Is WandaVision suggesting that Agatha Harkness is aiming to steal Scarlet Witch’s power and use it for her own nefarious ends? After spending the majority of the season assuming the role of Wanda and Vision’s nosy neighbor Agnes, the character played by Kathryn Hahn finally shed her disguise, appearing at last in all her witchy glory. As it turns out, Agatha is not a citizen of Westview at all, but a powerful sorceress drawn to Wanda’s formidable magic.
Agatha Harkness appears rather nonplussed by Wanda’s almost instinctual sorcery, abilities that have managed to keep her multilayered sitcom fantasy intact for several days. “Who are you?” Agatha demands, before admitting, “When I sensed this place, the afterglow of so many spells cast at once, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.” The aged sorceress wants to know how Wanda was able to control so many people simultaneously while continually changing the world around her. To gain a more complete understanding of Wanda and her origins, Agatha takes her on a tour of her most traumatic moments, beginning with the night Wanda was left orphaned in Sokovia and ending on the day her grief over the loss of Vision led to the creation of her sitcom fantasy.
After the invasive journey through Wanda’s past, Agatha calls her the “Scarlet Witch,” Wanda’s name from the comics which, in the MCU, seems to have mythic implications. “You’re supposed to be a myth. A being capable of spontaneous creation, and here you are, using it to make breakfast for dinner,” Agatha spits in the episode’s final seconds. Her words drip with envy and disgust, no doubt inspired by Wanda’s natural ability to manipulate Chaos Magic with very little awareness of what she is doing: Agatha, after all, has earned her magic through centuries of training and likely feels jealous in the face of this upstart to whom magic comes so easily. Earlier in the episode, Agatha mockingly asks Wanda, “How do you not know the fundamentals?” and accuses her of using her powers to run from her truth. It is clear that Agatha thinks that such potent magic is being wasted on Wanda and Vision’s peaceful domesticity in Westview.
How Agatha would like to repurpose Wanda’s dangerous Chaos Magic will likely be central to WandaVision‘s season finale. It has already been teased in Agatha’s flashback (which served as an opener to episode 8) that the witch has already been accused of tapping into some kind of dark power, feared and detested even by her own magic-wielding mother. Being drawn to forbidden magic is hardly a new concept within the MCU; Agatha’s turn to the dark side is reminiscent of Kaecilius’ embrace of Dormammu in Doctor Strange. Fans have theorized that Agatha could similarly be in the service of an evil being like Mephisto or Nightmare, so perhaps she will attempt to siphon power from Wanda as a service for her master.
Thanks in part to Kathryn Hahn’s cackling portrayal, Agatha Harkness is shaping up to be a strong villain in her own right. From the way Agatha toys with Wanda throughout the episode (and chillingly dangles her children in front of her during the final scene), she proves to be a formidable foe. The two women share incredible power but have no real support network, setting up a parallel that is far from accidental. Will Wanda follow Agatha’s path and use her power selfishly or will she find her way back to the heroes’ path? Whatever she ends up choosing, Agatha’s presence helps us understand Wanda better after the Infinity Saga.
WandaVision episode 8 has brought the show fully into the realm of magic and mysticism. It has been noted in multiple interviews that WandaVision will serve as a springboard for not only Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ( in which Wanda will appear) but also Spider-Man: No Way Home. Therefore, what Agatha wants and how it leaves Wanda at the end of the series will have huge ramifications to the MCU’s for years to come.