Wanda is left behind after Scarlet Witch defies the rules, which doesn’t seem fair.
Not only does Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his role as the eponymous Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but Elizabeth Olsen, who just gave an Emmy-nominated performance in the limited series WandaVision, also makes an appearance as Wanda Maximoff. Fans have been anticipating Wanda Maximoff’s transformation into the Scarlet Witch since she made her debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and after six appearances in the MCU, their wish was granted. Unfortunately, we lose the Wanda Maximoff we’ve grown to know and love since Multiverse of Madness gives us Scarlet Witch in all her glory without giving us the choice to bring her back.
Characters who have been around for a while now get the chance to be explored and developed through storylines outside of the Avengers films, which is one of Phase 4’s strengths. Audiences had almost any opportunity to get to know Wanda Maximoff after her debut in Age of Ultron until WandaVision. In nine episodes, Wanda is given more context; we learn about the person who created the magic and her complete history. She aspires to be a wife and mother in addition to being an Avenger. She lost the only family she had ever known despite being a daughter and a sister. She has been cruelly denied every opportunity to start a new family. It is also revealed that the magic she has always possessed was merely intensified by her own powers from the Mind Stone. Wanda doesn’t declare herself to be the Scarlet Witch until her final confrontation with Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), who then discovers that Wanda has chaos magic, making her the Scarlet Witch.
Wanda Maximoff’s progression through the phases of grief is what endeared her to viewers in WandaVision. She turns Westview, New Jersey into her sitcom fantasy with him and their twin kids Billy and Tommy (Julian Hilliard) in order to escape the sorrow of missing out on the life that Vision (Paul Bettany) had planned for them (Jett Klyne). Despite her best efforts, reality keeps crashing in on her. When the villagers start to encircle her and beg her to let them leave in Episode 9 of “The Series Finale,” Wanda sees the immediate results of her actions when they are able to go to sleep and experience her nightmares. Wanda recognizes that it is impossible to live the ideal sitcom life with her sons. She voluntarily destroys the Hex at the expense of Vision and her boys. Wanda withdraws and isolates herself after accepting her fate. Contrary to what the Scarlet Witch would have you believe, Wanda Maximoff is more complicated.
Wanda is in the grieving process as WandaVision ends, but as Scarlet Witch in Multiverse of Madness, her wrath is unleashed once more. In the post-credit scene in WandaVision, Wanda hears her sons calling out to her from the multiverse. Wanda spent her time alone studying the Darkhold she acquired from Agatha. Wanda adores her sons, so it was only a matter of time before she reached across the cosmos to reunite with them after hearing them call out for her.
Wanda has fully embraced the Darkhold by the time Strange discovers her in her apple orchard, surpassing her abilities from the previous time audiences have seen her. When Strange inquires about her understanding of the multiverse and what it might contain, she plays coy. By recommending that America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) hide out with her, Wanda lets her cover fall and then goes on to reveal herself as the Scarlet Witch for the majority of the film.
By whatever means necessary, even at the expense of another child’s life, Scarlet Witch will stop at nothing to reunite with her children. Whatever it takes to put an end to her anguish that has resurfaced, including ripping her children from a different version of herself. By dream-walking, she assassinates every member of the Illuminati and attacks Kamar-Taj and another Wanda in a separate dimension. With each attack and fatality, the empathy the viewers once had for her during WandaVision diminishes. She becomes the monster Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) claimed she was due to her tunnel vision. Wanda survives long enough to witness her own transformation into the villain, to steal a phrase from another superhero film.
Wanda Maximoff frequently switches between being the evil and the hero in the comics. She used to be a part of the Avengers, but now she has both the Avengers and the X-Men working against her. The Scarlet Witch character has been developed over many years of storytelling in order to merit the major House of M moments. The House of M plot was attempted after Wanda was featured twice in Phase 4, which made the resolution of this well-known character arc seem undeserved. Wanda had less than an hour of screen time in the Infinity Saga even before Phase 4, so time has not been in her favor. The development of this arc could’ve been more patiently paced over the course of a few more appearances rather than quickly turning the Scarlet Witch become a full-fledged villain.
