Aside from being one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s most aesthetically unique entries, WandaVision is shaping up as one of its most mysterious as well. Despite approaching the conclusion of its inaugural season, the program continues to keep viewers in suspense and generate more questions than answers.
Some of the more pressing include why Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has taken the entire town of Westview, New Jersey hostage, or the true nature of Vision‘s (Paul Bettany) miraculous resurrection. While these queries have dominated fan discussion, there are a handful of other, smaller ones in need of attention.
For instance, S.W.O.R.D.’s shady new director, Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg), has become a source of serious fan debate in recent weeks. First introduced to the MCU in the episode “We Interrupt This Program,” we’ve learned little about his backstory, his goals, and where his true allegiances lie.
One fan theory suggests that Hayward isn’t really working in the best interest of S.W.O.R.D. at all, and may be pulling the wool over our heroes’ eyes. There’s a chance that he could be an undercover agent for the infamous villain organization, HYDRA. Here’s why this intriguing theory just might hold water.
Is Tyler Hayward connected to HYDRA’s Brian Hayward?
Given how ambiguous Director Hayward‘s past is, any kind of speculation is fair game until we hopefully learn more in the coming weeks. That includes considering the theory that he’s somehow related to Brian Hayward (Paul Lacovara) from the beloved ABC show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
During his brief run on the program, Brian took part in HYDRA‘s Centipede Project to become a genetically enhanced super-soldier. He ultimately met his fate at the hands of Raina (Ruth Negga), who used his cybernetic implants against him.
Much like Tyler, Brian‘s backstory was paper-thin, aside from his previous experience in the United States Army. For all we know, they could’ve enlisted into HYDRA together, but S.W.O.R.D.‘s director might have opted not to join the Centipede Project, leaving him alive and well to harass Wanda and Vision.
Aside from sharing the same last name, Tyler Hayward’s connection to Brian and, by extension, HYDRA, is implied by his general attitude toward super-powered individuals. In episode 6 of WandaVision, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” Tyler berates fellow S.W.O.R.D. operative Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) for sympathizing with Wanda and people with similar gifts, such as Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
This may stem from his potential relative’s desire to become a superhuman through the Centipede Project, which unexpectedly wound up becoming his undoing. Instead of blaming HYDRA for the incident, Tyler may have joined their ranks to wipe out those with superhuman abilities, thus avenging Brian’s death.
Again, none of this speculation is confirmed, and it should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting possibility to consider, especially as Director Hayward continues to act more and more suspicious.
Perhaps his allegiance to HYDRA or another sinister entity will come to light soon, or it’ll just turn out he’s a hard-nosed bureaucrat with no ulterior motives. Hayward is a common enough name after all — though all coincidences should be suspect at this point.
Only time will tell.