Season 1 Episode 2
Don’t Touch That Dial
In an effort to fit in, Wanda and Vision perform a magic act in their community talent show.
New episode, new opening. This time they go for a classic animated Bewitched style opening that has some fun comic related Easter eggs mixed in. The episode begins with Vision working on a magic trick with Wanda playing his assistant. The banter between the characters is sharper and more natural in this episode than the last and their growing comfort and ease with their surroundings is evident. I like the fact that the house has changed as well with the Dick Van Dyke aesthetic from the first episode being transformed into something reminiscent of Bewitched.
Unfortunately, the bigger mystery continues to invade their idyllic surroundings in another scene that teases who and what is trying to break the illusion surrounding Westview. Kathryn Hahn is absolutely brilliant as nosy neighbor Agnes. She has an infectious charm that draws you in and her timing is perfect in every comedic moment. Her presence in scenes elevates Olsen’s performance as the straight woman in the exchange.
Both Wanda and Vision seem to have a tough time fitting in with the rest of the neighborhood as Wanda deals with committee politics among the wives and their leader Dottie and Vision tries to fit in with the Neighborhood Watch.
More hijinks ensue when a mishap makes Vision act stranger than usual and right before their big performance in front of the town, “For the Children”. When the couple return home, another surprise awaits them. One that will fundamentally change everything about the story so far. But that’s not the only change in their world.
The second episode of WandaVision builds off the well toned momentum of the first while also upping the stakes for both characters, especially Wanda. Her holding onto the world she’s invented has some great comic moments, but also belies the dark undertone of her fractured psyche. It’s a great episode that brilliantly lampoons small town Americana and the tropes of late fifties, early sixties television while also adding great elements of suspense to keep the viewer engaged.
The episode also does a great job of building the overall mystery by keeping the plot a slow burn that builds over time rather than throwing everything at the viewer at once. The series and the writers trust the audience and that is evident in the subtlety of the plot.
Strucker – The commercial break in the episode references a new watch by Strucker with the distinctive HYDRA emblem on it. Baron von Strucker is the scientist who gave Wanda and her brother their powers.