WandaVision: The Eight Biggest Red Herrings In The Series
Is it a clue? Maybe Not.
Marvel Studios first TV series, WandaVision, has come to an end after a hugely successful run. Eager fans have already rewatched the full series, hoping to pick up on any clues they missed the first time around.
However, rewatches often also uncover supposed clues that weren't actually clues at all. Here are the biggest Red Herrings in WandaVision.
1. Agnes's 'Husband' Ralph
From WandaVision's very first episode, 'Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience', Wanda and Vision's nosy neighbour, Agnes, made repeated references to her Husband, Ralph. Ralph remained an unseen character for most of the series. Due to his being unseen, fans formed many theories about Ralph's identity. These include that Ralph was actually the villain Mephisto, that Ralph was the missing person who brought Jimmy Woo to Westview, or even that Ralph was Doctor Strange, undercover to check on Wanda.
After the arrival of the false Pietro in episode 5, some fans began to theorise that he could be Ralph in disguise, and they were proved right, in a way.
However, far from the nefarious figure some fans had expected, Ralph was simply Ralph Bohner, a struggling actor living in Westview who fell under Agatha Harkness's control when she moved into his house.
During WandaVision's early episodes, there were many small references to the evil organisation, Hydra. A Hydra symbol is seen on the Strucker Watch in episode 2, and some fans believed the mysterious beekeeper who showed up near the end of the episode could be the Hydra villan Swarm. Then, in episode 3, we had the commercial for Hydra Soak, and a small possible Hydra Easter Egg on Phil's newspaper.
Because of the multiple references to the organisation, some fans believed Hydra may have been involved with the events in Westview. However, the Hydra references dropped off as the series continued, and by the end, it became clear that the two commercials simply represented Wanda's past as a Hydra test subject.
In episode 2, 'Don't Touch That Dial', Wanda first meets Dottie, the 'Queen Bee' of Westview. According to Agnes, Dottie is in control of almost everything that happens in the town. Later, just before Jimmy attempts to contact Wanda through the radio, Wanda and Dottie have a confrontation that reveals that Dottie does not trust Wanda. This led fans to believe that there was more to Dottie than meets the eye. Suspicions rose in episode 4, 'We Interrupt This Program', when fans noticed that Dottie was absent from the wall of identified Westview residents.
Some fans theorised that Dottie may have been WandaVision's true villain, or that she was Clea, an ally and some-time love interest of Doctor Strange in the comics. However, when Agatha frees Dottie from Wanda's control in the final episode of the series, her true identity is revealed as Sarah Proctor, a Westview resident who simply wants her daughter freed.
In an interview after the finale aired, actress Emma Caufield, who played Dottie/Sarah, revealed that her casting in the series was an intentional move to set up Dottie as a Red Herring. As Caulfield is well known in fandom circles for her role as Anya Jenkins in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it would be easy for fans to assume that her character was more significant than she actually was.
One of the most common WandaVision theories was that Mephisto, effectively Marvel comics take on the devil, would turn out to be the show's main villain. And, there were quite a few red herrings that hinted this might be the case. Agnes makes a few references to the devil, and in episode 6, 'All-New Halloween Spooktacular!', fake Pietro refers to Wanda's twins as demon spawn. In the comics, Tommy and Billy were originally brought to life using broken pieces of Mephisto's soul, which at the time of the demon spawn comment, led some fans to believe fake Pietro could actually be Mephisto.
Another possible reference came in episode 7, through a fly on the curtain in Agnes/Agatha's house, as in the comics, Mephisto's first appearance was as a fly spying on the Avengers. However, as we know, fake Pietro was Ralph, and the fly was eaten in episode 8 by Agatha's pet rabbit, Senor Scratchy.
While Mephisto was only a red herring in WandaVision, he will likely still debut for real sometime in the future, especially now that the MCU is diving into the more mystical elements of the Marvel world.
5. Wanda 'stealing' Vision's body
In episode 5, S.W.O.R.D Director Tyler Hayward shows the operation outside Westview footage of Wanda supposedly breaking into S.W.O.R.D HQ to steal Vision's body, after which she revived him in direct violation of his Will. Fans didn't doubt that Wanda had stolen Vision's body, but they theorised that she likely saw it as a rescue mission, and that Hayward was more likely the one violating Vision's Will.
Episode 8, 'Previously On..' turned this idea on its head, with the reveal that Wanda never broke into S.W.O.R.D, she was there as Vision's next of kin to retrieve his body. When Hayward refused to allow her to take him, Wanda, after ascertaining that Vision was really gone, said her goodbyes and left peacefully. Wanda never stole Vision's body, Hayward had Doctored the footage to make it appear as though she behaved violently. This also means that Wanda wasn't lying when she told her boys she could not reverse death.
The reveal of the true events at S.W.O.R.D cemented Hayward as one of the MCU's most hateable villains.
6. Monica's contact
In episode 5, Monica, believing that the best way to save Westview is to reach Wanda, begins making plans to re-enter the Hex. After working out specifications for a mobile fall-out shelter that could do the trick, Monica claims to know an Aerospace engineer who would be up for building one. Many fans speculated that Monica's contact would be an important new character, with some even believing that this could be a way to bring the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards into the MCU.
When the contact turned out to just be an old friend of Monica's Mother, Maria, some fans were very disappointed.
7. Agatha All Along!.. Or was it?
At the end of WandaVision's seventh episode, 'Breaking The Fourth Wall', nosy neighbour Agnes finally reveals her true identity to Wanda. She is Agatha Harkness, a fellow witch. The character is then reintroduced with an epic theme song, 'Agatha All Along!'. During the week between eps 7 and 8, fans excitedly pointed out clues that Agatha was the one behind the Hex, such as the inside of the barrier being a slightly different colour than the outside.
Then, however, episode 8 dropped another curveball. Agatha was not responsible for the Hex. She had simply been orchestrating the plot twists in the sitcom world to try and force Wanda to break character and reveal how she had cast her spell.
8. The 'Big' Cameo
In an interview during WandaVision's run, Paul Bettany, the actor who plays Vision, claimed that the series had given him a chance to work with an actor whom he 'held in very high esteem'. From this, fans and news outlets jumped to report that the show would include a 'Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian' level cameo. Rumours ran rife, with reports ranging from Doctor Strange to Patrick Stewart as Professor X.
The finale came and went, with no such appearance. The actor whom Bettany was referring to was himself, in the Vision Vs White Vision scenes. There never was a cameo, it was simply a joke gone awry.
Hopefully, fans can forgive Paul in time for Vision's next MCU appearance.