'Splaining to Do

WandaVision's true villain may be hiding in plain sight

The devil's in the details.

Who is WandaVision’s big bad? Marvel fans have been asking that question about the new Disney+ series for months now. But the first three episodes of WandaVision haven’t done much to answer the question. On the surface, the episodes seem mostly focused on exploring the relationship between Wanda and Vision, and setting up the show’s central mystery.

However, one new fan theory speculates WandaVision’s first batch of episodes provide more clues about the identity of its real villain than is apparent on first viewing. Let's dive in.

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The Theory — Marvel fans have begun to speculate that WandaVision’s actual villain may be a character we haven’t officially met yet, but have heard a lot about. The leading theory suggests that Agnes’ absent husband, Ralph, may be none other than the villainous Marvel character Mephisto. Ralph has already been referred to numerous times by his “wife” in the show, but has yet to appear in any apparent capacity. While Agnes’ jokes about Ralph could just be WandaVision paying homage to common sitcom tropes of the ‘50s and ‘60s, many of Agnes’ comments seem to take on a possible double meaning upon further analysis.

Kathryn Hahn in WandaVision.Marvel Studios

Agatha & Mephisto — There are two things to know for this theory to make much sense. The first, is that Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes is rumored to actually be a character named Agatha Harkness from the Marvel comics (Agnes = Agatha + Harkness?). The character is an old, very powerful witch who acts as a mentor to Wanda at one point in the comics.

The second thing to know is that Mephisto is an extra-dimensional demon who rules over his own dimension in the Marvel comics. With all red skin and clothing, Mephisto is basically the closest thing that the Marvel comics have to a devil. A powerful trickster, Mephisto has had dealings with many Marvel heroes over the decades, including with Scarlet Witch.

That particular storyline involves Scarlet Witch unknowingly using shards of Mephisto’s soul to magically become pregnant with her and Vision’s children — twin boys named Tommy and Billy…. Sound familiar, WandaVision viewers?

In the comics, the storyline ends when Mephisto’s soul is reassembled, and he reabsorbs the pieces that were used to create Tommy and Billy — removing them from existence. Instead of going after Mephisto, Wanda has her memories of her children erased by none other than… Agatha, who does it in the hopes of saving Wanda from her grief.

Wanda’s memories eventually came back to her though, which causes her to suffer a breakdown that results in her killing Agatha and changing reality itself in the iconic House of M comic series.

Kathryn Hahn in WandaVision.Marvel Studios

The White Rabbit — The evidence presented above should be enough to justify why many believe Mephisto is secretly in WandaVision. But why do some believe that he’s Agnes’ unseen husband?

For starters, knowing that Mephisto is essentially Marvel’s devil brings an entirely different level of meaning to a certain exchange in WandaVision. The moment comes in episode 2, when Dottie condescendingly says, “The devil’s in the details, Bev,” which leads to Agnes whispering to Wanda, “That’s not the only place he is.”

Additionally, the white rabbit that Agnes lends to Wanda for her magic act in that same episode is named Señor Scratchy. In English, that translates to “Mr. Scratch” or “Mr. Scratchy,” and in the comics, Mephisto has often used the aliases “Nick Scratch” and “Jack Scratch.” Agatha Harkness’ son in the comics is also a villainous sorcerer named Nicholas Scratch.

Kathryn Hahn in WandaVision.Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — There have been rumors of Mephisto playing a role in Marvel's Phase 4 for a while now, and they’ve been growing ever since fans spotted what many believed to be an Easter egg in the Loki trailer referencing the villainous character. The third episode’s inclusion of Wanda and Vision’s twin sons has only further strengthened support for those theories. So, although WandaVision has hinted that Wanda herself is the possible, unintentional villain of the show, it’s looking more and more likely that Mephisto has something to do with what’s going on in Westview.

Whether or not he’s Ralph, Agnes’ supposed husband, remains to be seen. If he is, then we’ll have to hand it to the WandaVision writers for setting up the show's villain in such a sneaky and clever manner.

WandaVision is streaming now on Disney+.