Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for WandaVision episodes 4&5.
As Disney+’s WandaVision series continues, fans are still reacting to how the show killed off Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers’ best friend from Captain Marvel.
Now, showrunner Jac Schaeffer has shared how and why the series decided to write off Lashana Lynch’s character in such a fashion.
Gone in a Blip
First appearing in the 1990s section of Captain Marvel, Maria Lambeau was an ace pilot who aided Carol in fighting off the Kree. Fans soon loved the character with her feisty drive and humor.
Maria was shown as the mother of young Monica, played by Akira Akbar, who also helped Carol with her adventures. As this section was set in the 90s, it seemed logical an older Maria would show up in the MCU.
At the beginning of episode 4, Monica (now played by Teyonah Parris) was revealed to have been one of the billions turned to dust by Thanos’ “snap” in Infinity War (which the MCU calls “the Blip”).
When Monica is restored to life five years later, she’s informed that Maria succumbed to cancer three years previously.
Pushing Monica’s journey
Fans were thrown to have Maria killed off-screen and without Monica able to say goodbye to her while Maria died mourning her daughter.
This is added to by how the series reveals Maria built up S.W.O.R.D., a special government agency dealing with alien and robotic threats. There was also the potential of seeing the older Maria interacting with Carol (Brie Larson) who appears to have not aged thanks to her powers.
Schaeffer told ET that the decision was not taken lightly and did involve discussion with how killing off Maria could better serve the storyline.
It was a big decision. We had a lot of conversations and Maria and Lashana, the actor, were so important in Captain Marvel and such a tremendous character. We did not make that decision lightly. [It] really worked for Monica’s character and what it meant for her. We also really loved the idea that Maria had built S.W.O.R.D. from the ground up.”
As comic fans know, Monica gains superpowers of her own to become an energy-based heroine whose names range from Captain Marvel herself to Photon, Pulsar and Spectrum.
The series indicated that the “Blip” may have granted Monica these powers which are added by her investigation into the mysterious happenings with the Scarlet Witch.
So far, the series has focused on Monica working for S.W.O.R.D. and handling the bizarre occurrences in Wanda’s “town.” Yet the show seems to be setting the stage for Monica to gain her abilities to become a hero.
This would naturally play into Captain Marvel 2, where there might be tension as Monica seems to be upset whenever Carol is mentioned. It’s possible Monica is angry Carol wasn’t on Earth to help her mother.
While the death of Maria is sad, the showrunners insist it was meant to aid the storyline and enhance Monica’s journey to becoming a super-heroine in her own right. After all, many a Marvel hero has to have some tragedy in their lives.
WandaVision airs new episodes weekly on Disney+.