WandaVision: Breaking the Fourth Wall
February 19, 2021 3:02 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Don't you just hate it when they reprogram the time slot?
posted by cendawanita (178 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
All right, have at it guys.

So!
- yay for Monica Rambeau's origin story (but the optics of her origin story being secondary is unfortunate)

- Nexus powers are namechecked

- and magic has arrived to this corner of the MCU.

It took me previous seconds before realising Vision's eyes are blue.
posted by cendawanita at 3:04 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


As a PSA - this one has a mid-credit scene.
posted by scorbet at 3:06 AM on February 19 [11 favorites]


Oh my fucking god, I love this show.
posted by h00py at 3:16 AM on February 19 [8 favorites]


PSA - this one has a mid-credit scene.

Welp, we're officially back in mcu territory
posted by cendawanita at 3:21 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Strapping in for two episodes of a fully-powered Kathryn Hahn.
posted by whuppy at 3:44 AM on February 19 [16 favorites]


That Agatha reveal is utterly delightful.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:51 AM on February 19 [19 favorites]


That Agatha reveal is utterly delightful.

I’ve seen many a hidden villain get revealed late in the narrative. I have never before seen one get their own separate catchy theme song.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:55 AM on February 19 [41 favorites]


I loved it! They really got me with the misdirection last week when it looked like Agnes was trying to leave.

I guess the mysteries are pretty much over now apart from Agnes' motivation and why the sitcom. Maybe the sitcoms were all from Agnes rather than Wanda which is why it's American rather than Sokovian pop culture.

The risk now is that they have the common Marvel problem where the villain doesn't seem that powerful compared with all the heroes. With Wanda, Vision and Monica all inside the Hex with various superpowers it feels like they ought to be able to take out Agnes pretty easily.

Why did she kill poor Sparky though? Trying to get the kids to do another fast-forward to get over their grief?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:02 AM on February 19


Never mind Sparky, where are the twins?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


I was pretty satisfied with the agatha reveal but I have to admit, they got me with monica's friend - who isn't anyone theorized (so far??).
posted by cendawanita at 4:10 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


They really got me with the misdirection last week when it looked like Agnes was trying to leave.

I love the way that they are playing around with expectations and tropes, both "in-universe" and with the viewer. As others have said, the weekly format really helps with that - everyone is busy theorising between episodes, so that I think that the misdirections and reveals feel more "solid" than if binge-watched.

(However, I think I might be spending part of the next week rewatching the series now that Agatha has been revealed.)

villain doesn't seem that powerful compared with all the heroes.

I don't know. I'm not sure how much we actually now about Agne-tha yet and how much is her, and how much is Wanda. True, Wanda could affect the size of the Hex but did she originally create it?
posted by scorbet at 4:21 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Agnes has been manipulating the most traditionally powerful heroes, so it depends on how you define power.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


This show so genuinely amazing. "Its been agatha all along".

I absolutely love this trend of allowing marvel properties to be more than just action shows, the genuine creativity plus drawing on rich comics history is really quite incredible
posted by Cannon Fodder at 4:40 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


This is so so so good! And when Monica came through the hex she did the superhero pose! Captain Marvel for reference.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:14 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Just go ahead and give Kathryn Hahn all the Emmys already.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:47 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]


I saw the Agnes/Agatha reveal coming but I was also still surprised and delighted by it. Plus that song!

I still have no idea where all of this is going and I love it.
posted by edencosmic at 6:10 AM on February 19


I have never laughed so hard while having so many of my precious pet theories detonated. It was Agatha all along!!
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:16 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


This show is so great. I love the fact that even though people have been theorizing Agnes is Agatha from day one, when it was finally revealed much later, it was still surprising and delightful. I had to watch “Agatha All Along” three times in a row, it was so amazing!

A funny thing about this weeks sitcom format is how aggressively unfunny it is! I’ve only watched a couple of episodes of Modern Family—does it really just try to milk humor out of people being annoyed and un-self-aware? At least The Office has wacky characters. But I loved Vision realizing what he was doing and leaving, and Wanda telling the interviewer “you’re not supposed to talk.”

I need to go back and rewatch the scene of Monica fighting through the barrier to try to decipher the voices. It seemed at least some of them were lines from Captain Marvel? Anyone else hear them better than I did?

So this episode’s commercial (so perfect that it was a prescription drug commercial) obviously represented the Reality Stone, since it used the word “reality” like five times, which means the Lagos paper towel commercial was actually the Power Stone; and the red liquid only represented the blood of innocents and not also the Aether’s liquid form. I’m guessing that now Agatha’s villain monologue next week will finally confirm that the Commercial Woman and Commercial Man are Wanda’s parents.

I’m ecstatic that this show is giving Kathryn Hahn the exposure she’s always deserved. If you haven’t yet, go watch her limited series Mrs. Fletcher on HBO and I Love Dick on Amazon Prime (Dick is another character). She better be in the new Doctor Strange!
posted by ejs at 7:30 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


I don't even know what to say, other than seconding everyone about Agatha having her own credits and song!
Poor Wanda, she's very near Blue Screen of Death here.
Now everyone thinks Pietro is a fake.
Darcy is a WandaVision shipper. I also kept thinking, "Why don't y'all just get out of the car?" (Which is a "Funnel of Love," har.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:42 AM on February 19


It seemed at least some of them were lines from Captain Marvel? Anyone else hear them better than I did?

I’d subtitles on, and they helpfully identify the speakers too, so yes, almost all were from Captain Marvel - (the conversation about Maria going with Carol & Fury to this space station, for example). Plus a couple of lines from earlier in Wandavision.
posted by scorbet at 7:55 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


The commercial has to be talking about the Nexus of All Realities . Are Howard the Duck and Man-Thing going to make guest appearances in the last episode?
posted by haileris23 at 8:14 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]


"Cackling evil witch villain" is such a retro concept that I've been reluctant to get on the Agnes=Agatha train. Hahn is a great actor though, and maybe she can pull it off. And I guess she makes sense if we're headed into a Dr. Strange movie?

If no one outside can see the broadcast, why is it still broadcasting?

Commercial Man and Woman are back...who are they?

Mailman Guy shows up a lot, what's his deal?

Where are the kids?

Argh.
posted by emjaybee at 8:17 AM on February 19


The commercial has to be talking about the Nexus of All Realities .

It’s a reference that Wanda is a Nexus Being.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:26 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


If no one outside can see the broadcast, why is it still broadcasting?

Maybe because they're trying to pick it up over the air still and like most modern shows, WandaVision has moved to cable or streaming.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:35 AM on February 19 [18 favorites]


If no one outside can see the broadcast, why is it still broadcasting?

Agatha seemed pretty aware and delighted that we were still watching.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:43 AM on February 19 [11 favorites]


OK, other than i feel like I'm seeing things re: Vision's bluer eyes, on rewatch I spotted Wanda taking the same Nexus drugs (just before Monica burst into her home). And now that I'm thinking this over, could it be the American programming came from Agatha instead? Might explain in-verse the incredible familiarity with the genre conventions that Wanda might not know . As a non-American myself, this doesn't feel too persuasive, BUT if Agatha is a much older being then the sitcoms of the 1950s are just as immediate to her as the 90s, so that might a reason.... (I mean, I have watched I Love Lucy & Bewitched because they were playing on tv here in the 90s, but otoh I have no idea about the Dick Van Dyke Show or the Mary Tyler Moore Show beyond pop culture osmosis)
posted by cendawanita at 9:04 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


yay for Monica Rambeau's origin story

We saw her go blue-eyed as she broke through the barrier and then again after she withstood Wanda's pounding, but where in the MCU are we shown how she got her powers?
posted by whuppy at 9:19 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


It was suggested by Darcy in a previous episode that going back and forth through the barrier altered Monica on a molecular (or maybe cellular?) level. These new powers are presumably a side effect.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:27 AM on February 19 [9 favorites]


how she got her powers

We might have just seen it. I think she might be one the insane number of characters who got their powers by being irradiated by a thing, in this case the hex barrier. Good origin stories seem rare.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:27 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


Isn't there a brief shot of the Darkhold? I know it looks different from Agents of Shield, but very similar energy color.
posted by Catblack at 9:32 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Yes, that's Agnes' last night reading material.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:36 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


I wish I had an insight to share but just in the moment of delight for now. Yay show.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:40 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


That Agatha reveal is utterly delightful.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez just keep hitting them out of the park with "WV-2000" and "IT WAS _______ ALL ALONG".
posted by mikelieman at 10:21 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Now everyone thinks Pietro is a fake.

Um. Did you notice the Strongman in the first act, btw?

EDIT: OOPS! The Strongman was played by Alan Heckner, not Hugh Jackson, but the resemblance can't be accidental, can it?
posted by mikelieman at 10:23 AM on February 19


As others have said, the weekly format really helps with that - everyone is busy theorising between episodes, so that I think that the misdirections and reveals feel more "solid" than if binge-watched.

It also replicates the comic book experience; here’s your twenty-four pages of story and we will continue next month.

My years of reading comics with dedication and the years of there being online discussions of comics don’t really overlap, but it seems to me that a narrative released in instalments rather than as a whole generates more discussion and theorizing. Once people coming into a story have its entirety available to them from the outset, there is less opportunity for everyone to be at the same point in the story. It’s a rare comics story (Watchmen, say) that still lends itself to post hoc analysis the way something in progress does.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:28 AM on February 19 [7 favorites]


here’s your twenty-four pages of story and we will continue next month.

If you'd like my opinion about where comic book movies always go wrong, it's trying to tell too big a story. I mentioned this in the WW84 thread, that without one of the 3 plots (Steve Trevor) there's a nice tight 100 minute film there, I'll give you 110 with added Themiscyra footage. But the point is valid. 24 pages translates into a runtime credits-to-credits of 28:35 minus mid-credits scene.
posted by mikelieman at 10:35 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


In retrospect, I am most intrigued by the line, “Do you think maybe this is what you deserve?” now that we know who spoke it.
posted by Ruki at 10:38 AM on February 19 [13 favorites]


I really do enjoy having a week to discuss what's going on as opposed to the all-at-one-go Netflix dumps. I hate having to watch all 8 episodes before going to the one group discussion and whatnot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:49 AM on February 19 [9 favorites]


No idea where this is going. Love it.
posted by Nieshka at 11:05 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


It was suggested by Darcy in a previous episode that going back and forth through the barrier altered Monica on a molecular (or maybe cellular?) level. These new powers are presumably a side effect.

Sigh, you're probably right. Seems a little thin for such top tier powers. Oh well, I'll allow it if Darcy gets a taste.
posted by whuppy at 11:16 AM on February 19


I've been wasting a little time trying to figure out if the kids' show Wanda sees for two seconds is some kind of Easter egg. There's four mascot-costume characters: a bumpy, orange, cyclops; a blue wolf person; a short, green, striped person; and a pink, berry person. I've been trying to map them onto a Marvel foursome, without any luck. I'm not a comic reader so I've been relying on wikipedia and comics websites.

