Halloween is a spooky period at the best of times, but when you’re living in Westview? Well, it must be positively chilling. And oddly fourth wall-breaking.
Yes, WandaVision delivered its first seasonal special (or at least, the fictional show within WandaVision did) in this week’s episode, which also picks up on the aftermath of episode five’s huge Cinematic Universe-bending twist. Pietro is alive! And played by Evan Peters! And now a Fox character is in the MCU!
Still, before we start counting the days until the X-Men are rubbing shoulders with the Avengers we’re back into the sitcom world of Westview, specifically now a Malcolm in the Middle-esque story where Wanda and Vision (Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) have to deal with their new houseguest and Vision’s own growing suspicions about what’s going on.
Meanwhile, outside the “Hex” our trio of heroes (Monica, Jimmy and Darcy) begin to clash with the increasingly sinister Director Hayward, and work to uncover what his game really is with the world’s only vibranium synthezoid.
After the big twists and action of last week’s story this is definitely more of a wheel-spinning episode, developing what we’ve seen already rather than pushing the plot along a great deal – but to be fair, there is quite a lot to chew through, starting with this new Pietro.
Because is he actually new? From the start Pietro plays the role of the feckless, bad influence uncle, leading the kids astray as they go trick-or-treating… but later, he reveals he’s only doing that because he knows that’s the part Wanda and this sitcom want him to play. Unusually, he seems fairly aware of the simulation they’re in, and how Wanda is controlling it – and he is also explicitly presented as the MCU Pietro/Quicksilver, complete with memories of his death in Age of Ultron (which was featured in a quick clip during the recap).
“I got shot like a chump in the street for no reason at all, and next thing I know I hear you calling me,” he says, also suggesting that he looks different (aka not like Aaron Taylor-Johnson) because Wanda doesn’t want to be reminded of the past. Except when she’s hallucinating Peters full of bullet holes, just like creepy dead Vision from a couple of weeks ago.
Like Wanda, we may want to have our suspicions of this Pietro, who seems gleeful about what Wanda’s pulled off and oddly dismissive of the danger Vision is in (“Hey, don’t sweat it sis…not like your dead husband can die twice.”) Some fans think that this may not really be Quicksilver at all, and that the ultimate villain (maybe Mephisto?) is actually behind Peters’ mask. For now, it’s a little unclear.
At least he manages to keep Wanda distracted while Vision finally strikes out on his own looking for the truth. After a slightly tense tête-a-tête in the morning, Vision (wearing his comic-appropriate costume just like Wanda, Pietro and their kids) sneaks away to do his own investigating, discovering a literal ghost town at the edges of Wanda’s control made all the creepier by the funky sitcom music that still bubbles along with it. Among these frozen people? Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes, who notes just how much under Wanda’s control they are while also filling Vision in on his own history (as it turns out, he doesn’t even know what Avengers are any more).
“You… you’re one of the Avengers… you’re Vision. Are you here to help us?”
“I am Vision, I’m here to help… but what’s an Avenger?”
Like Pietro, it’s hard to know what Agnes’ motives here are – many fans believe she’s actually the one pulling the strings, and is actually the comic book’s witch character Agatha Harkness (notably, she’s dressed like one here while others are dressed in their “true self” comic costumes). But whatever her game she inspires Vision to try something drastic – an attempt to go beyond Ellis avenue, outside the Hex and into the real world.
In said real world, Monica, Jimmy and Darcy (Teyonah Parris, Randall Park and Kat Dennings) have already clashed with Director Hayward, who threw them off the case with remarkably bad tact (bringing up someone’s dead mother is probably grounds for a sit-down with SWORD HR) and somehow seems to be tracking Vision’s signature specifically – which means he’s on the scene and ready when Bettany’s android breaks through.
But while Monica’s Hexit (thank you) messed up her molecular structure (hello, future superpowers) Vision simply falls apart once he leaves, possibly hinting at exactly what SWORD was doing with his body before Wanda stole it and inspiring Wanda to do something equally drastic.
Forewarned by her son Billy (with both twins developing abilities similar to Wanda and Pietro this week), Wanda realises Vision is in trouble. Freezing everyone around her she widens the Hex, saving Vision while simultaneously transforming the SWORD agents (except Hayward, Rambeau and the FBI’s Jimmy) into carnival workers. At a stroke, Wanda has more sets to play with (in what may be a subtle joke about a sitcom getting more budget) and most of her enemies have been moved off the board.
However, it also brings Dennings’ Darcy into the sitcom, and sets Monica and Jimmy off to meet this mysterious aerospace engineer (Reed Richards? It does seem possible…) who has apparently built something that can get them inside Westview safely. And we’re sure Hayward hasn’t given up on his plans just yet…
Now, with just three episodes left it’s hard to know exactly how this series will conclude. Should we take any note of the fact that Tommy and Billy were essentially narrating this week’s episode, or was that just more Malcolm in the Middle fun? Are Pietro and Agnes who they say they are, or is someone else pulling the strings? Is there a significance to Pietro looking like the Fox Quicksilver, or was Aaron Taylor-Johnson just busy making Tenet? And how will any of this be resolved in a way that doesn’t start a mini-war in New Jersey?
Well, hopefully – in some slightly longer episodes, we might assume – we’ll soon find out. Even in a comparatively less twisty week like this there’s a lot to digest with some features (Tommy and Billy developing their powers like they do in the Young Avengers comics, Wanda’s awesome comic-accurate costume, that incredibly creepy commercial, a possible Kick-Ass reference) more or less thrown away into the mix. With that in mind, it’s hard to fathom how momentous these final three entries in WandaVision will be.
Though maybe in a way Wanda just told us. Just as the Hex just got a lot bigger, WandaVision did too. Next week, we might get to start to see what that means.
Want more WandaVision content? Check out our guide to the WandaVision cast, the WandaVision release schedule, Agatha Harkness and the creepy WandaVision commercials. Plus, we ask: is Wanda pregnant? When is WandaVision set and how did Vision survive?
WandaVision releases new episodes on Disney+ on Fridays. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year.
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