WandaVision: We Interrupt This Program

"Already in progress."

(This review includes spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.)

After three episodes of sitcom hijinks, we finally return to the MCU proper, and wow, what a return.

From the first second of this episode we were thrown into something we haven’t really seen much: the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. There were some references to the unsnappening in Spider-man: Far From Home, but it was done in the movie more as comic relief. This is more like what I imagined would happen, chaos and pain and loss.

We are introduced to Monica Rambeau literally materializing back into existence after five years, and find out that her mother had died from cancer years ago.

It is kind of upsetting that we are told of Maria Rambeau’s death off screen. We never got any closure between Maria and Carol, and barely any mourning from Monica (which I hope is resolved in Captain Marvel 2).

I liked Monica immediately, but of course she was on screen all of five minutes before she was pulled into Westview. Although I imagine she’ll be important to this series and the MCU as a whole (she’s an important hero in the comics) going forward, though.

Monica is established as an astronaut in the Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division, or S.W.O.R.D. (oh no, another long acronym). She’s a Captain like Carol and her mother Maria, a pilot and clearly a confidant badass (she ran into a guy in the hospital and knocked him over unintentionally). Perhaps she has superstrength?

Monica briefly teams up with Jimmy Woo who was the FBI antagonist (although more comic relief) in Ant-man and the Wasp to investigate a missing person which was not really explained but may be important later. Jimmy is fun, slightly more competent than expected, and has good chemistry with both Monica and Darcy. I don't know what his role will be beyond the token FBI agent, but that's probably fine. He may get some heavy stuff later on.



We are then reintroduced to Darcy who was last seen in Thor: The Dark World, which took place in 2013 (around when it was actually released). It has been at least five years for Darcy since then (she hinted that she may have been a victim of the snap) and ten since the events of that movie (post Endgame is slightly in the future around 2023). And in that time she has gotten her doctorate in Astrophysics, apparently Jane Foster’s influence rubbed off on her quite a bit. She almost immediately finds the signal being broadcast from Wanda’s bubble, and while we don’t have a real explanation for what is going on, it looks like Wanda is at least partially responsible for it.

Things from that point fill in the story outside of the TV bubble, where we see the colorized little toy helicopter is actually a drone, and the beekeeper is some poor random S.W.O.R.D. agent that tried to crawl under the town. One interesting little detail is the object permanence that occurred when the Beekeeper’s tether crossed the bubble threshold and turned into one of those old fashioned plastic linked jump ropes, that when it was pulled back into the real world stayed partially a jump rope. Lastly Jimmy was the voice we heard over the radio in episode two.

All that stuff was interesting and helped define the world, but we finally got a major answer at the end when we saw how Monica was thrown out of the bubble. Wanda literally tossed her out in a violent manner by pushing her through a wall and out of her safe little world, magically sealing up the damage and letting her sitcom fa├žade take back over, with one small slip. That really is Vision, only he hasn’t been fixed. He’s reanimated in some way. Perhaps he is just a walking doll, a reflection of himself from Wanda’s memories. Or maybe she has fixed him to a degree, bringing him back online without the stone. Either way, there is going to be fallout there, eventually.

WandaVision wasn't intended to be the first MCU entry after Avengers: Endgame. Which is honestly a bit surprising given the series so far has been such a unique and interesting journey and a fascinating starting point for the MCU Phase 4. While I don't know what's coming in this story, both Wanda and Vision are broken (Vision quite literally so), and it is possible this will end with them both healing and moving on... but I don't think that's in the cards. Some are speculating that Wanda will be a villain after this series, but I'm not so sure of that outcome either. Either way I am excited to keep learning more, delving deeper into the mystery surrounding Wanda's bubble. Because I don't think it is quite as simple as Wanda is controlling everything.

Comic Book Bits:

S.W.O.R.D. is another Marvel comic institution and likely the new version of S.H.I.E.L.D. that will give us some institutional structure moving forward without Tony Stark and his money. It is a relatively new organization in the Comics universe, introduced in 2004. The astronaut aspect of S.W.O.R.D. may be a reference to the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, and at least one X-Men has been an agent with S.W.O.R.D. and there was even a five issue series based around the organization.

Bits:

There was a picture of Maria Rambeau in S.W.O.R.D. headquarters.

Speaking of S.W.O.R.D. headquarters, it was pretty nice looking, and I bet we’ll see a lot of it in the next few shows/movies.

The woman’s arm teased in the first episode was revealed to be Darcy.