Of course, with this show's budget, they might have just made four costumes and a set for a random two second shot that refers to nothing.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:17 AM on February 19


Even though a great length of the mystery curtain was drawn back this week, I doubt very much this signals an end to the camp, the allusions to popular culture, and the weirdness in general. Warping the form of familiar serial fiction is this show's entire thing, and so far the creators have given me no reason to think they would jettison the core right at the finish line.

If this were a comic book, it would be someone who could get pretty surreal on the art. Someone like Bill Sienkiewicz, or David Mack, or Sam Keith, or maybe someone who grew up reading a bunch of Steranko, Neal Adams, or advanced stage ultra gonzo Jack Kirby. Someone who can't help but want to bend and warp the expected structures of the standard page and panel format. One of those maniacs who was taking razor blades to their bristol boards and pasting down textures and jamming the whole thing in the mimeograph machine or the photocopier just to see what would happen. To tell this story of altered mental states and altered realities, you would need an artist who could get proper weird with it, to create the upending strangeness of the characters' experience for the reader.

But you also need an audience familiar enough with the tropes you're subverting to get what you're doing. And as fun as it was when Ang Lee put comic panels on the screen for Hulk or Robert Rodriguez used comic panels as storyboards for Sin City, that's only going to mean so much to someone more familiar with the structures of film and television. Every episode of Wandavision, I'm struck by how much more effective this choice is to ignore the structures of comics completely, and start screwing around with the structures of TV instead. Vision shouting in anguish over the credits is as alarming as seeing him in enough pain to break a panel border.

So even though Agatha just let me know just about all my theories have been wrong so far, I'll go ahead and lay out another for her to yank away. I've seen folks on Twitter worried Wandavision will sand itself down into a pretty standard cape show in the end. I'm not so sure. The rest of this show could just as easily get more bizarre. We could be heading for a WITCH BATTLE that will need to look distinct from Dr. Strange stuff, and also not break the bank. Best way I can think of to achieve that is to keep right on doing what is already working so well.

Who feels like speculating wildly? For most of this series, I've thought maybe Dottie might be someone like the Enchantress. But now that we know who's been messing up every-thing, who could Dottie possibly be, if anyone? I have zero guesses. I love this show.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:19 AM on February 19 [11 favorites]


On rewatch (and hairsbreadth timing with the pause button), one of the iterations of Wanda’s name in the opening credits is individual letters torn out and pasted on a page ransom-note style. Most of the tubes we see her name, it is something neutral (on a bit of masking tape stuck to a safety deposit box (?)) or just a little unusual and humorous (a restaurant with her name). The ransom note bit has the slightly more sinister I KNOW WHAT U ARE DOING WANDA.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:22 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


They did a Happy Endings homage for the title sequence!! I feel seen!

Also, that show was Yo Gabba Gabba!, an actual and terrific show for little kids. "DO CARROTS WANT TO GO TO THE PARTY IN MY TUMMY? SO YUMMY, SO YUMMY!"
posted by joelhunt at 11:34 AM on February 19 [13 favorites]


Kid's show is Yo Gabba Gabba, which is real in our universe, anyway.
posted by emjaybee at 11:35 AM on February 19 [5 favorites]


1. I think it's real generous of all these people to make Monica the absolute hero and star of this show when it isn't even named for her.
2. Everything was excellent.
3. The Agatha reveal was so great. These people are having so much fun.
4. I'm so absolutely excited about Monica, and I need a whole second chair just to hold my admiration for her hair. Holy shit she looks amazing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:41 AM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Isn't there a brief shot of the Darkhold? I know it looks different from Agents of Shield, but very similar energy color.

I had that thought, too. It would be great if it's the Darkhold, but changing the look feels like a weird choice if that's the plan. Like, going with the same look would give fans something to freak out about and create more internet buzz. It would also validate the show, too. I wasn't much of a fan, apart from the Darkhold and Ghost Rider stuff, and some of the cast individually, but it would mean a lot to a whole lot of the fandom.

(Oh god I want Gabriel Luna back as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider so, so much. He was great.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:53 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Mailman Guy shows up a lot, what's his deal?

If you want a “look at this pixel” deep dive into MCU conspiracy theory, the actor (Amos Glick) who plays the mailman appeared last year in an episode of Agents of SHIELD as a waiter. Coincidence?!? Yeah.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:21 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


I just hope the bunny comes out okay. Killing a dog was quite bad enough, TV show!
posted by Mr. Excellent at 12:55 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


It's funny because I totally agree that releasing shows one episode at a time is better and more fun than dumping the whole season to be binge-watched, but I'm not watching WandaVision until the whole thing comes out because my wife prefers to wait until it's all out.

I am reading these threads, though, because she also prefers if I can explain what is going on whenever she has questions.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:59 PM on February 19


On crazy, visually spectacular, low budget witch battles:

Can next week please be an episode of Agatha, channeling the visual insanity of Fuller's Hannibal?
posted by bfranklin at 1:10 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


Could anyone make out who the kid on the milk carton was?
posted by Karmakaze at 1:13 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I'm crossing my fingers that the show's writers realized that once they reach the end of the chronological trip through TV history they hit the era of big budget prestige streaming TV and this can get completely off the rails mobius strip wild
posted by jason_steakums at 1:37 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


The logical thing is for the next episode of Wandavision to be a pastiche of the first episode of Wandavision.

