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Review

WANDAVISION 1×05 “On A Very Special Episode” Review

Neil review’s the latest episode of Marvel Studios WANDAVISION saying it “brings yet more complexity to the show.” Read his review right here…

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WandaVision (Disney+)

Synopsis

Wanda addresses Vision’s worries when he grows suspicious of the neighbors’ strange behaviour.

Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l66V200dvJU&feature=youtu.be

After last week’s mind-bending episode it was inevitable that WandaVision would need to switch up its formula moving forwards. After pulling back the curtain to a certain degree, to purely go back to Wanda’s sitcom world would have been too confusing for the audience.

“On A Very Special Episode” blends together the outside world and sitcom world seamlessly. We’re able to further explore S.W.O.R.D.’s investigation with Darcy (Kat Dennings), Jimmy (Randall Park) and Monica (Teyonah Parris) whilst simultaneously seeing Wanda’s work begin to crumble. Whilst the cracks have been apparent from the beginning there’s a tangible acceleration to the sitcom bubble bursting.

Last week Darcy and Jimmy were the perfect analogy for the audience. Looking in on the strange world of WandaVision and struggling to understand the mechanisms behind it. Jac Schaeffer crafted a near-perfect reveal for the town of Westview. Gradually pulling back the curtain and adding emotional complexity to what feels like an organic comic book scenario. That style naturally transitions in to dual storylines which are now both clearly heading to the same conclusion.

Outside the sitcom bubble Monica is desperate to understand Wanda’s machinations. In typical Marvel style there’s some scientific explanations around the way in which reality is being altered. The reasoning given seems to point towards Wanda’s abilities to alter-reality on a molecular level. Rather than simply projecting her own world on to the town she is altering the people and materials within it to her will. For those looking ahead, it certainly feels like WandaVision is building towards Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

S.W.O.R.D. seems to be a typically shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later style force. Their unilateral presumption that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is the villain feels fresh. It does harken back to Civil War and the perception that heroes shouldn’t act without governance. Interpreting Wanda’s history as one of terrorism and antagonism puts the team at odds with the audience understanding of her character. It seems it will also cause conflict with Monica, Darcy and potentially Jimmy. The storyline could potentially be building towards creating a very central role in Phase 4 for Teyonah Parris. Could she be about to take over her mother’s role as leader of S.W.O.R.D.?

Inside the sitcom bubble the edges are really beginning to fray. The small moments of confusion glimpsed in earlier episodes are ramping up meticulously. From Agnes’ question of restarting a scene from the top, to Billy and Tommy ageing up at the drop of a hat. All of the details feel perfectly placed to throw the Westview world off course. There are still some touching and comedic family moments. Wanda and Vision caring for their twins serves as great reminder of the series’ roots. There’s also a particularly poignant moment when Agnes reveals the family dog has sadly passed away. Stopping Wanda in her tracks, she seems to question her own motivations for maintaining the fictional world.

After revealing how Vision (Paul Bettany) is “alive” in this world last week, he seems somewhat cognisant that something is wrong. The ultimate downfall of Westview and Wanda’s plans seems to be Vision’s own refusal to carry on the charade. Interestingly he seems to show signs of individual thought as though he isn’t fully being controlled by Wanda’s powers. His investigations help bring the element of darkness, which ramped up last week, back to the fore. It certainly doesn’t help to protest Wanda’s innocence when we see just how everyone is being held captive in this technicolour TV scenario.

The episode’s closing twist is one which will certainly delight fans of the wider Marvel (i.e. non-MCU) universe. Whilst it remains to be seen how, why and whether Evan Peters will continue to be integrated in to this world remains to be seen. But for now WandaVision may have just given us our biggest watershed moment in terms of the Marvel Multiverse.

Verdict

“On A Very Special Episode” brings yet more complexity to WandaVision. Twisting the world to place Wanda squarely as the bad guy. Just where does the show go next?

WandaVision stars the returning Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision. Joining them are Kathryn Hahn, Kat Dennings, Randall Park and Teyonah Parris.


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