Wanda Maximoff just can’t catch a break.
Trauma is a common element of a superhero’s origin story. Most of the Avengers we know and love have faced some sort of trauma. It’s often what spurs them into action and motivates them to make the world better for others.
But unlike some of the other heroes of the MCU, who get the chance to heal and move on from their traumas, Wanda Maximoff seems stuck in an endless cycle. It’s true in her backstory (dead parents), Age of Ultron (dead brother), Civil War (tragic accident caused by her powers), and Infinity War (dead robot boyfriend)… I think you get the point.
Wanda has been through a lot since she first appeared on our screens, and it’s time she gets the chance other Avengers have had. It’s time for her to heal.
Welcome to Westview
That’s where WandaVision comes in. Although many mysteries remain about the plot of WandaVision, one thing is clear: This is the story of Wanda’s trauma.
Westview is not an ordinary town. It’s a sitcom fantasy created by Wanda to hide away from her pain. Here Vision is alive, the Avengers are nowhere to be seen, and she’s living a happy domestic life.
While distraction can be a healthy coping tool when used in moderation, this is clearly not healthy. Whenever anything happens to make Wanda question her reality, she reacts poorly.
People wind up hurt, or in the case of Geraldine (aka Monica Rambeau), they’re gotten rid of entirely.
But we’re also only three episodes into the series. Just because Wanda is in a denial phase now doesn’t mean she won’t ever face the truth.
Dealing with the amount of trauma and grief Wanda has isn’t something that can be done overnight. So while things look pretty dire right now, this story could lead to some much-needed healing for the superhero.
The most recent episode, which introduces Wanda’s children, hints at an upcoming reckoning for Wanda.
Wanda does have children in Marvel Comics — and she loses them. In the comics her grief causes her to have a mental breakdown and alter reality.
The show’s parallels to these events in the comics have led many people to believe WandaVision is setting up Wanda to become a villain in the MCU. (We already know she’ll appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.)
In the show, we’ve seen Wanda manipulate reality to cope with her trauma. What’s to say this abuse of her power couldn’t cause a multiversal incident that Doctor Strange must fix?
Losing her children in the show, having a mental breakdown, and becoming a villain is certainly a possibility. But it’s also a possibility that sets Wanda up for more suffering.
Her turning to the dark side isn’t the only option. Instead, the loss of her children could be the inciting incident that leads her to get help.
Time for Healing
It’s hinted at in Episode 2 when a voice on the radio asks, “Who did this to you?” that Wanda is under the influence of someone else.
Things are going pretty swell for Wanda right now, so she has no reason to question what’s going on. But if she loses her children, that might be enough motivation to break free from whatever influence she’s under.
Once Wanda breaks free and accepts the reality of her situation, despite how painful it is, she can begin to finally heal. It’s clear there are people out there trying to help her, but she needs to let them in first.
This is the fate Wanda deserves. Not one where she’s made a villain.
And once she’s regained her sense of reality, and started on the path to recovery, she’d be in full control of her powers allowing her to confront this still unseen villain. She was already the strongest Avenger but now has reality manipulation in her power set.
So instead of breaking bad, Wanda could emerge from this series even more powerful than before. WandaVision could be setting up Wanda to be an important ally for Doctor Strange, not his foe.
After watching Wanda Maximoff suffer for years, it’s time to see her heal. Let’s hope WandaVision gives us, and her, that chance.
WandaVision airs Fridays on Disney+.