Welcome to the 1980s. After last week’s revelations about what’s really going on inside (and outside) WandaVision, this week’s episode briefly takes us back into the crazy world of Wanda’s sitcom mind – now reimagined as something that looks like The Wonder Years and Growing Pains.
Things must be getting even more meta now for series director Matt Shankman who started out as a child star on Growing Pains spin-off sitcom Just The Ten Of Us – but it does mean that the period detail is even more faultless as we head into big hair and denim waistcoat territory.
It also means WandaVision gets some child stars of its own – as the twins insta-age into five-year-olds to give their parents a break from looking after two crying babies, before skipping forward another five years so they’re old enough to look after a dog.
Wanda and Viz (as he’s now called) are only allowed to enjoy their new family for a few minutes before the anomaly starts glitching again – first when Agnes interrupts the script and starts talking to Wanda like she’s the director, and then when the advent of email makes Vision’s office start picking up messages from the real world. Vision senses something is really wrong when he wakes up one of his co-workers from their dream state and they start screaming (“You have to stop her, she’s in my head! It hurts so much!”)
As much as Wanda’s world is a personal tragedy, we also have to remember that she’s brainwashed an entire town to make it happen – holding thousands of people hostage inside their own heads. Outside ‘The Hex’ (as science whizz Darcy keeps wanting everyone to call it), Monica and Jimmy are still trying to figure out what’s going on. We now know that Wanda stole Vision’s dead corpse from the S.W.O.R.D. headquarters, and that she has the ability to rewrite reality to fit the rules of whatever time period she’s currently living through (hence Monica’s bulletproof flares in the ’70s episode).
Knowing this, S.W.O.R.D. sends in an ’80s era drone and hopes that Wanda won’t notice – which she obviously does. Dragging the broken machine out by herself to face S.W.O.R.D. for the first time, Wanda just wants everyone to leave her (and her thousand-odd brainwashed actor slaves) alone.
Even if Wanda knows exactly what’s going on, Vision still has no clue. As the couple argue/fly around the living room, we find out Vision doesn’t know he’s dead. He has no memory of his life before Westfield and Wanda has only filled his mind with enough information to make a good sitcom character.
Just as we start grasping the sadness of all this, WandaVision unveils its biggest surprise yet – a mystery ring at the doorbell (which Wanda didn’t control) reveals… her dead brother, Pietro, now recast as a comedy sidekick. More importantly though, Pietro has been recast in real life as Evan Peters (who played Pietro/Quicksilver in the X-Men movies), replacing Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who played him in the MCU).
For anyone who isn’t keeping up to speed with Disney’s boardroom reshuffles, this is the first time that a character from the Fox-owned X-Men series has made their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, throwing up all kinds of questions about what this means for future crossovers, backstory filling and, eventually, for bringing the X-Men into the same world as the Avengers. Exciting stuff…
- This week’s in-episode advert is for “Lagos” paper towels: “For when you make a mess you didn’t mean to”. In the MCU, the “Lagos catastrophe” is the name for the attack on the IFID (Institute for Infectious Diseases) headquarters in Captain America: Civil War that eventually created the rift between the Avengers.
- Did Agnes kill Sparky? (That rustling in the bushes looked pretty suspicious) And if so, was she trying to get Wanda to come to terms with death before she attempts to confront her about Vision? More importantly, is she trying to get Wanda to come to terms with Death the person, as in Mephisto, the new big-bad that Agnes (or Agatha…) seems to keep hinting at?
- Watch the (great) opening credits to spot a holiday snap of Wanda in a war-torn Sokovia.
- That joke about Wanda not having a “weird nickname” is a reference to the fact that she’s never named as Scarlet Witch in the MCU, just the comics