WandaVision has increasingly been hinting that someone else is pulling the strings behind Wanda – could it be the mysterious Dottie is actually Emma Frost and helping to control Westview? The first Disney+ series from Marvel Studios, WandaVision has gotten slightly less weird as episodes have progressed, but the weirdness has been replaced with more mystery: Something is deeply wrong in the alternate reality bubble of Westview and the one behind it all may not be who audiences expect.
From the start, the series has hinted that it’s Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, who created the hex bubble after the death of her love, Vision, the grief driving her to recreate him and a picture-perfect suburban life in sitcom-infused reality. Residents in the town seem oddly scared of Wanda and desirous of pleasing her, the way one placates another when they’re prone to fits of anger. She’s been able to wield magic, warp their reality, expand Westview’s hex barrier bubble, and even rewind time.
Yet, in the most recent episodes, hints have started to surface that there is even more than meets the eye going on behind the events of Westview and it’s no longer clear that Wanda is the one entirely in control. Whether she realizes it or not, it would appear someone else is behind it all, despite how extremely powerful Wanda is as Scarlet Witch. That person could very well be Emma Frost, and here’s why.
At the tail end of WandaVision episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode…” Wanda and Vision got into their first blow-out fight. Vision, who had been becoming increasingly suspicious about the reality of their reality, confronted Wanda, who finally burst out with the truth: She had no idea how Westview started and argued with Vision that there was no way she had the power to control every single person in Westview or the minute details of the lives of thousands of people.
It was a moment that seemed incredibly sincere, with Wanda suddenly appearing lost and just as baffled as Vision himself. It would appear that Wanda may not have created Westview or be controlling it completely, after all, but is merely accepting it because she understands it’s the only way Vision will stay alive and they can have the life they always wanted. Certain things that had been chalked up as Wanda’s doing suddenly came into question. When her supposedly dead brother, Pietro, a.k.a. Quicksilver, weirdly the Evan Peters version from the Fox X-Men universe, conveniently showed up in the middle of Wanda and Vision’s fight, Wanda swore to Vision she hadn’t done it. Again, it seemed sincere.
That leaves two possibilities. Either Wanda’s mind is so fractured that she really is doing all of it but is hiding the scope of her powers even from herself, or someone else is involved and acting as puppetmaster. Considering the nature of what’s happening in Westview, few characters in the Marvel universe are powerful enough and have the right skill set to pull it off. One such character is the mutant Emma Frost.
A close look at Wanda’s historical power set in the MCU doesn’t quite add up to what is happening in Westview now. It’s undeniable she is far more powerful than she had been, but thus far, it’s been her telekinetic powers that have leveled up, not her telepathic ones. Further, when Vision temporarily pulled his coworker, Norm, out of the mind control, Norm made it clear the mind control was painful. While Wanda’s telepathic powers certainly messed up various members of the Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron, nothing about the experience indicated it was physically painful, just deeply unpleasant.
Emma Frost’s powers, however, exactly fit the profile. While not officially considered a full Omega-level mutant in the comics, Emma Frost has been considered a world-class telepath if not an Omega class telepath. Her powers and abilities exactly line up with what would be needed to control Westview, or at the very least, to use Wanda as a conduit. Among her many, many powers, Emma Frost can mentally link with multiple people, create telepathic illusions, control the minds of others, induce mental pain and trauma, cause amnesia and memory loss, and much more. A number of clues in the series have hinted this is exactly what’s happening to the townspeople of Westview, but it may not be Wanda – at least, not directly.
Quite a bit of the credit for Wanda as the seeming villain goes to WandaVision‘s clever writing. While the series has been praised for its layering of mystery, not enough credit has been given to its sly misdirection. Numerous times, for example, the people of Westview have told Vision that “she” is doing this, but only once has Wanda been specifically mentioned by name. It’s almost always only been the general “she” – audiences just assumed, naturally, it meant Wanda. Thus far, there has been no reason to question it; Wanda has seemingly been growing into her full Scarlet Witch form and she is formidable and terrifying.
Yet, that in and of itself raises a big question: How did Wanda get so powerful? She almost singlehandedly took out Thanos in Avengers: Endgame and seems to be even more powerful in WandaVision. Yet her work in Endgame was more of the telekinetic kind. In fact, since the events of Age of Ultron, Wanda hasn’t really used her telepathic powers at all, and even then, they only worked on one person at a time. Her telepathy and illusion-casting were certainly powerful, but not powerful enough to be able to control thousands of people at once.
One other specific power of Emma Frost could very well explain Wanda’s sudden power boost, however. In the comics, Emma has the ability to give other mutants the equivalent of a neural boost, jumpstarting the speed of their neural signals in the brain and giving their powers an exponential increase. In the comics, this is just a temporary effect and their powers eventually return to normal. The MCU has always played fast and loose with comic book canon, however, at least when it comes to power sets and abilities. It would not be at all out of the ordinary if it were written so that Emma was able to sustain this effect indefinitely or make it so that the change to a person’s neural pathways was permanent.
Another central mystery of recent WandaVision episodes is the whereabouts of Dottie. Dottie appeared in the first two episodes but has been mysteriously absent since, a strange turn of events considering how she was positioned. Agness specifically explained to Wanda that Dottie was the one Wanda had to please if she wanted things to go smoothly in Westview. “Dottie is the key to everything in this town,” she explained. Nothing in the town happened, at least initially, without Dottie’s say-so, from what Wanda wore to community planning meetings to the town’s talent show fundraiser. It’s odd Dottie is suddenly nowhere to be found considering she was more of a central figure in the town than the other neighbors who have retained supporting roles. It’s almost as though Dottie appeared to set things in Westview into motion and then stepped back in order to not reveal her hand.
It also can’t be overlooked that Dottie’s WandaVision color scheme of pale skin, platinum blonde hair, and light-colored clothing is both striking and exactly mirrors Emma Frost’s look in the comics. At least, it mirrors what Emma Frost might look like if she were pulled into a classic sitcom version of the real world. It could be that Dottie’s pristine look is meant as a cheeky nod to the “purity” of her status as the queen bee of the neighborhood, but Marvel rarely makes such deliberate costume and makeup choices without a reason.
While a pervasive theory is that Dottie is Mephisto in disguise, Emma Frost makes far more sense. It would also leave the story wide-open for Mephisto to still be in play as an even bigger villain behind the scenes. It’s entirely possible that Dottie will turn out to be no one special at all, but considering Marvel’s history, Dottie’s seeming importance, and the events unfolding in Westview, it seems unlikely. There are three episodes of WandaVision left, and Dottie being revealed as Emma Frost would go a long way toward clearing up a number of the remaining mysteries of the town.