WandaVision is easily the most creative and unique project of the MCU to date. It stands apart in basically every way, leaving only touchstones of the larger universe to lure viewers in. By doing this, WandaVision prioritizes characters who are secondary in the films. This gives Wanda and Vision the time to develop in a space of their own. The magic of it extends, especially so, to Vision as he is dead in the main timeline. There’s no telling where or when the show takes place just yet, but WandaVision season 1 episode 3, “Now in Color,” drops major hints.
Similar to Wanda and Vision being familiar faces to cling to, the commercials that appear in every episode raise a similar feeling. They’re familiar because long-time fans of the MCU will pick up on the easter eggs. It’s also nice to watch them point out how absurd and sexist targeted ads were throughout the decades.
The commercials also just as eerie and suspicious as Wanda and Vision’s new home Westview. They’re fun to watch for the first time, but they leave you with an uncomfortable feeling that something’s not quite right. This is because the commercials pull us in with familiar imagery and names from the MCU, along with silly ways to blend in with the episode’s decade. Then they transform into something darker with a blink of an eye.
WandaVision is only three episodes deep into a nine-episode season, but it’s made it obvious that Wanda’s personal journey is the key to this story. It’s reflected in the commercials, too. That uncomfortable eerie feeling is another way WandaVision gets us to empathize with Wanda Maximoff. It reminds us of her trauma in a digestible way. Assuming Wanda is at least partially in control of what’s going on, this is the way she’s presenting unfathomable trauma to us and herself. These commercials are metaphors for her life experiences that don’t fit into the idyllic life of a nuclear family in a classic American suburb.
Head Writer Jac Schaeffer recently told The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast that the commercials are important to the plot and we’ll “see where they go.” That’s why we want to breakdown the three commercials we have so far as an attempt to better understand Wanda and as a reminder to play close attention to the commercials as the season progresses.
The first commercial that appeared on WandaVision season 1 episode 1, “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” ties to Stark Industries. The commercial advertising the ToastMate 2000 nods to the early days of the company. We like to believe that Stark Industries made toasters in the 1950s after things didn’t go well at the Stark Expo in the 1940s. Then again, these commercials are likely entirely fictional representations of factual events that did happen to Wanda. Either way, it’s fun to speculate. ToastMate 2000 sounds too much like “I love you 3000” for it not to be an inside joke.
This commercial is a representation of the mortar shell that killed Wanda and Pietro’s parents. Another trapped the twins in their house as they could do nothing for it to detonate, but it never did. The twins hate Tony Stark for most of Avengers: Age of Ultron because those mortar shells had Stark stamped on the side of them. The ticking of the toaster sounds like a bomb. Plus, when the lever is pushed down, the toaster makes a noise that sounds a lot like Tony’s repulsors.
On the surface, the ad for Strücker watches is just that: a commercial for a watch that’s all the rave in the 1960s. As Marvel fans, we know that hardly anything is ever just what it is on the surface. This WandaVision commercial is no different. The Strucker name is not foreign to Wanda as Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker experimented on her and Pietro with the Scepter. That’s how Wanda got her abilities and Pietro gained super speed. Wanda and Pietro were the sole survivors of the experimentation. Strucker is responsible for the deaths of an unknown quantity of Sokovians who volunteered just like the twins in the belief that it would help save their home.
Sokovia is Wanda’s home. Who can forget Vision’s brilliant cover that Wanda’s accidental flirting with Mr. Hart was in fact a Sokovian greeting? WandaVision hasn’t forgotten her Sokovian roots; they’re always there. Sokovia’s many tragedies will stick with her forever — even in what’s meant to be a blissful suburban life. The watch is likely a representation of the period of time Wanda was held captive and experimented on. It’s also haunting that Hydra’s infamous and sinister symbol is in the background. I guess we’ll never truly be rid of Hydra.
The most recent commercial is the least obvious, in our opinion. Of course, there’s the mention of Hydra again, but this one feels less ominous out right. Escaping into a world all of you own where your problems float away is right on par with WandaVision. This is especially on point if the magical elements of Westview are all Wanda’s doing. Hence the line: “When you want to get away but you don’t want to go anywhere.” The end of episode 3 reveals Westview may be a real place. Maybe Wanda lived there and made this new reality without even realizing it. The tagline of “Find the Goddess within” could mean that by doing this Wanda will find out more about herself than ever before.
This commercial also feels like a way of Wanda’s subconscious calling her out a bit. If the other commercials manifested from the inability of Wanda’s subconscious to suppress such important parts of her past, this “Hydra Soak” commercial could be her subconscious telling her that she can’t escape forever. The part about problems floating away is too similar to when Sokovia literally floated into the air before plummeting back to Earth in Age of Ultron. Even in the least sinister commercial so far, Hydra and Sokovia’s past find their way in.
WandaVision‘s commercials are putting in the work to remind us and Wanda of her past. They’re silly at times, but they’re contributing to the larger story. You can bet we’ll continue to pay very close attention to them for the rest of the season.
What do you think of the commercials in WandaVision? Let us know in the comments below!
New episodes of WandaVision drop weekly on Disney+!