WandaVision: 5. On a Very Special Episode...
February 5, 2021 6:55 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Welcome to the 80s! Billy and Tommy find a lost puppy, and learn an important lesson about responsibility. Vision has some questions about what is happening, though.

  • Wanda is completely in control! Except that she seems to have no control over the guests who show up on her doorstep.
  • Monica seems to be a little annoyed when the subject of Carol Danvers is brought up.
  • Just what’s the deal with Agnes? She is able to break character on her own, while Norm requires assistance from Vision to do the same thing.
  • Acting Director Hayward is a dick.
Recap on Vulture.
posted by 1970s Antihero (161 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. Also the cake in the credits with 1 2 3 4 5 on it was awesome.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:00 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]


She recast Pietro!?
posted by wabbittwax at 7:06 AM on February 5 [21 favorites]


So I had no idea about the X-Men crossover thing till I read up afterwards. The actor who plays Pietro is the one who played the X-Men movies' version of that character, not the MCU version, again suggesting the crossover is coming.

So she definitely stole Vision's body and is reanimating it somehow. I really want to know to what degree he's alive again. He can't be a pure puppet or she wouldn't have to divert him and he wouldn't be trying to undo the simulation. But is that rebellion just her subconscious making him act like the real Vision? Or is there something of the real Vision's personality left?

Really liking this series! I liked the way this one split between sitcom world and the real world: the pure sitcom was getting a bit old but we still get to see all the gloriously exaggerated 1980s style.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:10 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


Honestly the "Vision as a baby/child" portraits in the opener was the most unsettling bit of all.

So many questions!

Why did the dog die?
Agnes appears sometimes frightened and sometimes knowing. What does that mean?
If Wanda can rearrange matter for real, does that mean we will get Vision back....and keep the kids?
Does everyone go to sleep every night? Even Vision?
Is Pietro an alternate universe guy or a magical construct/ illusion? Or what?
Are we going to get mutants now????
posted by emjaybee at 7:13 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


When the kids tell Wanda that she can bring back the dead, Agnes' "You can do that?" reaction seems to be genuine. And then a few scenes later, the Hex (I called it the Hex), brought back her dead brother from another universe.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:17 AM on February 5 [10 favorites]


I think they answered some of our previous questions about Wanda's powers: she can now transform substances or their appearance, but not completely. I'm not sure how the jumpsuit could be rigid enough kevlar to flatten bullets, but still let her move inside it though.

The dog died by eating the leaves of Agnes' Azalea bushes, which are apparently poisonous to dogs for real.

My guess is that Agnes is secretly manipulating Wanda, but trying to give the impression that she's just one of the puppets. She might also be genuinely scared of Wanda's powers, if she's capable of subtle mental manipulation but not massive psychokinetic blasts.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:18 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Also interesting to note that apparently nobody calls Wanda Scarlet Witch in this universe. They make a real point of saying she has no alias.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:21 AM on February 5 [25 favorites]


I watched this twice in a row and I'm still thinking about it. I'm probably going to watch it again.

I think it was interesting that the sitcom portion was shot in 16:9 aspect ratio and not the 3:4 aspect ratio that an '80s sitcom would've been in. That was clearly a deliberate choice because everything else has been accurate to the period. I feel like it's representative of this getting out of Wanda's control -- it's no longer constrained to just her.

I knew about the Evan Peters thing but what does it all mean? I'm so excited to see where that goes. Also, it's a great meta-joke in terms of sitcoms (I kind of wonder if that's how this whole show came about -- "Wouldn't it be funny if the other Quicksilver showed up in the MCU?" and it spiraled out from there).

I liked the kids aging up instantly (twice!). Also a classic sitcom thing but put to good effect here.

The mystery of Agnes continues. She clearly knows what's going on and is trying to control Wanda, but Wanda is also beyond her control.

I do wonder how much Vision is "alive" -- he seems to have consciousness outside of Wanda but is still under her power.

I feel like there is some symbolism to the costumes that goes beyond just '80s fashion. There are lots of layers, especially around the upper body, on many of the characters -- vests, sweaters, overalls -- and Wanda and Vision were both wearing suspenders, which was especially noticeable in the final scenes. I don't know what that means (although I like the joke of "lots of layers" because this show seems to have ... lots of layers).

Anyway, this show is fun and I love it.
posted by edencosmic at 7:25 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]


Loving the Darcy and Jimmy Snark Show.

This gets more and more intriguing.

The use of SORAS cracked me up, especially since the kids seem to...do it on their own? And yet, somehow a cute dog dies in this world.

Yeah, I was thinking, "why doesn't she just bring Pietro back?"

Here's the thing: if she can make whatever real, does she really need all the random people of Westview about? Can't she just make up an entire population if she likes? It sounds like she kinda just inadvertently did it at first?

Agnes continues to be a mystery.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


This is so much fun! I may never recover from Baby Vision.

As soon as the Sword guy said Wanda was the victimiser I was convinced that she can't be, because he seems to be such a dick dictator terrorist. But I'd be ok with her coercing everyone to be her puppets (from a plot perspective, not from a moral perspective).
posted by harriet vane at 7:43 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Dog was last seen alive right before the attempted attack by the drone. Was missing afterwards and then found dead. Seems like a connection.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 7:54 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


I was very surprised by Wanda coming out of the Hex to tell SWORD to eff off. The whole show seems like she’s doing this subconsciously with only fleeting moments of lucidity (like sending Geraldine away). Even after she came back in and argued with Viz at the end, she seemed like she didn’t fully know what is going on. I don’t know if she was just lying to Vision about not having the whole population of Westview under her control, or if she really isn’t clear on what’s happening. Maybe she isn’t, but when necessary, Superego Wanda emerges to protect what she’s built, without Westview Wanda really realizing it?

Anyway, I love this show. I saw a headline for an article in which Jac Schaeffer addresses the possibility of a second season, but I haven’t read it because I’m spoiler averse.
posted by ejs at 8:26 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]


Interview with Jac Schaeffer. Basically, the interviewer asks her about a season 2, and Schaeffer gives the standard company line that she is not allowed to say anything.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:44 AM on February 5


I'm wondering if Outside Wanda is even Wanda at all. If there's another party responsible for the Hex, it's possible they assumed Wanda's identity to stop SWORD from trying to talk Wanda down, or to goad them into doing something stupid and escalating the conflict.
posted by bigge at 8:46 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]


that said, i did detect a bit of sokovian accent (the choice seems to be more slavic this time around - in the rounded vowels and the v/w consonants) for outside!wanda. but i do like the superego idea.

is it possible that mcu!wanda could be a victim of a reality anomaly that over-corrected and impacted her? I keep thinking that they're going to retcon the lack of wanda in the fox movies as the inciting factor why the universe was trying to normalise whatever went on (no... don't say it's the dark phoenix /jokes).

agnes being an mcu!agatha harkness seems more and more likely.
posted by cendawanita at 9:03 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I'm wondering if Outside Wanda is even Wanda at all. If there's another party responsible for the Hex, it's possible they assumed Wanda's identity

Outside Wanda is wearing her Avengers-era outfit and has a trace of her Sokovian vowels back so that suggests a third party trying and failing to pull off the impersonation. Of course, Outside Wanda seem to have Wanda’s flair for mind control.

With the arrival The Other Pietro, I feel like we have a little echo of the most downbeat of the non-MCU Marvel movies, Logan, both the question of what happens to a supernaturally powerful mind when it is failing (Charles Xavier was psychic where Wanda is magical, but the same principle applies). It’s pretty clear Wanda was not expecting the doorbell at all, much less who was outside ringing it.

