WandaVision episode 8’s deep dive into Scarlet Witch’s past covered many of the most important events in her life, but of course, it couldn’t go over everything that happened to her. Some key moments were glossed over in order to get down to the origin of her powers.
WandaVision’s penultimate episode served as an illuminating exploration into who Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) really is and how it was possible for her to create the Hex. Through Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), WandaVision was able to shed some light on the true nature of Wanda’s mysterious powers, and also make a huge retcon about where they actually came from. Agatha revealed that Wanda’s power is derived from Chaos Magic and the Mind Stone just reawakened her true potential. This revelation was followed by the MCU’s first-ever use of Wanda’s codename, “Scarlet Witch”; in a flashback, Wanda also saw a vision of herself wearing her comic book costume, which could be a tease of her MCU future. The idea that Wanda is just now becoming the Scarlet Witch suggests that everything leading up to this moment has been one long origin story.
Flashbacks in the episode have proven that Wanda was always capable of being a powerful sorceress, as she apparently used her powers when she was just a child. After her parents died in an explosion in their home, she used a probability hex to stop a bomb from killing her and her brother. Additional scenes focused on Wanda dealing with the aftermath of Quicksilver’s death and struggling to move on after losing Vision (Paul Bettany). However, these weren’t the only life-changing events that Wanda has been forced to deal with in the MCU.
Arguably the biggest omission from WandaVision episode 8 was Scarlet Witch’s transformation into a hero. WandaVision included Wanda’s exposure to the Mind Stone, and then skipped straight to her mourning over Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). What happened in-between is what made Scarlet Witch into the superhero she is today. After obtaining control over their abilities, Wanda and Pietro were deployed by HYDRA against the Avengers in Sokovia.
Using her powers, Wanda mentally influenced the heroes and unconsciously caused Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) to create Ultron. She and her brother formed a temporary alliance with the robot, but ended up turning against him. Her big turning point came when Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) gave her a pep talk and said, “if you walk out that door, you’re an Avenger”. After that, Scarlet Witch unleashed her powers on Ultron and became instrumental in their victory. In Avengers: Age of Ultron’s post-credits scene, she was shown to be a member of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow’s (Scarlet Johansson) new Avengers team.
One of the new recruits to join the Avengers at the end of the movie alongside Wanda was Vision, the character who would later become the most important person in her life. She was on hand when he was created. Built to be Ultron’s new body, Vision could have become a major threat but Iron Man thought he could be the key to winning. Joined by Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Captain America opposed Iron Man’s Vision plan, until Thor (Chris Hemsworth) intervened and brought him to life with his lightning powers. Wanda, who was mistrustful of him at first, had no idea that she would soon develop a strong bond with the snythezoid.
Scarlet Witch was a catalyst for the conflict between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War. In Lagos (which was referenced in one of the show’s commercials), Cap’s team got into a heated fight with Crossbones (Frank Grillo), who had attached a bomb to his body. His plan was to activate the bomb and take out Captain America, but Scarlet Witch used her powers to divert the explosion elsewhere. She saved Steve, but an unfortunate consequence of her actions is that innocents were caught in the blast. Though Steve did not hold Wanda at fault, what happened led to questions about superhero accountability and the creation of the Sokovia Accords. While Steve wrestled with these new rules that clashed with his principles, Wanda was haunted by guilt over the deaths that occurred at Lagos. However, this wasn’t discussed in WandaVision.
Scarlet Witch and Vision’s relationship wasn’t romantic at this point, but they were quite close. For this reason, she was pained by his decision to side against her in the superhero civil war. Their opposing beliefs forced the two into a fight during the big battle between the two factions of Avengers. Though they disagreed with each other on what should happen, Vision remained committed to helping Wanda.
Vision fighting on Iron Man’s side caused a divide with Scarlet Witch, but Avengers: Infinity War revealed that it didn’t last. After going on the run as a fugitive superhero with Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch soon found herself drawn back to Vision. Offscreen, the two became romantically involved and began having secret rendezvouses. Wanda and Vision falling in love was a major storyline that played out across numerous issues of Marvel’s Avengers comic, but the MCU skipped all of that in Avengers: Infinity War. WandaVision had an opportunity to correct this in episode 8, but didn’t. Instead, it only explored the start of their friendship.
One of the most stressful and challenging chapters in Wanda’s life came just prior to Wanda’s decision to create Westview. Wanda participated in the Avengers’ plan to protect the Mind Stone in Vision’s head from Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, but all their efforts were in vain. After killing Vision to stop Thanos from getting what he wanted, the Mad Titan undid it with the Time Stone and ripped the Mind Stone out of Vision’s head, rendering him lifeless.
An emotionally shattered Wanda was subsequently erased by the snap. After being brought back five years later by Hulk’s snap, Wanda joined an army of superheroes in the final battle against Thanos, and nearly defeated him single-handedly. She would have succeeded too, if it wasn’t for the intervention of Thanos’ allies. WandaVision episode 8 didn’t incorporate any of this, but the series did at least acknowledge that Scarlet Witch could beat Thanos in a previous episode.