Agatha isn't a villain, though, is she? I've always thought what was going on was a wholly reasonable, if a bit over-the-top, response on Wanda's part to the situation she found on her return, and if Agatha's also behind it I wouldn't hold it against her (particularly if it's a defence against something worse). Though they should probably give all those people their lives back.
posted by Grangousier at 2:28 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Agatha used to babysit Franklin Richards... She can't be that evil, can she?
posted by Karmakaze at 2:32 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: They should probably give all those people their lives back.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:47 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


MCU Stark's origin is using his own brain (and ego) to save his own life and get at least a little vengeance. MCU Banner's origin is a gamma radiation accident from trying to replicate Dr. Erskine's original super soldier serum for the U.S. military. MCU Romanoff's and Barton's origins are being elite spies and assassins for the government. Odinson, Vision, and T'Challa were born into their roles. Strange's origin is again using his brain (and ego) to try to regain his old materialistic life and privileges. Lang was a thief trying to regain his previous life. Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were high-tech spies. Hope Pym was trying to prove herself to her dad. Rogers, Rhodes, and Wilson were all soldiers. The Maximoffs were war orphans seeking vengeance. I don't say this to undermine their moral character, or to diminish their choices, growth, and sacrifices, but they are classic comic book heroes.

But MCU Monica Rambeau, with no protective shielding and no powers -- without even a sidearm or taser -- and knowing full well that passing through the hex barrier for a third time might literally unmake her outright or give her a lingering death from cancer went in anyway. And she did it not to kill Wanda, but to save her. Instead of being a vigilante or soldier or cop or powerful royalty, Rambeau feels like a firefighter or front-line doctor or teacher.

WandaVision Photon isn't just a bad ass, she's a better class of hero.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 4:17 PM on February 19 [51 favorites]


Was this the first episode with "Created by Wanda Maximoff" on the title card?
posted by jason_steakums at 4:50 PM on February 19


Also wow is Elizabeth Olsen's sitcom acting in this one incredibly similar to Mae Whitman! Very unexpected.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:53 PM on February 19


The It Was Agatha All Along theme gives off strong vibes of The Munsters.
posted by kandinski at 4:55 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I believe Agatha's line about Wanda not being the only magical girl in town is the first time it's been stated in the MCU that Wanda's powers actually are magic, with their origin being sciencey and cosmic but not explicitly magical.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:25 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Monica has a lot of emotions driving her...yes, compassion for Wanda. But also Wanda is someone she might save, unlike her mom. And the townspeople, including Darcy. She knows nothing good will happen to all those people if she doesn't get Wanda to stop (torture by Wanda or bombing by S.W.O.R.D.)

And in her grief, maybe she's a tiny bit too ready to throw her life away. Not suicidal, just uncaring about her own safety.

I am SUPER excited for her to get her own show, though. I really hope we get lots of Photon, or Spectrum, or whatever she goes by.
posted by emjaybee at 5:30 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


Rambeau feels like a firefighter or front-line doctor or teacher

I've got a twenty that says she's Worthy.
posted by whuppy at 5:33 PM on February 19 [21 favorites]


the first time it's been stated in the MCU that Wanda's powers actually are magic, with their origin being sciencey and cosmic but not explicitly magical.

What’s the difference between science, cosmic, and magic in the MCU anyway? Asgard’s seeming magic has been described as advanced technology, and the Ancient One described magic as channeling energy from alternate dimensions (and considered the Time Stone a magic relic). And both Eitri and Tony Stark could build Infinity Gauntlets through different approaches. Whether Wanda’s power is cosmic, magic, or an advanced form of science seems like semantics.
posted by ejs at 5:55 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Wanda started as just a telekinetic with some vague illusion mind powers in the MCU and the Hex fits as a supercharged version of that, but magic blows the lid right off of her powers and brings House of M sized potential! It's a serious level up, most of the powers shown in the MCU are very physical, even the magic shown so far - flashy light shows for fighting and such. Just a bigger fancier thing to hit or be hit by. But Wanda's comics powers can get existential and it's exciting to see her have that potential in the MCU.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:11 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


It's Friday the 10th of Wanda and shit's coming unglued.

Darcy's an escape artist, hee. "Oh, your bad back!"

Vision was a little slapstick but that fits with the format which is cinema verite, I think? Like Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, and Arrested Development. I haven't seen Modern Family, which is what I gather it's closest to?

I think something else is going on with Monica's origin, or there's something else ALSO going on. She seemed to know something when her x-rays and labs came back weird. On the other hand she spent many seconds in that reality grinding barrier.

Darcy knows a lot about what happened in Wakanda. I'd like to hear more about her last 5 years.

Where are the interview scenes taking place? Weird.

Wanda's still shutting out the truth, even though everything is coming apart, denial is a hell of a drug (or, y'know, all that Nexulpromocide she's taking). Monica almost got to her. If Agnes hadn't been there I think she could have done some good intervention.

Speaking of that commercial, hoo boy, that lands a little close to reality.

The moment I saw the book I thought Darkhold and I think I even said, "uh-oh," out loud.

Aha! Agatha all along! They totally tricked me with the car scene from last episode. I'm still trying to reconcile all her appearances, though. For example, "take it from the top," from ep 5.

I type these as I watch through a second time, and Agatha's theme comes after she casts some energy on Wanda's eyes. It almost seemed like she was showing the sequence TO Wanda. Karmakaze is right, I don't remember Agatha being BBEG evil, though she did get up to some Stuff. I think there's still a lot left to find out here.

The funnel cake van is Mephisto, guys.

I find myself looking forward to this all week, and I haven't done that for a TV show since 2003.

