Everyone Is Moved By Vision’s Gorgeous Speech About Grief In ‘WandaVision’
It's the perfect sentiment for this collective moment of grief.
The penultimate episode of WandaVision hit viewers like a tonne of trauma-filled bricks over the weekend.
‘Previously On…’ treated fans to a brutal walk through Wanda’s traumas. From her childhood in wartorn Sakovia where she lost her parents, to the moment she was refused the right to bury her lover’s body- Wanda is forced to tour the sites of her greatest torments and griefs.
These flashbacks are upsetting enough on their own, but they are made more so by the nature of their execution. Agatha, played to diabolical perfection by Kathryn Hahn, pushes Wanda through door after door after door, a trauma for Wanda to relive for Agatha’s curiosity behind each.
I have lost several dear friends, both parents, and a son. I hated my own sorrow until tonight, when I heard: "But, what is grief, if not love, persevering?" Heart-healing poetry. Thank you, @wandavision. pic.twitter.com/9nENdIGHSs
— ralphgarman (@RalphGarman) February 27, 2021
It’s a relentless 30-ish-minute sequence, for both Wanda and the hardcore MCU fan. Relief from Wanda’s trauma tour, however, comes unsurprisingly from Paul Bettany’s Vision in the episode’s second last live-flashback.
The scene set somewhere between the events of Age Of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War sees Wanda rendered borderline catatonic with grief from the death of her brother Pietro. She sits alone in her bedroom bingeing Malcolm In The Middle (we’ve all been there, girl) until she is joined by Vision. After expressing the unbearable, exhausting burden of her grief Vision offers Wanda a few words of comfort.
“But what is grief, if not love persevering?” pic.twitter.com/fGOHqwyLCc
— Phase Zero (@PhaseZeroCB) February 27, 2021
“Well, it can’t all be sorrow, can it?” he gently replies. “I’ve always been alone, so I don’t feel the lack. It’s all I’ve ever known, I’ve never experienced loss because I have never had a loved one to lose. But what is grief, if not love persevering?”
The line, But what is grief, if not love persevering? has resonated deeply with viewers, with many Twitter users singing the line’s praises. While there are some totally baffled by the collective impactive of the dialogue, it’s resonance is not really a mystery when you consider the collective and communal grief the entire population of the world has experienced since the pandemic began.
“what is grief if not love persevering” what a line. what a fucking line. i will be angry for the rest of my life that i did not write this line
— ark (@et_ark) February 27, 2021
The grief rort on the world’s population isn’t just centred on the loss of loved ones to the virus, but on the loss of the social aspects of the lives we previously lead now changed by the virus. As Scott Berinato wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”
Naysayers have been quick to point out Vision’s optimistic view isn’t a unique one, with some calling it basic and pointing out similar sentiments in other media. But these viewpoints miss the point. WandaVision at its core is a show about how the grief of even one person can impact whole communities, and it has arrived serendipitously at a point in time when we are feeling collective grief hitherto unmatched in recent history.
my only comment on that line about grief is that it’s entirely possible—common even—to be greatly moved by unsophisticated things. melodrama is very effective! you don’t have to justify your reaction by insisting it is high art
— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) February 28, 2021
It helps too that WandaVision is shaping up to be the biggest collective week-by-week viewing experience since Game Of Thrones, with whole communities being formed around discussing the series week to week. It is just so fortunate that, “But what is grief, if not love persevering?” has arrived at a time when more than ever it’s exactly what people needed to hear, and if WandaVision has shown us anything it’s that TV can play an all too important role in helping articulate and relieve our grief.
Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian writer, critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club where she gushes about LGBT rep in media with her best friend. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.