Season 1 Episode 5
On a Very Special Episode…
The sitcom heads to the 80’s with Wanda and Vision dealing with crying twins, lack of sleep and Wanda’s powers going on the fritz. The first note is the aesthetic. I love the fact that they start the episode like most 80’s sitcoms with a cold open before the theme song. The house is another great touch with a living room that has the classic elements of shows like Family Ties.
Things get more weird when Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) arrives to give the anxious parents some relief and an unexpected ad-lib throws things off and shows more cracks in the simulation. There is some great tension below the comedy of the moment and Hahn plays it perfectly. Another sitcom trope takes over that further complicates things as Vision continues to question the strange things happening around them.
The new theme is song is fantastic. I loved the music, the aesthetic and there are some hilarious visuals throughout. What changes in this episode versus some of the others is that the plot switches back to Monica as she deals with the aftermath of her time in Westview. Her insights emphasize the emotional core of the series and the fact that there is something different about her when she returns is a great new mystery to explore.
In the midst of more sitcom hijinks, Vision questions Wanda about her lack of care when using her powers around people as S.W.O.R.D. debriefs its people about the situation. A debriefing that spells trouble for Wanda as the more is revealed about how Vision returned. Things get more tense as Vision discovers something he can do to counteract Wanda’s control and the boys challenge Wanda on the events happening around them.
With the drama intensifying on both sides of the Westview barrier, Wanda confronts S.W.O.R.D. and Vision confronts Wanda. When Wanda has a moment with her sons that brilliantly brings into focus the themes of grief and loss that the series is touching on, the episode shines. To make things more intense, the episode ends on a massive cliffhanger that is going to surprise Marvel and Marvel Cinematic Universe fans both.
WandaVision continues to both delight and surprise with each episode. The actors really commit to the aesthetic and pull off the intensity and drama of the series with skill and charm. Elizabeth Olsen is giving a masterful performance as Wanda. Her intensity and emotional availability are brilliant and Paul Bettany is brilliant, honest and earnest as Vision.
The story is getting better with each episode and as things fall apart for Wanda, the mysteries intensify and the adventure gets more compelling. I cannot wait to see the next episode.