Of course, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing there is a third powerful mind grappling with shifting reality: Vision himself. Bruce Banner once remarked that Vision’s mind is a complex overlay of many personalities — JARVIS, Ultron, Tony, Bruce’s own — and these are all pretty crafty folk. Vision’s dawning realization is being played really well. The scene with “Norm” giving way to Abilash, who has been suppressed but seemingly at least partly aware all this time, elevates this toward Twilight Zone/Black Mirror levels of disturbing.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:04 AM on February 5 [7 favorites]


does anyone else feel like S.W.O.R.D Director Hayward has Big Villain Energy™ or is it just me

This is the guy who:

-rose to prominence while everyone else was Snapped
-(by his own admission) redirected the organization to creating weapons rather than monitoring them
-ordered Monica Rambeau out of the space program, because of a weirdly-prescient rule about Snap victims (a rule supposedly written by Monica's mother, even though Monica herself had never heard of it before)
-and instead shipped her off to (what turned out to be) an anomaly that would have swallowed her up forever, if not for Jimmy Woo narrowly avoiding driving into it himself and stopping her outside city limits (not that Director Hayward could have known that or been planning it all along, -perish the thought-)
-it's one way to get rid of the natural competition for the Director position
-and let's face it: given what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D, someone in this organization is going to be a HYDRA mole; it's just a question of who

so maybe this series doesn't *need* a villain, but that's never stopped them before. It could just be Wanda going insane and returning to her traumatized anti-hero origins, or it could be that she had some help on the way down this time
posted by queen anne's remorse at 9:52 AM on February 5 [14 favorites]


Just watched this minutes ago and my brain is still exploding. I should probably stop theory spinning about this show because it just blew about all the ones I was working with out of the water, but of course, now I have a whole new set.

does anyone else feel like S.W.O.R.D Director Hayward has Big Villain Energy™ or is it just me

One of these theories is that Hayward is with AIM. The shot of the yellow beekeeper suit last episode and Hayward nodding like it's all going to plan; I don't think it was even all that sly. The only thing that gives me pause is that it would be an almost exact repeat of the whole Hydra-SHIELD thing if they just do another "org within an org" deal so I'm content to just keep watching the show before I get too Pepe Silva about this. It likes its misdirects big time. But yes, I also find that dude shady.
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:01 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I'm halfway through the episode but the scene with Vision's office just started and oh, those old Commodore monitors! They really bring me back. They were so well made, so crisp and clear....
posted by Catblack at 10:08 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]


The commercial in this episode was especially pointed. "Lagos - for when you make a mess you didn't mean to."
posted by wabbittwax at 10:20 AM on February 5 [20 favorites]


ordered Monica Rambeau out of the space program, because of a weirdly-prescient rule about Snap victims (a rule supposedly written by Monica's mother, even though Monica herself had never heard of it before)

One of the two of us misunderstands the chronology. As I follow it:

In 2018, Thanos snaps his fingers and half of all living beings vanish. The disappears include Monica Rambeau, sitting at her mother Maria’s hospital bedside.

Sometime between 2018 and 2020 Maria has returned to work at SWORD. With half of everyone gone (disintegrated? Abducted?), she formulates a policy that anyone who returns from this unprecedented experience be barred from flight duty (presumably pending some other investigation that we do it hear about).

In 2020, Maria dies.

In 2023, Monica and the others return.

Obviously Monica has not heard of a rule formulated during her period of non-existence, and nothing prescient about the rule.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:29 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]


oh, those old Commodore monitors! They really bring me back. They were so well made, so crisp and clear....

My recollections of my Atari 800 from that era and my uncle’s contemporaneous Commodore 64 was that they were just run into the television as monitors. I certainly played a lot of Star Raiders on my dad’s old black-and-white RCA 13-inch TV.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:34 AM on February 5


You could hook a C64 up to a TV, but you could also get a Commodore 1702 (or 1701) monitor, which had much sharper video, and also came in a lovely shade of beige that matched the computer.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:40 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]


I'm gonna go out on a limb and posit that Hayward is not a villain, writ large, but rather a mediocre white dude archetype, who will regularly be wrong and fuck things up for everybody with his aggressive incompetence for the rest of the series.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:47 AM on February 5 [19 favorites]


What's up with Captain Rambeau not showing up on medical scans and (possibly) not having real blood? Is she the same Captain who went in, or did her molecules get rearranged at the same time that her Kevlar vest got transformed into (iirc) a 1950s dress?
posted by Mogur at 10:51 AM on February 5 [11 favorites]


You could hook a C64 up to a TV, but you could also get a Commodore 1702 (or 1701) monitor, which had much sharper video, and also came in a lovely shade of beige that matched the computer.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:40 PM on February 5


Epony-authoritative!

Another unanswered question: before we see Wanda (or Outside$Wanda) emerge, our view through the force wall shows us the lights of several houses. When she goes back in, it looks like a empty field (although there is much more shimmer in the wall).

And come to think of it, this is a night scene while the scenes within the hex immediately before and after (spotting the loitering drone, searching the neighbourhood for the missing Sparky) are in the daytime. Yet from without, it is definitely night in Westview. That’s some impressive illusion stuff going on.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:12 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Mogur, if I remember correctly, Monica’s powers in the comic include the ability to turn her body into various forms of EM radiation. If so, I think the medical tests are foreshadowing that.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:15 AM on February 5 [8 favorites]


Outside Wanda is wearing her Avengers-era outfit and has a trace of her Sokovian vowels back so that suggests a third party trying and failing to pull off the impersonation.

In the video of Wanda breaking in to steal Vision's body, she's always wearing that outside, perhaps hinting that the deception is deep. AKA Acting Director Hayward is in on it or also a puppet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:47 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


A convoluted crossover with another cinematic universe to streamline canon is the kind of comics shit I am here for if that's what they're doing. At the same time, I would feel extra bad for people who were having trouble following the existing continuity as of last week! This definitely does not help with that.

Between this and the hints about the craziness of the next Spider-Man movie, I think they might just be throwing open the toybox and playing with everything, and I love it. The success of Spider-Verse paying off yet again, showing that audiences aren't so intimidated by that stuff if you use it to make fun things.

My only demand is that they bring back the 90's X-Men animated theme music for whatever the MCU X-Men ends up looking like.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:10 PM on February 5 [16 favorites]


My only demand is that they bring back the 90's X-Men animated theme music for whatever the MCU X-Men ends up looking like.
Flagged for putting that music in my head again.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 12:14 PM on February 5 [17 favorites]


Fun trivia: the actor who plays Director Hayward is the son of NPR’s Susan Stamberg.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:29 PM on February 5 [6 favorites]


At the same time, I would feel extra bad for people who were having trouble following the existing continuity as of last week! This definitely does not help with that.

I’m in the group that never saw the movies being referenced in this show, and I’ve been okay following things so far. There were things in this episode that eluded me, though. Mostly asides that might/probably mean something important later, but I will have no idea why.

Still really enjoying the show, though.

Anyway...
Agnes is a real puzzler. She almost seems to be attached to Wanda, as if she’s part of her. Id? Ego? Superego? In any case, it sure seems like she appears just as Wanda needs her. And that Agnes is in no way thrown by any of the events, pushes me further in that direction.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:39 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Did anyone catch an odd awkward ruffle with the mention of Captain Marvel? Was that significant?

So many people in my Twitter feed said how their mind was blown with this episode so I had high hopes. But i have no idea who this guy playing Pietro is other than vaguely recognising that it’s not the same guy who played him in the marvel movies so I wasn’t as blown away. But I did love the episode for how it was written, directed and edited!
posted by like_neon at 1:44 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Did anyone catch an odd awkward ruffle with the mention of Captain Marvel? Was that significant?

We may have to wait until Captain Marvel 2 to find out, in which it was announced that Teyonah Parris will be reprising her role as Monica Rambeau.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:54 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]


it’s not the same guy who played him in the marvel movies

It's the actor that played Quicksilver in the X-Men movies - sort of the same character, different "universe".

FWIW, I think Agnes is working with Wanda, and also talking to the townspeople to try to stop them from totally freaking out. Probably the only person who actually knows what's going on (probably more than Wanda).
posted by Grangousier at 1:55 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Monica was not thrilled to hear the name Captain Marvel. I’m guessing that Maria becoming Director of SWORD led to some bad blood between her and Carol somehow, since they were both patrolling the same turf.
posted by ejs at 1:56 PM on February 5


Something my wife caught immediately: when Agent Woo makes that note about things going "against Vision's living will" because Vision didn't want to be turned into a weapon, that's not necessarily an objection to what Wanda did. That might be an objection to SWORD having his body dissected for study. When Wanda busts in to claim/steal his body, she's carrying out his wishes. Kinda.

The thing I find curious is that people like Woo and Darcy know details of the battle with Thanos, which presumably happened only weeks ago. It's not like anyone from the media covered it. Maybe Tony and Rhodey had cameras going in their suits, but that's basically it. So how public is all that knowledge? Were there lots of TV interviews and such? Because presumably someone from the Avengers got on TV to explain what just happened, but like... that's a whole question mark in the post-Endgame fallout. We don't really know how much people in general know.

I think the reference to Captain Marvel was to tell us that 1) Monica hasn't told everyone about her connection with Carol (and Woo & Darcy aren't part of SWORD, anyway), and 2) Carol didn't check in after the battle. She came all the way to Earth but didn't look in on Monica or her mom.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:01 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]


like_neon: Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver in Age of Ultron was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson*. The Pietro who just showed up is played by Evan Peters**, who played Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver in Fox’s X-Men movies, starting with Days of Future Past in 2014.

DisneyMarvel reclaimed the film rights to the X-Men characters when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, and folks have since been speculating how those characters (and others like Fantastic Four) will be brought in to the MCU. It seems entirely likely this strange melange of narrative and IP law just occurred.

* Kick-Ass
** Kick-Ass’s friend
posted by dumbland at 2:03 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]


Ultimately, I think what we're seeing is that Wanda has some awareness and some editorial power, but neither are complete. All of this is probably being done with her powers, but I don't think she's really in control.

For what it's worth: in the comics, Peter & Mary Jane's (utterly stupid, I'm still mad) deal with Mephisto involves neither of them actually remembering the (utterly stupid, god just retcon the whole stupid retcon already) deal. So there's kinda some precedent for that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:04 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


The most important Pietro thing is that the Pietro from the X-Men movies was a way, way more fun take on the character. He's good! It's exciting that they can bring him in.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:10 PM on February 5 [21 favorites]


Evan Peters' Quicksilver managed to be the focus of the best scenes of each and every one of the X-men movies he was in. This is partially due to the poor quality of the surrounding movies, but it remains notable, nevertheless.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:15 PM on February 5 [12 favorites]


Did anyone catch an odd awkward ruffle with the mention of Captain Marvel? Was that significant?

Monica was in Captain Marvel, as a young kid. Then CM left to go explore other worlds, promising to return, but we don't know if she did. Based on the a few lines from Endgame, she hasn't been back to Earth since she first left.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:27 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]


Ah yea ok now I remember Monica and Captain Marvel, thanks!
posted by like_neon at 2:40 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Based on the a few lines from Endgame, she hasn't been back to Earth since she first left.

I'd say based on the scenes in the first act of Endgame (where she is at Avengers HQ), she has been.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:18 PM on February 5


Between this and the hints about the craziness of the next Spider-Man movie, I think they might just be throwing open the toybox and playing with everything, and I love it.

DCEU kind of playing catch-up, maybe: IMDb currently lists two confirmed cast members for The Flash due out next year. One is Ben Affleck as Batman / Bruce Wayne. The other is Michael Keaton as Batman / Bruce Wayne.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:22 PM on February 5


I wouldn't normally mention this, but I've had a few beers, and I wondered whether the frisson surrounding Captain Marvel might stem from the fact that she's an asshole. And the frisson comes from the fact that she's pissed them off.

I mean, watch the movies, but especially the Zoom Meeting scene in Endgame. She's not very nice. That's not a problem - look how Tony Stark started, and how he ended, you need characters to progress to even have characters - and there's no particular reason she should be very nice, being all-powerful and everything. But still.
posted by Grangousier at 4:01 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


The thing I find curious is that people like Woo and Darcy know details of the battle with Thanos, which presumably happened only weeks ago.

No, they're talking about the first battle with Thanos, which happened five years ago. Wanda almost beat Thanos in that battle.
posted by Pendragon at 4:18 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Wanda doesn’t nearly defeat him in the first battle in Wakanda. She does that at Avengers headquarters, after saying “You took EVERYTHING from me” and he says he doesn’t know who she is. So she shows him and almost rips his flesh off before Thanos wimps out and calls an air strike.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:45 PM on February 5 [6 favorites]


Did I miss what became of Hazmat Beekeeper? Wanda rewinds him, he goes back into the sewer, and then what? There’s no sign he got kicked out (no beekeeper suit in the lab, no debrief, lab scans). Did he just get absorbed into becoming one of the townspeople? Is he still underground? Why isn’t anyone at the base station looking for him on the “show” or even talking about him?
posted by mikepop at 5:07 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I just paused the credits on the MUSIC page and wow. Were all the episodes like this?

MAKING IT UP AS WE GO ALONG

Written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Performed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Produced by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Kristen
You wander the world with a vision
Of what life could be

Robert
But then the years come and teach you
To just wait and see

Kristen & Robert
Forces may try to pull us apart
But nothing can phase me
If you're in my heart

Crossing our fingers, singing a song
We're making it up as we go along

Through the highs and the lows
We'll be right, we'll be wrong
We're making it up as we go along

Kristen
And there will be days
We won't know which way to go

Kristen & Robert
But we'll take it higher
You're all I desire
When the going gets tough
When push comes to shove
We're making it up

Robert
'Cause we got love
Kristen
We got love
Robert
We got love
Kristen
We got love
Robert
Baby, we got...
Kristen & Robert
WandaVison
posted by mikelieman at 6:01 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]


Did anyone catch an odd awkward ruffle with the mention of Captain Marvel? Was that significant?

We may have to wait until Captain Marvel 2 to find out

I am extremely curious as to how this will be resolved on Earth-MCU, because on an Earth not so far away, she was Captain Marvel for close to ten years. I'll be bummed if this goes unaddressed going forward, as it will make at least twice that these movies have skipped over an era where a black character filled the role of one of the "official" superheroes before getting shuffled off to some spinoff character role. Jim Rhodes was Iron Man when Tony Stark couldn't be, which was often. It's a different story when you skip straight to making him War Machine. I hope they have something better considered in mind for Monica.
posted by EatTheWeek at 6:01 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


About Sparky (the dog):
  1. My first assumption was that he was killed in the missile attack, and that Agnes's story was just her helping cover up. I'm not at all sure about that though.
  2. Did anyone else worry that he might be the beekeeper (or some other human)?

posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:04 PM on February 5


The Lopez' also did A NEWLYWED COUPLE for S01E01...
posted by mikelieman at 6:05 PM on February 5


Ok, it looks like the Lopez' are doing all the theme songs.


S01E01 A NEWLYWED COUPLE

S01E02 WANDAVISION!

S01E03 WE GOT SOMETHING COOKING

S01E04 No WandaVision theme song

S01E05 MAKING IT UP AS WE GO ALONG
posted by mikelieman at 6:11 PM on February 5


Between this and the hints about the craziness of the next Spider-Man movie, I think they might just be throwing open the toybox and playing with everything, and I love it.

Now I’m rethinking that J Jonas Jameson mid-credit scene in Spiderman: Far From Home, which should take place after WandaVison.
posted by chrisulonic at 6:13 PM on February 5 [9 favorites]


Somebody had told me a rumour that there was going to be a "Luke Skywalker-esque" reveal in this episode. I was trying to think who in the MCU might qualify. Tony? Nah, he's not on Luke's level. Then it occurred to me: Charles Xavier.

I must admit now that I probably set my expectations too high, though I am somewhat mollified that conceptually I wasn't too far off.
posted by synecdoche at 6:14 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


I am loving this, more so every episode.

There are so many attempts to explore the dangers that come with unimaginable powers, but this is one that feels right to me. Ruling the world or wreaking horrible vengeance on your enemies don't feel tempting. It's like I get the theoretical risk but whatever, not relevant.

But being tempted to use power to hide from your pain, hang on to your family, just live a quiet life with modest comforts? That's so human. I could see someone with great power doing that, and by hiding the great harm they are doing out of sight corrupting themselves. How can it be wrong? You're not taking too much, you're not asking for more than your share.

And while I don't expect them to explore this explicitly, metaphorically it's the privileged, developed world life. Just look around you in your community and there's nothing you're doing that's malicious, but it can still hurt people. Then you get defensive and angry when people start telling you there's something wrong and you need to give part of it up.

For my aesthetic tastes it's the right approach to big issues in my genre fiction.

Wanda doesn’t nearly defeat him in the first battle in Wakanda. She does that at Avengers headquarters, after saying “You took EVERYTHING from me” and he says he doesn’t know who she is. So she shows him and almost rips his flesh off before Thanos wimps out and calls an air strike.

I didn't remember this but seems to be Endgame. Cool clip.
posted by mark k at 6:20 PM on February 5 [24 favorites]


> Did I miss what became of Hazmat Beekeeper? Wanda rewinds him, he goes back into the sewer, and then what?

It hasn't been shown; he may not have gone back in the sewer. Considering that was before Monica came back out, and they were careful to not show his face, it's unknown but I don't have a good feeling about it.


> Somebody had told me a rumour that there was going to be a "Luke Skywalker-esque" reveal in this episode.

It was mentioned as being somewhere later, so perhaps not yet. CGI Luke Skywalker making an appearance would make me laugh though.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:29 PM on February 5


A friend said she suspects this was the theme song Olsen & Bettany were supposed to sing but didn't get to because of Covid. I believe that.

I love that this show is about an exploration of grief through the lens of the shared experience of the American sitcom -- and that's already a pretty complicated thing to do. But then it's like, oh, here is some superhero stuff too. It's ambitious and I really admire how ambitious this show has been allowed to be.

My disappointment with a lot of MCU movies has been that they just feel like they're moving pieces into place rather than telling a story. This feels like it's telling a story first and the moving pieces bit is secondary. I do think knowing the context for much of this helps but I also don't feel like not knowing it takes away from the emotional core of the story.
posted by edencosmic at 6:30 PM on February 5 [13 favorites]


I admit I would not liken Pietro (whoever he's played by) to be a Luke Skywalker reveal, but it at least makes sense with the plot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:31 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I was getting super strong Too Many Cooks vibes from this episode, especially when Wanda and Vision were arguing during the end credits of their "show."

Makes me wonder if that's somewhat the case: that Wanda and other beings are fighting for control over this altered reality, and someone at some point is going to be struggling to push a reset button...which results in things not quite being the same and a bad guy having inserted himself into the story.

I'm really, really loving both Olsen and Bettany in this, and I hope we get to see them in more things beyond the MCU.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:50 PM on February 5 [12 favorites]


Ok I didn't catch it the first time, but X-Pietro looked at Vision and said "who's the popsicle?" - does he see Vision's corpse?

Like he's being manipulated to think he's Wanda's long-lost brother instead of Quicksilver from the X-verse, but he doesn't see Wanda's illusions?
posted by jason_steakums at 6:56 PM on February 5 [15 favorites]


With neither medical scans nor bloodwork showing anything at all, I'm wondering if Monica actually came out of the Hex or if that's some kind of illusion/construct/magicwhatever.

For now, I'm going with the theory that Agnes has some awareness and is being an ally in helping Wanda keep things running, since she seems to be able to move in and out of character without distress. Unlike Norm who was quite unhappy as he shifted between "where do you put the stamp on an email" to looking to his cellphone in his desk. Can vision separate people from Wanda's control of them? It makes me wonder if he'll do that for everyone in town and free them all and then render himself back to being dead.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:11 PM on February 5


> I feel like there is some symbolism to the costumes that goes beyond just '80s fashion. There are lots of layers

I feel the same way about the stairs in each house. They're always distinctively of a particular sitcom.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:34 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Bettany is *really* selling the horror of Vision's confusion and disorientation - he's a decent man in a nightmare, and the only person who might help him make sense of it all is gaslighting him. "Can't I?" is just an utterly chilling line.

Also, I like how you see (without being told) that Vision is being dragged towards the conclusion that he's going to have to harm or kill Wanda. He *can't* let this situation continue. A different show might show Vision hesitating to us force to save thousands of people from torture, because he loves his wife that much - but this isn't that show. He loves Wanda, sure, but letting her torture a whole town is just not going to happen. That's why he says he *has* to believe she didn't consciously choose all this - because if she did, there's no talking her down. And Vision's floating/levitation beat is played like he's drawing a gun; we're meant to see that he's *almost* ready to fight her.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 7:58 PM on February 5 [16 favorites]


It's mostly the same house! From the same perspective! But it changes a bit every time! The stairs particularly change, but the layout of the house/set is mostly the same.

I also noticed in one of the last scenes when Wanda was gathering things up in the basket -- it wasn't just toys for Sparky. It was a lot of other things that were around, and that was when Vision called her out about just changing everything when it got bad. It did feel like she was getting ready to reset everything again -- she was gathering everything to do so. And she tried to "end" the episode with the credits but Vision fought her on that.

She wants this to be her reality and she's controlling it somewhat but it's increasingly outside her control.

(I am a believer in that Agnes is Agatha but we'll see what happens there. I also don't think Agnes quite knows who/what she's dealing with.)
posted by edencosmic at 8:04 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


My only demand is that they bring back the 90's X-Men animated theme music for whatever the MCU X-Men ends up looking like.

For those of you who weren't kids in the relevant era, please confirm for the rest of us: this is a legitimately good theme, right? It's not just nostalgia, right?
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:33 PM on February 5 [11 favorites]


The thing about Agnes that's odd is, as far as I can tell, she's the only one treating it like it's being shot as a sitcom. Wanda is living as though she were the character in the sitcom; when she and anyone else "breaks," it's out of character and into something like their real selves. When Agnes breaks, its into what looks like the role of an actor on a sitcom.

"Should we use that, or you want me to take it from the top?" or something like that. Looking to Wanda not just as though she's a co-star, but the director/showrunner.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:35 PM on February 5 [16 favorites]


The office scene was fantastically creepy, and I enjoyed the bit of rolling the closing credits over their very much ongoing argument more than it probably deserved.

My memory of those movies is shaky enough that the Quicksilver bit and the switched actors was kind of wasted on me, but I'm glad I'm watching this show weekly. I have a friend who's going to wait and binge the whole thing, and I feel like I'm enjoying it way more this way.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:35 PM on February 5 [6 favorites]


I am also team Agnes = Agatha, and agree that she comes off as more in over her head than out to hurt anybody.

The relative hugeness of the Pietro reveal is an exercise for each viewer, I suppose. However, I did just rewatch the scene, and the shot immediately preceding it is of the main audience POV character running to a monitor while an alarm is blaring. Dr. Lewis was everyone just getting back from the bathroom in that moment. And since this time I was able to watch it without the sound of my head exploding drowning out the sound, this time I caught the literal round of applause at the scene which may well have announced that the mutants have begun coming home to the MCU. Which made me laugh as though I was watching a sitcom. This show is really good.
posted by EatTheWeek at 8:38 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]


> I enjoyed the bit of rolling the closing credits over their very much ongoing argument more than it probably deserved.

Oh, I loved that too.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:39 PM on February 5 [6 favorites]


I hope they have something better considered in mind for Monica

I hope they have Nextwave in mind for Monica.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:57 PM on February 5 [10 favorites]


Damn, I didn't think that this show could kick it up another whole complete notch, but... damn. All the 80s stuff; the Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (and the twins trying to consciously evoke it, in the manner of supremely precocious sitcom kids); the fact that they're twins like Ashley and Mary-Kate, Elizabeth Olsen's sitcom-famous sisters; Agnes lampshading the sitcom setup by asking Wanda if she wants another take (and she is almost definitely Agatha Harkness, or a version thereof; one of the previews shows a scene--probably from the same Halloween episode that has Vis and Wanda in more-comics-accurate versions of their costumes--where Agnes is literally wearing a witch outfit); and, of course, the Evans Peters Pietro/Peter, whose reunion with Wanda I'd predicted/hoped for ever since finding out that Marvel was getting the rights to the X-characters back. The comments that people have made here that that version of Quicksilver was the best thing about the X-Men Mark II are absolutely correct, and I've always been a bit sore about Joss Whedon doing the thing that he likes to do where he kills off a character in a later act to prove that Shit Just Got Real, Yo, so I'm happy to see that this has been fixed, hopefully permanently. (I thought that the universes would be merged in the Unsnappening, but anyway.)

Couple of other things:

does anyone else feel like S.W.O.R.D Director Hayward has Big Villain Energy™ or is it just me

Maybe; could be Hydra, could be A.I.M. Or, could be yet another very eighties culture phenomenon, seen in E.T. and Starman and the very retro-80s Stranger Things and, heck, even First Blood: the authoritarian figure who is in way above his head and encounters something that his skill set can't possibly handle, but keeps on keepin' on because, well, that's just what he does. Hilarity/body counts ensue. The funny thing is, the other S.W.O.R.D. people and affiliates have much more relevant experience with superhumans: Darcy was around for early Thor stuff, Monica for Captain Marvel stuff, and Jimmy Woo for Ant-man/Wasp/Pym stuff... and his may be the most relevant of them all, with the Quantum Realm probably tying into the pending Multiverse stuff in a major way.

The thing I find curious is that people like Woo and Darcy know details of the battle with Thanos, which presumably happened only weeks ago. It's not like anyone from the media covered it. Maybe Tony and Rhodey had cameras going in their suits, but that's basically it. So how public is all that knowledge? Were there lots of TV interviews and such? Because presumably someone from the Avengers got on TV to explain what just happened, but like... that's a whole question mark in the post-Endgame fallout. We don't really know how much people in general know.

Good question. If the MCU people really wanted to be bold, they could work up a whole crypto-QAnon plotline based on some paranoid conspiracy theorists' trying to figure it all out. That could lead to some emotionally-manipulative villains such as Hatemonger or Psycho-Man (who comes from the Quantum Realm-adjacent Microverse) taking advantage of that. Or, for that matter, a resurgent Hydra.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:01 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]


I liked the reveal of the "recast" of Pietro and I'm all in on some weird comics nonsense of merging real-world properties into one "MCU-Prime", but man do I hate Evan Peters's Quicksilver. Aaron Taylor-Johnson's dour jerkass who only likes Wanda was so much more accurate to the comics.

Not every damn character has to be the snarky wisecracker! It's OK to have more than one personality in a superhero movie!
posted by haileris23 at 9:03 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I had myself convinced for a little while that Agnes was a Hydra/AIM agent whose mission was to manipulate Wanda into resurrecting some supervillain or another (I thought maybe the Red Skull as the ne plus ultra Hydra villain, but I guess in the MCU he's off on some other planet guarding the spot where that one infinity stone used to be). But Agnes's shocked reaction to the suggestion that Wanda has power over life and death seems to suggest otherwise. If she didn't consider the possibility prior to whatever mission she's on, then what is she there to get Wanda to do? Or is Agnes just being subtle about it as a way to push Wanda's mind in that direction?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson's dour jerkass who only likes Wanda was so much more accurate to the comics.

I mean, yes, but he's a dour jerkass who only likes Wanda in the comics, so he isn't much fun to hang around with there either. I agree that every character doesn't need to be Spider-Man, but they don't all need to be Namor either.
posted by whir at 9:15 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]


I love you all, and it's my own fault for googling "Agatha Harkness" but I really wish there were a show-only discussion. I'll see everyone again at the finale.
posted by mark k at 9:23 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Another interesting aspect that I picked up on: consciously or not, Wanda is "directing" the WandaVision series (and through it, herself) into an inevitable confrontation with her grief due to sitcom's tendency to deal with real social issues as the medium matures over the decades.

Television in 50's depicted an un-reality: a perfect, sanitized dream of domestic suburban tranquility interrupted only by canned laughter. The cost of having a more realistic relationship with Vision - moving those beds together, pregnancy and birth - was progressing the series forward through to the 60's and 70's, where such things could be shown. But that time-shift also brings the outside world "creeping in" - Maude taking on abortion in 1972, The Jeffersons in 1975 dealing with race, alcoholism and more - culminating in the blue-collar sitcoms like Rosanne in 1988. The 70's and 80's is also when forced laughter starts to be used less, perhaps most notably in its absence from the operating theatre in M*A*S*H, just as it's dropping out from the WandaVision series.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:01 PM on February 5 [17 favorites]


The 80's were also the first decade in which "should I do that from the top?" would be a legitimate response to a flubbed line: before then, the majority of shows were filmed in front of a studio audience, and performed much more like plays. Wanda is creating opportunities for her cast to question the reality she has made.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:25 PM on February 5 [9 favorites]


And Vision's floating/levitation beat is played like he's drawing a gun; we're meant to see that he's *almost* ready to fight her.

Vision suddenly started shouting when he did that, shouting “STOP LYING TO ME!” which is the same thing Bruce Banner shouted at Natasha Romanov in the first Avengers movie when she came to recruit him. And why did he do that? As Bruce said, “I just wanted to see what you’d do.” Vision was testing Wanda in that moment. He wanted to see what she would do if he were a possible threat.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:02 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]




it's a great meta-joke in terms of sitcoms (I kind of wonder if that's how this whole show came about -- "Wouldn't it be funny if the other Quicksilver showed up in the MCU?" and it spiraled out from there).

I assume that once the writers conceived of this twist, Disney then initiated the purchase of FOX to bring the scene into being.
posted by chrchr at 12:22 AM on February 6 [12 favorites]


One thing I really appreciate both here and in the first season of the Jessica Jones show is that mind control is depicted as a traumatic violation. Too often in comic book stories it is used casually as a plot device with no lasting consequences and even something it would be okay for a protagonist (like Prof. Xavier) to do a bit here and there without a suggestion they've crossed the line and become a villain.

(Thor 2 did a little better than Avengers 2 at depicting consequences to Loki's mind control. At the time I didn't like the way Thor 2 depicted Erik Selvig's broken sanity, but in retrospect it's better than Hawkeye just making a snarky comment about it when Wanda tries to attack him.)
posted by straight at 12:25 AM on February 6 [12 favorites]


I assume that once the writers conceived of this twist, Disney then initiated the purchase of FOX to bring the scene into being.

I've seen some people calling the addition of Evan Peters a $71.3 billion cameo.
posted by straight at 12:27 AM on February 6 [10 favorites]


Also interesting to note that apparently nobody calls Wanda Scarlet Witch in this universe. They make a real point of saying she has no alias.

Just like that 90s X-Men cartoon: CYCLOPS, WOLVERINE, ROGUE, STORM, The BEAST, GAMBIT, JUBILEE, and ... JEAN GREY!
posted by straight at 12:46 AM on February 6 [9 favorites]


Turns out Wanda was a Skrull the whole time. [sad trombone]
posted by straight at 12:54 AM on February 6


I was wondering if it wasn't Wanda who brought back Pietro, but Tommy and Billy (well, probably Billy, given comics). Wanda can't control them the way she can control everyone else, and they can manipulate the world on their own - at least enough to age themselves up and maybe find a puppy. It would also be an in-universe reason for the recast - Wanda wouldn't choose that, but the twins wouldn't have a solid idea of what Pietro looked like.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:42 AM on February 6 [8 favorites]


I was thinking the same thing about the twins being responsible for Pietro. If you've got more power than you realise, and you've been told Uncle Pietro is very far away, and you reach out with your mind and don't find any MCU Pietro so you keep looking...

When they're arguing in the kitchen, you can see a Kiss The Cook sign on the kitchen island bench. I was just thinking oh thank goodness this isn't Too Many Cooks when the credits rolled and Vision wouldn't let the episode end.
posted by harriet vane at 3:10 AM on February 6 [11 favorites]


I'm really, really loving both Olsen and Bettany in this, and I hope we get to see them in more things beyond the MCU.

Tangentially, we just watched Master and Commander last week and I had to convince my wife it was the same guy. He's great in that too.
posted by transient at 5:17 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately he's not great in real life as demonstrated during the Johnny Depp UK libel trial. (Still watching and loving WandaVision though.)
posted by ellieBOA at 5:22 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


The picture in ellieBOA’s link makes them look like a scuzzy Mitchell and Webb.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:47 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


Wow; learned something new. Doesn't sound like a great example of respect and humanity all around. But also will keep enjoying WandaVision.
posted by transient at 5:56 AM on February 6


If my Facebook feed is any indication, Wandavision is working as a gateway drug to introduce normies to the MCU.
posted by whuppy at 6:34 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


But being tempted to use power to hide from your pain, hang on to your family, just live a quiet life with modest comforts? That's so human. I could see someone with great power doing that, and by hiding the great harm they are doing out of sight corrupting themselves. How can it be wrong? You're not taking too much, you're not asking for more than your share.

Let me tell you about a Douwd named Kevin Uxbridge.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:20 AM on February 6 [13 favorites]


I caught the literal round of applause at the [Pietro reveal] which may well have announced that the mutants have begun coming home to the MCU

I think it's the trope of the audience (over)reacting when the "wacky" sitcom character (Fonzie, Rerun, Kramer) enters.

[S.W.O.R.D Director Hayward could be] the authoritarian figure who is in way above his head and encounters something that his skill set can't possibly handle, but keeps on keepin' on because, well, that's just what he does

Yes! I got that energy from his first entrance last episode. I've been calling him "Acting Director Mediocre McWhiteman."
posted by PlusDistance at 7:32 AM on February 6 [11 favorites]


The thing I keep fixating on is how did Wanda recognize New Pietro? Someone's definitely manipulating her too. It seemed like she was going to tell Vision about what's really going on before he came to the door, too.

Also I can't shake the fear that we're going to see Grossout McBabyhands before this is over.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:57 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


introduce normies to the MCU

Wow! Glad that a niche project like the MCU is finally getting some mainstream attention! Hope they don't end up selling out!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:33 AM on February 6 [36 favorites]


How the HECK did S.W.O.R.D. get ahold of Vision's body from Wakanda?
posted by straight at 8:48 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Well, who do you think would have have Vision's body?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


> I agree that every character doesn't need to be Spider-Man, but they don't all need to be Namor either.

I'd settle for some of them being like Namor. Currently when you have Star Lord, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Falcon, Thor, Rocket, and Hawkeye standing in a circle it's like the early 60s comic where every character has an identical voice and just sounds like Stan Lee in a different spandex suit.
posted by haileris23 at 9:31 AM on February 6 [7 favorites]


Heck, I'd still like to see Namor himself pop up sooner than later in this universe. If I'm not mistaken, his film rights were going to be particularly difficult to retrieve. But if the idea is to go all-in on putting the whole Marvel Megastory in front of the camera, a missing Namor is about as big a problem as a missing Spider-Man.
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:49 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


After the Snap, Black Widow was running the remnant of SHIELD and/or the Avengers and in contact with Wakanda. I'd expect Okoye gave Vision's body to her.

We don't know where Vision was living between Civil War and Infinity War. Natasha, Rhodes, and Vision were the only active Avengers not taken to the Raft, but by Infinity War Natasha was on the run with Captain America's group and Wanda was sneaking away from them to see Vision, so Vision was presumably with Rhodes or Stark. It's weird he had a relationship with Wanda but didn't join her group. Was he just too Lawful Good to do it?

But before Civil War, Vision spent some time with Natasha and Rhodes and the other active Avengers so Natasha ought to have been able to find out what he would have wanted done with his body.

Right after Infinity War, Natasha probably would have had scientists studying Vision's body as one of the only clues to finding Thanos. But once they found and killed Thanos, I'd think Natasha would have properly disposed of Vision's body. So I'm gonna say SWORD were probably grave robbers.
posted by straight at 9:54 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Tony's artificial intelligences are one of the big under-explained features of the MCU. Other than having a body, how different was Vision from JARVIS? Is it possible Natasha never thought of Vision as more of a person than any of the other voices Stark was constantly talking to?
posted by straight at 10:09 AM on February 6


A few details Jimmy Woo left out of his briefing about Wanda:

1. Wanda didn't love Hydra, she hated Stark and whoever dropped one of his bombs on her family.

2. At the end of Age of Ultron, Wanda joined the Avengers as Stark left.

3. When the Avengers split, the side led by Stark signed the Accords that declared her powers illegal, put her under house arrest, imprisoned her on the Raft, and separated her from Vision.

4. When Thanos comes for Vision, the Avengers fight with her in Wakanda to protect him. Once Thor shows up and turns the tide, all the Avengers are there except Stark.

5. They fail. Thanos kills Vision. Something weird happens. The unsnapped Avengers are gone and a wizard wants them to leave Vision's fallen body and come fight Thanos at Avengers HQ. From Wanda's point of view, the Avengers fail to save Vision and then a few minutes later they join Stark and defeat Thanos. Stark dies the big hero as Vision's body lies on a battlefield half a world away.
posted by straight at 11:14 AM on February 6 [19 favorites]


When Wanda and the others blip back in Wakanda there’s no way Vision’s body is still there. It’s five years later. The surviving avengers would have transported his remains to avengers headquarters when they returned there.

No doubt the absence of Vision when she blipped back was still traumatizing to Wanda, because from her perspective, “he was right here a SECOND AGO!!?!”
posted by wabbittwax at 11:36 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


She would find that out later, but during the Endgame battle she's gotta be thinking everybody has left Vision behind somewhere to go help Stark fight Thanos. And then when Stark dies it's A Big Deal, but what about Vision...
posted by straight at 11:52 AM on February 6


This comment is just express my annoyance in the Avenger movies that Dr. Strange didn't use his portal opening and closing skills to either decapitate Thanos or cut off the hand with the infinity gauntlet (especially, since he did that to cut offf the hand of one of Thanos' minions).
posted by ShooBoo at 12:04 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]


These threads are invaluable! I don't have time to catch up on MCU lore. Thanks!
posted by kingless at 1:00 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Remember the fight between Doctor Strange and Thanos on Titan where Strange does a bunch of trippy magic stuff? In the comics there would be a narration panel saying that the crazy stuff you see is only 1% of the actual magical battle taking place that a normal eye can't see and a normal mind can't comprehend. Presumably Strange was making all sorts of attempts to cast spells that Thanos was blocking with the stones or his own ill-defined power.
posted by straight at 1:03 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]


One of the things I love about this is that all of the craziest explanations I can think of for what's going on have enough precedent in the comics that, after this episode, I can believe, yeah, they might actually go there.
posted by straight at 1:13 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


In the comics, Wanda is called The Scarlet Witch and the definition of her powers has been all over the map: everything from a sort of pseudo-science mutant "luck" ability that manipulates probability to literal chaos magic. But most of the time they've been called "hex bolts" or "hex powers."

How much do we love the pretext they came up with for calling them hexes in spite of the blatant decision to not call her a witch? I was so delighted my admiration for Darcy grew three sizes larger.
posted by straight at 1:26 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


(Speaking of Namor, in the comics, the body Ultron used to make Vision was that of the original Human Torch, who was an android that fought Nazis with Namor and Captain America in WW2. And Vision's brain was copied from the villain-turned-hero Wonder Man.)
posted by straight at 1:33 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


the body Ultron used to make Vision was that of the original Human Torch, who was an android that fought Nazis with Namor and Captain America in WW2

And if you want to go for a deep dive, we have actually seen the body of the android in the MCU: about twelve minutes into Captain America , that’s the figure in red standing in a sealed glass booth at the expo that Steve and Bucky attend.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:11 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


The thing I find curious is that people like Woo and Darcy know details of the battle with Thanos, which presumably happened only weeks ago.

The battle was happening at the same time as the chaos in the hospital we saw last episode.

A huge alien spaceship appeared above Avengers HQ, destroyed it, and there was an enormous battle involving all the Avengers, a futuristic African army, alien invaders, alien allies, giant monsters, sorcerers, and Norse gods. This was not the top story in that evening's news. It's surprising that anyone even noticed it.
posted by straight at 2:27 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


Heck, I'd still like to see Namor himself pop up sooner than later in this universe. If I'm not mistaken, his film rights were going to be particularly difficult to retrieve.

More information, please. Who else has a claim on Namor's rights? What's the difficulty here and why is it such a thorny one? Wouldn't he be seen as part of the FF's character set?
posted by Paul Slade at 2:50 PM on February 6


Universal Pictures had the rights for a while, along with Hulk film rights. They might have reverted, it's sort of unclear at this point.
posted by fomhar at 2:59 PM on February 6


Namor and Hulk are rumored to be back with Marvel, but the distribution or some other rights aren't. Nothing is explicitly known, I don't know why. Only the Feige will say about it is that the situation is complicated.

Honestly, I'm guessing that they are back with Marvel, because they're owned by Disney now and because the MCU has made billions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 PM on February 6


wow, my head just exploded, I can't believe I didn't know till now that the star of this show which so heavily leans on the history of sitcoms is herself the sister of sitcom royalty.

Anyway, last week i was a little nervous that this show was going to lean too heavily on being an important piece of the continuing MCU and not enough on being a story, and at least for now I'm not worried about that now, this was really compelling drama.
posted by skewed at 4:02 PM on February 6


Did Quicksilver have a sister in the X-Men movies?

Was Pietro ever called Quicksilver in Age of Ultron?
posted by crossoverman at 5:20 PM on February 6


If I recall correctly, Fox universe Wanda was watching TV when Quicksilver let Charles et al inside his home.

I don’t think Pietro in MCU was ever actually called Quicksilver by name.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:23 PM on February 6


In the fox universe Wanda was killed as a young girl. She and her mother were shot with an arrow when authorities came to arrest Magneto. He was living under an assumed identity in eastern Europe at the beginning of Apocalypse.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:49 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


My bad, I only saw Apocalypse once, and didn’t realize that was supposed to be Wanda.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:55 PM on February 6


I take it back. Wikipedia tells me that character was named Nina and isn't Scarlet Witch. Also, as I recall Apocalypse wasn't really worth seeing more than once.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:10 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


It’s not Wanda killed by the arrow, as you say. Peter (not Pietro and mos def not Quicksilver) has an unnamed younger sister whom we see watching tv when he is first introduced in Days of Future Past.

Because of the rights situation, there is no direct acknowledgement of the connection between Magneto and Quicksilver. There is just a single oblique joke in Days of Future Past as Peter is springing Erik from prison: “they say you control metal... you know, my mom once knew a guy like that.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:40 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


From Wanda's point of view, Thanos kills Vision and then vanishes. Suddenly everyone is standing in different places and Vision's body is gone and then Wizards show up and they go to fight Thanos some more. She would naturally want to see Vision's body. This is inconvenient because Sword has been experimenting on Vision's body for years, as evidenced by their pivot to "robotics, nanotech, A.I."

Wanda discovered this "9 days ago" and had some kind of break. It's uncertain how long after the blip that was. I'm guessing current events are a couple of weeks or even less after the blip, as Rambeau is just now going back to the Sword building to meet with Hayward. The Sword lab could have been Wanda's first stop after Tony's funeral?

Agnes is totally Agatha. When she says "children are hard to control" I wonder if she's revealing why there are no other children in Westview or perhaps speaking ironically about how she's finding it difficult to control Wanda. Maybe she's trying to influence Wanda by doing what Wanda wants, which is... very subtle. I wish we had seen a close up of her dossier on the whiteboard.

I get the feeling that it isn't actually "all Wanda," as Rambeau says. Darcy offhandedly say's "someone" is censoring the broadcast. Maybe Wanda, maybe not?

The kids probably brought Pietro in because Mom was sad. When they reached out with their powers to find a Pietro and they couldn't find one in the MCU they had to reach all the way to 20th Century Fox. (A sort of multiverse pun.)

I think Monica blames Captain Marvel for Maria's cancer, possibly due to radiation exposure. Or maybe I misread the energy in that scene and she was just hiding her connection to Danvers.

Who is the witness that Woo was protecting?

I won't tell you about my Two-Wandas theory, because I'm already achieving Q-level gibberish here.

Hrm, what else?

A show with Agent Jimmy Woo and Doctor Darcy traveling around solving supernatural mysteries is all I want in life. Reddit is calling it "Woo's Clues" and I'm down with that.

I'm loving this show and the weekly release is excruciating, what is this the 1900s?

Hayward is a d-terrorist.
posted by Horkus at 9:15 PM on February 6 [18 favorites]


Fomhar & Brandon Blatcher: Thank you for the Namor info. That issue had completely passed me by.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:09 PM on February 6


Currently when you have Star Lord, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Falcon, Thor, Rocket, and Hawkeye standing in a circle it's like the early 60s comic where every character has an identical voice and just sounds like Stan Lee in a different spandex suit.

That's a fair point, though the obvious snarky answer is that it's more like a late 2000s comic written by Brian Michael Bendis (who has a tendency to turn the banter up to 11). I think this is what happens when everyone gets their own movie and every movie seemingly has to have its own wise-crackin' comic relief character, and then you smash all the movies together. And I suppose it's also a consequence of the movies having to spend a lot of time on fights and stuff and thus less on proper character development, and what character development time there is needs to be spread out among, say, five to twelve characters per movie.

Anyways, I agree that Quicksilver from the comics is a poor fit for this role, but I'm willing to forgive a lot to get the kitchen scene from Days Of Future Past. And his current incarnation on the show is filtered through Wanda's sitcom reality, so maybe he'll have a chance to turn realistically dour in the MCU after he escapes it.

I think Monica blames Captain Marvel for Maria's cancer, possibly due to radiation exposure. Or maybe I misread the energy in that scene and she was just hiding her connection to Danvers.

Ooh, I like this theory (even though they copped it from Watchmen if it's true).
posted by whir at 12:12 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Grangousier I wouldn't normally mention this, but I've had a few beers, and I wondered whether the frisson surrounding Captain Marvel might stem from the fact that she's an asshole. And the frisson comes from the fact that she's pissed them off.


Yeah, nah. I'm not going to dignify this mysoginistic bollocks with an in-depth response, but.. no.
She's a powerful woman refusing to let a man tell her what to do.

That's not being an asshole.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:55 AM on February 7 [22 favorites]


Just caught up with this slow over the past two days and uh wow it’s very good you guys, I think this Marvel thing might have some staying power after all

did anyone else feel like the town set in the intro sequence seemed like that one iconic set that was in Back to the Future and Gremlins and the first episode of the Twilight Zone and stuff?
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:33 AM on February 7


did anyone else feel like the town set in the intro sequence seemed like that one iconic set that was in Back to the Future and Gremlins and the first episode of the Twilight Zone and stuff?

It's definitely a standard studio backlot "everytown" set. You've probably seen the same backlot hundreds of times. All it takes is a little unique set-dressing (signage, a little paint, plants, etc.) to differentiate them enough.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:16 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


The iconic backlot DoctorFedora mentions is Courthouse Square on the Universal backlot. I think what we’re seeing is Blondie Street on the Warner Brothers backlot. It’s Bewitched and Gidget and Pleasantville and The Partridge Family and American Beauty and a few others.

Bonus trivia factoid: around the corner is Park Boulevard; its small park had the fountain from the opening credits of Friends.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:13 AM on February 7 [8 favorites]


This episode's sitcom started sliding into, I dunno, 'Family Ties' and 'Silver Spoon' era for me but the plot is moving as quickly as the decades - but I'm still holding out hope (beyond hope) for a 'Married... with Children' nod.

Or even a Simpsons (animated) reference.
posted by porpoise at 10:41 AM on February 7


Just caught up with this slow over the past two days and uh wow it’s very good you guys, I think this Marvel thing might have some staying power after all

I'm honestly still wondering about how much the pandemic putting it on pause right after Endgame put a nice bow on everything might have caused much of the audience to move on, especially with some of the movies coming up focusing on characters that I like but seem like they'd be a little bit unexciting for most people. But it does seem like there's a lot of interest in this show, and creatively at least they're starting off this phase much more engaging than I expected! The Netflix and ABC shows, outside of a few standouts, really set my expectations a little low and this thing just works in a way those never quite did.

I think I forgot how much I had the same worries about audiences clicking with every new character they tackled after Iron Man, it's easy to forget how hard of a sell Cap or Thor or the Guardians seemed at the time but we've gotten used to them working now. So here's hoping they can make that magic work with the Eternals, that's the one I'm really wondering about being a stumbling block for the franchise. I like the Eternals but they absolutely feel like the comics equivalent of homework.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:00 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


jason_steakums, your mention of “the ABC shows” suddenly made me realize that the final season of Agents of SHIELD also did the hopping-through-decades-of-television-history thing! How could I have forgotten that so quickly? Coulson as Max Headroom! Come on!!
posted by ejs at 11:21 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


One of her sons is named Billy!! And the other is Tommy!

So, that’s Wiccan and Speed, right?

Which means we’ve now got enough officially announced characters to put together most of the Young Avengers: (Kid) Loki, (Kate Bishop) Hawkeye, Wiccan, skrulls. Right??
posted by sleeping bear at 2:22 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


All I require now is one (1) America Chavez, though we also have Cassie Lang.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:24 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


All I require now is one (1) America Chavez, though we also have Cassie Lang.

She's already been cast and set to appear in an upcoming MCU movie. Link contains spoilers, of course.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:39 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


> I'm honestly still wondering about how much the pandemic putting it on pause right after Endgame put a nice bow on everything might have caused much of the audience to move on

I know mine isn't the only household that went "Eh, there's a global pandemic -- fuck it, let's get Disney Plus," which has meant we've rewatched the movies more than we might have otherwise.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:49 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Yeah I was not on board the Disney train but between Mandalorian and Wandavision, with so few other distractions, here I am.
posted by emjaybee at 4:00 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


My household started watching the MCU in chronological order, one movie a week, the week we locked down, and finished just before school resumed in the fall. After a few odd weeks we tackled the Star Wars movies after.

I signed up for Disney+ the day we locked down, ostensibly to watch The Mandalorian, and we’ll be re-upping our annual subscription for either WandaVision or Loki. So...yeah :)
posted by warriorqueen at 5:05 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Two explanations for Monica's reaction to the mention of Captain Marvel come to mind:

In the comics, Mar Vell, the original Captain Marvel, died of lung cancer that, while not exactly caused by his powers, was aggravated by an aspect of them. So there is definitely room to think that Maria's cancer might have been caused by proximity to Carol.

In the MCU, it's really hard not to read Maria and Carol as life partners who were at some point co-parenting little Monica. But Carol went away and doesn't appear to have come back. Carol had good reasons to miss the original hospitalization five years ago, and again two years ago when Maria was completely alone, but not necessarily reasons Monica would know about. If Carol didn't even come by to visit after the final battle in Endgame, Maria has real reason to feel betrayed/abandoned. Her one remaining parental figure wasn't there for her.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:32 PM on February 7 [7 favorites]


I feel like budget-wise, they are basically bringing their TV game in line with their movie game. This series cost something like $200 million for 5 hours, which is like half the cost per minute as a regular Marvel movie. Assuming there are some fixed costs, they may be close to just spending blockbuster movie money on his series, and probably the other ones, too.

By comparison, the Netflix shows were like $40 million for 13 hours and it shows.
posted by snofoam at 5:42 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


It's funny but back in the day when I was a serious comic reader, Marvel fans tended to look down on DC and one of the reasons they did so was because the canon was so messy with alternate versions of characters thanks to a vast and complex multiverse. As somebody who spent a bigger percentage of my comic buying dollar on DC titles (although there was more than a healthy mix of Marvel ones in my pull list as well), I liked that the company could tell stories that veered outside of the established canon without having to label them "What If..." (And yes, I'm aware Marvel has revived that title for an upcoming TV show.)

The DC multiverse also gave readers the opportunity to delve deep into characters' histories without having to disregard them because the characters were now too old to have experienced something [fought in WWII, for example]. It was easy to make the mental shift to, "well that was the Earth-2 Bruce Wayne..."

Now, things are are all upside down. Marvel fans--especially MCU ones--are all excited by the multiverse approach, and DC has spent the past number of years trying to clean up its multiverse. Admittedly the company hasn't had much success doing that, and has had to restart its clean-up action a few times, but the goal was clear.

I guess that's just a long-winded way of saying that while I wasn't expecting Pietro to be recast, I can roll with it no matter if it's just a stunt cameo or if it leads to bringing the X-Men and the mutants and the FF into the MCU. I'm just happy that the only cow we've seen so far has been on the side of milk cartons in the grocery store. If we get one that starts walking upright and talking, I suspect that might be a bridge too far, and it's a sign the writers need to step away from the back-issue boxes.

As for Director Hayward, I saw a screenshot in another online discussion that was really trying to make the case that he has been influenced by something (AIM or whoever is attempting to manipulate Wanda). The "evidence" was that there were hexagon patterns in his carpet and the diplomas on his wall were hung in a hexagonal arrangement. How much of that is just the art department having fun with the viewers and how much of that is laying a trail of breadcrumbs, I have no idea, but I figured since there's a discussion about how much big villain energy the guy has, I'd toss it out there for people to ponder.

(As an aside, I keep waiting for myself to slip and type HIVE instead of AIM because when I think hexagons and nefarious comic book organizations, this is the image that comes to mind.)
posted by sardonyx at 6:22 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


ricochet biscuit,
While the DC movie universe may be playing "catch-up" don't forget that its television counterpart (formerly known as the Arrowverse), invited a number of out-of-universe participants in for Crisis on Infinite Earths, including Ezra Miller (the Flash from the current movies), Burt Ward (Robin from the 1966 Adam West TV show), Ashley Scott (Huntress from Birds of Prey), and many, many more. While those may have been cameos or stunt casting (hence me wondering about Pietro's long-term viability), the bar has definitely been set for multiverse crossovers.
posted by sardonyx at 7:14 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I won't tell you about my Two-Wandas theory, because I'm already achieving Q-level gibberish here.
I don't have anything that goes so far as a theory, but I get the distinct feeling that there are somehow two Wanda's, as well. If not literally, then is some more abstract sense.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 7:22 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


As said above, the wait between episodes seems interminable but it promotes all this engaging discussion. If it were a single-season post, there’d be far fewer comments and links, no theories about where it’s going.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:29 AM on February 8 [8 favorites]


This episode was the perfect balance of sitcom spoof and modern plot. I've been hoping they would alternate like this all along, I think it's remarkable they only started now. As for all the complicated theories I just don't know the characters well enough to even follow them. it is good fun reading y'all enthusiastically discuss it though, I appreciate being able to follow along.
posted by Nelson at 11:56 AM on February 8


Can't remember if this has been discussed in this thread - though I haven't seen it discussed much anywhere - but Wanda changed the "previously on" recap at the start of this episode. I've seen sneaky changes in recaps before, but this could definitely be in-universe Wanda manipulating what we remember.
posted by crossoverman at 1:56 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


I've seen sneaky changes in recaps before, but this could definitely be in-universe Wanda manipulating what we remember.

The latter half of the sentence is doing some heavy lifting there. It's been at least twenty years that I have been seeing trailers and ads and "previously on..." segments using alternate takes and deleted scenes and such to make the story clearer. I suppose it is possible, but there are a lot of doors and windows being knocked into the fourth wall here already without attributing a common practice of the medium to hex powers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:29 PM on February 8


Earlier today, my brother mentioned that the Skrull ship where we last saw Nick Fury was among the places where we'd seen a lot of hexes and it hit me that I hadn't even been considering the involvement of the shape shifting aliens and the 25-30 year gap where we don't really know exactly what they were up to
posted by EatTheWeek at 5:37 PM on February 8


He was on a ship with Skrulls. I think most people assume that ship was built by SWORD.
posted by crossoverman at 11:54 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I liked the way this one split between sitcom world and the real world: the pure sitcom was getting a bit old but we still get to see all the gloriously exaggerated 1980s style.

Might be because I only belatedly discovered the great gift of Abed&Troy-vision that Community gave birth to, but this whole series so often feels like an homage to that hyper-citationist, lo-tech/hi-style, idio-empathetic approach to storytelling/filmmaking. I wonder whether there are connections at the authorial or producer levels here.
posted by progosk at 3:24 AM on February 9


S.W.O.R.D Director Hayward

Worse: Acting Director, as the script has him underline (in what felt like a nod to the bullshit tactic of the last administration for appointing convenient cronies)...
posted by progosk at 4:06 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Acting Director

So, I know Directors on TV shows are just called Directors but is there something in this title? Is he Acting Director because he's "directing" the "actors" on Wanda's sitcom? Is he the puppetmaster somehow?
posted by crossoverman at 2:15 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, gosh, I'm dense. The bits of the X-Men movies where Evan Peters plays Quicksilver take place in the late 70s and early 80s.

This is the 80s version of Pietro showing up in the middle of the 80s-themed episode of WandaVision.
posted by straight at 2:46 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


Oh, gosh, I'm dense. The bits of the X-Men movies where Evan Peters plays Quicksilver take place in the late 70s and early 80s.

Don’t feel badly. We are part of a brotherhood of fools: this occurred to me just yesterday. We have been specifically told in Wandavision that Wanda and original Pietro were born in 1989. The show we and SWORD are seeing looks to be about 1983 give or take a year, so if Wanda/Mephisto/Agnes/Acting Dickhead Hayward are reaching out through the multiverse to find one, they’ll go with the one who already exists.

I am not much for reaction videos where they show a viewer seeing a big reveal onscreen for the first time. That said, if there is one for Aaron Taylor-Johnson seeing episode 5 here, I could make time to watch that. “You didn’t see that coming?”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:51 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I am not much for reaction videos where they show a viewer seeing a big reveal onscreen for the first time.

I've watched SO MANY reaction videos this week.
posted by crossoverman at 5:00 PM on February 9


Crossoverman, your faves?!?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:36 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


For those interested in a deep dive on Scarlet Witch and Vision's back-stories in the comics universe, I found this article at ComicsXF to be a pretty good survey, touching on various writers who have had their hands in, corporate meta-shenanigans behind the retcons, and a list of relevant issues and story arcs.
posted by whir at 1:49 AM on February 10


Over in the comics, there's a version of Wanda and Pietro who are ... more than just siblings. It's in a universe that's outside Marvel's core continuity, but pretty icky all the same. Details, if you want 'em, can be found here.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:01 AM on February 10


> Are we going to get mutants now????
> ... Monica's powers ...
Sooo, what if some people returning from being cosmically snapped out of existence are returning with powers that they didn't previously have?
Might that be considered— in MCU terms at least — a mutation?
posted by D.Billy at 7:12 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]




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