Toooo! Shorrrt!

On preview: Thor says, in Thor, that on Asgard science and magic are the same thing. That opens a lot of doors.
posted by Horkus at 6:15 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I am not convinced its Agnes behind everything. Seems too convient.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Where are the interview scenes taking place? Weird.
Well, when Vision gets fed up with the interview part, he takes off his lapel mic, gets up and walks away, but then we cut to the interior of the Funnel of Love and he flies up through the roof of the truck and away.

This implies, at least to me, that, unlike most of the show, the little interview scenes are taking place entirely within the minds of the people doing them (both the interviewee and the "interviewer").
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:34 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Damn, I love this show.

I sometimes feel like the creators must have used the Mind Stone on the suits to get approval for the themes and storylines because it's so...I don't know.... Wacky isn't the right word. Maybe orthogonal to the normal MCU? That doesn't feel right either. I trust y'all know what I'm getting at though. :-)

I am SUPER excited for her to get her own show, though. I really hope we get lots of Photon, or Spectrum, or whatever she goes by.

My main beef with the MCU for much for the first part of its existence was the near total absence of black women. I was soooooo happy with Luke Cage on Netflix for Misty Knight and Mariah Dil -- sorry, Bushmaster, I mean Mariah STOKES -- among others, and when that series got canceled, I was like "Welp, so much for black women in prominent roles outside of Shuri's limited scenes."

But Monica in this show and they way they've handled her have given me hope again.

Also, I was telling a friend that I feel like I should find Agatha's "extra" and affected naughtiness off-putting, but Kathryn Hahn is so great that I am totally...wait for it...bewitched by her. I want so much more of her, Jimmy Woo, Monica, and Darcy that I don't know what to do with myself.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:39 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


We've taken to rewatching a Marvel movie after each episode and this week was Doctor Strange and you know, I forgot aallll about where we left Mordo. Wanda and Agatha and a big ol' Hex and maybe actual resurrection and magical creation of life sure seems like the kind of thing that would get his attention.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:07 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Where are the kids?
posted by emjaybee at 10:17 AM on February 19
I'll do you one better: WHY are the kids?
posted by Horkus at 7:08 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


WHAT EVEN ARE KIDS
posted by sixswitch at 7:11 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


I was so delighted when Monica gets out of the spacesuit and she's wearing basically the same color scheme as her super suit in the comics.
posted by straight at 7:12 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


Where are the kids?

Did anyone else briefly think that Agnes turned them into whatever that bug was crawling on the curtain? Cicada?
posted by janepanic at 7:14 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Wanda's still shutting out the truth, even though everything is coming apart...

It's not beyond me to miss something obvious, but why exactly is everything glitching so much, and apparently only for Wanda?
posted by baseballpajamas at 7:23 PM on February 19


I believe Agatha's line about Wanda not being the only magical girl in town is the first time it's been stated in the MCU that Wanda's powers actually are magic, with their origin being sciencey and cosmic but not explicitly magical.

Let's not get too hasty believing everything the villain says. There's a long history in the comics of people lying to Wanda about the "true nature" of her powers in order to manipulate her. The real-world reason being that writers go back and forth disagreeing whether her powers are mutant, science-probability babble, innate magical power (like a dragon), or magic use (casting spells like a wizard). It changes based on whatever story they want to tell.

The Infinity Stones seem like magic, but the vocabulary used to describe them sounds like some sort of cosmic 2001/Q-Continuum super-science. And it's possible the Mind Stone that gave Wanda powers merely unlocked some sort of magic that Wanda already had. Or maybe Agatha has done some magic separate from the Infinity Stones to boost Wanda's power to what we've seen.

If any of the fear and distress we've seen from Agatha was genuine, it's possible she's actually scared of Wanda because she's messing with her power in a dangerous way that she knows could blow up in her face.
posted by straight at 7:26 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


My main beef with the MCU for much for the first part of its existence was the near total absence of black women. I was soooooo happy with Luke Cage on Netflix for Misty Knight and Mariah Dil -- sorry, Bushmaster, I mean Mariah STOKES -- among others, and when that series got canceled, I was like "Welp, so much for black women in prominent roles outside of Shuri's limited scenes."

If Netflix had just done the dang Daughters of the Dragon series that destiny demanded instead of Iron Fist season 2, they never would have lost those licenses, swear to god.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:43 PM on February 19 [10 favorites]


I loved this episode, and I love what they're doing with Monica Rambeau, and Teyonah Parris is amazing. So I feel weirdly nitpicky mentioning this, but I really hated the glowing blue eyes. Maybe just too much Toni Morrison in my personal canon and insufficient comic books, but I would have strongly preferred glowing amber eyes, or really anything but blue.

Is the blue a thing from the comics?

This is probably just a personal problem, but it was the one thing that really bothered me in an otherwise stellar episode.

I love how they're handling grief in this, and am really curious to see how it wraps up. Vision's obvious concern for Wanda this episode was touching, and then Monica's determination to get to Wanda and get through to her - I'm going to cry during the finale, aren't I?

Good thing the comic relief is so spot on. Agatha All Along was perfect, and I loved Darcy blowing off Vision before he woke her up - paraphrased but "fine, but I'm ordering lobster," ha.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:59 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Surprised nobody brought up the biggest mystery w/r/t the episodes: if it was Agatha doing the interviews, who interviewed Agatha? And why?

