With the veil finally dropping last week and offering viewers a better idea as to what is going on in the first Marvel Cinematic Universe series on Disney+, WandaVision has returned for its fifth episode and things are only getting more exciting!
Clues: The World is Breaking Faster, Wanda Broke Vision’s Will and The Wall Between Franchises are Breaking
The episode doesn’t take long to get into its reality-bending nature as shortly after her arrival and offer to help care for the twins, Vision’s standoffish and self-aware nature throws her off and she fearfully asks Wanda if she wants to take the scene from the top, showing an awareness of Wanda’s control of the world and her role in the series.
Celebrating a brief moment of respite from the twins’ crying, Wanda and Vision turn to discover that they have suddenly aged up to the age of five, which Agnes has witnessed but shows no real shock towards.
The story cuts out of the sitcom and to the real world, where Monica Rambeau is getting tests run on her following her launch out of the anomaly. In describing her feelings while in the field, she confirms Wanda was in her head pushing down her primary personality but that the main sense she felt was grief coming from the Avenger. To top it off, the x-rays taken of Monica show up blank, raising questions of what the anomaly might have done to her.
During the new briefing of the S.W.O.R.D. and FBI personnel on the situation, Director Hayward reveals previously-confidential footage showing Wanda invading the agency’s headquarters and taking Vision’s corpse to revive, breaking an article of the Sokovia Accords as well as Vision’s own living will stating that he didn’t want to be used as a weapon following his death.
Jumping back into sitcom land, Vision continues to show signs of a self awareness regarding the false reality, noting how helpful-neighbor Agnes always shows up at the convenient time with an item they could use for whatever pickle they’re in, in this case a dog house for the newly-found puppy. In addition, the twins show they have control over their aging powers as they advance themselves to the age of 10 when the titular heroes say the kids can have a pet once at that age.
In looking for a way to get back into the anomaly safely without coming under Wanda’s control, Darcy notes she has dubbed it The Hex after its hexagonal shape, however the shortened name could certainly point towards something or someone. She also makes mention of seeing about getting Captain Marvel involved in the situation, to which Monica shows an odd disinterest in. Monica also comes to the realization that anything that goes in is re-written by Wanda to fit the reality of whatever sitcom it’s in as she entered The Hex with a kevlar bulletproof vest on and came out with ’70s-era clothes that were made up of 87% kevlar.
Taking this into account, the agencies decide to send in an ’80s-era drone to keep it normalized and be able to see what’s going on and are able to find Wanda and the twins. As her eyes glow red and they’re about to lose sight, Hayward calls for a separate pilot to take the shot on Wanda, confusing and angering Monica. An alarm suddenly sounds for a breach in The Hex and as everyone heads outside, Wanda suddenly exits in her normal red outfit and throws the drone back at the agents, warning not to interfere with her and the town as she has everything she wants and will react violently if someone tries to interfere, using her powers to briefly control a handful of soldiers to turn their weapons at Hayward while she heads back in. As she heads back inside, The Hex slowly becomes bright red.
Back in the sitcom, Vision is introducing his workplace to the wonders of computers and how they can help both their normal lives and work environment, but while loading up the system, he finds an email from S.W.O.R.D. to headquarters regarding Darcy’s finding about The Hex, to which everyone in the office mysteriously reads it together in sync, even as Norm is the only one looking at the screen. Concerned about the situation, Vision decides to use his powers to try and break into Norm’s mind, who suddenly shifts to a very fearful person wondering how many days he’s been trapped in the world and mentioning a need to call his sister regarding their sick dad, to which Vision returns him back to the complacent office worker.
The episode is interrupted by a commercial for a paper towel with the brand name Lagos, whose catchphrase is “For when you make a mess you didn’t mean to.” Mentioned earlier in the episode, Lagos is the Nigerian city in which Wanda, trying to save the lives of civilians from Crossbones’ suicide bomb, accidentally caused the deaths of many people including 11 relief workers from Wakanda in a nearby building, acting as one of the catalyst events for Captain America: Civil War.
