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  1. I am writing this review in two parts. The first part is non-spoiler for those who haven’t finished watching the entire season of WandaVision on Disney+ yet. I will simply share my overall view of the series. In the second half of this review, I will go into more detail on why I feel the way I do which will involve specific show spoilers. Non-Spoiler portion: WandaVision ended as it began, which for me was a let down. I waited until the entire series aired before putting my thoughts to paper about it. I knew going in, things would start out slow and build up as it progressed. Even though I originally, and still do, find the first three episodes of the show to be incredibly dull and overdone with the whole sitcom gimmick, I had every confidence that sooner or later things would get better. I think it should have been sooner — two episodes in at most — but I won’t quibble over that. Starting with episode 4, things finally started to pick up, and the show actually felt like something that belonged as part of the MCU. As the season went on, the writers dangled little teasers and easter eggs which created much debate among fans. This is something I think fans have come to expect and very much enjoy about the MCU. With the movies and now these Disney+ shows, it’s not just about what’s happening on the screen at that moment, but what is to come next. Between episodes 4-8, I thought the writers did a brilliant job with this, perhaps too good a job as it turns out. While I don’t think the series as a whole is horrible, I don’t feel the show delivered with the final payout, and the two after-credit scenes in the final episode almost seemed like an afterthought just to get us to go watch the next movies. Most of the secondary characters in the show ended up adding very little to the overall story in my opinion. I do think actor Paul Bettany (Vision) gave very strong performances, and we did add some much needed depth for both Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision. But in the end, the final result was a bit of a let down. To make it even worse, I felt like the show creators, knowing people would be disappointed, made a last minute effort to tamp down expectations. WandaVision director Matt Shakman told HuffPost that Paul Bettany dug his own hole because the actor promised a major cameo at the end. He then told EW In this, they seemingly tried to turn it on fans with the implication that if we didn’t like it, then it was our own fault for building the show up too much. Sorry, but spending the season building up expectations by leaving pretty blatant clues (we will get more into that in the spoiler portion) and even having the stars of the show come out in interviews during the season to say things like we will see fantastic cameos on par with that of Mark Hamill’s appearance in the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, only to then say “my bad” doesn’t really hold much water with me. So just to sum up my non-spoiler portion of this review, I will leave you with these final thoughts. I feel like this same story could have easily been told in half the time and now that I’ve seen what happens, I doubt I will ever have much desire to go back and re-watch this show again. I look at a show like the Mandalorian which has done a great job of not only telling a compelling overall story which lays groundwork for the Star Wars Universe, it also has great individual episodes that can be watched and re-watched again and again. That is what good TV should be, and this show in my view falls very short that. SPOILER PORTION: In this part of the review, I am going to talk about specific things that happened during the series. With this I will try to show why I think the show runners deliberately set up viewers for a big payoff that never really came, and that it wasn’t the fans’ fault for expecting more. Let’s start off with one of the most obvious build-up points for the show that never paid off. Midway through the season, we were introduced to Evan Peters who initially was thought to be some version of Quicksilver. It’s long been known that this show was meant to lead into the upcoming Doctor Strange: Into The Multiverse Of Madness movie. So when we saw Evans show up, who is best known for playing Quicksilver in the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies, I think it’s pretty easy to see why fans would have thought this was going to be a major plot point for a multiverse storyline. In the finale, we learn that Evans isn’t really Quicksilver at all, just some normal guy named Ralph Bohner, who I guess was supposed to be the Ralph that Agnes/Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) kept referencing as her husband during the series — a character constantly mentioned but never seen. Why take an actor from the Fox X-Men Universe and drop him in here only to make him be some common schmuck? Talk about a total let down for no reason. Based on the final outcome, it would have made a lot more sense to have actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson who played the original MCU Quicksilver during Age of Ultron back and then say it was someone else using a magic disguise. In my view, bringing in a Fox actor was a deliberate misdirect to build up hype and excitement for the show. Next up, we have Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and her name dropping of some big Aerospace Engineer. The biggest Aerospace Engineer known in the Marvel Universe is none other than Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. This again was a pretty obvious tease deliberately made to get viewers with knowledge of the Marvel Universe hyped. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect this should have led to more than what we got. After teasing this character in multiple episodes, the final payoff ends up being a character named Major Gooder (Rachel Thompson). This is a character who never appeared in the comics and was completely made up for the show. It was never made clear if Gooder was the actual Engineer Monica was referencing or just someone sent by the engineer. Either way, there was no real payoff from this. All we ended up with was a scene where Monica tries and fails to ram a previously built space land-rover into Wanda’s Hex wall. Moving on, the Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) character who was the director of S.W.O.R.D. is another character I was pretty disappointed with. Now admittedly, I can’t fault the show runners for building this one up with teases. This character did end up being pretty much what he was portrayed to be from the get-go. I will say I think there was a missed opportunity here, but nothing in the show really suggested Hayward was anything more than a narrow-minded bureaucratic leader of a government organization. The missed opportunity was in not making Hayward have some connection to Ultron, but again there was nothing in the show that really ever suggested that was going to be the case. However, I am not sure why Hayward was arrested at the end and essentially labeled a bad guy. While no one liked Hayward, his actions tried to stop a an extremely powerful madwoman who kidnapped a small town in New Jersey. I guess the implication was that he was never authorized to re-build and use the Vision body, although that was never actually really made clear. While we as viewers where kept in the dark about the white Vision until the second-to-last episode, it didn’t really seem like it was some major secret or that the powers that be in the Government weren’t aware it was happening. After all, you would think both the Avengers and the Wakanda Government would be aware that Vision ended up at S.W.O.R.D. Obviously, Wanda knew where to go to find Vision’s body. It also seemed like Hayward was pretty up front when talking to Wanda in episode 8 that Vision had been deemed property of the U.S. government. So why sending in the White Vision to stop Wanda would be a criminal act didn’t make much sense to me. Hayward was in official command, so it seems the supposed “good-guys” Monica, Darcy and James Woo were the ones disobeying orders and would have been arrested for violating orders if this was real life, not Haywood. After all, it was Monica who let Wanda just walk away for doing what were pretty inexcusable acts to the people who lived in Westview. I know the intent here was that we should feel sorry for Wanda and excuse her actions because of the recent tragic events that happened in her life, but come on. She basically forced her mental will on a whole town of completely innocent people for weeks so she could create a “perfect life” for herself, even if it did initially start as an accident. There is no excusing that, and not only did she prove herself to be someone of extreme power completely out of control, but she also proved herself to be a credible real threat to everyone on the planet. It would have been one thing if Wanda was being manipulated by some greater force as we were seemingly led to believe throughout the show with all the demon and devil references, but in the end it was all her own doing. How anyone like Monica could justify what Wanda did here in anyway is beyond me. Monica saying they (the people she mind controlled for weeks) will never know what Wanda sacrificed for them and telling her that if she had Wanda’s powers she would probably have done the same thing really doesn’t make me like or admire these characters anymore or feel sympathy for them. As for the cameos that the show’s stars teased in interviews, well it that turns out they were just screwing with us. While I am still not entirely sure who the Luke Skywalker-like appearance Olsen teased was supposed to be, the one Bettany teased apparently was himself. In the end, it seemed like the real goal of this show was simply to bridge a gap between the events of Avengers: Endgame and the next round of MCU movies without any major revelations. In other words, they wanted you to be hyped just enough so you go to the theater and pay to watch the movies. I feel like they really didn’t want to do anything major here that would have major overall implications to the MCU, perhaps in fear it might take away from the movies. Obviously, the show was meant to establish the magic origins of Wanda so her role in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie will make more sense. They also gave us a backdoor way of bringing Vision back to the land of the living. This reminded me of what they attempted to do at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis when it seemed they wanted a way to bring back Commander Data if future Next Generation movies happened. For those who have been wanting to see Mephisto in the MCU, I think that may still be a possibility. The same goes for the X-Men and Fantastic Four being introduced into the MCU, but it’s pretty obvious to me from this series, those kind of things are being held for the major box office movies and some TV show. Both mid- and after-credit scenes from the final episode are obvious set-ups for the coming movies. First we have a random Skrull in disguise as a FBI agent come to collect Monica so she can show up in the next Captain Marvel movie as Photon. In the second scene, we see Wanda’s astral form studying the Darkhold book when she hears mental cries for help from her children who were obviously more than just figments of Wanda’s imagination. This is an obvious set-up for the next Doctor Strange movie where I’m guessing we might actually get that Mephisto reveal people were hoping for here. Despite a season of what seemed like brilliant clues and teases, all we got was a cliche superhero battle where our heroes essentially fought evil versions of themselves in an attempt to say love conquers all. I guess I might even be willing to be satisfied with that if I wasn’t left feeling that Wanda did horrible things all on her own accord throughout the series, and that I should just be understanding of that because of her emotional pain. Give me a break. Heroes shouldn’t have to be perfect, but this takes it to a whole new ridiculous level. Yes, I was expecting a much bigger payoff here and with reason. Not because I conjured up a bunch of wild theories for the show, but because we were led to believe and strung along for 8 episodes that a big payoff was coming. The stars of the show even went out of their way to say so. The people making this show did all that on their own. Again, I didn’t hate WandaVision, but the fans wanting more and expecting more is due to the show runners being a victim of their own PR-hype machine and that shouldn’t be put on fans suggesting they are being unrealistic with their expectations.
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