Everyone’s always known that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be heavily impacted by WandaVision. That was never a secret or up for debate. Marvel Studios promised that the Disney+ series would intersect with the larger universe, and they delivered. WandaVision 1×05 “On a Very Special Episode…” proves that the MCU will never be the same.
“On a Very Special Episode…” sees the titular, nuclear family nearly go nuclear as S.W.O.R.D. closes in on Westview and Vision starts to learn too much. WandaVision balances the stories both inside and outside of Westview with masterful ease. It could have been clunky, but it’s just jarring enough since the show is shifting from a manufactured sitcom to reality.
This episode lets us get to know Tommy and Billy at a rapid speed. In doing so, WandaVision essentially cues to us and Wanda that the twins are exempt from Wanda’s powers. She can’t spell (?) them to stop crying and sleep, and she has to beg them not to age themselves up. Something similar can be said of Vision, as he is also immune to her manipulation. That doesn’t mean that he’s immune to her gaslighting.
Wanda goes to great lengths to preserve the home she’s created, and that involved lying to Vision’s face. This isn’t going to end well, because Vision is set on knowing the truth and helping the residents of Westview. We know how far Wanda is willing to go for what she wants; the bar is yet to be set on how far Vision will go.
WandaVision‘s pacing has been up for debate, but we are perfectly happy with the way things are going. It’s good that WandaVision is letting the cracks of suspicion grow, especially with Vision. It would be absurd for Vision, a super smart synthezoid, to be blissfully unaware of all the things that are right in front of him forever. Wanda’s done a good job at feeding him half-truths and assuring him everything is fine. However, that can only go on for so long with a season as short as nine episodes.
The events between Wanda and Vision in this episode will have lasting effects on the rest of the season; there’s no denying that. While there are still four episodes left, it’s important that we see this divide — this distrust — between Wanda and Vision now. Those two are so closely tethered that it makes sense that the one person who is going to make Wanda take a step back and realize how far things have gone is Vision. She hears Monica on Westview’s border, but she doesn’t truly hear that. That’ll come later, hopefully. It’s Vision’s desperate pleading that Wanda stop what she’s doing and help the people she’s trapped that breaks Wanda out of the sitcom and into a state of denial about herself and her powers.
We know that WandaVision is meant to explore the character and the powers of Wanda Maximoff in a way that the MCU never has. It’s a hope that we get the alias of Scarlet Witch before the end of the season. Even if we don’t, it’s so evident in this pivotal scene between Wanda and Vision (which spotlights Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s immense talents, yet again) that we’re headed to a great personal realization for Wanda Maximoff. She’s learning the hard truths of the devastating reality of loss again through her boys. Wanda’s also coming to terms with her own abilities.
It’s not hard to believe that Wanda doesn’t know how all of this started. It clearly got out of hand, and now there’s no easy way to turn back. Wanda is smart and powerful. She knows she’s going to have to face consequences for the things she’s done. We can’t get there yet because Wanda’s not even aware of what’s she capable of yet, and WandaVision knows this. The show is taking careful and smart steps in characterizing this superhero to be more than just that. Wanda is finally becoming fully realized outside of brief appearances in the MCU. It’ll be a really special moment when we see Wanda realize that for herself.
Ally or Foe
If Wanda, Vision, and Agnes are the core starts of the Westview sitcom, Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy are the stars of S.W.O.R.D.. They are the team we never knew we needed, but now we don’t want to imagine the MCU without them. It’s nice to see them stand in direct opposition to Hayward and his view that Wanda is a terrorist. Selfishly, we’re here for anyone who wants to stand up for the complex things Wanda’s working through. Also, it’s telling that Monica — someone who has been inside of Westview at the will of Wanda — does not want to label her in that way.
That’s why it’s so important that WandaVision takes the time to show the layers of what’s going on during that confrontation outside of Westview. Wanda feels betrayed by Monica, but it seems as though she knows Monica isn’t a real threat. Hayward is absolutely in the wrong for trying to shoot Wanda on sight, but Wanda isn’t in the right for everything she’s done up to this point. Wanda isn’t a terrorist, but Hayward isn’t a hero. WandaVision is showing the grays to all of these situation that sometimes get muddled in the films at the expense of time.
The tension is boiling in Westview and at the S.W.O.R.D. camp. Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy seem to be the only ones looking at this situation with any kind of nuance. Hayward willingly presented Wanda’s biographical information in a way that paints her as the person he needs to see. Thankfully, Jimmy Woo is there to remind him that Wanda and Pietro didn’t sign up for Hydra experimentation as the organization was working within S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time. This along with Monica’s deep and personal understanding of Wanda’s insurmountable grief lets us know that there are people in Wanda’s corner. Fingers crossed that some part of WandaVision‘s ending has Monica and Wanda seeing eye to eye, because we do believe they’d be really great friends.
There’s so much to write about Evan Peters showing up as Pietro at Wanda and Vision’s house within the last seconds of the episode. Not only is it fitting to special guests on sitcoms, but it changes the game forever. There’s no going back now. The X-Men are a part of the MCU! We all knew this day was coming, but we are not so sure that we’ll all believed it would come this soon.
It’s easy to slip into countless theories about what this could mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so we’re going to try and keep it to just WandaVision. Peters shows up after Wanda and Vision’s confrontation, and Wanda says that she is not the one who brought him there. While Vision is understandably resistant to the idea that she had zero involvement, we are am inclined to believe Wanda. We are also inclined to believe that this happened as a happy accident.
Wanda just gave a big speech to Billy and Tommy about how she can’t fix the dead and some things are permanent. As painful as it is, Pietro’s death is permanent. The MCU hasn’t given us any hope that the Pietro we knew could return alive and well. Until now. There’s no telling right now how Evans Peters’ Peter shows up on the couple’s doorstep. However, it is relevant that it happens after Wanda’s confrontation outside of Westview and after she turns the energy field bright red. This is a sign that things are escalating, and maybe it’s a sign that the cracks in the multiverse are widening enough for certain quick X-Man to get through.
Until now, WandaVision has done a really great job at making us active participants in the story that’s unfolding. Evan Peters’ cameo is one of the first times we know more than the characters. This is evident when Darcy says, “She recast Pietro?” We’re the only ones who know it’s a lot more than that — that Peters’ Pietro isn’t the MCU’s original Pietro Maximoff but Peter Maximoff from another universe where he’s a mutant and his father is Magneto.
Monica clarifies earlier in the episode that Wanda is rewriting reality. She changes what comes into Westview to fit the narrative she’s weaving. We will have to wait until next week (and maybe longer) to know the true lasting effects of Peter Maximoff assuming the character of Wanda’s brother Pietro Maximoff. Peter may still be Peter, but as long he’s in Westview, he’s Pietro. If this is the case, this is just yet another painful bandage Wanda will have to rip off eventually.
Other Dazzling Moments:
- Did anyone else catch Vision throwing the chip over his shoulder during the title sequence?
- We’re still convinced Ralph isn’t real.
- Wanda tries to shut Vision up by ROLLING THE CREDITS.
- The Captain Marvel mention! And Monica’s face when it happens!
- We know Wanda can’t have nice things for some reason, but can we have Sparky back?
- The baby Vision photos! Shout out to whoever had to edit those. You’re the best!
- Do you think we know the aerospace engineer Monica reached out to?
- The Lagos commercial! “For when you make a mess you didn’t mean to.”
- Wanda’s Sokovian accent!
What did you think of this episode of WandaVision? Let us know in the comments below!
New episodes of WandaVision drop weekly on Disney+!