Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”.
“Doctor Strange in the multiverse of Madness” is a direct continuation of Wanda’s arc in “Vandavision,” but the film gives a whole new meaning to the creepy scene after the credits. After the events of Westview, Wanda leaves to retire to a cabin, presumably to clear her head and solve her problems. However, it turns out that this is not the case when, after the credits, she is shown studying the Darkhold, in which an entire chapter is dedicated to her.
This brought her to the multiverse on a rampant mission to find her children, Billy and Tommy, in Doctor Strange 2. The multiverse of madness is conveniently shortened to “MoM”, which perfectly sums up the essence of the film, since it focuses on mom and her children. Wanda turns herself inside out and upside down, makes enemies out of friends and even kills the Illuminati just to get to her children.
In the post-credits to WandaVision, when Wanda reads the Darkhold, Billy and Tommy’s voices are heard pleading: “Mom, help, please.” Hearing them, Wanda widens her eyes and realizes that this means that her children are still there and need help. However, in Doctor Strange 2, Billy and Tommy actually shout the same phrase in response to the Scarlet Witch when she tries to pick them up from Earth-838 by Wanda, their real mother. This repetition of one line completely reverses the meaning of the scene after the credits, forcing Wanda to face herself and who she has become.
This phrase makes Wanda’s situation (and the ending of Doctor Strange 2) even more heartbreaking, as she has always struggled with fear because of her abilities. Wanda Maximoff feels incredibly guilty after the events of the movie “The First Avenger: Confrontation”, and Tony keeps her under house arrest because no one knows how to treat her, and deep down it scares them. When she is imprisoned on a raft at the end of the movie, she is completely bound in a straitjacket, which dehumanizes her because they know how strong she is. Also, in Avengers: Infinity War, Vision has to calm her down before she kills him by telling her: “You can never hurt me.” harm us!” at the Scarlet Witch, who looks completely shocked and upset. Wanda has always had to deal with a dichotomy: trying to be a hero, but inevitably looking like a villain. This makes the inverted meaning of her children crying for help even more painful, since there is nothing that could crush her more than the fear of her own children.
Darkhold’s manipulations are fully manifested in the situation with Wanda, since he knew exactly how to torment her; her children. However, her children’s palpable fear of her is the only thing that eventually frees her from the grip of the Darkhold. Wanda’s loneliness combined with her already enormous strength made her almost invincible, but at the heart of her villainous arc in Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness, she just wanted to be understood, which deepens the sadness of the death of the Scarlet Witch.