Episode eight of WandaVision series from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, how does it move the story forward, here’s our review.
Episode eight is all about back stories. Specifically Wanda’s, but it also gives us an insight into the origin of Agatha Harkness.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
The Salem witch trials
I thoroughly enjoy the character of Agatha, and Kathryn Hahn has played her magnificently. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that she has been the star of the show. Agnes has been brimming with humour, cheekiness and fun. But she always given us glimpses into her darker side, and it’s great to see that finally shown in all its purple glory. We see what is seemingly the beginning of her Machiavellian side, back in Salem in 1693. She is taken to task by her coven, which is led by Agatha’s mother, who chastises her for indulging in dark magic ‘above her station’. The coven attempts to kill her, but as a result of the dark magic she’s able to overpower their magic. Then kill them all, stealing their life force at the same time. She also steals her mother’s brooch, which she is always seen wearing.
The mind stone
Back in The Hex Agatha then uses her dark magic to control Wanda, demonstrating her own power. She then takes Wanda on a journey into her past, so that Agatha can try to understand how Wanda’s powers are different, even though they are both witches. Agatha is also the first person in the MCU to refer to Wanda as The Scarlet Witch. We see glimpses of presumably what is to come for Wanda in the MCU during the flashback to Hydra doing experiments on her. We briefly see the silhouette of The Scarlet Witch’s costume through the mind stone before Wanda passes out as she inadvertently absorbs the power of the mind stone.
Agatha admits that she created Fake Pietro (Evan Peters) as she was unable to resurrect the real Pietro on account of him being ‘riddled with holes’. We still don’t know what happened after ‘Fietro’ disturbed Monica Rambeau discovering Agatha’s lair at the end of Episode seven. But this will certainly be paid off in the finale.
It was really interesting to see Wanda being virtually powerless. Particularly after being in almost complete control of everything around her. It showed a side to her that we haven’t seen before. Yes, we’ve seen her feeling vulnerable, but she’s always had her powers to get her out of any situations that she wasn’t comfortable with. In Agatha’s crypt she doesn’t have access to those powers and was at the mercy of her captor. It forced her to retrace her steps and go back through some key moments in her life.
It allowed us to discover the genesis of WandaVision. Namely her Dad bringing DVD’s of classic American sitcoms into their home in Sokovia for Wanda & young Pietro to watch. As this is Marvel there were a lot of callbacks to things that had happened in previous episodes of this show, and a number of MCU movies as well.
It also allowed us to witness more of Wanda’s pain, from the loss of her parents to the experiments on her by Hydra after their death. The jump backs gave us further insight into her genuine love for Vision. And then her genuine grief after he died at Thanos’ hand in Infinity War. It showed us that she had created him in The Hex using the power of the mind stone, hence why when he tried to escape he was almost ripped apart.
Overall, I found this episode to be somewhat perfunctory. If you’re a fan of the MCU then you already know Wanda’s basic backstory. Even if there were parts to fill in they could easily have been done as cutaways, post-credit or pre-credit scenes. To take an entire episode in a nine-part series at this stage to do that just seemed very odd to me. With Marvel there is always a reason behind such production decisions, and I’m sure it will make sense in time.
Part of my disappointment about this episode no doubt stems from how good the previous seven have been. As a result, I’m desperate for more of that level of entertainment. But, I did enjoy the meta aspects of this episode. Especially Wanda actually witnessing herself in a sitcom studio, while Agatha sat in the audience seats testing her. I’m convinced that any disappointment anyone may have had with this episode will be blown out of the water by the series finale.
The post-credit scene was an enormous twist, clearly setting us up for the final battle. That battle looks like being between Wanda, Agatha and S.W.O.R.D. With S.W.O.R.D likely using a new white version of Vision as a weapon to destroy The Hex and Wanda. With magic being the key weapon throughout this series, it gives us a clear route into Doctor Strange 2 as well. Expect a cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch in episode nine.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10
Thank you for reading our review of WandaVision episode eight. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our WandaVision episode seven review HERE.
Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.
