WandaVision star Elisabeth Olsen set fans’ minds racing when she teased one of the show’s upcoming surprises and compared it to The Mandalorian‘s jaw-dropping Luke Skywalker cameo in Season 2. If the surprise she alluded to was the phenomenal ending of WandaVision episode 5, Olsen undersold the moment.
Episode 5 finally brought the show’s two main plots — Wanda and Vision’s sitcom shenanigans and the “real life” cross-agency effort to investigate the Westview anomaly — together, culminating in Vision waking up to the possibility that Wanda is controlling his reality and Wanda confronting the SWORD and FBI agents stationed outside the Westview perimeter.
The episode drops some massive revelations, including the fact that Wanda’s control of the Westview population is equivalent to psychological torture, and that Wanda straight up broke into a SWORD facility to steal Vision’s corpse and bring it back from the dead. Also Wanda and Vision’s twin babies are now ten years old and their dog Sparky died from consuming lethal azaleas. It was a very busy episode.
Any of those moments would make Episode 5 the most exciting installment of WandaVision so far, but the show’s final 30 seconds blew every other reveal out of the water for its mind-melting implications. Just as Vision confronts Wanda over her apparently villainous control over Westview, Wanda admits that even she has no idea how the anomaly started. Vision doesn’t believe her, and when their doorbell rings he assumes she’s manipulating reality to end the argument. Wanda insists it wasn’t her, and opens the door to reveal…
Her dead brother, Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. Except it’s not the same Pietro who appeared with Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the one played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Nope, it’s the other Pietro, the one played by Evan Peters in the X-Men movies. An Avenger opened the door for a literal member of the X-Men, and with that the actual biggest crossover event in entertainment franchise history just began.
The Quicksilver moment is the equivalent of Kirk and Spock showing up to train Baby Yoda for Starfleet.
To recap why it’s such a big deal that the X-Men’s Quicksilver is now in the MCU, we have to go back to 2019, when Disney acquired 21st Century Fox for 71.3 billion dollars. At the time, 21st Century Fox contained the film studio 20th Century Fox (among other properties like the Fox TV network and National Geographic. They’re not important right now). 20th Century Fox had the rights to a huge chunk of Marvel characters, including the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. They made X-Men movies, Disney had Avengers movies, and never the twain could meet, legally.
Except in the case of Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Those two characters were somehow shared between the two companies, which allowed the X-Men movies to have their own mutant version of Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and the Avengers movies to cast their own, non-mutant Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
For a long time, the joke was that Disney killed off their Pietro in his first appearance to avoid co-parenting different versions of Quicksilver with a company they didn’t have any partnership with, but the 21st Century Fox acquisition eliminated that problem. Disney now owns both Quicksilvers along with the rest of the X-Men, but the company has kept quiet about how they might integrate the characters for the long dreamed-of X-Men/Avengers crossover.
Until the moment when Evan Peters walked into WandaVision‘s sitcom house and Wanda recognized this alternate universe version of Quicksilver as her brother Pietro. In the world beyond Westview, Darcy Lewis is surprised to see this new Quicksilver on the show, questioning why Wanda “recast” Pietro in her own show. It’s clear from Darcy’s reaction that Evan Peters is not playing Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character, which means one thing and one thing only: The MCU multiverse is upon us.
Cracking open the multiverse creates literally endless possibilities for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There can be alternate versions of characters (like Quicksilver), new heroes from different versions of Earth (like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four), and explorations of different timelines within the current MCU (like whatever universe Steve Rogers created when he went back in time to live his life with Peggy Carter at the end of Avengers: Endgame). Anything is possible and it’s all starting now.
As usual with WandaVision, episode 5 answered some questions and raised new ones, but the scale of possibilities created by Evan Peters’ 71.3 billion-dollar appearance is monumental. Luke Skywalker showing up in The Mandalorian made sense without tearing the fictional fabric of reality into confetti; the Quicksilver moment is the equivalent of Kirk and Spock showing up to train Baby Yoda for Starfleet.
WandaVision has a lot to deliver in its final four episodes. The mystery of who is really controlling Westview remains unsolved (though we have some theories), and throwing X-Pietro into the mix only raises the stakes. Whatever happens, this kind of twisty excitement is the most fun Marvel fans have had in a year and with the X-Men on the way, the ride has just begun.
WandaVision is streaming on Disney+.