“The first two episodes of WandaVision lay the groundwork for an intriguing mystery show that one can feel is moving towards bending reality and sanity.”
With all of the Covid turmoil, Disney+ seems poised (more than other media companies) to weather the theatrical release schedule destruction and push their franchises into people’s homes. We have seen them be successful with Star Wars and The Mandalorian which as of this writing has at least 5 spin-offs confirmed, not to mention the 4 other Star Wars shows coming out in the next three years. Marvel still hasn’t had a major release since Endgame due to the endless delays of Black Widow. That makes WandaVision the first true release since Endgame and what a unique show to reintroduce us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wanda and Vision have been at best-supporting characters in their Marvel careers, with neither getting their own solo film or project until now. The last time we saw Vision he was having the Infinity Stone in his head ripped out by Thanos and the last time we saw Wanda she was mourning Vision at Tony Stark’s funeral.
That leads us into WandaVision and the only thing we can presume about the show is that it takes place after Avengers: Endgame because in a trailer a character tells Vision he is actually dead. The only thing we know for sure is that Wanda appears to be altering her realities to resemble classic television tropes of previous decades. Finally, it has been announced that Wanda will appear in the Doctor Strange sequel called Doctor Strange and the Multi-Verse of Madness. Is WandaVision the start of the multi-verse in the MCU? This is all very exciting as it is clear that the Marvel shows are allowing the MCU to expand and get weird.
The first three episodes of WandaVision were made available to critics with the first two airing to everyone on Disney+ January 15th. It was smart for Disney to release the first two episodes together because WandaVision is definitely Marvel flexing its muscles and showing fans that they need to commit to the format of the show and reap its rewards. The first episode is structured exactly like the 50s/60s black and white sitcom and only has a runtime of 26 minutes with credits. It jumps into the television aesthetic fully with a theme song, laugh track, and all of the corny sitcom tropes of the time. The second episode is a Bewitched homage where Wanda and Vision appear at a talent show fundraiser in front of the town with the typical screwball comedy beats using each other’s powers to impress the crowd. At first one might wonder why are they wasting time with this but this is clearly a show that plans to reward the patience and is building towards something huge.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are great as Wanda and Vision but it is the supporting cast that is more intriguing as the first two episodes roll on. Kathryn Hahn plays Agnes, the couple’s next-door neighbor who inserts herself into the hijinx of the first episode and is far more mysterious in the second episode while still managing to be around the couple all the time. Agnes tends to appear at any moment Wanda or Vision experiences something strange or the viewer has questions about what is happening. In the second episode, we are introduced to Geraldine, played by Teyonah Parris, who is the first character to look straight at Wanda and ask “Why am I here?” in a way that intrigues Wanda but really gets the audience’s juices flowing for what the hell is really going on in this beautiful little town.
The first two episodes of WandaVision lay the groundwork for an intriguing mystery show that one can feel is moving towards bending reality and sanity. It seems poised to really explore the powers and abilities of Wanda in a way the movies never did and that is thrilling. The third episode, available on January 22nd to the public, caps off a three-episode arc and reveals the extent of the mystery the audience is going to discover in a great way. Disney and Marvel are reconfiguring the way audiences consume their intellectual property during a global pandemic without movie theaters and the way they chose to reintroduce the characters of Wanda and Vision is nearly perfect. Audiences will decide if it pays off in the end but as far as an introduction to the MCU television lineup one would be hard-pressed to think of a better launching point than WandaVision.
Every week I will be recapping WandaVision here! Leave me a comment if I missed something! I assume this show will be full of nods to the comics that I am far from well versed in.
Written by: Dan Moran