Pietro is back… but is he really Pietro? And if not who is he?
The sixth episode of WandaVision had a lot to unravel following the shock cliffhanger of the week before, which saw Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) dead brother Pietro/Quicksilver return with a new face. Specifically, the face of the other Quicksilver from the Fox X-Men universe played by Evan Peters, instead of the Marvel Cinematic Universe version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
After the reveal, fans spent time feverishly working out how this Multiverse-style crossover happened, but now WandaVision episode six has apparently cleared a few things up. This is the MCU Quicksilver – he has his memories – just in a new body. In other words, it only matters to viewers at home that he was a different Quicksilver before. To Wanda, it’s just a strange new look for her twin brother.
“I got shot like a chump in the street for no reason at all, and next thing I know you’re calling me,” Pietro tells her at one point, referencing his character’s death in Age of Ultron.
“What happened to your accent?” she asks.
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“What happened to yours?” he retorts.
Generally, Pietro suggests that he looks different because Wanda might not want to face the reality of bringing him fully back, and a quick shot where he’s riddled with bullet wounds (similar to zombie Vision from a couple of weeks ago) hints that he’s telling the truth – and maybe we should take all this at (changed) face value.
Maybe there was originally a plan to bring back Aaron Taylor-Johnson (below) for this role in WandaVision, which he was unable to do or didn’t fancy. Maybe when faced with this dilemma creator Jac Schaeffer decided to do something fun, replacing Taylor-Johnson with Peters as a nod to awkward sitcom recastings while also giving the fans a fun Easter Egg nodding to the X-Men movies. In other words, maybe it’s only interesting to us that he’s the Fox Quicksilver.
Still, we do have to wonder if everything’s as it seems here, and whether we should take Pietro’s assurances at face value. In episode six he does seem oddly gleeful about Wanda’s bizarre town-kidnapping schemes, and notably he’s the only character who she allows to be fully aware of the Hex and his role within it while he’s inside. Plus, there’s the fact that in episode five it was implied that Wanda wasn’t fully in control of his arrival, even if he claims that she was.
Now, there are a couple of possibilities for what could be going on here. One could be that this is the X-Men movies’ Quicksilver, aka Peter Maximoff, instead of the MCU’s Pietro Maximoff. Everyone else in Westview is a real person given a role, after all, so who’s to say the “other” Quicksilver couldn’t be given the part of his alternate self?
Maybe in her desire to bring her brother back and unable to actively bring back the dead, Wanda instead reached across universes, found someone as close to him as possible and brought him to her world. He has Pietro’s super-speed, and elements of his identity – maybe he’s the closest she could get, and she supplied the rest of the memories. And with this in mind, if “Pietro” left Westview maybe “Peter” would emerge, truly making for the X-Men/Marvel crossover fans have been waiting for.
Still, this explanation doesn’t fully explain Pietro’s slightly devilish interest in Wanda’s illusion, or his callous disregard for Vision (Paul Bettany) in the episode. And this has had plenty of fans theorising that Evan Peters could actually be playing the ultimate villain of the piece, the man really pulling the strings and creating the world that Wanda is now in control of.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Wanda says at one point, hinting that she didn’t create the Hex in the first place.
“I only remember feeling completely alone. Empty. Just… endless nothingness.”
For a while, fans have suggested Peters could be playing Mephisto, essentially the Marvel version of the devil who has had dealings with Wanda in the past. In particular, he’s known for “creating” her children in the comics out of pieces of his own soul, which could mean Pietro’s address to Tommy and Billy as “demon spawn” this week has some ulterior meaning.
However, some now believe the Mephisto details could be a misdirect, with Peters instead playing a character called Nightmare. In the comics, Nightmare is a frequent enemy of Doctor Strange, an elemental demon who draws power from the psychic energy of dreaming beings, and a couple of lines in episode six seem to hint at his involvement.
"Maximoff was never going to negotiate with us,” SWORD Director Hayward says at one point. “We take her out, this whole nightmare ends."
Later, when Pietro applauds Wanda for her growing powers he notes that “this is so much better than giving people nightmares.”
Now of course this is all a bit circumstantial, and it does seem unlikely that WandaVision could satisfactorily introduce the concept of demons to the MCU and also wrap up its wider story in just three more episodes. More likely we’re overthinking things and there’ll be a much simpler explanation (well, relatively simpler, this is WandaVision) for everything.
Still, we can’t help but feel how well Nightmare fits in here. He’s a Doctor Strange villain, and Doctor Strange is set to team up with Wanda in his next film (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), which itself is intended as a semi-sequel to WandaVision. There have also been rumours since 2019 that Nightmare is set to be the villain in Doctor Strange 2, so what if this is his introduction?
After all, if a creature fed off dreams what better way to feast than to create a battery farm of unconscious, repurposed people? Wanda’s version of Westview is essentially a town of people trapped in a dream – or a nightmare – who are only “awakened” (the show’s own term) when Vision touches them.
Maybe Pietro is this shadowy figure, who has only emerged in person because Vision was threatening to remind Wanda exactly what she was doing. Maybe that’s why he’s now her confidante, keen to make her keep the Hex going no matter what. Or maybe he’s working with someone else (my suspicions still linger on Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes, aka the possible Agatha Harkness) to keep this nefarious plot afloat.
Or maybe, again, he is just Wanda’s brother because they couldn’t get Aaron Taylor-Johnson back. Given how weird WandaVision has been so far, it’s very hard to tell when you’re over or under-thinking things.
Want more WandaVision content? Check out our latest WandaVision review, our guide to the WandaVision cast, the WandaVision release schedule, Agatha Harkness and the creepy WandaVision commercials. Plus, we ask:When is WandaVision set and how did Vision survive?
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