Julien Neaves, Editor
If you listened closely after WandaVision Episode 4 aired last week you would have heard the sound of thousands of WandaVision early adopters telling the “haters”: “You see! I told you so!” And if you listen closely right now you can hear me saying SPOILER ALERT! Wait, was that too loud? A thousand apologies. *Whispers* Spoiler Alert. Now on to the review.
The latest episode of the kooky Marvel Cinematic Universe series was monumental, answering several questions and adding some new ones to the intriguing, overarching mystery. Now eagle-eyed Redmangoreaders would notice that I didn’t do a review of Episode 3: Now in Color. Well, I had fun with the wild twin birth episode and I enjoyed the creepy moments of Vision with the neighbours and Wanda confronting “Geraldine”, but I didn’t feel inspired to rush to my phone/computer and review it. Episode 4: We Interrupt This Program, though? A raging Hulk couldn’t keep me from writing about it.
This one felt less like a 34-minute episode and more like a short film. It is actually in two parts, with the first focusing on SWORD agent Monica Rambeau (you saw her as a little girl in Captain Marvel) when she returned following The Blip and ending with her disappearing into the weird world of Westview, where she took on the persona of Geraldine, seemingly against her will.
And yeah, after this episode I’m gonna need an Agents of SWORD series starring Teyonah Parris because she was so blipping good. I was blown away by her performance in the hospital going from fear to panic and then to resignation after learning of her mother’s death. I enjoyed learning about the history of SWORD and seeing her trying to rediscover her place with an organisation that had moved on from her. And I had a great time with her and goofy FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park, who previously played the character in Ant Man and The Wasp) investigating the Westview phenomenon, which felt very The X-Files. And I do love me some X-Files.
When Rambeau goes bye bye we switch focus to another returning MCU alum in Dr Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) who featured in the first two Thor films. Leave it to WandaVision to bring back a side character we have not seen in more than seven years and push her into the spotlight. And Dennings is in some fine form as she lands zinger after zinger. And WandaVision is at its most meta as Darcy watches and comments on “the show”. When she asks why the sitcom is jumping decades and says “It can’t just be for my entertainment” that is the writers winking, nudging and elbowing us viewers in our figurative sides. And I did not mind at all.
But did you notice when identifying the residents of the real Westview they never identifed Agnes nor the as yet unseen Ralph? This certainly adds fuel to the fan theory that Agnes is the comic book character and Wanda’s witch mentor Agatha Harkness, and that Ralph may be Mephisto, basically Marvel’s version of the devil and an extremely powerful villain with ties to our superpowered couple. Stay tuned people. Stay tuned.
This episode was very Wanda and Vision lite, but the brief scenes where the do appear are quite significant. First we get to see the rest of Wanda’s confrontation of “Geraldine”. And yeah, it wasn’t pretty. In an awesome and terrible display of power (and special effects) Wanda boots Monica out of Westview, flinging her through the walls of this make-believe world, and then cleaning up the mess like a dutiful housewife. And it really is a make-believe world, because I don’t think the very human Monica Rambeau could have survived busting through all those buildings if they were actual brick and mortar. I do believe that Rambeau’s line: “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda” is something of a misdirect though. While I do believe Wanda created this version of Westview as a means to be with her dearly departed Vision, I also believe that there is some sinister force either helping and/or manipulating her to do it, possibly after some type of Faustian deal. Maybe with the aforementioned Mephisto? He looks like he’s into Faustian deals. We’ll see.
But the scene everybody is talking about (and posting as well, you naughty spoilers you) is the above image of the “dead” Vision talking to Wanda. Seeing his ghostly, ghastly appearance, reminiscent of his lifeless form after Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his forehead in the climax of Infinity War, is a truly disturbing moment straight out of a horror movie, and one that has definitely been seared into the viewers’ brains. And Elizabeth Olsen sells the scene with her reaction of restrained repulsion. Her acting truly has been extraordinary this series.
And if some viewers were worried that the show would drag out some of its mysteries for too long (*cough cough* Lost *cough cough*) then this episode should put those fears to rest. We are just about half way through the nine episodes and we already have a full understanding of what is happening in the outside world, who is investigating and why. We even had explanations for the scenes with the radio breaking into the sitcom world, the color helicopter and the bee guy. And here I thought the bee guy was gonna be some big reveal. It shows that there is a whole lot more to come and they need to clear up some stuff before pressing forward.
So standing ovation to the cast and crew on Episode 4. And for those who had doubts about the show or had even (*gasp*) given up on it, then this is the episode that should change your mind. If it doesn’t, well then outside of a massive superpowered battle I’m not sure what they could do to sway you. As for me, Friday and Episode 5 could not get here sooner.
Editor Jules’ Score: 9 out of 10
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville.