One of the biggest complaints made about the “WandaVision” series finale (aside from the fake-out casting of Evan Peters) is that it let Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) off the hook for tormenting the citizens of Westview, New Jersey. While Wanda may not have known the extent to which her sitcom spell disrupted the lives of the Westview population when she first cast it, Wanda’s negligence in holding the Westview population hostage rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. Wanda is clearly capable of great evil, but the series didn’t hold her accountable for too long. In a post-finale interview with Rolling Stone, “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman pushed back against claims the finale condoned Wanda’s villainous behavior.
“I don’t think we’re letting Wanda off the hook. She realizes in that final episode what she’s done,” Shakman said. “She’s brought to that moment by Agatha — ‘Are you a hero? Are you a villain? Heroes don’t torture people’ — and she tries to let them go in that moment, but realizes that she’s not fully able to say goodbye to her family yet. So the crisis at the middle of the episode is important to her story, that she is ultimately moving towards accepting the loss of Vision and her family.”
Shakman continued, “The show was always about grief and how we come back from loss, so it always had to end with her accepting that loss, but also accepting this new mantle of the Scarlet Witch and what that means. But that final scene, she comes into town, it’s her walk of shame as she walks through town and feels the daggers being stared at her, meant to be this indictment of her. She is a pariah, and she’s not being forgiven by them.
“The conversation with Monica is about two people who have bonded over grief and loss understanding the motives behind it,” the director concluded. “Doesn’t mean it excuses it, and Wanda acknowledges that. She flies away from this town knowing that it wouldn’t really welcome her back.”
With Wanda/Scarlet Witch rumored to become a villain in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe might have more tricks in store when it comes to holding the hero accountable for her actions. All nine episodes of “WandaVision” are now streaming on Disney+.
Head over to Rolling Stone’s website to read Shakman’s post-finale interview in its entirety.