Pietro in the Middle
Now that’s what I’m talking about! After taking time to settle the pieces and mess around with its premise, WandaVision is now in the golden zone where it is striking the right balance with sitcom and darker storytelling. Not only that, this episode particularly raises the stakes and mystery ever so slightly that sets up an exciting conflicts to come.
This week’s homage was to Malcolm in the Middle and seeing the fourth wall breaks and video camera work by Tommy and Billy added to the meta feeling of the show while also providing some comedy. While the kids are not fully realized characters on their own, it is interesting to see how they develop with their powers given that Wanda is controlling the world. It seems that they are also aware that not everything is just right within the town of Westview, adding another sense of foreboding mystery to unearth.
The episode excellently balanced its sitcom of the week with the unraveling of the mystery. The first half of the episode had those little hints of unease peppered throughout with dialogue between characters and imagery. Wanda and Pietro are off trick or treating with the kids giving Wanda time to explain her grief and process through what she has been feeling. Vision on the other hand, is investigating more about the revelations he made last week in a sort X-Files like mystery. Both these plot lines had great development and ramped up the stakes going forward.
Evan Peter’s Pietro gets a full shine this week after being just a cameo, and his energy and enthusiasm definitely added a layer of levity the episode needed. He has the same quirkiness and child-like instinct from his debut in the X-Men movies while also providing more questions about his existence into this world. Marvel did not give us too much information as to how he is here, or why he was “recast” but it was fun to see him bond with the kids and establish his relationship more with Wanda. It isn’t the same Pietro we saw in Age Of Ultron, but to Wanda he is the same brother with similar memories and experiences. The bond these two share is a natural bickering and compassionate relationship that will become more intriguing as the show goes forward.
Vision’s journey was all the more eerie this week and had me feeling a pit in my stomach during the entire episode. The haunting imagery of the woman crying while hanging up decorations coupled with the multitude of people just standing aimlessly excellently highlights Vision’s compassion for the people but also the impact of Wanda’s influence on the town. Seeing Agnes break character and inform Vision he is really dead was another scary scene that brings him to a breaking point where he tries to exit the reality and find out what’s going on. There were a lot of theories that Agnes could be behind the creation of the world, and this scene either serves as confirmation that she is still a victim of Wanda’s world or something that Marvel is using to throw us off the scent. Nothing too concrete that has me leaning one way or another, but still interesting to think about.
The last scene was the showstopper that not only served as a visually stunning sequence but also as an exemplification of where Wanda and Vision are at in their respective journeys. Wanda has been through so much grief, pain, and loss over the past few years and her expanding this reality to not only save Vision but also keep him prisoner is an excellent portrayal of her inability to let go and move on. Vision, even though he is being torn apart as he exits the Hex, is urging the S.W.O.R.D agents to save the people trapped inside highlighting the compassion he feels for those under Wanda’s control. Marvel is really outdoing themselves with these characters here, and left us with a lot more to ponder for next week.
The one element that I felt was weak was the S.W.O.R.D portion, specifically Director Hayward. At first he seemed like an understandable character who saw Wanda as a threat based off her past experiences. Now he is turning into one of those generic, no nonsense, shouty bravado generals who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The show is trying to paint them as the bad guys with Jimmy, Monica, and Darcy being our good guys. I really enjoyed the blurred lines aspect that had been building from previous episodes, so I hope that whatever Director Hayward is hiding is able to justify this tonal shift. He was keeping eyes on Vision for some reason and seemed really interested in getting him specifically out.
- Monica and Jimmy are going to find Monica’s “aerospace engineer” friend. Given that the Fantastic Four is now confirmed to be coming to the MCU, could we possibly be seeing Mr. Fantastic show up?
- Wanda does not know how the reality started, and seems to be in more control than we initially thought with her expanding the Hex. How much control does she actually have? Is someone else pulling the strings on everything, maybe even Agnes?
- Marvel has confirmed that WandaVision will tie directly into the upcoming Spider-Man film in December and Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness next Summer. Could we possibly see cameo’s from either of these characters as the show inches closer to the end? The advertisement in this episode did mention “magic” so maybe Doctor Strange could show up?
- Since Quicksilver from the X-Men universe is here, I am holding out hope that we get to see Magneto in some capacity! From the comics Magneto is the father of Wanda and Pietro, so it isn’t too far fetched of a hope.
- Anyone else frustrated with the episode lengths?
WandaVision maintains its momentum and delivers another great episode that keeps the mystery going. With each new revelation, more questions are being posed as we build toward the finale. I am interested to see not only how Wanda and Vision react to the events, but also the outside perception as the Hex continues to expand. This will certainly pose an interesting conflict going forward if the Avengers have to come in!
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