‘WandaVision’ finale: What that post-credits scene means for ‘Doctor Strange’

In the days leading up to the “WandaVision” series finale, a lot of people online were wondering how long the episode would be, and it turns out that it was a normal length. The episode, titled “The Series Finale” (of course), was the longest episode of the show, but only by a few minutes. It was still less than an hour, including the credits, which featured both a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene for the first time. In other words, it was a TV show until the end. A TV show that created one of the most powerful beings in the known universe, of course, but a TV show nonetheless.

The finale was pretty much exactly what we all expected it to be, with Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) facing off against Agatha (Kathryn Hahn), who wanted to absorb Wanda’s power like she’d absorbed all the powers from the witches in her coven all those years ago, while Vision (Paul Bettany) fought the emotionless White Vision (also Bettany), who’d been programmed by S.W.O.R.D.’s nefarious director, Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg), to destroy the Westview copy of Vision and neutralize Wanda. But even though the outcome of the witch vs. witch battle was fairly obvious from the start — Wanda was always going to triumph — it’s what happens at the end of their battle that matters, as it sets up next year’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

Although Wanda claims she isn’t a witch, doesn’t cast spells, and no one taught her any magic, she defeats Agatha, who’d removed Wanda’s influence over the people of Westview, creating an angry mob (some things never change for witches), by adding runes to the fabric of the Hex to neutralize Agatha’s powers within it — something she picked up from Agatha last week. See, she’s learning already! By the end of the episode, she’s fully unlocked the powers of the Scarlet Witch, becoming the person she first glimpsed in the Mind Stone and who’d been prophesied in the Darkhold (which we’ll get to in a minute) in the process.

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Meanwhile, as this is going on, Vision and White Vision tear up the skies above Westview in a classic comic book scenario of the hero fighting his evil self, that is until the two decide to have a lovely chat about the metaphysics of identity, the outcome of which being that both and neither are the true Vision. In the end, the copy of Vision that Wanda created from her sadness, hope and love unlocks the memories of White Vision, who then flies off and is never seen from again. I’m sure that’s the end of him and that he definitely won’t play a role in any future Marvel projects.

Throughout the episode, “WandaVision” stands firm in the idea that Wanda is the villain of this particular story: her grief has plagued the people of Westview and caused them pain for weeks. They have every right to be upset with her after Agatha cuts the metaphorical strings that Wanda used to control them. And in the end, Wanda sacrifices her happy family life in the suburbs — which includes Vision wearing a turtleneck! — in order to put everything right. It is a beautiful and emotional ending to “WandaVision” even though it’s not really the end of Wanda or Vision, or perhaps their story, given that there is a promise that they’ll one day meet again.

So although the show ends with Wanda rectifying the mistakes she made in Westview in the midst of her trauma, it’s more than clear that she is still grieving Vision, as well as the loss of the life and family they had together. Now that she’s more powerful than ever before — more powerful than even the Sorcerer Supreme, according to Agatha — this has the potential to cause a lot of waves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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How does “WandaVision” set up future Marvel projects?

“The Series Finale” was the first episode of “WandaVision” to feature both a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. In the first scene, Monica (Teyonah Parris) — who uses her new powers to save the twins from Hayward early in the episode after restoring F/Pietro (Evans Peters) to his true self, a stoner named Ralph Bohner — is approached by an unidentified S.W.O.R.D. agent who eventually reveals herself to be a Skrull and tells Monica that “an old friend” of her mother wants to meet her. This is so clearly Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that we don’t really need to spend much time on it. We know, thanks to the post-credits scene in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019), that Fury has been hanging out in space with the Skrulls for a while. This scene could easily set up “Captain Marvel 2” but it also seems likely that it sets up the Disney+ series “Secret Invasion,” which was announced late last year.

A much more pressing matter is the post-credits scene, which directly sets up “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which is slated to hit theaters next March. In the short scene, Wanda has moved to a remote cabin on the edge of a lake in the mountains in order to figure out how to control her magic and process her grief and trauma away from people. It feels a bit reminiscent of Bucky (Sebastian Stan) being deprogrammed in Wakanda, except that this scene ends with what appears to be an astral projection of the Scarlet Witch reading the Darkhold while we hear the twins begging for their mother’s help.

SEE All the ‘WandaVision’ opening credits, ranked

What is the Darkhold? And what does this mean for the “Doctor Strange” sequel?

In the comics, the Darkhold is an ancient tome of dark magic spells written by the Elder God Chthon, who gave Wanda her powers via the Chaos Magic she is using. The book played a role in both ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Hulu’s “Marvel’s Runaways,” but given how removed those properties are from the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it doesn’t really seem all that likely that there is a connection between those books and this one.

At one point in the comics, Doctor Strange is also in possession of the Darkhold, which is also known as the Book of the Damned, so many fans thought the character might make a cameo in “WandaVision” since we know the show sets up the Doctor Strange sequel. Unfortunately, Benedict Cumberbatch was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the Scarlet Witch appears to be reading the book while the human side of Wanda processes her grief and attempts to heal.

Now, it’s entirely possible that Wanda is just reading the book for research — Agatha told Wanda it wasn’t her power that was her problem, but her lack of knowledge, after all. Plus, who wouldn’t want to read the prophecy directly related to them or find out exactly where their powers come from and how they work? Even if that’s the case, it seems unlikely that is all the Scarlet Witch is doing though. If you’ve watched any show or movie in which an ancient text full of magic spells appears, you know it is never just there for research. It seems likely, given the twins seemingly pleading for help, that Wanda is teaching herself the dark magic within the Darkhold in order to find a way to bring her family back or find a way to open the gateway to the multiverse in order to give herself that same turtleneck-wearing life somewhere else.

No matter what the answer is, Wanda is on a collision course with Doctor Strange, and hey, maybe even an Elder God, depending on what she does with the Darkhold and the magic it contains. Therefore, in the end it seems that Wanda, as the Scarlet Witch, is very likely still the villain of this story.

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