“You didn’t think you were the only magical girl in town, did you?” No one who’s been picking up the clues in WandaVision thought its central character was alone in the series, but this week’s episode ends with at least three super-powered, reality-shifting women duking it out in the battle for Westview.
More importantly, the fantasy is starting to catch up with reality inside the Hex, as the sitcom world makes it the ’00s with a Modern Family meets The Office mockumentary episode that sees Wanda talking directly to camera.
“Look we’ve all been there, right, letting our anger get the better of us,” shrugs Wanda, “intentionally expanding the boundaries of the false world we created…” Last week, we saw her push out the walls of the Hex to suck Darcy, dead Vision and the entire S.W.O.R.D. team inside, and now we pick up their story as a zany traveling circus on the outskirts of town.
Darcy wakes up as a ’00s escapologist before Vision breaks the spell, and the two hijack an ice cream van and spend the rest of the episode slowly driving through the rain, waiting at red lights, and looking like they’re in an indie comedy that never goes anywhere. It’s a weird diversion from everything else that’s going on (and a slightly too convenient device to keep them from accelerating the main storyline), but it does give us one of the MCU’s most low-fi and surreal segments – including Vision flashing plenty of Jim Halpert looks over the steering wheel.
Back in Wanda’s world, the matrix is starting to glitch. Objects and decorations in the house are skipping through time – cycling through all the different versions that we’ve seen them in (and giving us a chance to remember just how incredible the production design on WandaVision really is). “It’s probably just a case of the Mondays, right?” says Wanda, silently crying into a bowl of cereal as her world starts collapsing. This has always been an emotional show, but things are starting to get properly upsetting as Wanda comes to terms with her grief – something made powerfully real by Elizabeth Olsen’s moving performance.
Outside the Hex, things are getting even more fraught. Hayward is angrier than ever, increasingly determined to take Westview back by force with whatever troops he has left, while Monica and Jimmy start desperately looking for another way in. After failing to charge the walls with an armoured space rover (that gets spectacularly half de-aged and spat back out), Monica decides to push her way in by force.
We already know that Monica has had her biology messed up by crossing in and out of the hex so many times, but her push through the thicker wall now does something even more powerful to her genes – giving her glowing eyes, a blue crackle, and the ability to land with her fist on the floor like an Avenger. Fans of the comics will know that Monica Rambeau is later introduced as the second Captain Marvel, which makes this transformation pretty exciting stuff for the future of the MCU, even if she does still have a long way to go before she can match Wanda’s power.
Or Agnes’, for that matter. After seven episodes of not-so-cryptic teasing, Wanda’s neighbour finally reveals her true identity – that of witch queen Agatha Harkness, the true mastermind of whatever’s going on in Westview. Luring Wanda down into her creepy witch basement, Agatha ends the episode with a maniacal laugh and a great Munsters montage that reminds us of all the things she’s been doing in the background throughout the series.
Despite all the kookiness, we don’t know yet whose side Agatha is really on. Has she been trying to help Wanda, or is she really as bad as she seems? And what about her links in the comics (and subtle nods in the show) to Mephisto, the rumoured next big bad for the MCU? Either way, as the end credits tell us in song, “It’s been Agatha all along…”
- WandaVision episode 7’s ad break goes to Nexus anti-depressants “because the world doesn’t revolve around you… or does it?” – a reference to the cross-dimensional gateway between all the realities of the Marvel-verse, and a likely signpost for wherever WandaVision is going to intersect with Doctor Strange in upcoming sequel The Multiverse Of Madness.
- The licence plate shown during the Office-style opening shows the number 122822 – which is S.H.I.E.L.D.’s designation for the planetary event known as “The Pulse” in the video game universe featuring Reed Richards – another potentially cryptic nod to how the Fantastic Four might make an appearance in the MCU.
- Agatha’s mysterious witch book might well be The Darkhold – an ancient evil spell manual created in the Dark Dimension which has already made an appearance in recently-ended TV series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Look out for the Easter egg that trolls people looking for Easter eggs in the cut-out “N” of the words “we know what u are doing” during the credits – zoom in closely and you’ll see a URL, written backwards: “www.lol.com”