It’s surreal to finally be able to write about Marvel Studios’ WandaVision‘s first episodes. It’s been over a year leading up to this moment, and the payoff is oh so sweet. WandaVision Season 1 Episode 1 is a perfect reintroduction to Wanda and Vision in this new world. The 50s, to be exact. Plus, it doubles as an introduction to Phase 4 of the MCU. This first episode is faced-paced, character-driven, and so much fun. It sets up a rich story that will unfold this season and hopefully into upcoming films as well.
WandaVision Season 1 Episode 1 doesn’t dive too deep into anything all at once, and that’s how it should be. These Disney+ series give Marvel Studios the opportunity to tell stories in a new way, and WandaVision is a great way to usher that new age of storytelling in.
New Time, Same Heroes
One of the things that makes WandaVision so appealing is the fact that the audience is going on the journey with Wanda and Vision. This is true of most stories, but there’s a different element at play on this show, because we know as much as they do. For example, Vision doesn’t understand his job and its endgame; neither do we. On a larger scale, Wanda and Vision know there’s something amiss but they can’t quite put their finger on it, and we are on that ride with them.
This is most clearly scene when Wanda ‘breaks character’ to tell Vision to save Arthur. They step out of their scripted narrative in that moment. The show quickly resets its characters inside their confines to distract from any suspicious things. It’s unlikely that this tactic will work for the entire season, because I like to believe that Wanda and Vision are smart and will catch on. It could also become frustrating if every time they take a step forward, WandaVision plops them right back into their structured sitcom. Of course it works now because this is only the first episode. There’s still so much to discover alongside Wanda and Vision.
Even though there are a million questions left to be answered, WandaVision lets us know from the very first minute that these are the characters we know and love. The theme song even mentions that they “left the big city to find a quiet life.” The larger context about that is a mystery, since Wanda and Vision can’t remember their story. However, it works because of my willingness to go on this journey with these characters. I’m not concerning myself with how they ended up in this black-and-white world just yet, because I trust that all will be explained in time.
WandaVision gives fans a chance to solidify their love of Wanda and Vision or to fall in love with them for the first time. It’s impossible not to lean in with heart eyes as Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany put it all out there. Their chemistry is the stuff sitcoms are made of, and it’s so evident that they’re having a blast. Wanda uses her powers from the first scene (when she accidentally crashes a plate on Vision’s head) to the last. The scope of her abilities grows within the 30 minutes, proving this show will explore her abilities just like fans want. Seeing Vision in a world where he doesn’t know everything is obviously fun due to Bettany’s incredible comedic timing, but it also adds the underlying uneasiness at play in Westview.
WandaVision creates a town with Westview and with a town comes townies. There’s Norm at Vision’s work, his boss Arthur Hart and his wife Mrs. Hart, and Agnes. Kathryn Hahn amplifies every scene as Agnes. She’s so great and quick on her feet. I’m obsessed with the way Agnes comments on the gendered stereotypes of the 50s. I hope that continues throughout the season. I’m also convinced her husband Ralph doesn’t exist. This show is already a wild ride so I wouldn’t be shocked to learn there is some truth to that.
There’s a small moment at the beginning of the episode that I can’t shake. Agnes leaves Wanda before returning to help plan the evening, and Wanda sits on her couch completely content. Wanda looks so genuinely pleased in that moment. Wanda manages to work her way through it and start to feel at home despite all of the confusion. It makes me said to think of whatever WandaVision is building towards could wreck her happiness again.
The end of WandaVision Season 1 Episode 1 is the first time during the episode that we know something the couple does not. We know that someone is watching them — someone at S.W.O.R.D. — and they’re taking notes. Context clues lead me to believe it’s Darcy Lewis. Teasing this in the first episode is so smart because it creates tension within the show and between the show and its audience. It’s a perfect tool to push WandaVision ahead into the rest of its season. It makes you hyperaware of everything you just watched and frames it in a new, rather creepy light.
The scene when Arthur chokes hold an even bigger punch from this new perspective. It makes you question who is really in control of this narrative. Longtime fans of Wanda Maximoff, myself included, are clinging to the idea that Wanda is finally in control. Someone else potentially knowing more than she does about this new world seeds doubt in that belief. In doing this, WandaVision keeps fans engaged in character-driven stories, which isn’t always the MCU’s priority. Sometimes those big moments for characters lost in the action sequences. With just one episode, WandaVision takes the MCU’s wheel and turns it in a new direction. There’s no turning back from here, and I’m a firm believe the MCU will be better because of it.
Other Bewitching Moments:
- Seeing Marvel Studios’ title card again made me burst into tears. Anyone else?
- Vision playing the ukulele? More of that please.
- The commercial concept is genius! Toast Mate 2000 is so funny and so meta.
- Vision & Wanda acting on their feet to create a fake Sokovian greeting is a standout moment.
- “My husband and his indestructible head.” Oh, Wanda. This joke made me laugh and subsequently very sad.
- The show’s closing credits using a hexagon that resembles the Mind Stone is genius.
What did you think of this episode of WandaVision let us know in the comments below!
New episodes of WandaVision drop weekly on Disney+!