The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest installment was released on Disney+, and despite the term “cinematic,” it’s a show. Phase Four began with the release of “WandaVision,” a miniseries consisting of nine episodes released weekly on Friday. Although there has been a lot of skepticism towards Marvel shows, the ratings have been surprisingly high, revealing an interest in its connections with the earlier films.
Directed by Matt Shackman, “WandaVision” has received a cumulative 94% for three released episodes, with the first two gaining perfect 100’s. The show casts Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettney playing Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and Vision.
“Episode One: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience.” The first episode is primarily filmed in black and white, mimicking 50’s sitcoms like the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” With no recollection of the preceding film “Avengers: Endgame,” the show opens with a musical title sequence that explains Wanda and Vision’s arrival in the small town of Westview after their marriage. The episode mainly focuses on Wanda and Vision’s adaptation into this suburb as they regularly point out their superpowers. Although the show is filled with “old” humor, I really enjoyed the not-so-subtle references to the Avengers and their superpowers. The episode’s end shows Wanda and Vision, unaware of being trapped under surveillance in a sitcom by who we can presume as the S.W.O.R.D. organization. Small details like the logo of S.W.O.R.D. and the 1950’s commercials presenting Stark Industries ToastMate 2000 make this show entertaining.
“Episode Two: Don’t Touch That Dial.” Episode two was the funniest so far; Wanda and Vision try to blend in by signing up for the town’s talent show. Everything goes haywire after Vision gets “drunk” and exposes his powers during the duo’s magic act. Wanda then quickly uses her own powers to mask the real superhuman powers occurring on the stage. I thought the old fashion comedy style made the situation funnier. Alongside a hilarious comedic routine, many Easter eggs made Marvel fans lose their mind. We saw the S.W.O.R.D. logo once more, but this time in color. When the rest of the show was in black and white, Wanda encountered not once, but twice, the color red. She also hears someone speaking to her directly on the radio. “Who’s doing this to you Wanda?” the voice states. The radio voice is the same as the actor Randall Park’s, who portrays F.B.I. agent Jimmy Woo. In addition to these intense sequences, we see another commercial but this time for “Strucker Watches” with a H.Y.D.R.A logo. Baron von Strucker was the man that created Wanda and her brother’s powers. The episode ends with a very confusing scene; Wanda instantly becomes pregnant and sees someone wearing a bee suit with a S.W.O.R.D logo where she says “no,” and time gets reversed. This could show that she controls this reality they live within.
“Episode Three: Now in Color.” At the end of episode two, after the time reversal, everything becomes colorized, and based on the set, we can assume that it’s the 1970’s, but it’s still only a few hours after the previous episode. Like all the other episodes, this one is humorous and is about Wanda’s pregnancy. Like I stated before, the comedic style exaggerates the situation, making it more entertaining. Wanda ends up delivering two boys, Tommy and Billy. In the comics, Wanda and Vision have two twin boys, Wiccan and Speed, who also possess superhuman powers. That’s where the comedy ends, and the plot becomes more intense—one of Wanda’s friends, Monica Rambeau, talks about Ultron killing her brother without ever mentioning him. This isn’t the only weird encounter; Vision speaks to his neighbors who say Monica isn’t from here and that “they are all…” His sentence is never finished, and Wanda throws Monica out of this reality into the real world town of Westview, New Jersey.
All these episodes end with cliffhangers that are never resolved, which begs the questions: Who is the villain? Where are they? And what is happening?
Needless to say, “WandaVision” is very confusing and keeps us hanging with tons of questions, but I highly recommend watching it.