The small rewinds and glitches in the first few episodes appear to be edited out of the content streamed outside the bubble.

Jimmy had a lovely sight gag showing that Scott did inspire Jimmy to learn hand magic after all.

Like all the episodes so far, it was too short. But it was also kind of amazing how much they fit into just over thirty minutes.

4 out of 4 Reintroduced Characters from the MCU

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

8 comments:

Valkyrie30 said...

Great review!! I don’t know much about the Marvel universe other than what’s shown in the MCU movies, so this was all very fascinating.

Wanda does appear darker to me in this show, but then again she’s lost a lot. Seeing Vision like that was startling. I thought it was interesting that they made a point to linger on Wanda’s face when it was full of anger.

Loved seeing Monica and Darcy. Thanks for the wonderful review!

Billie Doux said...

I've seen nearly all of the MCU movies, but honestly didn't track who these characters are -- so thanks, J.D. Wanda does seem villainous to me.

sunbunny said...

I didn't like this episode at all (I mean, I did, but more importantly I Did Not). It was a rude reminder of the realities of the MCU. I'd been so caught up in retro sitcom fun it hadn't really occurred to me that the season is going to end with Vision dead and Wanda...what's going to happen to Wanda? Will she become a big bad and get her own movie, wreaking havoc, killing thousands, only to, at the very last minute, realize what she has become and destroy herself because she is the only one powerful enough to do it? I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE EPISODE WITH THE MAGIC SHOW AND THE BUNNY.

Eagle eyed Mark caught that the only two citizens of Westview that weren't on Jimmy's board were Agnes and Dottie, one of them I'm guessing is Jimmy's witness. I think it's Agnes because she hasn't glitched once and it would make sense for someone in witness protection to be used to playing someone else. Whether this is relevant, we have yet to see.

I CANNOT BELIEVE they killed off Maria like that, offscreen in a spin off TV show. Poor Carol. I know I have more to say but I can't think of it right now. I'll probably be back later. :)

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

I binged the current 4 episodes in 2 days, since I was starting to get hints that all the speculation of what was going on was part of the fun and I'd probably get spoiled if I waited any longer.

So good to see Darcy again! I didn't remember that Randall Parks played the annoying FBI agent in Ant-Man, thanks for pointing that out - I'd wondered what the sleight of hand with the business card was for. I did look up the IMDb for Geraldine after reading the last review, but it wasn't too much of a spoiler since you find out that she is Monica as soon as this episode starts. (And I've only seen Captain Marvel once, so I might not have recognized the name.)

It was a bit of a shock, seeing Vision "dead" like that. And creepy to realize most of the people in the town are likely being held captive against their will. Still the object permanence (also including Monica's 70s clothes) and the fact that she seemed to be unhurt gives some hope for a happy ending. I wonder what happened to the agent in the beekeeper suit?

sunbunny said...

I'm back and I also wonder what happened to the beekeeper in the suit. I was just reading JD's review of Wonder Woman 1984, which I finally watched last week and it got me thinking about the MCU and how wildly successful it's been. The fact that I'm watching this show, that I care about Wanda and Vision, which, historically, I have not cared about is a tribute to the MCU's showrunning (I'm calling it showrunning because the MCU is basically one long TV series made up of movies and shows). I've never read a comic book in my life but I know and care about these characters now, you know? I've seen at least a few episodes of every MCU TV series (minus Cloak and Dagger which I never got around to...). I never did midnight showings but I'll show up to an Avengers movie at 8 am on a Friday. The fact they threw the comic relief FBI agent from Ant Man and the Wasp into this show and had him do a magic trick which was like a reference to a running bit in the movie? I mean...we have Wanda and Vision from Age of Ultron, Monica from Captain Marvel, Jimmy from the aforementioned Ant Man and the Wasp, and Darcy from the first two Thors and...it just all works together? Fans know these characters and care about them and...yeah I'm just in awe of the MCU. Yes, it's inspired by the corporate greed of an animated mouse, but it's still impressive.

Josie Kafka said...

Sarcastic voice: Well, thanks, you guys. Just thanks a lot. Thanks to your excellent reviews and love for this series, I resubscribed to Disney+.

Regular voice: OMG this show is so much better than I expected!

Mikey Heinrich said...

Sunbunny - Cloak and Dagger is totally worth your time!

Valkyrie30 said...

Josie, Disney+ is totally worth it! :)

I think I’m going to subscribe to Netflix just for Bridgerton and The Witcher haha