After Agnes delivers the sad news that the dog has died and Wanda gives a hypocritical talk to the twins that she can’t reverse death, Vision decides to confront Wanda regarding the false world they’re living in and his learning of Norm’s real persona and inability to remember his own past. Though she tries to have credits roll and end the argument, Vision interrupts them and demands they talk about the situation. While Wanda’s argument seems to imply she’s not controlling every facet of Westview, they are suddenly interrupted by an unexpected arrival. As alarms sound in the real world and people scramble to run towards The Hex for an unknown manner, Darcy catches Wanda’s surprise and watches as Pietro Maximoff arrives on the doorstep, though instead of Aaron Taylor-Johnson it is revealed as Evan Peters, to which Darcy comments on the recasting.
Takeaways: Wanda Is In Control (But Doesn’t Know How), Semi-Recasting is Possible and S.W.O.R.D. Isn’t Entirely Friendly
The biggest takeaway from this episode is that Wanda is definitely in control of the false world to a large degree, however her tearful argument with Vision near the episode’s end seems to also confirm that there may be an external force driving Wanda’s grief into controlling the alternate reality and into reviving Vision. Another major takeaway from the episode is that, despite being founded by Marie Rambeau, S.W.O.R.D. may have some very evil motives as Hayward is quick to want to shoot Wanda when given the chance and is the only one she has the soldiers target when confronting the group outside of The Hex, as well as mentioning that Vision’s living will stipulated he not be used as a weapon, though his corpse is being kept in a lab surrounded by technicians. The twins are also showing a larger grip on their powers as they show the ability to advance their age at will. Arguably the other most important takeaway is that the wall between Fox’s X-Men franchise and the MCU are finally breaking as the return of twin Pietro Maximoff has been one of the most-predicted elements of the series’ story, though the recasting of the former’s Evan Peters in the role does point towards what fans can expect in the coming weeks.
Predictions: The Devil’s Right Around the Corner, The Mutants Are Coming and It’s The Witching Hour
It’s been one of my biggest predictions since the series’ pilot and now it seems to be coming true that the main source of inspiration and adaptation of the story is that of Brian Michael Bendis’ House of M, in which Wanda re-writes reality out grief for the loss of her children to bring them back to life. Changing things up by borrowing from another past Scarlet Witch and Vision storyline, the series is heading down the path of Wanda using her powers to bring Vision back to life and give birth to twins Billy and Tommy and with comments regarding the extent of her control over the town and color scheme of The Hex, iconic villain Mephisto definitely seems to be the primary antagonist for the series and potentially for the MCU moving forward.
Speaking of The Hex, while its name may be seen as a simple naming for its shape, the word has another meaning of a magical spell or curse, generally given out by witches such as notable Scarlet Witch associate Agatha Harkness. There have been a number of clues spotted in previous episodes hinting that Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes may be said character, from her similar name to general self-awareness regarding the false reality to the broach she wears being reminiscent of Agatha’s in the comics and an upcoming episode showing the character dressed as a witch to celebrate Halloween. With Agnes showing an even greater level of awareness regarding the false reality and its ever-changing nature and the naming of the anomaly as such, all signs are pointing towards the Harkness reveal, especially as she and Mephisto have a dark connection to the titular heroine in comics past.
Elizabeth Olsen has been teasing a major cameo appearance for the series and she certainly delivered with the arrival of Evan Peters as speedster twin brother Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver, but while this may seem like a cute shifting of things given the Disney-Fox merger led to Marvel regaining the rights to the X-Men world, therein able to bring back the American Horror Story alum in the role, there are actually greater ramifications this can have for the MCU as a whole. In the House of M storyline, both Quicksilver and Magneto played key roles in Wanda’s story and with the Scarlet Witch seemingly re-writing reality for the series that is supposed to lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, this may be more than a cheeky cameo and instead act as a straight introduction of mutants into the MCU. Now granted, Peters’ iteration was named Peter Maximoff in Fox’s franchise and in WandaVision his name is Pietro, but given that his character didn’t know much about his family heritage in the other films and is still utilizing the East Coast USA accent, it could easily be explained as he’s finally learned who he comes from and Wanda’s powers opened a rift that allowed him to journey through and meet his “long-lost” twin sister. That, or as Marvel has done on occasion in an attempt to keep the ball rolling on projects and deliver bits of fan service, it could be retconned as Fox’s X-Men were a part of the MCU to some degree the entire time, though that seems highly unlikely.