(Also I want to know more about that one time she bit a kid, but maybe that's just me.)
posted by mstokes650 at 8:06 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


The blue may be part of the Infinity Stone color coding, giving Monica affinity with the Space stone (aka the Tesseract and also the catalyst for her Aunt Carol's powers.) This goes with the idea that Wanda's powers are red due to affinity with the Reality stone. That leaves the notable purple tint to Agatha's magic and hideout lighting as linked to the Power stone, though, and I'm not sure what I think of that.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:17 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Aha! Agatha all along! They totally tricked me with the car scene from last episode. I'm still trying to reconcile all her appearances, though. For example, "take it from the top," from ep 5.

"It was Agatha all along" sounds a lot like "It's Wanda...it's all Wanda." I'm wondering if we're going to find out that Agatha's not 100% in control either.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:40 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


First of all: CALLED IT

(sorrynotsorry)

I'm planning on going back and watching this with the captions on; I didn't quite understand the last bit of dialogue from Quicksilver ("snoopers gonna snoop"), and think that I may have missed some other bits. Here's what I got so far, stoked somewhat by the comments above:

- The "is magic really magic" debate: I'm happy to Clarke's Third Law the whole thing. If the Infinity Stones were basically cheat codes to different aspects of existence, and destroying them didn't destroy their energy but let it dissipate throughout the universe, and certain individuals could access it either because of a previous contact/use of an Infinity Stone (Wanda, maybe Vision) or by concentrating the will via more quote-endquote traditional magic (Agatha, if that is indeed the Darkhold in the basement), and you want to call that Magic, well, alright. The question is, if Agatha doesn't have some other connection to the Stones and just bought this goofy old book off of Amazon or something and tapped into the Force, well, then, couldn't just about anyone do it? Wouldn't it be great to be a Wiccan in the MCU?

- Another question is, is there any significance to the color of Agatha's magic? Wanda's is red, which ties into the Reality Stone, and that's apropos to what she's been doing. Agatha's is purple, which is... the Power Stone. Which, as you'll recall, can blow up a planet. Uh-oh. (On review: jinx, Karmakaze, and excellent username!)

- Monica's anticipated power-up is also apropos, given that she's been transforming back and forth between flesh-and-blood into a TV show and back again. And she really is the most heroic person in the show thus far.

- I'll want to pay more close attention to the carnival/circus, but there's the Circus of Crime that has been in the comics bunches of times, plus the X-Men got brainwashed into being in a carnival sideshow once.

- The mention of the Nexus is pretty intriguing, and probably going to key into the next Doctor Strange movie in a big way. One other aspect of the Infinity Stones' destruction--if they're somehow essential to existence, which is what I thought was the case, at least in the comics--might be a weakening of the barriers between worlds. Which could lead to a Secret Wars type situation...

- Yeah, what if Agatha Harkness isn't the big bad after all?

- And, finally, her theme song is totally a Munsters tribute.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


I haven't even watched the darn show yet but judging by these comments it seems reasonable to suspect that from the very beginning this has been Agatha and Wanda battling over control of what's going on, and inconsistencies (Like Agatha's purported fake-out) are due to control slipping between the two of them.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:02 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


If no one outside can see the broadcast, why is it still broadcasting?

The Analog TV switch happened in 2009. SWORD probably just needs to get new TVs or some of those converter boxes.
posted by Ampersand692 at 9:12 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


joelhunt: that show was Yo Gabba Gabba!, an actual and terrific show for little kids.

THIS MEANS THE AQUABATS CANONICALLY EXIST IN THE MCU.

LET THE AQUABATS JOIN THE AVENGERS, YOU COWARDS.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:41 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


All I've wanted from this show is just more and more Kathryn Hahn and right now I'm well pleased.
posted by fleacircus at 1:03 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Bats that fly underwater?
posted by Grangousier at 2:52 AM on February 20


I don't think the MCU is trying to color-code everyone's powers with an Infinity Stone. Wanda's red powers are from the yellow Mind stone, Carol's yellow powers are from the blue Space stone. And wasn't Endgame supposed to be the end of the story of the Infinity Stones? Let's move on to something else.

I think they just want to give Monica's powers a look that distinguishes her from the other characters who glow in the MCU. Of course if she has the same powers as in the comics, then she can make blue light or any other color from infrared to ultraviolet, microwaves to gamma rays.
posted by straight at 2:56 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


It only just occurred to me that in an episode full of characters talking right into the camera, Monica is the only one who physically breaks a fourth wall.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:59 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Anybody get a little Philip K. Dick vibe from the glitching furnishings? I'm thinking specifically of Ubik, but the mutability of reality is a common PKD theme.
posted by Mogur at 5:31 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


On further reflection, I think the show is giving us a big hint that Agatha isn't actually the Big Bad. "Agatha All Along" is absolutely delightful, and Kathryn Hahn clearly loves playing an over-the-top campy villain. But a theme of this show is that people are way more complicated and grounded than campy TV tropes. Wanda isn't *actually* a 1950s housewife, or the subject of a comic documentary, Vision doesn't really work in a surreally bland office, etc. Why should we believe that Agatha is a literal cackling witch, who deliberately does evil things for evil's sake? Real people almost never do that. (Even genocidaires will claim that their atrocities make moral sense).
posted by Mr. Excellent at 5:46 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


(Also I want to know more about that one time she bit a kid, but maybe that's just me.)

I have no doubt the fanfic writers are on it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:57 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Why should we believe that Agatha is a literal cackling witch, who deliberately does evil things for evil's sake? Real people almost never do that.