10 Years Of Game Of Thrones
Since it first aired on 17 April 2011, Game of Thrones has captured the imagination of many fans from start to finish. But, after the lacklustre and rushed ending of this epic fantasy series in 2019, we find ourselves wondering: has its legacy been completely ruined? After 10 years is it worth looking again at the legacy of Game of Thrones? After all, like the fallen Ned Stark once said: “some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word”.
Have Game of Thrones fan’s been hit too hard by the hurried and unjust ending? Are there storylines and characters within the eight seasons that make up for the less than favourable ending?
After looking back through the seasons, below are what we think are some of the best and most redeeming moments and characters within the series. These could be the reason why fans stay loyal to Game of Thrones and even get excited about future prequels or sequels. We already have next year’s Game of Thrones – House of Dragons series to expect.
WARNING: Only read on if you have watched the entire series as there are spoilers.
Sansa Stark becomes Queen of the North
We ended the series with Winterfell once again being led by a member of the House of Stark. Queen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who regained The North as an independent Kingdom. This decision from the writers is easily the most satisfying conclusion to come out of the finale. And easily one of the best beginning to end character arcs in all Game of Thrones.
Starting out as quite an unfavourable character and the least liked Stark of the pack, mainly due to her spoiled and brattish behaviour. Sansa ended up being the character we were all rooting for. Especially when it came to regaining the north and standing her ground with Daenerys Targaryen – “What about the North”.
But it wasn’t an easy road for her to get to that point. She had to endure a lot of horrific scenes, storylines, and marriages which shaped her character from a little bird to a Queen. But as Sansa said herself, whilst talking to The Hound/Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), “Without Little Finger and Ramsey and the rest I would have stayed a little bird all my life”. We’re glad she didn’t stay a little bird and became the Queen the North.
Arya Stark kills the Night King
When it came to the death of the Night King there were only a handful of characters who could do the deed. But, if you were anything like us, we had our money firmly on Jon Snow (Kit Harington). But, it was his kick-ass little sister, Arya Stark (Masie Williams), that ended the long night. With a fatal blow to the Night King’s heart with her Valyrian Steel Dagger.
In this episode, there was hardly any dialogue, especially in the last 30 minutes, which made the whole cinematography of the final scenes so much more poignant. From the camera angles to the incredible score which was accompanied only by sound effects and the odd fighting shout of pain. It left us in suspense and just as we thought all hope was lost, as the Night King approached Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and fans started to believe that Game of Thrones was going to take another huge twist, winter was here to stay. Out came our hero from the dark, the epic shot where Arya was flying through the air will always be one of our all-time favourites.
The night before winter came
Another part of the final series that I think deserves some props, was episode two (mainly the last 30ish minutes). This episode was the calm before the storm. But it was also very well done, from this point, as a viewer we didn’t really know who was going to survive and who was going to die. Something that we were never sure with when watching Game of Thrones.
We managed to get some nice send-off scenes for most of the characters which kept the suspense alive. We saw Sansa and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) meet again, Arya and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) finally ‘get together’ but most notably there was a comical and heart-warming meeting by the fire with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendolin Christie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman).
There were jokes, Brienne got knighted and we even got a song from Podrick. Which was made into a satisfying montage for other characters around Winterfell as well.
Arya Stark and the house of Frey
The demise of the House of Frey was indeed a good and a well-justified one. Positioned over the last episode of season six and the first episode of season seven. Arya Stark used her new newly found face-swapping abilities to first bamboozle Walder Frey (David Bradley) into eating a pie. Food made from his sons and then again to become Frey to poison the rest of the house.
This was the revenge we wanted for the fallen Starks of The Red Wedding and Arya was just the person to serve it! Because the revenge plot was separated between the two seasons it almost confused us fans. When we started to watch season seven and saw that Walder Fray was still alive the quick-minded ones of us straight away realised what was happening. Yet, there was a handful of us who looked just as confused at Frey’s wife/daughter who was standing next to him. That was until Arya took Walder Frey’s face off.
Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept of Baelor
Another example where the series utilises an amazing music score is in the last episode of season 10. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finally goes all out with her vindictive evilness and blows up the Sept of Baelor. With her daughter in law Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and a host of other people she didn’t like, locked inside.
