Now You See Me
I’ll be honest, was not a huge fan of this week’s episode. While it does set up a potentially interesting finale with its latest reveals, Episode 7 egregiously highlights the flaws of the Marvel show and threatens to undermine its potential.
This week’s sitcom element takes after the mockumentary style of Modern Family and The Office. While I love this style of sitcom (and a huge fan of The Office), this did nothing to serve the overall plot and actually slowed the show’s momentum down to a gradual halt. The gimmick is brought to the forefront of the episode where the characters just sit around and talk as if everything is fine and dandy. Wanda starts to see the world around is deteriorating and has decided to put herself on a “time out” to destress. The interviews with her do showcase that she may be entering the depression stage of grief, but it is quickly whisked away for Elizabeth Olsen to impersonate characters from Modern Family. At this point of the show, the sitcom element of the week now seeks to detract from the show rather than give it its own flavor. With only 2 episodes left and the fact that we are practically caught up with the different decades, I sincerely hope they do away with this element and focus more on the central conflict at hand.
Speaking of which, WandaVision‘s short episode lengths are becoming increasingly frustrating and make me feel this show may have done better as a binge. 20-25 minutes of this episode are dedicated mainly to the sitcom gimmick, while 5 minutes give us some interesting moments and reveals. That’s completely off balance, especially when those interesting moments only happen towards the end of the episode and make us feel the action is just about to kick in. This is something I find frustrating with some Netflix shows where the episodes don’t really have anything major going on until about the final 5-10 minutes and it ends on a cliffhanger so that you’ll watch the next episode. With WandaVision, we have to wait a week until the next episode making us feel cheated out of feeling any sort of satisfaction in watching the show week to week. Furthermore, if the last two episodes are also going to be 30 minutes in length, they really need to focus their attention more on Wanda, Vision, and now Agatha Harkness and less on trying to pay homage to past sitcoms.
As much as I disliked the sitcom element this week, I have to admit that Darcy and Vision are a fun duo to see on screen. The comedic timing between the two and the awkwardness of the situation was funny to watch for the moment. It would have been more interesting for Vision to have this expositional knowledge given to him by someone like Wanda or Agatha to raise the stakes a little bit more, but hopefully we can see some of that fallout in the next two weeks. Darcy mentioning that she can see the love between Wanda and Vision does seem a little bit forced since for the past 4 episodes we have seen them more at odds with another and on their separate journeys than building that relationship that was strong in the first 3 episodes.
The two major moments this week came through Monica and Agnes and they did not disappoint. Monica has now gained powers and looks like will be embracing her comic book counterpart Spectrum. From the comics, her powers are similar to Captain Marvel’s but with some slight variations I don’t want to spoil until the show is finished. Given that Monica was also able to get through to Wanda a little bit and break the illusion she is under does hint that she may be a key character in destroying the Hex and getting Wanda back to reality. With both Wanda and Monica now trapped under Agnes’ control, I sense a team up is coming that will see them working together and I am excited to see that play out.
And finally, we have confirmation that it was “Agatha All Along”! (A catchy tune and a brilliant showcase of Kathryn Hahn’s acting chops). Yes, the ever present neighbor Agnes is Agatha Harkness from the comics. For context, Agatha Harkness is a witch who has been both a friend and foe to Wanda in the comics. She helped her to control her powers, but also erased her memories and manipulated her reality when a larger evil came about. From the looks of it, the show is playing into those villainous parts of the character and take Wanda out of the hot seat. A lot of eagle eyed fans predicted this a while ago, but in true Marvel fashion they tried to throw off our scent which made this reveal a little bit more impactful.
I am fearful that Marvel is now going to put the blame exclusively on Agatha and try to make Wanda more of a hero. The aspect of this show that I loved was the morally grey areas of Wanda’s character trying to process her grief by any means necessary. To have Agatha be the one who was responsible for everything would undermine the best part of the show in my opinion. It makes sense why Agatha is present as it allows for Marvel to start bringing in more weirder characters from the comics, but I always thought it would be more interesting to have Wanda be the true villain. Either way, I am interested to see what next week holds as I’m sure we will get lots of exposition on how the Hex came about, what Agatha’s motives are, and what influence Agatha has on Wanda.
- Jimmy Woo only got 2 lines in the episode! An injustice!
- Looks like that aerospace engineer was just some military people Monica knew. I felt it was a stretch to hope for Reed Richards, but a guy can dream!
- These ads are getting scarier and scarier each time, and I am loving it.
- Hayward wanted Vision’s body to make him a weapon, wow…definitely have not seen that before…ugh…
Overall, WandaVision is starting to frustrate me with its absurdly short episodes and overreliance on sitcom homages. The show sincerely needs more time dedicated to its central conflict and characters if these last 2 episodes are going to stick the landing. While the reveals do present a promising conclusion, they also run the risk of ruining the best parts of the show to date. This show was definitely ambitious, but lets just hope that ambition wasn’t in vain.
(C -) Frustrating