WandaVision and its writers seems to have written itself into a unique corner as we are set to enter the latter half of the season. After season-best episode four and an equally impactful episode five and their major reveals, this week’s episode felt like it was missing something. Episode four had the reveal of the truth behind the Westview anomaly and gave us some extra insight into life after the Blip. This was followed by episode five which started to show us that Vision is beginning to realize that not all is well in Westview, and of course it gave us that ending with Fox’s Pietro entering into the MCU. So, while you can’t have major reveals or moments in every single episode, this week’s episode feels flat.
While I appreciate the Malcom in the Middle-esque approach, even the sitcom tropes that I have thoroughly enjoyed in earlier episodes just didn’t click. Paul Bettany tries his best to channel his inner Bryan Cranston, but it just feels forced and disconnected. Billy and Timmy, along with uncle Pietro, are type casted into the shenanigans that you would expect from normal ten-year olds that even with a superpowered twist comes off as unoriginal. Even the conflict between Director Hayward and the trio of Agent Woo, Agent Rambeu, and Dr. Darcy accomplishes nothing. Hayward’s portrayal as a hard-assed boss comes across as almost uncomfortable to watch when you have an entire universe known for compelling villains and backstories.
For the first time I found myself checking to see how much longer the episode had left until it was finished. The first twenty or so minutes is almost complete filler with things finally picking up in the final act. And of course, just as it was starting to get good, we roll to the end credits and we have to wait another week to see what happens.
Even though, as a whole, this episode didn’t do much to wet my palate as a viewer, it did do some things right that I did enjoy.
First and foremost, I absolutely loved the usage of the vintage Scarlet Witch, Vision and Quicksilver costumes straight from the comic books. When I picture those three characters in my head, that is exactly how I picture them. In fact, I’m fairly sure I had toys with those exact costume designs when I was a kid. WandaVision is the perfect platform to use old character designs and I need more of that in my life.
Even though this episode is pretty much a plot rehash as we start entering into the final few episodes of the season, it did also remind us what this show is really about as a whole- Wanda is going through a tragic life event and while the many, many Easter eggs are nice, the exploration of grief, loss and how it can affect people is what we keep coming back from. While Wanda is putting all her energy into dealing with and forgetting about those emotions, we see Vision on the other side of the coin trying to piece his own story back together. He doesn’t even remember he was an Avenger and in a conversation with Agnus, discovers he is actually dead. Dead or not, he knows he wants to help people and you can see the internal struggle he is facing — wanting to help the townsfolk of Westview, but not wanting to go against his loving wife.
With the events of this episode, I still think that Wanda is mostly in control of what is happening in Westview, but like I said last week, there are some hints and comments that are being made that are making me question if she isn’t doing this with the help of some outside force. I’m willing to bet that we still haven’t seen everything that Wanda is capable of and I’m really hoping we are building to a Wanda/Vision square off here.
Another positive that this episode has going for it is the further development of Billy and Tommy as characters. Comic book fans had to have let out a scream of excitement when the twins’ powers started to manifest. I’m hoping there is enough narrative in the final few episodes of the series to explore more of the twins’ powers and origins and how it can affect life in Westview. It was quite sad, however, seeing Billy’s powers get traumatized to life when he hears his dad’s screams of agony calling for help.
Luckily, for a lack of better terms, it’s a good thing that his powers did manifest right then and there, as Wanda is able to exponentially expand the Hex to protect Vision. In the process transforming everything around it to fit Wanda’s version of Westview, turning the SWORD base into a circus and its agents into clowns in what I’m sure is just a coincidental accident. The real cliffhanger here is that Dr. Darcy also gets sucked into Westview which will definitely be bringing me back next week.
With only three episodes left to go, there are plenty of loose ends that need to be tied up. However, I have no doubt that Marvel will expertly achieve the big blow off that we are expecting as fans, it just sucks we have to wait.
If you’re interested in watching WandaVision, new episodes air every Friday on Disney+.
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