The mind reading twin noted that Agness was "quiet on the inside," which makes me think she's just a pawn and that's another BigBad behind the scenes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:01 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


We enjoyed this episode a lot, though, to a non-mcu-indoctrinated civilian, it was definitely the first episode where having a deep background on the mcu (and possibly comics) would have been helpful. For instance, the lingering shot of the book in Agatha's dungeon, which y'all think is something called Darkhold, which I have no earthly clue what it's about. And, the commercial for Nexus, which was a reference completely over my head as far as figuring out what it might have to do with anything.

Loved the "It Was Agatha all Along" theme song. In a way, it seemed like a direct shout-out to the fans who have been cooking theories about the show since day-1.

I didn't think the "breaking the 4th wall" tv style conceit ala Modern Family, The Office, etc. worked very well, though. Out of all the episodes, this tv style felt really forced for the most part, and almost worked to kill the action.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:18 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Why should we believe that Agatha is a literal cackling witch, who deliberately does evil things for evil's sake?

A fun speculation my brother and I spiraled on yesterday: where has the rabbit been throughout the series? And what about symbols of rabbits? He said he saw one on the mailman's hat so I'll be watching for that next time I click through a rerun.

Does it mean anything? Who knows? I love that the one line very few folks are fixating on as an explanation is Wanda saying that nothing means anything. No, I'm afraid we are quite sure just about all of it means something, thank you very much. That's a pretty good place to bring your audience when you're making a show about living with trauma, isolation, and depression.
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:26 AM on February 20


I've missed out on about thirty years of Marvel comics continuity, so I mostly think of Agatha Harkness as the imperious old lady that Jack Kirby drew - I really enjoy this character, though. It's obvious to me that she's playing at being evil (I bet she didn't even kill Sparky, whatever Sparky actually was), and that she's operating as a sort of slapstick agent of chaos - like Beetlejuice or The Mask or the movie version of Deadpool (or my personal favourite, which has been rather supplanted by the latter, Ambush Bug). I also want to reiterate a strong conviction, which will be humiliatingly dashed in the next couple of weeks, that she's working to help Wanda, trying to minimise the destruction and keep too many people from being hurt too much.
posted by Grangousier at 6:34 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I love that the one line very few folks are fixating on

I thought this was going to come to a penitent Wanda declaring to the camera, “I plan on taking a quarantine-style ‘stay-cation,’” which in the Current Situation is leaning pretty heavy on the fourth wall.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:39 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Right! Geez, how far did that red bubble stretch anyhow?
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:43 AM on February 20


"It was Agatha all along" sounds a lot like "It's Wanda...it's all Wanda." I'm wondering if we're going to find out that Agatha's not 100% in control either.

Agatha showing up right when Wanda may have had to confront what she's done? Agatha suddenly being the REAL villain, it was never Wanda all along? The kids disappearing, making Wanda the victim again?

Hm. Yes. As the kids say: sus.
posted by brook horse at 6:55 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


>The mind reading twin noted that Agness was "quiet on the inside," which makes me think she's just a pawn and that's another BigBad behind the scenes.

At the time I considered it in the other direction, which is that Wanda’s mind is full of the real thoughts of the entire town. That can’t be fun to hear all day.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:10 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I also think Agnes/Agatha is still playing the role Wand needs her to - by playing the villain and kidnapping the boys, she eases Wanda's guilt and gives her a purpose, something to fight against and something to fight for. That might be quite the thing to pull her back from her bout of nihilistic apathy.

I don't think Agatha is controlled by Wanda at this point - they might be both trapped by a third party, and Agatha is more aware and tries to minimize the damage a brainwashed Wanda might do. And I do think Agatha also wants to escape and that is why she pulled all those strings to alert Vision to something fishy going on.

Arguments against this theory:

Agatha stopped the promising intervention by Monica, which seemed like their best bet to find a way out. But maybe the intervention didn't seem as promising to Agatha as it seems to us viewers, and she intervend to protect Monica?

Alerting Vision to the fishiness may also be just a way to get rid of him, now that he's served his purpose by "fathering" the sons. It's possible that the kids are the main object of interest to whoever's actually behind this, be that Agatha or a third party. All of this reminds me so much of an experiment in a laboratory setting. Killing the dog might have been an attempt to speed up the process, by triggering another time-skip, or a test to see how far Wanda/Wanda's powers would go.

Arguments in favour of this theory:

Agatha does seem generally afraid in her scene on the couch with the boys, when she's told she's "quiet inside". On the one hand, that might suggest she has more control than the townspeople controlled by Wanda, being able to hide her thoughts/feelings from telepaths. On the other hand, if the fear expressed isn't genuine, whom would she be trying to manipulate here? The expression of fear is not meant for the boys, surely; what purpose would it serve to disturb them in this situation? Her fear in the car last episode was an act to manipulate Vision, but Vision isn't around this time. Is Agatha aware that this reality is broadcast to an audience? Is she putting up an act for the sword-people presumably watching? Or is it no act after all, and Agatha is way less in control than "Agatha All Along" would have you believe?
posted by sohalt at 7:15 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


The thing about Sparky is that he suddenly appeared - we know that people and things that wander into Westview are transformed into something that fits into the world. If we knew what Sparky was before, we might understand why Agatha wanted rid of him. I'm reminded of Adam Young's Dog.
posted by Grangousier at 7:44 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: For instance, the lingering shot of the book in Agatha's dungeon, which y'all think is something called Darkhold, which I have no earthly clue what it's about.

