For the viewers that may have been worried that the momentum from last week’s episode of WandaVision would not continue into future episodes, rest assured, that is not the case here. It seems that it would almost be impossible to follow “We Interrupt This Program”, but this midseason episode manages to do just that.
While last week’s episode diverged almost entirely away from the sitcom heavy format that we saw for the first three episodes, the opening credits of “On a Very Special Episode” suggest that we might be revisiting that format as we are immediately transported back to the 1980s. However, once SWORD reenters the scene, we get what I am assuming will be how the next few episodes will more than likely be moving forward.
The sitcom experiment might be in essence over, but we are getting a real look at the conflicting realities of Wanda’s ideal world and the world of the MCU surrounding the “Hex”. Not only are we seeing SWORD trying to figure out and take down the “Maximoff Anomaly”, but we are seeing the power struggle between Monica Rambeau and SWORD Director Hayward who has officially taken over the title of “villain” of the series for me thus far.
The on-screen chemistry between Detective Jimmy Woo and Dr. Darcy Dennings is only magnified with the addition of Monica Rambeau as they are the obvious outsiders of SWORD. They play off each other perfectly and Dennings offers fans just enough nerdy references and fan theorizing quips which just makes us love her even more. It’s thanks to Darcy that the Westview anomaly is known as the “Hex”, which is a clear reference to Wanda’s hex magic she is known for in the comics.
The stories introduced over the past few episodes work so well when mixed together. The sitcom fantasy works even better when paired up with the SWORD agents trying to connect with a distraught Wanda. In fact, it is this interaction that provides one of the tensest moments of the series to date when Director Hayward attempts to shoot Wanda on sight. It is here that we get another important question answered, revolving around Wanda’s (arguably misguided) intentions. Yes, she has an entire town with thousands of people held hostage, but this is her home and nobody will take it from her.
Episode five also starts to reveal more into the backstory of the relationship between the two titular characters and the townsfolk living in Westview. It is now apparent that the supporting cast, like Agnes and Vision’s coworker Norm, are more aware of what is going on than we initially thought. In one of the first scenes of the episode, Agnes timidly asks Wanda if she would like her to redo the scene due to Vision going off script.
And off script Vision goes and even more credit needs to be given to Paul Bettany who continues to put out great performance after great performance. Bettany expertly acts out Vision slowly starting to come to the realization of what Wanda is really doing behind the scenes. In fact, we learn in a heart wrenching moment that Vision has no previous memory of what happened before appearing in Westview.
Vision’s revelation about his past sparks even more questions relating to the relationship and the great lengths that Wanda went to reunite them, like breaking into SWORD Headquarters and stealing Vision’s very dead corpse. With Vision slowly beginning to uncover Wanda’s plans, the tension between the two is starting to become paramount. It is compelling television at its best.
Credit also has to be given to Elizabeth Olsen who also acts the hell out her character this episode. She effortlessly shows off her range as an actress going between loving sitcom mom of two ten-year-old boys (yes, you read that right) to a psychotic hex magic hurling mutant in seconds. She also brings back her accent from her Age of Ultron days, something that I almost didn’t realize I was missing till I heard it.
Even though I still think that Wanda is mostly in control of what is happening in Westview, there are some things that are starting to make me question if there really isn’t someone else pulling the puppet strings. It has been rumored for months that Evan Peters would be joining WandaVision and it turns out those rumors were in fact true.
Ending with the biggest cliffhanger to date, moments after Wanda and Vision had one extreme heated moment, their doorbell rings. Wanda, swearing that it’s not her doing, answers the door and voila, Peters arrives as Wanda’s long deceased brother Pietro. Once again, in a legit laugh out loud moment, Darcy delivers what will become I’m sure a meme-worthy line: “She recast Pietro?!”.
No matter how Pietro came to be, it seems to me that Disney may have finally crossed the MCU with their recently acquired Fox titles. If the X-Men are going to officially enter the MCU, we as fans are going to be in for hell of a treat. It just sucks we have to wait another week before we can get any sort of pay off from the last moments of this episode.
New episodes of WandaVision air Fridays on Disney+.
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