Last week’s series finale of WandaVision – aptly titled “The Series Finale” – had a lot of audience expectations to live up to. With the arrival of Evan Peters being “recast” as Pietro, and WandaVision apparently directly leading up to the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, many seemed to build up how crazy this show’s finale would be. That might explain why WandaVision’s ninth and final episode currently has the lowest episode rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Granted, that rating is still quite high, as the finale received an 82% on the Tomatometer, and the show overall currently has a 91% average with an 81% audience score. Out of the 22 episodes for the final episode itself, Rotten Tomatoes has only designated 4 of these reviews as “rotten.” For Marvel’s first attempt at a series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, WandaVision had an admirable run.
Yet even though WandaVision was a critical success and each episode became a major talking point on social media, the show wasn’t without its flaws. Many thought that the decision to release only an episode at a time hurt the show’s flow, while some were dismayed that after an intriguing sitcom-obsessed beginning to the series, WandaVision’s final few episodes degraded into Marvel’s standard action-focused ending. For a series about grief and loss, ending with big fight sequences and witches flying high over New Jersey might not have been the best choice.
But another problem with WandaVision might have been the heightened expectations, which the series certainly played into. After the introduction of Evan Peters as Pietro, many thought WandaVision could be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first step into the multiverse. Kevin Feige has said that this series would lead to the events of the newest Spider-Man and Doctor Strange films, both of which are assumed will involve the multiverse – especially since “multiverse” even appears in Doctor Strange 2’s name.
However, these rumors were boosted by the fact that Paul Bettany said in an interview that he was excited a mystery actor would be appearing in a future episode. He said that it was an actor he had wanted to work with for decades, and that he and this other actor had great chemistry. It turned out Bettany was talking about acting alongside himself as the White Vision, which caused tons of rumors, but it also extremely hilarious.
Yet this great joke caused an onslaught of rumors based on little more than hearsay and hope. There were expectations that Doctor Strange might appear in the WandaVision finale, or that the series could even introduce Magneto, played by Sir Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender. Of course, none of these happened, and that led some to be disappointed by the show’s conclusion. But still, fantastic joke by Bettany.
With the WandaVision having just aired, Disney+ already has plenty more Marvel Cinematic Universe shows on the way, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming later this month, and Loki’s first season debuting after that. After the slight fan disappointment with a lack of cameos, maybe Marvel will keep that in mind when making their next run of shows.