finale succeeded in was going full circle with her. Her character was vastly under-utilized in past MCU films, but what we saw from the show was impressive in how much trauma she’s gone through in her life and seeing how another entity like Agatha Harkness (Kathrynn Hann) was able to manipulate her.

We see her overcome the manipulation by Harkness, even outsmart her by using her own tactics in the finale. Her eventually becoming the Scarlet Witch with her iconic costume was satisfying to watch, especially since we’ve been attached to her through nine episodes. Olsen is doing her best work in the show.

Now it’s time to address the most frustrating part in the finale.

Ralph Bhoner.

I was very excited when I saw Evan Peters in episode five of the show. His performance as Quicksilver in Fox X-Men movies is fantastic. Seeing him “reprise” the role was great to see and the thought of the MCU expanding their already vast canon to other universes is exciting.

We know a “multiverse” is incoming as the next Doctor Strange movie titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” clearly shows how the MCU will tap that part of the comics. Olsen is also set to reprise her role in the film to co-star with Benedict Cumberbatch.

They could’ve used the idea of a “multiverse” to explain Peters’s presence. They didn’t. His real name is Ralph Bhoner who was under the control of Harkness.

One word to describe that reveal? Lame.

While it isn’t the first time that the MCU fakes out the audience with their character reveals as they did with “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3 and “Mysterio” in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it didn’t work those two times and it certainly didn’t work this time.

Peters’s performance amounted at the end to a joke about the male reproductive system. Funny. Not really.

Other than that juvenile plot point, WandaVision was a ride that remains as one of the better pieces of medium to come from the MCU. One of the final scenes involving the end of “The Hex” as Maximoff is saying goodbye to Vision and her sons are one of the more emotionally compelling scenes and encompassed what was special about the show.

The finale had its serviceable action scenes, its powerful moments and even set up some future intrigue with not only Maxmioff but also Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).

Here’s hoping that Disney+’s next Marvel outing “Falcon and The Winter Soldier” continues the creativity of the MCU.

Zachary Weinberger is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger.