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Author Topic: WandaVision  (Read 8762 times)
Khaldun
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Reply #315 on: March 07, 2021, 07:51:45 PM

The MCU has had a few characters like that, but they've almost entirely turned out to be Hydra agents.

"Generic secret agent/cop asshole" is a pretty common genre thing but given how much attention they've now given to the prickly relationship between the governments and the superheroes and so on--and even in this show how much world-building they did around SWORD--it seems really weird to just have Hayward be obsessed with rebuilding the Vision and killing Wanda/her kids/her fictional Vision without any further explanation besides "He's a Type A asshole guy". If this isn't a Chekhov's Gun, then it's kind of a mistake.
Velorath
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Reply #316 on: March 07, 2021, 08:16:15 PM

Heís a plot device, not really a character. People arenít even going to remember his name a month for now let alone be clamoring for him to come back. Guy wanted to reactivate Vision under either his or government control (unclear). Wanda was a tool he needed to reactivate Vision, an obstacle that had no intention of letting the government keep Vision dead or reactivated, and she was also a legitimate threat after taking over Westview. He generally seemed like an opportunist rather than some sort of villain mastermind.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #317 on: March 07, 2021, 08:47:38 PM

And given that White Vision escapes containment and goes off mission almost immediately, not a very effective one.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
NowhereMan
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Reply #318 on: March 08, 2021, 06:41:54 AM

Heís a plot device, not really a character. People arenít even going to remember his name a month for now let alone be clamoring for him to come back. Guy wanted to reactivate Vision under either his or government control (unclear). Wanda was a tool he needed to reactivate Vision, an obstacle that had no intention of letting the government keep Vision dead or reactivated, and she was also a legitimate threat after taking over Westview. He generally seemed like an opportunist rather than some sort of villain mastermind.

I think that's correct - things like him antagonising Wanda, etc. happened to drive the plot and help build a credible motivation for Wanda but the way it was played and the level of insight needed for it really suggested he was more than just an opportunist. I think there might have been some subplot that got cut and he was just kept as a generic government goon but it could equally have been some lazy writing. His whole role didn't really make any sense.

And I don't understand what eldaec means by the Ship of Theseus resolution for the Vision fight not doing anything if you're familiar with it. It's philosophy 101 stuff but the point wasn't to show that Vision is a genius with wikipedia in his head, the point as I saw was to show that Vision isn't a basic robot with simple programming and he's also not, first and foremost, a fighter. He's thoughtful, adaptable and open to communication in a way that a lot of the human heroes probably wouldn't be. I guess I could be a little superior here and say that most people who are familiar with the thought experiment would also be aware enough to realise that writers aren't going to have him engaging in discussions of Spinozan Monads or spilling out some formal logical proof of physical properties be identical with Identity or whatever because that would be bad TV and require the audience to have at least read a few dozen wikipedia chapters to have some clue about what was happening.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
schild
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Reply #319 on: March 08, 2021, 07:43:18 AM

The problem with Hayward is he wasn't at all interesting. Also he didn't shoot at children. He shot at Wanda's Super Simulation Children. And he knew that since he'd been watching Wandavision.

And yeah, what Vel Said, he was purely a plot device.
Khaldun
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Reply #320 on: March 08, 2021, 08:39:35 AM

So was Robert Redford's character in Winter Soldier, but in his case, the whole "control the world by eliminating independently-minded people" plan made some degree of villainous sense.

I don't really get what Hayward's plan here was. If it was "I have 3bn of vibranium here, gotta get something out of that", I would guess selling the scrap--or offering the body to the Wakandans in return for something--would get you something out of it.

If it was, "I could have a very powerful android slave for my agency to command", well, for what? What's the mission you've got in mind? They paid enough attention to the Post-Snap status quo to suggest they take that seriously as a story engine for the current phase of films and shows, so surely the world's governments have something in mind about what they want a security organization focused on extraterrestrial threats to be doing. When the World Security Council calls up their boy to ask for a briefing and he says, "Well, I've finally done it, I have a powerful android slave built from the corpse of an Avenger", what's that going to about?
Velorath
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Reply #321 on: March 08, 2021, 11:57:27 AM

So was Robert Redford's character in Winter Soldier, but in his case, the whole "control the world by eliminating independently-minded people" plan made some degree of villainous sense.

I don't really get what Hayward's plan here was. If it was "I have 3bn of vibranium here, gotta get something out of that", I would guess selling the scrap--or offering the body to the Wakandans in return for something--would get you something out of it.

If it was, "I could have a very powerful android slave for my agency to command", well, for what? What's the mission you've got in mind? They paid enough attention to the Post-Snap status quo to suggest they take that seriously as a story engine for the current phase of films and shows, so surely the world's governments have something in mind about what they want a security organization focused on extraterrestrial threats to be doing. When the World Security Council calls up their boy to ask for a briefing and he says, "Well, I've finally done it, I have a powerful android slave built from the corpse of an Avenger", what's that going to about?

I've said this before, but I think Hayward's plan was the same plan the government/military would have in real life if they ended up with a piece of "tech" like Vision. It's not unlike when the government wanted the Iron Man tech turned over or when they were trying to use the Tesseract to power weapons like Hydra did. Yes, just as pure scrap Vision would be valuable. He also had a highly advanced AI made up partly from an Infinity Stone. As a whole, if they could find a way to reactive Vision you can absolutely see why a government agency would want him under their control, especially in a world filled with super human beings where even people like Captain America just decide they aren't bound by U.S. law.

Honestly, even with his actions in the finale I'm kinda wondering on what grounds is he in any sort of trouble at end? Even with firing on the twins, he saw from watching the show that they were creations of Wanda's rather than mind controlled townspeople, they had powers, and they used those powers to stop disarm his people. Looking at the power levels Wanda displayed and how she was using her powers to enslave people, I think it's absolutely understandable that the government would be trying to use lethal force there. Hayward is a villain in about the same way Gen. Thunderbolt Ross is. He's an antagonist to an incredibly powerful and largely out of control "hero". One could argue that he was the final straw that pushed Wanda over the edge, but that's about it.


I think that's correct - things like him antagonising Wanda, etc. happened to drive the plot and help build a credible motivation for Wanda but the way it was played and the level of insight needed for it really suggested he was more than just an opportunist. I think there might have been some subplot that got cut and he was just kept as a generic government goon but it could equally have been some lazy writing. His whole role didn't really make any sense.

I think he has to be an opportunist because there's no way he could have predicted that Wanda's reaction to seeing Vision disassembled would be to take over a small town, turn it into a sitcom, and recreate the Vision. The closest he comes to having a plan at any point is to send in the drone to get blasted by Wanda so he can syphon the energy out later, but that's the opportunist part. It wasn't some grand plan he had from the start because there's literally no way it could have been. At best you can say that maybe when he showed Wanda Vision's body originally he was hoping her powers would flare up then so he could capture some of the energy.
Raguel
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Reply #322 on: March 08, 2021, 05:23:45 PM

Here's a question: how did the US government end up with Vision's body in the first place? His body was last seen in Wakanda. Did the Avengers hand him over to the government? That seems unlikely, given Cap's opinions. Did Wakanda? That seems less likely, given Vision was made out of stolen vibranium. How does the government even have a claim on Vision in the first place?

Hayward's sole reasons for existing are to make Wanda look good and to piss me off.

Velorath
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Reply #323 on: March 08, 2021, 06:25:55 PM

Here's a question: how did the US government end up with Vision's body in the first place? His body was last seen in Wakanda. Did the Avengers hand him over to the government? That seems unlikely, given Cap's opinions. Did Wakanda? That seems less likely, given Vision was made out of stolen vibranium. How does the government even have a claim on Vision in the first place?

Sokovia Accords possibly.
Khaldun
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Reply #324 on: March 08, 2021, 07:36:22 PM

Like, we've seen these guys are detail-oriented and they pay attention to (and vicariously play with) fan theories. So that's actually a great question. Why on Earth would Wakanda as we've seen it hand over the Vision's body to a US-resident international agency in the era after the Snap? Ok, so we know that a lot of Wakanda's elite got dusted and I get why they absolutely cannot play around with Wakanda right now without being in a position to decide what the status quo for Black Panther 2 looks like, but it still kind of has to be that SWORD is an international agency that has Wakanda as well as other countries on board. So why would they put Hayward in charge? A typical dickish American man? Why would they let him do what he wants?

In the comics, there was a general international agreement to dismantle the Vision as he had been but that's because he'd actually committed aggression against the countries of the Cold War world (all of them) by trying to control the world's computer systems including nuclear weapons systems. In the MCU pre-Infinity War, the Vision is almost the least threatening being associated with the Avengers in some ways--the Sokovia powers have to be way more concerned about Captain America's squad but also frankly Tony Stark, who is a loose cannon even after the events of Civil War. I can see some governments viewing him with concern still because of his origin, but if they had an active threat table, I can't see why he'd be high on it. Post-Snap, securing his remains would seem like a low item on the overflowing to-do list, especially because the remaining Avengers are so important to global order--the last thing you'd want to do is seriously piss them off with some kind of secret project involving the Vision, whom they all liked and respected.
eldaec
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Reply #325 on: March 09, 2021, 02:30:31 AM

If for some reason the writers were forced to retroactively explain this, I imagine they'd go with "the Vision had become a US citizen".

