The following review contains major spoilers from ‘WandaVision’ Episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode…”
Even though this week, both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany were teasing a “huge cameo” in the show, I didn’t expect it to come so soon, let alone the fifth episode. What I didn’t expect was for me to jump from my bed and scream so loud my room shook — talk about wild!
The fourth episode of the series, “We Interrupt this Program,” created a pivotal shift for the show. Rather than only focusing on the suburban sitcom world, viewers finally get an outside perspective with the help of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and fan-favorite Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). And, in this fifth episode, time is split between the two realities.
This is your last chance to avoid any and all spoilers. Trust me, you do NOT want this masterpiece of an episode spoiled.
“On a Very Special Episode…” viewers are automatically thrown into the sitcom world — this time, in the 80s. As usual, the miniseries pays homage to the classics of each period. This time, it’s the American sitcom Family Ties. The opening credits of this episode was brilliant, especially with baby Vision looking so out of place. However, the intro also made me a little uneasy. Knowing that the entire town is being held captive (most likely under Wanda’s control), and realizing Vision has no idea what is going on produces an eerie feeling.
Westview — 1980s
In Westview, New Jersey (shoutout to my home state!), Wanda and Vision are suffering the stress of parenting their twin boys, Billy and Tommy. Being a parent is tough work, but it gets more complicated when your two boys can age themselves up. Interesting…
Our beloved Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) arrives at the Vision residence, offering to help with the boys. Now, this is where things get a little strange. Agnes turns to Wanda at one point, saying something along the lines of, “Do you want me to take that from the top?” Everyone in Westview knows what is going on, and they just go along with the concept of the “show.” Very, very odd. Anyways, Vision grows weary, question Agnes’ behavior that Wanda subsequently brushes off as a way to say, “That’s Agnes for you!”
Vision knows something is up, but he doesn’t know what is wrong. Cut to Vision at work, where a message from S.W.O.R.D. arrives on company computers. Most employees brush it off as a joke, but Vision doesn’t. He uses his Mind-Stone powers on Norm, essentially waking him up from some kind of manipulation. Norm starts shouting, begging Vision to help him and stop the woman from controlling his mind.
Assuming that Norm was talking about Wanda, Vision returns home and confronts her about controlling the entire town of Westview and everything in it. Eventually, this leads to an epic floating stand-off between the couple, which I thought was just *chef’s kiss*. The entire argument revolves around Vision not trusting Wanda. He doesn’t know what his life was like outside of Westview, and he doesn’t know who he is. On the other hand, Wanda declares, “I don’t know how any of this started in the first place.” Well, then who is pulling the strings? Could it be Agnes and her mysterious husband, Ralph? Why is Wanda just going along with what is going on? It seems my theory about a certain demon villain is looking more promising as time passes.
As they talk out their issues, the doorbell rings. Oh, boy. Wanda assures Vision that she didn’t have anything to do that, but he is still hesitant to believe her. Again, the doorbell rings. Here it comes everyone, are you prepared?!
Wanda opens the door, shock evident on her face. The camera pans out, showing a head full of silver locks — it’s Wanda’s twin brother Pietro Maximoff, who died in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Um…what?
Before you come to any conclusions, think about the period. It’s the 1980s, who could show up? That’s right, freaking Evan Peters, who played Peter Maximoff aka Quicksilver in the X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix. What the f — ?!?!
You may be wondering, “how is this possible?” Well, Disney recently bought Fox (Fox owned the rights to X-Men), so now Disney can incorporate our favorite mutants into the MCU. I am so, so happy about this. Also, the fact that Evan Peters is the first one from Fox’s X-Men to show up in the MCU is the greatest thing that could’ve ever happened to me.
Though it is unclear what is going on, the episode ends at that moment. Bummer. However, I have an inkling that instead of portraying Pietro, Evan Peters is actually here as his character Peter Maximoff. In the seconds leading to the end of the episode, we are taken to the S.W.O.R.D. base, where Darcy witnesses this and exclaims, “She recast Pietro?” Though I am set in my theory, “recasting” could also be a reality because I mean, we all saw Pietro’s body in Age of Ultron. Obviously, she couldn’t get her hands on his corpse, so maybe she found a way to reach Peter and cast him as Pietro? I don’t know, that sounds confusing.
There are four episodes left, so let’s hope we get as many answers and figure out how this ties into future MCU projects, specifically the anticipated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
S.W.O.R.D. — 2023
At the end of episode four, Monica is thrown back into the real world. Everyone at S.W.O.R.D. takes her word and believes that Wanda is in full control of the Hex, which Darcy came up with to refer to the sitcom reality that, funny enough, is shaped like a hexagon.
During a brief meeting, Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) goes on a tangent, claiming Wanda is a terrorist as a way to act violently against her. Though Monica tries to reason with him, he uses her own words against her. Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, as a villain who goes insane and manipulates reality? I am here for it! What’s even more shocking is when Hayward reveals footage from nine days prior, when Wanda supposedly broke into S.W.O.R.D. and stole Vision’s corpse to resurrect him in her bubble. I assumed this was the case, but the fact that it did happen makes the show even darker.
At one point, Monica sends in a S.W.O.R.D. drone from the 80s to communicate with Wanda, but she wants no part of it. In a spur of the moment, Hayward orders an attack against Wanda, which backfires. As the base is breached, everyone runs to the border outside, only to see Wanda in her full glory, carrying the missile. Now, this is where Elizabeth Olsen is at her strongest. The accent, the costume, the body language were incredible. This is the Wanda I’ve been dying to see again. She causes some trouble before returning to her perfect life in Westview.
Back to the 1980s — What is up with Agnes?
Another character making their debut in the MCU is Sparky the dog. What a cutie.
Tommy and Billy find the dog when he shows up at the Vision residence. They originally wanted to name him Sniffy, but after wandering over to an outlet and creating sparks, Agnes suggests that the dog be named Sparky. Unfortunately, the dog doesn’t live too long. The twins, now aged-up to 10 years old, beg their mother to resurrect Sparky. She doesn’t, and in retaliation, the boys want to age-up again. In the end, they don’t once Wanda mentions that some things are forever, such as death, and we can’t create things for our own well-being. Hmm, sounds quite familiar…
I, for one, am not buying this whole ordeal. Sparky, a huge part of Vision’s life in the comics, shows up and dies in the same episode? Nope, definitely not buying it. The fact that Agnes claimed she found him and wrapped him up is a little suspect. I think she is a much deeper part of this show than it seems. I mean, why haven’t we met Ralph yet? What is so special about him that he just gets brought up in every episode without being shown? It’s just all very puzzling.
Overall, the representation in this show is incredible. There are so many diverse females leading the show and contributing effectively to the story. Moreover, multiple individuals are apart of underrepresented groups in the industry, including Asian-American actor Randall Park and African American actress Teyonah Parris.
You can catch new episodes of WandaVision every Friday streaming exclusively on Disney+. In the mean time, watch the official mid-season trailer here!