Hello all, and welcome to your weekly recap of whatever wildness occurred on the latest episode of WandaVision. These are meant to be read after watching, so they will go deep into spoiler territory. You have been warned!
Last Time on WandaVision…
Last week’s episode ended with the arrival of twins. It would have been cute were it not for the fearful behavior of Wanda and Vision’s neighbors, Wanda’s temporal manipulation of Vision, and the sudden expulsion of Geraldine. Also don’t forget there’s a stork just walking around this house now. Those things can take an eye out.
In any case, we left episode three in a strange place. Wanda and Vision’s family has grown and their bliss is palpable. But the sense that this bliss is a sad fiction could not be stronger. Meanwhile, Geraldine’s exit from the television world means an entrance in ours, which should bring with it some much-needed answers.
We Interrupt This Program
I spent all week pondering how WandaVision would keep its central format going for six more episodes, given the rapid crumbling of the world around Wanda and Vision. It turns out, I didn’t need to think about it all that hard as Marvel breaks the whole thing open here in episode four. I suppose it makes sense. This is Marvel, one of the biggest entertainment entities out there. They’re not going to spend a show’s entire season steeped in surreal mystery. Eventually, this has to be a show understood and enjoyed by the whole family. I’m fine with that, but I have to say, the nature of those first three episodes was fun while it lasted.
So instead of another episode based around a sitcom, “We Interrupt this Program” literally interrupts the program and gives us an episode set in the real world. It starts off pretty explosive as we watch Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau re-materialize thanks to the Avengers undoing the “blip,” as seen in Avengers: Endgame. She learns of the five years that have passed and that two years into them, her mother died of cancer. We do not learn if Captain Marvel attended the funeral. But she must have, right?
We do learn that Maria Rambeau founded the government agency SWORD and Captain Monica Rambeau works there as well. Upon reporting for duty after five years away, she’s given a missing persons case. Actually, a SWORD drone is given a mission persons case and Monica is more just a drone delivery person. It turns out life is tough for astronauts in a post-Thanos world.
So Monica travels to Westview, New Jersey and meets up with Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo, who has gotten much better at magic since Ant-Man and The Wasp. We learn that the locals don’t think Westview exists, and when Maria tries to enter it, the forcefield around the town sucks her in and she, well, becomes a television character.
In response, SWORD sections off the area and gets to work figuring out just what weirdness is going on. This includes inviting everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis from the Thor films. She realizes you can actually watch what’s happening in Westview if you have an old enough television.
Most shows based on a central mystery make you wait to reveal its mysterious breadcrumbs. WandaVision’s fourth episode gives them all to you one-by-one since it basically recaps the first three episodes from a “real world” perspective. That colorful drone Wanda finds? It was Maria’s. The bee guy? Just a SWORD dude trying to infiltrate Westview. The cast of WandaVision? Actual missing persons. The scary voice trying to reach Wanda through the radio? That was Woo. The mysterious lady watching WandaVision? That was Darcy.
So, while I am sure a ton of weirdness is on the way (perhaps a more overt, bigger weirdness now that everything is on the table), much of WandaVision’s hazier edges have been made solid and literal. Same with the notion that this is all Wanda’s construct. Or that (in a truly scary moment of robot gore) Vision remains dead.
What’s On Next?
That’s really the question, isn’t it? I assume we return to the old format next week, but now with more obvious breaks in the construct that Wanda will have to battle. Remember, the next episode marks only the halfway point of this journey. If you’re feeling disappointed by all the answers, consider all the directions this could still go now that so much has already been revealed. This series still has a lot of things to do. And we have a family to watch, which is just going to heighten the sadness of this already melancholy show.
If you’ll indulge me, I do have a brief WandaVision theory. It goes like this: while I enjoy Randall Park in his Ant-Man role and Kat Dennings in her Thor appearances, I found both difficult to enjoy here. Their performances seemed less natural than normal and Dennings’ super-genius contributions felt out of character. Which leads me to wonder if this SWORD stuff is not just the final episode of television being skewered by WandaVision – its take on the 2020s. Or it could just be that these actors are just better in their respective films. It’s possible that looking for mystery has me finding some where none actually exists. Nevertheless, it’s something to consider moving forward.
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