The whole scene lasts about eight minutes and also includes Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), having his tendons slit by one of Lord Varys’s (Conleth Hill) little birds, so he couldn’t stop the destruction which was about to happen. There was also the violent demise of Pycelle (Julian Glover), once again by Lord Varys’s little birds. Which was orchestrated by the crafty Qyburn (Anton Lesser).
Whilst this is happening a very smug Cersei watches over the chaos, with a glass of red. But, one thing Cersei didn’t account for was after the acknowledgement of his new bride’s murder, her son, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) walked himself out of the window to his death.
Battle of the B**tards
Most of the battle scenes in Game of Thrones are pretty epic, but The Battle of the B**tards was by far one of the best. Accompanied by a killer soundtrack and great sound effects this battle was both jaw-dropping and breathtaking.
From the moment Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) was killed by Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to the moment Sansa sets Bolton’s dogs on him, there was action scene after action scene that captivated all of us and also gave us the Winterfell redemption story we needed. The death of Ramsey Bolton was also the most satisfying death since that of King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
In this section of high intercity scenes, we get to see Little Finger/ Lord Peter Baelish (Aidan Gillen) do something useful for once by bringing the Vale Knights of House Arryn to save Jon Snow from dying… for a second time.
Daenerys Targaryen and the unsullied
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was a fan favourite from her first scene. But the admiration for her character grew and grew throughout the seasons. One of the most defining moments was when she visits Astapor on the search for an army to aid her in reclaiming the throne.
After meeting the hostile and pig-headed Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand), Master of Astapor, Slaver and Unsullied overseer, who taunts Daenerys, believing she didn’t know how to speak Valyrian, he agrees to sell her all 8,000 Unsullied members for one of her dragons.
As most of their communications were through his servant Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) he believed Daenerys didn’t hear all the things he was saying. Which made the end scene so much more satisfying. Once the exchange is done, she has the Unsullied whip in hand and Krazny is trying to hold on to the dragon on a chain. She speaks to the Unsullied in clear Valyrian and finally tells Krazny who she is – Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen the blood of old Valyrian.
The moment she tells the Unsullied to slay the masters and uttered the word Dracarys, will forever be the day when we truly started to see how badass she really is!
The red wedding
As horrendous as it is to watch it’s clear that the Red Wedding is still a highlight of season three and indeed the series.
Yes, we already knew by now that anything could happen in Game of Thrones. And blood and gore was a regular occurrence. But this scene took things to a new level with a blood bath no one saw coming… Not even King of the North Rob Stark.
This heart-stopping 10 minutes of cushion grabbing TV, not only saw the death of two of the most loved Starks Rob and Catelyn Stark but also the death of Rob’s wife and unborn child. As well as the betrayal of Roose Bolton a supposed friend of the Starks (Michael McElhatton) and the house of Frey.
This scene cemented for us that no one can predict what is going to happen when you play the Game of Thrones. You win or You Die, there is no middle ground.
The two most sassy characters
When it comes to Game of Thrones, I think we can all agree that the one thing they got right, time and time again was the casting. And this never rang truer than with Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg). They didn’t have the biggest parts within the series, but boy, did they make their presence known. It got to the point where we were just waiting for their scenes to see what would come out of their mouths next.
Who’s the most impressive pre-teen in the whole of Westeros? That’s right Lyanna Mormont. Even at 10 years old I wouldn’t mess with her. Through the whole three seasons she was in, she demanded and captivated the audience. She said it how it was, and she wasn’t scared of a single thing. She came in like a warrior, back chatting Jon Snow and Sansa and acting like a total boss. Finally, she went out like a warrior taking a giant walker down with her.
The original, potty-mouthed grandmother Olenna Tyrell had line after line of roasting stingers. No one was safe from her sharp-tongued antics. But the one person that was firmly on her radar was Cersei Lannister. Especially after Cersei killed her family in the sept. In true Olenna style, even after she had been fatally poisoned, she still had the last word, admitting to Jamie Lannister that it was her that killed his and Cersei’s son, King Joffrey Baratheon.
There you have it, some of our favourites and redeeming scenes from Game of Thrones after 10 years, what do you think? What are your favourite scenes or storylines? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our seven lost plot threads from Game of Thrones HERE.
Read iMDB information on Game of Thrones HERE.
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