WandaVision is the MCU’s first big Disney+ show, taking us into the apparently fractured mind of Wanda Maximoff.
You can check out our previous reviews here…
All the talk from this late-80’s/early-90’s themed episode will be on the final shot, featuring the return of Quicksilver. Before that, however, there is a lot to consider.
To start with there are the new children of Wanda and Vision, who begin the episode as squalling babies before transforming into kindergarteners within minutes. Later, the kids bump up in age again, to ten-year-old children of mischief. The transformation happens over the course of a day in the show, and it barely cracks the top five of the most bizarre parts of the episode.
Death is the theme of the show this week, specifically on the finality of it. Wanda plays the role of living paradox, as she tells her children (who weep over their pet puppy biting the dust) that you “can’t just bring things back from the dead.”
Later, at work, Vision has an encounter with a co-worker that frees himself from whatever is keeping everyone playing their parts (presumably it’s Wanda but let’s not discount other forces at work). The co-worker cries about the woman that’s in his head, making him do things, etc. Again, the easy guess is Wanda, but I keep thinking Agnes is sus and I’m not letting go of that until I have to. Wanda’s involved certainly, but I wonder how much she’s doing vs how much she’s taking advantage of what’s being done by someone else, and just helping along the way.
To get to the real show-stealer moment, the doorbell rings near the end of the episode—just as Wanda and Viz start to have it out about what’s really going on—and who is outside but Wanda’s long-dead brother, Pietro.
To say I have questions would be an understatement.
First, there’s Wanda’s sincere-sounding assurance to Vision that she isn’t responsible for the doorbell ringing. Whoever is on the other side came there on their own, according to her.
Second, it’s worth remembering that, at no time in the show did Wanda ever say her brother was dead. Sure, we know he is, but she always just told people he was “far away.”
Third, and this is the big one…
This is Evan Peters, the actor who played Quicksilver in a trio of Fox-produced X-Men movies. In the words of Darcy, watching the show from the nearby S.W.O.R.D. base, “they recast Pietro?!” We’ll have to wait a week to get answers, but one thing stuck out to me about the ending: This Pietro didn’t know who Vision was. The MCU Quicksilver fought alongside Vision at Sokovia. That leads me to believe this Quicksilver is not just some rando from town that she’s pretending is her brother (cast as the Fox actor as a wink to fans). It’s more than that. He can’t be just a brainwashed Westview original resident. His arrival set the alarms off in the S.W.O.R.D. camp. A regular citizen won’t trigger it; only someone coming into the town from the outside (or vice-versa) does that.
My take: The twist was set up beforehand when Wanda told her children about her brother. Then when the dog died they implored her to bring back the dead. Later she told them she had a brother that was far away. Maybe they—the children (specifically Billy, who will later be the young Avenger Wiccan) used their powers to reach out and find their uncle…and maybe they pulled in the “wrong” Quicksilver as a result.
That’s my theory as of the end of chapter 5, before watching chapter 6.
9/10 – Packed with lore, references, teases for the future, and surprising moment after surprising moment, this was a great episode from top to bottom.
Halloween is here! This is the episode most fans have been waiting on from the beginning, since the images of the heroes dressed up in their (low-budget versions) classic Marvel getups is one of the first things Marvel showed to promote the show. Now that it’s here, I’m happy to see they had more to do with the episode than just visual gags. This was, in fact, a tremendously important outing for the show thus far, as it set the stage for the final act and, I think, hinted at someone who either is—or might later be—a villain to watch out for.
The episode begins by diving all the way into its late-90’s/early-00’s aesthetic. This is my jam and the Malcolm in the Middle opening credits, followed by the twins breaking the fourth wall to monologue was beyond perfect. The oversaturated colors were right at home as well; Wanda’s lipstick was practically radioactive.
And let’s not ignore the claymation, attitude-fueled “Yo Magic” pudding commercial, which was straight out of my childhood. Every WandaVision commercial has meaning, relating in some way to the trauma and horrors that Wanda is wrestling with. This one is maybe the most obscure of them, as it depicts a person stranded on an island, being told he needs Yo Magic to survive, yet he dies because he can’t break the seal of the pudding container. The meaning’s right there on the edge of my brain but I can’t quite nail it.
The meat of the episode is divided into two parts. On the one hand, there’s Pietro, playing the role of “cool uncle” in the family. He simultaneously knows more than he should (he knows Vision died, when last week he didn’t even know who he was), and less than he should (how he got to Wanda’s front door, and what happened in the climax to Age of Ultron). There’s a subtle hint of antagonist to the way Peters plays the part, but I can’t tell if that’s just him in the role of “unpredictably crazy uncle in a family sitcom” or “legit villain sent into the Town by the big bad of the show to mess with Wanda.” Time will tell.
Speaking of villains, I’m getting strong “supervillain-in-the-making” vibes from Agent Hayward. He seems to have developed a vendetta against superheroes (bitterness over them losing to Thanos in Infinity War) and it just feels like the backstory to someone who might go rogue and team up with a Baron Zemo-type.
The other half of the episode revolves around Vision and his surreptitious attempts to figure out what’s going on in the Town. He makes his way to the outskirts, far from Wanda, where the people are either frozen in place or nearly, waiting for a “cue” to “perform.” In the end, Vision breaks through the town’s barrier, only to immediately begin breaking down into pieces. Wanda comes to the rescue in the most jaw-dropping moment of the episode, expanding the size of the Hex to encompass the whole surrounding area. SWORD’s mobile command center gets turned into a circus, with the Agents who couldn’t escape transforming into clowns (fitting). Darcy gets caught up too, but what happens to her we don’t see. Next week, I guess.
There are only three episodes left and it feels like we’re getting ready for the third act sprint to the finish. I can’t wait.
10/10 – Episode 6 is stuffed to the brim with meta-references, in-jokes, and more, but doesn’t forget to move the story forward as well, and in surprising ways, too.