Consider Tony Stark’s development from Iron Man to Captain America: Civil War, played by Robert Downey Jr. At first, Tony produced weapons for the American military as a contractor, working independently from the government and delivering equipment. Iron Man faces the repercussions of his deeds over the course of three solo films and two Avengers films. Keep in mind that his missiles made Wanda and Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) orphans, he developed Ultron (James Spader), and his arrogance caused the capital of Sokovia to be destroyed. By the time he returns from Civil War, he has become worn down by his guilt; as a result, when he is the one calling for government monitoring, the choice feels well-deserved given the time we have spent with Tony and everything we have witnessed him go through thus far.
According to what the MCU has shown us thus far, Wanda Maximoff was not the antagonist in WandaVision and hasn’t been one since joining the Avengers in Age of Ultron’s Battle of Sokovia. Every time Wanda has relapsed into one of her darker tendencies, she has recovered feeling regret for the harm she has caused. It is surprising that Wanda goes so far as to desire to abduct her sons from an alternate reality so that she can be reunited with them as the Scarlet Witch because she owns up to her faults in WandaVision. More than that, she devotes so much time to Billy and Tommy that she neglects Vision, who is barely mentioned during the movie’s approximately two-hour and six-minute running time. Why wouldn’t she seek the multiverse for her synthezoid husband if she had lost the love of her life?
One may contend that the Darkhold is to blame for corrupting Wanda’s psyche and causing the Scarlet Witch to be in charge of the vessel; in this case, the Darkhold would be seen as the main antagonist. In actuality, the 838-Wanda is trapped and pleading with Professor X (Patrick Stewart) to free her when he enters the mind of the Wanda she is influencing. But when Scarlet Witch is about to finally take a different version of her kids, Billy and Tommy quake and run away, causing Scarlet Witch to realize what a monster she has become. This demonstrates that she had more control over her abilities than was solely a result of the Darkhold’s sway. It took witnessing the people she cares about most being terrified of her for her to become aware of the harm she had done.
Wanda Maximoff would be the first to admit that she had erred significantly. Without regret, she wouldn’t have expressed her regret to Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) at the conclusion of the WandaVision series or felt regret for unintentionally damaging a structure in Lagos in Civil War. Wanda Maximoff returns at the end of the film, which is unfortunate because her act of atonement through sacrifice feels hurried and, to be quite candid, cheap.
The only Avenger who is prevented from recovering after being her worst self is Wanda Maximoff. In the Hawkeye series, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), who plays Ronan, murders hundreds of people while still being allowed to spend Christmas at home with his family. At the conclusion of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) asks for pardon from people he has hurt. Wanda Maximoff is a remarkable character because, despite her attempts to create her own happiness, she manages to pull herself back from the edge and even makes sacrifices that none of her fellow Avengers have to. She does not, however, have the same opportunity in Multiverse of Madness.
The most potent Avenger is unable to make a valiant comeback. She chooses to sacrifice herself in order to destroy the Darkhold as her heroic deed. The only person who may proceed is Doctor Strange. Wanda concedes that she can’t take her children from herself and gives her life to destroy the Darkhold, while Doctor Strange acknowledges that he and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) can’t be together. Unlike in the conclusion of WandaVision, Wanda does not have the opportunity to advance.
Wanda would have had time to mourn Vision’s passing in Westview before squaring off against Doctor Strange as the Scarlet Witch because WandaVision occurs before Doctor Strange 2 even on the original Phase 4 slate. The darkest form of Wanda has been used to manipulate audiences into caring for her. As a result, it appears as though all of her WandaVision character development has been ignored in favor of Doctor Strange’s story.
Who will mourn Wanda Maximoff now that she is gone after the events of Doctor Strange 2? She is the only one remaining after saving the universe. Nobody, not even Doctor Strange, is shown acknowledging her passing at the film’s conclusion. Even Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), who dies in Avengers: Endgame, is acknowledged when Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), her sister, visits her grave in the Black Widow post-credits scene. Wanda’s accomplishments appear to have been forgotten in death because Scarlet Witch dominates Multiverse of Madness for the majority of its duration as the antagonist. Since no one mourns the evil, Wanda will never have the opportunity to be regarded as the most potent Avenger.