The following story contains spoilers for WandaVision.
Outside of its title characters, the majority of WandaVision is a big ole Marvel Cinematic Universe mystery. Coming into the show, fans knew one thing: it was going to be a very strange story that brings a couple Avengers together with a decidedly-committed sitcom angle. And in the early goings, that much has been true. WandaVision has found Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany)—neither of whom have any memory of any time before the show's events—coming into contact with a sea of new, old-timey characters around them. And one particularly notable character calling herself "Geraldine" seemed a little bit unsure of her own identity. But we think we know why,
The fourth episode of WandaVision, called "We Interrupt This Program," let us know for certain that "Geraldine" is, in fact, the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau. Name ringing a bell? That's because you last saw Monica as the 5-year-old daughter of Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel. Maria is an Air Force Pilot and the best friend of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. Knowing that Captain Marvel is set in 1995 also let us know before Episode 4's big reveal that WandaVision is more or less set in the present day, because Monica is an adult.
A lot happens in WandaVision to let us know who Monica Rambeau is in the present. And, well, hint hint—she kinda may be becoming someone else in the meantime.
Monica Rambeau has been busy since Captain Marvel.
While viewers last saw Monica as a kid during the events of Captain Marvel, WandaVision episode 4 opens up with Monica in the midst of a strange time many years later. Monica's sitting in a hospital, her body reforming five years after Thanos' Infinity Stones snap took her (along with half of life on earth) out of existence. She's next to an empty bed, where we find out five years ago her mother—Maria Rambeau, an Air Force Pilot and friend of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers—was receiving treatment for cancer that was going well. Unfortunately, though, a few years after Monica was dusted by Thanos, Maria's cancer returned, and she died. Monica is distraught by the news but eventually comes to terms with what's happened and returns to work at S.W.O.R.D.
We find out in this time that Monica is now Captain Monica Rambeau, and that S.W.O.R.D.—which stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department—was founded and directed by Maria. Maria, before her death, has ordered for Monica to remain grounded for the time being, which leads her to help her FBI contact—Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park)—with the missing person in Westview, NJ.
Monica gets powers in WandaVision.
Through going in and out of The Hex so many times throughout the course of WandaVision, Monica's cells get re-written, and she gains superhuman abilities. Darcy confirms this before she goes back in for the last time, and its upon that last re-entry that we see Monica re-living some of her memories from Captain Marvel and, upon making it into The Hex, her vantage point with her new powers.
We saw Monica put these new powers to use a few times. Once was when Wanda shot her magic at her, but rather than fly through the wall like she did in Episode 3, she absorbed the energy of Wanda's magic, turning it from red to blue, and using it to safely land on the sidewalk beneath her (with lots of impact).
We saw similar energy absorption in the WandaVision finale, when Monica stepped in front of bullets that Tyler Hayward was firing directly at Wanda's twins, Billy and Tommy. Monica's body absorbed the force of the bullet, showing yellow coloring (perhaps meaning her powers were acquired in a second degree from the mind stone, which of course gave Wanda her powers); the bullets fell to the ground immediately. One bullet got past her, but Billy (the future Young Avenger known as Wiccan) was able to stop it with his magic.
In the comics, Monica is known as Photon, Spectrum, and for a stretch even becomes Captain Marvel. We don't know which superhero name Monica will use in the MCU (if any?), but she's got the abilities for a catchy name if she so wants one.
What's next for Monica in the MCU?
The first post-credits scene in the WandaVision finale finds Monica congratulating Jimmy on a job well done before a military officer tells her she's wanted in the Westview movie theater. When entering, the officer reveals herself as a Skrull, and says that an old friend of her mom's wants to talk to her—in space. This has to be a reference to Captain Marvel, and we think it's specifically referring to one of two people: Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), or Talos the Skrull (Ben Mendelsohn).
Fury and Maria have a relationship, as we saw explored in Captain Marvel, and as the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home showed, he's currently hanging out on a faux-vacation in space. That same scene showing Fury in space also showed that he's had Talos taking his place on earth; the shapeshifting alien leader could also be looking for Monica for obvious reasons. We'll likely see Monica next in Captain Marvel 2 (she's already been confirmed as part of the cast), but this seems like it's setting up that she could also appear in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which will star both Jackson and Mendelsohn.
WandaVision is about Monica's growth.
Monica isn't one of the titular superheroes in WandaVision, but she's one of the most consistent forces in the show from start to finish. As soon as we see her not under Wanda's trance, we see what happened just a few short weeks ago in her life: she returned from being dusted by Thanos in The Blip, and learned of the death of her mother. Immediately, she returned to work and took on a case.
She's made new friends (in Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis), and learned of old friends who are probably now enemies (Tyler Hayward). But most importantly, it's become clear that she's mentally strong—a trait she's learned from her mother, Maria Rambeau, and Carol Danvers. She wants not to blindly attack anyone; she wants to do what's right, and fight for the people who need help.
She's not afraid of anyone—and not afraid to do the right thing.
