The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week: Acceptance, Truth, and the Dream of Being Seen on WandaVision

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Source: Vulture

“I just wanted to see you clearly.”

That’s all most of us want, isn’t it? To be seen clearly. To have someone turn a light on when we want to hide our pain in the dark and make us feel like it’s okay for us to exist in that moment exactly as we are.

To have someone see us—really see us—and choose to keep looking until death do us part.

That’s what Vision gives Wanda at the end of “The Series Finale” of WandaVision. And that’s what Vision always gave her—someone who saw her for exactly who she was. Not a hero, not a villain.

Just Wanda.

And that was enough.

Losing that—the one person who accepted her for everything she was—turned Wanda into the worst version of herself. In her inability to sit with her grief and make peace with it, she lashed out and let her emotions control her. She hurt people—without meaning to initially, but that doesn’t make the pain she caused any less damaging. And in “The Series Finale,” Wanda had to face that truth and choose what to do with it.

In the end, she chooses acceptance.

WandaVision is a journey through the stages of grief, so it makes sense that it ends with acceptance—of Vision’s death, of what he’d meant to Wanda, and of what losing him had done to her. But the end of this part of Wanda’s journey wasn’t just about accepting that the Vision she’d loved was never coming back.

It was also about accepting that part of herself was never coming back either.

Westview represents the life Wanda had always wanted to live and the version of herself she’d always wanted to be. In this world, she’s a wife, a mother, a friend, and a woman who’s happy without reservation and unbothered by any shenanigans that can’t be solved in a half-hour.

That’s a lot to say goodbye to.

It’s what makes Wanda’s goodbye to Billy and Tommy so devastating. She’s saying goodbye to the dream of starting a family with Vision, and because it felt so real for her, it became real for us watching too. We grew attached to those kids because Wanda was so attached to the hope of this life. Letting go of that—saying goodbye to those little boys knowing that in a few moments it would be like they never existed—was as hard for us as it was for Wanda because that’s what good storytelling does. It makes us empathize. It makes us feel a character’s pain as if it was our own.

But ultimately, Wanda doesn’t say goodbye; she says thank you. It might not have been real outside of the Hex, but this time as a mother was real to Wanda. And instead of grieving it, she feels gratitude for it. Because she now knows what it’s like to feel that kind of love, and to know it can exist once means that maybe—someday—it can exist again.

That sense of gratitude and hope permeates her final moments with Vision as well. When Vision asks her who he is, Wanda explains that he’s so much more than just a piece of the Mind Stone:

“You are my sadness and my hope. But mostly you’re my love.”

Vision is the physical embodiment of Wanda’s grief. He’s made of sadness, but as he once reminded her when he was alive, it’s not all bad. He’s her hope that there’s some part of her that can still feel what he made her feel. But mostly, he’s the love in her that keeps persevering—the stubborn, brave, beautiful love that allows us to keep a small part of people alive in our hearts and in our memories after they leave us.

Vision is a memory made real, but that means that even when the reality fades—when his body disintegrates and Wanda is left with empty hands in the empty lot that could have become their world had life been less cruel—the memory remains. And in the end, Wanda is ready to accept that it’s enough. That, to paraphrase Ms. Taylor Swift, the hope of it all is enough.

The hope that this isn’t the end of the story. The hope that there might be another hello after this goodbye. The hope that their love will keep persevering.

And for now, that’s enough.

It has to be enough.

Because Wanda has seen the damage caused by her inability to stand in her truth—by her need to escape and put her pain outside of herself instead of sitting with it and accepting that it’s a part of her. And she won’t punish other people for her pain anymore.

Instead, she accepts it. She accepts her pain for what it is, her life for what it is, and herself for who she is.

It’s messy and imperfect and uncomfortable. It’s hard. But it’s also brave.

Acceptance is brave.

Wanda’s journey to acceptance is about so much more than just accepting Vision’s death. It’s about accepting her own pain. Accepting her own power. Accepting herself for all the love her heart can hold and all the hurt she can cause.

Her boys helped her do that. Vision helped her do that. Monica helped her do that. Even Agatha helped her do that.

But in the end, she had to do the hard work herself.

She had to choose to turn the light on—to stand in the truth. And her truth is that she’s not okay. Her truth is that she’s broken but maybe not beyond repair. Her truth is that she’s struggling to understand who she is and her place in this world of heroes and villains and powers and pain she never asked for.

It’s a complex collection of truths. But aren’t we all complex collections of truths?

That’s what makes us human—not heroes, not villains.

And that’s the Wanda that Vision sees in the end. It’s the Wanda that we see in the end. But most importantly, it’s the Wanda that Wanda sees in the end.

We all want someone to see us clearly. But in the end, that’s our job. We need to see ourselves clearly. That’s what self-acceptance is.