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MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #326 on: March 09, 2021, 06:04:21 AM

If for some reason the writers were forced to retroactively explain this, I imagine they'd go with "the Vision had become a US citizen".
Well, technically, he was born in New York City.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Khaldun
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Reply #327 on: March 09, 2021, 09:11:30 PM

Trying to remember which comic-book writer tried to get rid of the idea of Superman as an immigrant by saying that since he was "born" in the USA in Kansas, he was actually an American citizen like any other.
HaemishM
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Reply #328 on: March 13, 2021, 12:19:09 AM

If SWORD was basically the international agency tasked with securing "sentient weapons" then it makes sense that Wakanda might hand over the Vision's body as part of the agreement to join the international community.

NowhereMan
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Reply #329 on: March 13, 2021, 03:47:22 AM

Really the most unbelievable element of the whole thing is the idea that the US would permit any international agency to deploy within its borders with just a single FBI agent attached. And I didn't really notice because SWORD is basically portrayed as a US agency here, I actually forgot they're meant to have some international status.

This isn't really a criticism of the show, I'm just curious if it was down to an oversight (because why would there be foreigners in an international organisation?) or if there was some kind of conscious decision to not pull in any international elements, whether that be because it would just distract viewers, ease of hiring people or something else.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
eldaec
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Reply #330 on: March 13, 2021, 06:25:58 AM

It is a fundamentally questionable idea that sword and shield could exist in any form. Or that they should.

Unaccountable paramilitary organisations aren't automatically the good guys outside of comics and star trek.

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ≠assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
NowhereMan
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Reply #331 on: March 13, 2021, 07:14:12 AM

I mean I don't think I'd be particularly happy with an international paramilitary organisation accountable to a shadowy set of pseudo-independent directors with a mandate to operate where ever they see fit with a seemingly unlimited budget. I just think it was interesting to point out that 1) such an organisation would never get away with operating without direct oversight within the US and 2) would certainly not be staffed top to bottom with US military/intelligence bods. Basically SWORD as presented here only really makes sense as a US alphabet agency, which is only really relevant in the context of explaining them having Vision's body from the Wakandans because they're supposedly a UN body.

I guess I'm just wondering if their presentation here was a deliberate choice for some reason (avoiding needing to explain how an international task force is operating unsupervised within the US, etc.) or was an oversight (the writers/producers wanted an official, largely unaccountable body representing authority so that is obviously a US alphabet agency) where they forgot SWORD is meant to be under the UN. It's got nothing to do with whether a real-life equivalent would be a good thing.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Khaldun
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Reply #332 on: March 13, 2021, 09:40:21 AM

They've been leaning into "the MCU is not the same as our world" from the beginning, though. Their World War 2 was really different than ours--and that laid the groundwork for a different kind of international system.
NowhereMan
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Reply #333 on: March 13, 2021, 10:00:31 AM

I think it's a legacy of the comics vision of SHIELD and SWORD but taking more than 10 seconds to think about a UN organisation that is staffed top to bottom by US military and intelligence personnel with an international mandate - I can't see even an MCU Russia, China or collection of African countries that would be perfectly happy to effectively approve of giving the US jurisdiction over everything in their countries.

In total fairness I'm sure this is something that's been discussed heavily after Cap 2 but it seems a bit of a lost opportunity not to make these organisations look a bit closer to actual UN agencies with a more international set of top brass. That said it's not ruining it for me, I guess from the view of the movies I'm surprised they haven't had a senior Chinese official in SHIELD or similar to get some CCP distribution kudos.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Khaldun
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Reply #334 on: March 13, 2021, 12:34:00 PM

Maybe Shang Chi will do something to push in that direction. Obviously Black Widow will tell us more about MCU Russia...
Sky
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Reply #335 on: March 13, 2021, 04:20:59 PM

I'm hoping for a good old cold war vibe with some crimson dynamo kinda shit going down. They've got so much cool side IP to farm.

Rendakor
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Reply #336 on: March 17, 2021, 10:20:28 PM

Binge watched this over the past few days. Good stuff all around; it struck a good mix of being a stand alone show about Wanda + Vision vs being an MCU property.

Caught up on the thread here too. Y'all had some wild theories, most of which involve characters I've never heard of so I couldn't make heads or tails of them.

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TheWalrus
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Reply #337 on: April 07, 2021, 07:51:34 PM

Echoing Rendakor here, a bit.

I loved this series. It was marvelous. I'm also not going to go back and read all your bullshit film school dissection of it.

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schild
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Reply #338 on: April 07, 2021, 09:04:52 PM

Echoing Rendakor here, a bit.

I loved this series. It was marvelous. I'm also not going to go back and read all your bullshit film school dissection of it.

As a guy with a film history minor I literally called it one of the best shows ever made, so like, there's nothing special about your assessment.
Khaldun
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Reply #339 on: April 07, 2021, 10:27:22 PM

Wasn't film school dissection, it was comics-nerdery bullshit. Come on, identify your garbage analysis correctly, we garbage analysts are easily insulted.
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