One important character trait we learn about Monica Rambeau: she's a badass. While we see upon her return to S.W.O.R.D. following The Blip (and learning of her mother's death) that she knows Acting Director Tyler Hayward and seems OK with him, she's not afraid at all to stand up to him when he starts advocating for some troubling decisions in the coming episodes. Hayward is not only making erratic decisions, but he's also rude—and seems to have a resentment against Monica (and everyone else who was dusted by Thanos) and an agenda against Wanda and possibly other Avengers.
When Hayward tries to have Monica, Jimmy, and Darcy removed for daring to speak out against his ideas, she orchestrates a plan to escape custody, and slide undercover back into the base. She and Jimmy also plan to meet with her aerospace engineer friend (Reed Richards??) to find a way back into the Hex—under the radar, of course. And way, way, off Hayward's radar. Monica can tell that Wanda isn't doing anything out of malice—and she's making it her own agenda to help her.
Monica doesn't want to talk about Captain Marvel.
It's become more and more clear that something may have happened between Monica and Captain Marvel in the time since Captain Marvel took place in 1995. Hayward referenced something about Monica's history with Carol Danvers in Episode 6, and she again made a sort of uncomfortable face. This could just be talking about her childhood connection with her through her mother, but it's possible there's some missions, exploring, and more that we didn't see yet (but luckily we could see in the future—more on that in a little bit).
In Episode 5, Monica was recovering from being propelled out of "The Hex," as Darcy has begun calling it. Following her recovery and thinking a little bit, she came to a few important revelations: her clothes in that world were turned into 87% Kevlar. When Wanda was propelling her out, whether consciously or unconsciously, she didn't want her to be hurt.
This led to Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy talking about the power of various Avengers. When its suggested—in a rather meta manner and scene—that Wanda hasn't shown power of this magnitude before, Monica has a rebuttal: she did almost beat Thanos all by herself, which no one else was even close to. Jimmy suggests that Captain Marvel almost did, but Monica makes an expression that says a lot. And she quickly changes the subject.
Monica remembers Captain Marvel—or Aunt Carol—from her childhood. And while something might have happened off screen that we haven't yet seen (Monica will appear in Captain Marvel 2), it might just seem that she's angry that Carol was off in the galaxy for 20+ years, and missed the end of her mother and Carol's friend, Maria Rambeau's, life.
She's got a connection with Wanda.
Aside from everything we've seen so far, it's clear that Wanda and Monica have some deeper connection. Inside The Hex, Wanda is the one who initiated conversation with "Geraldine," and spoke to her first. She saved Monica's life when she shot her back out into the real world. And Monica knows this.
When Wanda emerged from The Hex to tell SWORD to stay the hell out, Monica wasn't afraid to speak up. Her words, eventually, are going to get through to Wanda. But it's unknown what kind of damage is going to happen before that moment comes.
Why was Monica Rambeau pretending to be "Geraldine"?
Episode 4 also gives us some important insight into why this person we know is Monica is pretending to be someone named "Geraldine." When Monica first meets up with Jimmy, she flies her drone directly through the Westview energy field, and it disappears, immediately exiting sight. She then approaches the invisible dome and is sucked right in.
We don't see Monica again until Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings)—now also working with S.W.O.R.D.—finds her on the monitor, taking on a speaking role within the sitcom world of WandaVision. We'll get more information in future episodes, but it seems fairly evident that Monica realized what was going on, and, in getting close to Wanda and trying to get her to open up about her brother, Ultron, and whatever the hell else is going on, she would be able to pull Wanda out of this bizarre reality and back to help fighting evil in the real world.
But for now, she'll have to try again; Wanda blasted her straight out of the dome with the first signature blast of red energy the show has seen.
Monica had no idea what was happening when she was first sucked into The Hex, but, clearly, eventually figured out that she wasn't actually "Geraldine." Once she realized what was happening, it became clear that she wanted to help Wanda—who needed her help—and not Hayward, who was acting extra nefarious for no good reason, really.
What is Monica trying to do for SWORD?
Episode 3 showed exactly what we figured was happening. As the show moved into a '70s Brady Bunch-esque sitcom setting, "Geraldine" showed up accordingly. As the episode continued, though, she clearly knew more than she let on. After Wanda gave birth to her newborn twins, Billy and Tommy, she recalled that she herself is a twin; she had a brother named Pietro (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron).
"Geraldine," saw this as her in and went to work; she asked if Pietro was killed by Ultron—a key piece of Scarlet Witch's history—to try to get somewhere. It's not sure what her endgame (pardon the pun) is here, but she was going for it. And Wanda clearly wasn't ready; she dropped her sitcom affectation entirely, questioned the SWORD necklace around "Geraldine"/Monica's neck, and projected her directly out of whatever reality the majority of WandaVision seems to exist in.
What we learned from Episode 4, though, is that everything we saw of Monica in the first three episodes was her acting on instinct. She got sucked into Wanda's reality not by design, and as a result all of her snooping and questioning was instinctual.
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