WandaVision is coming back to you for the second part of its double-header debut. If you thought there was magic in the first episode, you’ll be blown away by what Episode 2 brought you. Keeping most of the elements intact from the last episode, we are now in the 1960s and have a new animated title card, which I dare say is far better than last episode’s. While this is still at its core a pure sitcom episode, it brings thrilling twists and edge-of-your-seat moments that were mostly lacking in Episode 1.
The glitches in the sitcom reality are more present this time. Not only that, but they’re presented in a particularly creepy way—something isn’t just wrong, something is wrong in a very sinister way. The fact that this episode features the first look at the color for the series seems to mean more than just the passing of decades. The glitches themselves possess color while the reality around them is still black and white, something that not only makes it more obvious that they don’t belong there, but creates more tension between what Wanda seems to be experiencing in Westview and what might be lying deeper in her mind.
The episode also features the first evidence of adversaries, with S.W.O.R.D. and HYDRA logos popping up throughout, but I will get to that in a little bit. The fact that there are clear examples of the outside world (at time, literally) breaking into Westview is setting up an awesome showdown between Wanda’s reality-bending powers and those that want to take it on.
The episode starts with Wanda and Vision hearing a loud banging on their window. Vision is very squeamish to figure out what it is, which is a funny moment for the powerful superhero. Wanda determines it was the tree branch outside the window. Later, Wanda and Vision are practicing for a community fundraiser talent show. A magic show—with absolutely no magic. Wanda, on her own, hears another loud noise from outside. She goes outside and finds what looks like a toy helicopter—but it’s in color. Confused, Wanda holds it up to examine it, and we see the S.W.O.R.D. logo though we haven’t been introduced yet.
Wanda and Vision then go their separate ways to different group gatherings. Vision, at the neighborhood watch meeting, post- tree branch, clearly cares more about the safety of the neighborhood than anyone else, who would rather use the time to spread bad gossip. Someone gives Vision a stick of gum, which he decides he can handle despite not being able to eat food. He accidentally swallows it, and the gum gets stuck in his gears, which we see through animation. The effect of this on Vision is hilarious in this episode—he basically looks, talks, and acts drunk.
Wanda, on the other hand, attends the planning committee meeting for the neighborhood fundraiser. Here, we get our first look at Teyonah Parris’s Monica Rambeau, who says her name is Geraldine. Wanda is told by Agnes that the best way to get ahead in the community is get on the good side of Dottie, the leader of the committee. Dottie, however, is a mean and controlling woman, and Wanda finds it difficult not to offend her. The meeting is ominous in and of itself, with the members chanting “For the children” on command.
Dottie becomes integral to the best moment of the episode and series so far. Keeping Wanda behind, she becomes tense and begins to accuse Wanda of something vague. Wanda tells her that her and Vision “mean no harm,” to which Dottie glares and states sternly, “I don’t believe you.” The moment is cut short when the radio nearby crackles and sputters, eventually getting out: “Wanda, who’s doing this to you?” Now THIS, to me, is the most gripping scene we’ve seen so far in the series. It’s tense, it’s a bit creepy, it’s mysterious, and almost horror movie-like. It also begs the questions of (1) who’s speaking?; (2) how are they coming through into Wanda’s reality?; (3) what do they think is happening to Wanda?; and (4) is someone else actually responsible for WandaVision’s Westview sitcom? There are many more questions, and I’m sure we’ll get many more answers. After the radio, Dottie (accidentally?) smashes the glass she’s holding and starts to bleed heavily. The blood, though, is bright red.
We have another commercial, something which may become a staple of the show. Instead of Stark Industries, however, the same commercial man wants to sell you a “Strücker” watch, which bears not only Baron von Strücker’s name, but also the HYDRA symbol. This now begs the question of their involvement and if perhaps they have some responsibility for Westview.
At the fundraiser, Vision is still visibly “drunk”, but the show must go on. He decides to use his actual powers to perform magic tricks. Wanda panics and uses her own powers to make it look like it was ordinary tricks, such as Vision levitating by being held by a rope. The crowd here again chants, “For the children.” Something interesting is happening there no doubt.
At home, Wanda stands up and Vision notices she is visibly pregnant. Wanda is clearly overjoyed and asks, “Is this really happening?”. Unfortunately, they hear yet another sound from outside. When they go to investigate, they watch a person in a hazmat suit, or possibly a beekeeping suit, with a S.W.O.R.D. logo surrounded by bees crawl out of a manhole. Wanda, visibly scared, says “No.” and we rewind to the moment Wanda says “Is this really happening?” We then notice that Vision is colorful, followed by the whole house slowly turning colorful and in the style of the 1970s.
The significance of the rewind is not fully understood at this point. It speaks to Wanda’s strong control over reality as she crafts it to her own desires. At this point, it is unclear what happened to the person in the hazmat suit or how the rewind affected him. However, there is little doubt that they, or someone similar, is lurking around the corner.
The episode features far more of Wanda struggling and desiring to fit in. She would rather give a terrible performance than use her powers to her advantage, and she frets over what she wears to the planning committee as not to disappoint her peers. We saw her humanness last episode, but this time it was truly in full force. To see someone of her super-stature bend to try and be something less than that speaks to her mindset in Westview, and foreshadows a vividly complex character whose psyche will no doubt be tested in time.
4.7 VISIONS ON A ROPE OUT OF 5
The episode does not let up as a sitcom, but the increased glitches are more than welcome and help transform the episode into something much more interesting and compelling. The tension between Wanda’s reality and actual reality is becoming more apparent, and watching that start to unwrap itself in Episode 2 is thrilling.
- When Herb gives Vision a stick of gum, Vision says that he believes gum is only for mastication. Herman, awkward, says “Oh uh, no I don’t do that.”
- Drunk Vision is quite fun. Paul Bettany continues to put in a noteworthy performance.
- Agnes getting drunk at the planning committee. “I don’t know how anyone does this sober.”
- Wanda being pregnant is very exciting as it means the introduction of the couple’s twin boys, Thomas and William (or, Speed and Wiccan).