We’re running a weekly recap of WandaVision on Disney+. There are spoilers, duh! You’ve been warned.
Ever since episode 4 broke with the sitcom format to reveal the events of WandaVision from outside the Hex, the weekly novelty of this show’s format wore off. For me anyway, I stopped talking so much about WandaVision’s march-through-the-decades homage to American sitcoms, and I started obsessing more about the nerdy Marvel-y MCU stuff. What is the Hex? Who’s the missing person Jimmy Woo is searching for?
How is Vision alive?
But this week’s episode, “Breaking the Fourth Wall” is different. Well, technically, it’s the same. But in a different way.
Here’s what I mean.
When WandaVision played itself as an I Love Lucy ripoff, I said the genre lent itself to the narrative. That is, as Wanda sought to inhabit a world free from the grief of Vision’s death—and Pietro’s death—and her parents’ death—Wanda’s plywood suburbia did the trick. WandaVision, as a piece of escapist entertainment in 2021, was a show about a heroine employing the tools of escapist entertainment to salve her pain.
But I had a sneaking suspicion this play on genres would further serve the narrative of Wanda’s inner turmoil. That is, the closer these sitcoms got to the modern day, the more Westview’s sheen would crumble. And because I love saying I TOLD YOU SO, that’s exactly what’s happening now.
WandaVision has passed into the 2000s era of The Office and Modern Family. We’ve entered the decade of cringe humor, of angst played for laughs. Which means Wanda is no longer the picket fence housewife performing community magic shows.
No. She’s the pajama-clad matriarch who knows her life is a mess. She’s the mom who looks her kids in the eyes and tells them, “I’m starting to believe that everything is meaningless.”Wanda is no longer the picket fence housewife performing community magic shows. No. She’s the pajama-clad matriarch who knows her life is a mess.
Last week’s Malcolm in the Middle episode ended with Wanda coming to Vision’s rescue by using her power to expand the Hex’s boundary. Along the way, she not only brought Vision back from annihilation—the third time this synthezoid has been resurrected, by my count—but she also swallowed up a solid percentage of S.W.O.R.D. agents with him.
And also Darcy.
(Darcy and Vision are road trip buddies now, by the way.)
Which is why Wanda needs some Mommy time.
It’s also why the Hex is doing some weird things.
Inside Wanda’s house, the walls are flashing and the furniture keeps rearranging itself. Things aren’t looking much better outside the Hex either. In addition to being several square miles larger, it’s now flashing an angrier hue of red, 24/7. Another strange thing: S.W.O.R.D. isn’t picking up the WandaVision signal anymore.
But the biggest sign the Hex is no longer serving its purpose is its transformation of Monica Rambeau into a full-fledged superhero. She’s now impervious to the Hex’s, um, hex—immune to the comatose malaise with which everyone else is inflicted.
I believe this is what Paul alluded to in 1 Corinthians 15 when he wrote, “We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.”
Whatever happens next, Monica’s yet-to-be-revealed powers were acquired just in time for whatever foregone conflict is sure to burst out in the remaining two episodes. In the meantime, her totally rad Mantis Shrimp super-vision will have to be enough.
A few more thoughts.
♫ It was Agatha all along!
Who knew Agnes was really Agatha Harkness all along?!
What’s that you say? We all knew? Yeah, I guess that’s right. We all knew that was coming, didn’t we. No mind. That song is a bop.
Agnes is a witch or enchantress or something, and she’s the one pulling Wanda’s strings this whole time. And Herb’s strings. And Pietro’s strings.
All the strings!
Here’s my new theory about Pietro. That really is Pietro from the X-Men universe, but just like we saw Herb was under Agnes’s spell, it sure looks like Pietro was under her spell too. Someone ripped Quicksilver from the Fox Studios multiverse and plopped him into the MCU’s Westview. And just like the Hex has suppressed everyone else’s personalities and memories, it’s done the same to Quicksilver. Which is why he has no memory of his life and acts like a psychopath.
And why did someone steal Quicksilver from the X-Men world and not the MCU? Because the MCU’s Pietro is dead, silly! Which means that whatever brought Vision back to life is unique to Vision. It won’t work for anyone else. Vision isn’t under Agnes’s spell. Which is why the only way to introduce Pietro to WandaVision was yanking a different Pietro across dimensions.
Crazy I know. We’ll see.
This week we learned that before the events of WandaVision, S.W.O.R.D. was using Vision’s body to create a sentient weapon. Shout out to Jessica Poppe for guessing that one. This means Director Haywood’s intentions are less about saving the residents of Westview and more about recovering Vision’s vibranium-rich corpse.
A final thought about Monica. When Wanda threatens to blast her again, Monica dares her to do it. She’s not afraid of Wanda. Alluding to her mother Maria’s death, Monica tells Wanda, “The worst thing I can imagine has already happened to me. I can’t change it. I can’t undo it. I can’t control this pain anymore, and I don’t think I want to.”
I wonder if Monica’s revelation is the key to Wanda’s freedom. Much like Captain Marvel before her, maybe Wanda’s been fighting with one hand behind her back this whole time. What happens if Wanda stops shunning her grief? What happens when the Scarlet Witch lets herself feel her bad feelings and stops controlling the pain?
Something cool I bet. Something shocking and fantastic.