That’s the journey Wanda Maximoff is on. And that’s a journey worth watching.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

9 thoughts on “The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week: Acceptance, Truth, and the Dream of Being Seen on WandaVision

  1. Cracks knuckles. I don’t even know where to begin. I just finished a post on women, we just talked about women on Twitter, and we were talking about what it means to feel something even when you haven’t lived through and now finally reading this, I’m COMPROMISED.

    “It’s messy and imperfect and uncomfortable. It’s hard. But it’s also brave. Acceptance is brave.”

    “We all want someone to see us clearly. But in the end, that’s our job. We need to see ourselves clearly. That’s what self-acceptance is.”

    Katie. WHAT EVEN. I just said to a friend yesterday: yeah I guess I’m just seeking validation because I need something to make me feel like I’m not completely lost, and now reading this?! I don’t even know how to cope with all my emotions, but maybe that’s part of the acceptance too? That even if we see ourselves clearly (or learn to as best as we can because it’s hard), we’d still want others to see us too. But that this process is as you said messy and imperfect and uncomfortable sometimes. And that’s what this whole show did. It took us through arcs that weren’t always as joyous as that first episode, and that it mattered because Wanda’s struggles, through grief, through her own vision of herself (of vision) too, it’s all messy. And this episode reminded us of why that’s so human and why this show is so good because it got people connecting in ways even when their experiences aren’t the same and I just … cannot even wrap my head around it all. This was exceptional, my friend. I can’t wait to read whatever else you write about this post, especially knowing it’ll be more personal. I’m coming in with tissues on hand.

    • Thank you so much, Giss!

      This whole comment means the world to me, but this part in particular:

      “That even if we see ourselves clearly (or learn to as best as we can because it’s hard), we’d still want others to see us too.”

      This makes me feel seen. This is why I write. Because I want to see myself, and I want others to see me. So thank you—thank you for making me feel seen. ❤

  2. As it turns out, I’m done. I forgot to scream about this line: “But ultimately, Wanda doesn’t say goodbye; she says thank you. It might not have been real outside of the Hex, but this time as a mother was real to Wanda. And instead of grieving it, she feels gratitude for it. Because she now knows what it’s like to feel that kind of love, and to know it can exist once means that maybe—someday—it can exist again.”

    Instead of grieving it, she’s feels gratitude for it. Because she knows what it’s like to feel that kind of love?! EXCUSE ME. My God, this. And it’s what we were texting about like, I have no idea what it’s like to be a mother, but watching this scene crushed me because we lived through this with her and the weight of what this means. The ‘thank you’, it just, GOT ME. And I don’t know when I’ll be okay enough to really dig into just how much that scene made me ache because of something I don’t quite understand fully.

    • It’s exactly what we were texting about. The way this show allowed us to feel Wanda’s feelings and experience her emotions with her was just such a brilliant exercise in empathy, and I’ll forever be thankful for it.

  3. This is so beautiful! I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this other than to say that “thank you for choosing me to be your mom” absolutely gutted me. Like you said, her choosing gratitude for the experience even though it’s ending and breaking her heart all over again is so touching. She doesn’t get to keep them but it doesn’t make the memories any less real or the impact it made on her any less powerful. For a moment in time, she was happy and had everything she wanted. And even though it wasn’t permanent, it changed and shaped her and gave her something to hold on to for the future. And while I am sad she had to lose Vision all over again because he clearly was never going to be able to stay, I love that she got a proper goodbye and to know that she was loved. That’s the part of him she gets to keep and will never leave her.

    In other television this week (not that I have a lot of it at the moment), I’m very interested in what Good Trouble is doing this season. They have a whole lot of things in the air, some that will always be a little more effective than others, but as a whole show, they’re taking on so many ideas of what broad systemic change looks like. We get pieces of the legal system and the educational system and the complicity of tech companies and the entertainment world’s diversity programs and how tokenizing they can be. It’s coming it from a very holistic perspective that recognizes our systemic failures and their interconnection while also making sure to ground a lot of the change that these characters are taking a small part of in the joy that comes from doing this work and fighting to make things better and finding the people willing to share in that work with you. Malika’s involvement with her local BLM chapter healed and nourished the part of her that was looking for that sense of community and shared commitments and being sure to show the joy they get to share in victories has really stood out to me.

    • I also am beyond happy that Wanda actually got to say goodbye to Vision this time. Having that closure is so important, and it was something she would have had before had Thanos not intervened and killed Vision again. I also loved what you said about the boys and the fact that it’s no less valuable just because she doesn’t get to keep it. Vision said it best, “A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” (Why does he always get the best lines????)

      And please keep talking about Good Trouble! I never got into it after The Fosters, but it looks like it’s doing really great things, and hearing from you that it is makes me so happy.

  4. Pingback: Here’s to Women | Nerdy Girl Notes

  5. Pingback: Understanding My Power: WandaVision as a Journey of Feelings and Forgiveness | Nerdy Girl Notes

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