When Does 'WandaVision' Take Place in the MCU Timeline?

You might think the answer is straightforward. It is not.

wandavision
Marvel Studios

Ahh, suburban bliss. It's the all-American ideal that heroes like those in the Avengers strive to protect, but it's not necessarily something they'd expect themselves mysteriously plopped into without explanation or a way out. That's where we find Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen), also known as the Scarlet Witch, and Vision (Paul Bettany), also known as Vision, at the start of Disney+'s charmingly WTF classic-sitcom pastiche WandaVision.

Wanda and Vision live in a cozy house with a perfectly trimmed front yard, and the most exciting things that happen in their lives are dinner parties for scary bosses and lunch meetings at the social club to charm the neighborhood divas. Yet something is obviously, inescapably wrong. Why don't they seem to be aware of their fate? Why can't they leave? And how did they even get there in the first place?

The last time we saw Wanda, in Avengers: Endgame, she was attending Tony Stark's funeral and comforting Hawkeye, who was sad that Black Widow had died in the conflict with Thanos. Wanda, who had been disintegrated by the Thanos snap in Avengers: Infinity War and restored leading into Endgame's climactic battle, had also lost someone in a seemingly permanent way: Vision, whose lifeless robot body had thunked to the ground at the climax of Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos plucked out the Mind Stone, an Infinity Gem, from his head.

wandavision
Marvel Studios

Wait—Vision is dead?? Yes! Vision is stone-cold dead, deader than dead, as dead as can be, never coming back. Or is he?? He was not in Avengers: Endgame at all, Ant-Man's time-travel stunt having not been enough to rewrite the events of the Avengers' battle with Thanos on Wakanda. As far as the team is concerned, he's gone for good. So, then, how is it possible that he's alive and living in the Dick Van Dyke house with Scarlet Witch?

One possibility is that WandaVision takes place before Avengers: Infinity War, similar to how the upcoming Black Widow movie is set in the two-year gap between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, and Disney has just decided to kept that crucial plot detail a secret for some reason. A second possibility is that WandaVision takes place chronologically after Endgame, Vision is still dead, and whoever or whatever has Wanda trapped in what seems to be a TV show simulation (complete with in-show credits and a laugh track) is making it seem as if Vision is alive.

It's also possible that the events of the first two episodes (which both debuted today) are a figment of Wanda's imagination—albeit an extremely powerful imagination that has brought characters back from the dead before in certain comic book arcs. And it's also possible that Vision is actually alive again due to some other magical, scientific or quantum mechanical way, thanks to whatever is out there controlling this pocket universe. There's plenty of mystery yet to be solved in WandaVision, and we're very excited to see where this goes next.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.