WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Fun fact about yours truly: I am a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I really like how they took the serialized format of comic books and applied that to the big screen. Marvel Studios didn’t create the concept of a cinematic universe nor were they the first to make the attempt, but they are the most successful at it so far where other film studios are attempting the same thing. But where Marvel succeeds over the others is that they spend time developing characters that audiences care for and want to see their development. So a big payoff like Avengers: Endgame hits so much harder when certain character arcs come to a conclusion and you get a theater experience unlike any other (seriously, there’s not many movies that can turn a theater into a sports stadium like that final battle). Now, Marvel has begun Phase 4 with their most ambitious plans since the Infinity Saga. Not only are they working on more movies, but they’re also doing more television series. They have done this before with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which did this a few times before becoming its own thing in the long run, and the Netflix shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Punisher, which only had a few references here and there. This time around, the new shows will have more affect on the universe and they will be airing on Disney+. The first of these shows was supposed to have been released last year, but then CO-VID happened and set everything back (it’s why Black Widow kept getting pushed back). Now, it’s here. So what do I think of WandaVision?
To give a brief description, I think it’s good. It’s definitely something different for Marvel Studios in terms of the type of story being told and what it means for the MCU going forward. We follow Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) living in the New Jersey town of Westview with Vision (Paul Bettany) as they try to live the perfect suburban life, but not everything is what it seems. The series is a love letter to American sitcoms of the past with each episode paying homage to shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Full House, Malcolm In The Middle, Modern Family, etc. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really into the first two episodes, which were homages to 50s and 60s sitcoms that featured romanticized traditional gender roles. Like most people, I have a three-episode rule when it comes to watching shows. If I’m not at least interested in what’s going on by the third episode, then that’s when I stop watching. Fortunately for WandaVision, I was intrigued by the time the third episode arrived and I wanted more. I appreciate the attention to detail that the show-runners put into the episodes when it comes to recreating the time period each sitcom scenario portrays, from the difference in aspect ratio to the color filters and even the style of humor utilized. I thought that was pretty dope, though I can understand some people not being into the sitcom stuff.
What’s my favorite episode? Well, there’s a few that stood out to me the most out of the nine. One of them is the fourth episode “We Interrupt This Program” which takes place in the real world as we follow Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who was brought back to life in the Blip along with half of the universe that was snapped away by Thanos. The way they showed people being brought back to life is very chaotic and I appreciate that because that’s what would happen in real life. We learn that Monica is an agent of S.W.O.R.D., which is basically the new S.H.I.E.L.D., and that in the time she was snapped away, her mother Maria died of cancer. This episode also marks the returns of FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) from Ant-Man And The Wasp and astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from the Thor movies, as our dynamic trio investigates the phenomenon surrounding Wanda and Westview, acting as audience surrogates. This show took two characters I didn’t think much about and made me like them more. I really like Monica and I expect to see great things from her going forward since she’s one of the most powerful superheroes in the comics. The other episode that I liked was the eighth episode “Previously On,” which further explores Wanda’s backstory and everything she’s went through. We learn why she went with the sitcom format, because when she was a child, her family in Sokovia would watch American sitcoms to distract themselves from the ongoing destruction and chaos going on outside. This episode has one of Elizabeth Olson’s best performances as her character relives the trauma she’s been through and she nails the emotion. Hell, I nearly choked up watching. This woman has been through a lot: losing her parents, her brother, watching the man she loves die twice. I also liked the twist in the seventh episode (titled “Breaking The Fourth Wall”) where it’s revealed that Wanda’s “nosy neighbor” Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is actually Agatha Harkness and that she was pulling the strings of a lot of weird shit going on in Westview, all told through song like a great Disney villain.
WandaVision is a show steeped in mystery, which sparked fan theories for weeks on end. It was more than just a TV show, this was an event at the same level as the other big Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. A lot of fan theories revolve around several things: the Multiverse, Wanda’s brother Pietro (aka Quicksilver), X-Men, Fantastic Four, Mephisto, etc. At the end of the fifth episode “On A Very Special Episode…,” “Pietro” (Evan Peters) appears to the surprise of everyone. This is noteworthy because Evan Peters played Quicksilver in Fox’s X-Men movies and with Disney’s acquisition of the studio, Marvel now owns the rights to these characters, plus Deadpool and Fantastic Four, and can now use them for their movies. There’s theories that this is how mutants will be introduced to the MCU through Wanda via House Of M, a comic storyline where Wanda suffers a severe mental breakdown that causes her to alter reality to the point where mutants rule the world. Well, most of those theories didn’t come to fruition in the last episode “The Series Finale,” where we get a fight between Wanda and Agatha, a physical fight/philosophical discussion between White Vision and Colored Vision (which inspired all sorts of great memes from Black Twitter along with an image of Vision in a turtleneck deemed ViShawn), S.W.O.R.D. fucking shit up like an asshole government agency would, and Wanda truly becoming the Scarlet Witch, red tiara and all. A lot of people were disappointed with this finale for many reasons. Some of them are legit like the “Pietro” reveal, which was all set up for a boner joke. Yeah, I didn’t like that twist as much as anyone else, but I understood why they didn’t make him Pietro because it would raise so many questions. Still wasn’t good, though. But I have a bigger issue with people who complained that the show didn’t validate their theories about the Multiverse or mutants or any of that. Guys, the show is called WandaVision. It’s about Wanda going through the stages of grief and coming to terms with what she lost. Teasers for upcoming movies are secondary to this plot. It’s fine if you were disappointed with the finale, but look at the show for what it is and not what you want it to be. Just a suggestion.
Overall, I really enjoyed WandaVision and I think it works as an experiment for Marvel Studios. Great performances, writing, movie-level visuals and special effects, the whole nine yards. I don’t expect there to be a second season because I feel like this type of story can only work once. If all of Marvel’s other shows are at this level of quality or higher, then I’m hyped for what’s to come and how it’ll affect the larger universe. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is coming out next week and I’m looking forward to it. What did you think of WandaVision? Comment below and let me know. Also, be sure to like and subscribe for more content.