Funny thing about that: I was going to say that it was basically Marvel Comics' off-brand Necronomicon, and that it may or may not have that actual significance in the MCU. But then, looking for a reference on it to link to, I find out that there is an MCU Darkhold, that has a great deal of significance in Agents of Shield and, to some extent, in Runaways, which puts quite a different spin on it... if this is indeed the same book that's already in MCU canon, and we have no idea if that's the case at this point. I kind of like the idea that Agatha just ordered some janky grimoire off of Amazon and literally charged it with her own flavor of maybe-magic. (You can buy a "Necronomicon" off of Amazon; there are actually a few books by that name, including one that looks like the human-face-skin prop from the Evil Dead movies, and one that was published in the early eighties, in paperback--I think that I've still got a copy of that floating around somewhere.) Anyway, once this season of WandaVision wraps up, I should start watching Agents of SHIELD, probably, especially if they're going to tie it in.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:03 AM on February 20


One extremely minor detail that may point to the, "...not actually Agatha All Along," theory being correct is that the interviewer who asks Wanda if she thinks she deserves what's happening to her has a male voice. But when we see the Agatha All Along theme song, she's the one in the interviewer chair behind the camera. So there's maybe a suspicious lack of continuity, there?
posted by merriment at 8:16 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I've missed out on about thirty years of Marvel comics continuity, so I mostly think of Agatha Harkness as the imperious old lady that Jack Kirby drew

It's actually 50 years since Kirby drew her - in 1970, the same year he quit Marvel for DC. I always associate the character more with her depictions by Kirby's FF successor John Buscema for some reason.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:36 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Whatever reason they had to change the appearance of the Darkhold from AoS's was a good call, I was just not a fan of the 2000's nu-metal aesthetic of the stylized word "darkhold" that read upside down and right side up on the cover.

A tiny thing, but appreciated. It looked like it came from a bad-but-not-FUN-bad direct to streaming horror movie and didn't fit the more intricate look of magical stuff Doctor Strange laid down.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:41 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I loved this episode! For me the comic documentary style really worked, maybe I'm just more steeped in those shows. I thought the 4th wall breaking really paired well with Wanda coming unglued.

It was suggested by Darcy in a previous episode that going back and forth through the barrier altered Monica on a molecular (or maybe cellular?) level. These new powers are presumably a side effect.

Sigh, you're probably right. Seems a little thin for such top tier powers. Oh well, I'll allow it if Darcy gets a taste.
posted by whuppy at 2:16 PM


Maybe it's thin but I agree with those above that it's in many ways better than other MCU origin stories. And it does fit within the framework of many MCU folks getting powers from the infinity stones. I don't really get the blue coding though, since we're led to assume Monica got her powers from crossing the barrier so many times, and we know the (red) barrier is from Wanda, who got her powers from the Reality Stone not the Space Stone like Danvers. So wouldn't Monica have gotten her powers from the reality stone, one or two steps removed? Where's the blue from?

My little bit of "it's probably just coincidence but..." is that the music playing when we first see the circus at about 5:00 into the episode sounds a lot to me like the jingle that plays after the alarm every time the day restarts in the Tim Minchin Groundhog Day musical. A stretch I know but that's in my brain now.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:54 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Quibble: Wanda's powers came from the Mind Stone, not the Reality Stone.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:38 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of feeling like all Infinity Stone-based theories have to be red herrings at this point. The Infinity Stones are gone. Maybe this stuff is the result of the energies in the stones being let loose without the stones to bind them. But I think the idea that all the ads correspond to the Infinity Stones, or that powers are colour-coded to match the stones are a stretch.

I mean we had 23 movies about Infinity Stones, it's probably time to move on to new things.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:41 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I thought the interviewer’s voice sounded distorted when I first heard it, before the reveal. After the reveal, I assumed it was Agatha disguising her voice (and presumably her appearance, from Wanda’s perspective). Magicians gonna magic and all.
posted by Ruki at 11:30 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Put me in the "one more shoe to drop" category. Agnes/Agatha may be manipulating Wanda, but I'm thinking that there's still someone (or something) else involved.

Other than that, I have no idea where the narrative is going, but nothing we've seen so far precludes the theory that the end result will change the MCU reality in a way that allows for the existence of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. So I guess I'll stick with that notion for another week.

Nice acting by Paul Bettany again this episode. The Vision didn't get a lot of characterization in the Avengers movies, but this iteration makes me want to see more of him.

And I hope we get to see Monica/Photon do some super-powered stuff before Wandavision ends. It'd be a shame if she doesn't get a chance to cut loose until the upcoming Dr. Strange sequel, Captain Marvel #2, or some other future project.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:31 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure Agatha is a villain. Are we sure that Agatha created that theme song for herself? What if Wanda made it, assuming that her neighbor is an antagonist? It's possible Agatha will turn out to be an ally, just like in the comics.
posted by nushustu at 12:39 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Whatever reason they had to change the appearance of the Darkhold from AoS's was a good call, I was just not a fan of the 2000's nu-metal aesthetic of the stylized word "darkhold" that read upside down and right side up on the cover.

I can't remember if this is from the comics or I'm making it up, but I think the cover of the Darkhold looks different to different people so as to best snare someone into becoming entranced by it. (If nothing else, it's a potential no-prize explanation for why different artists draw it differently.)
posted by straight at 1:20 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


The reveal was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the "I'm going to cause problems on purpose" vibe of Agetha All the Time.

I don't know that she's necessarily a big bad, so much as an opportunist. What she's taking advantage of is the real question though -- is she just being a bit of an annoyance in this, or is she doing deep manipulation? I really hope it's the former, and that she gets to stick around for future MCU hijinks.
posted by past unusual at 1:36 PM on February 20


Quibble: Wanda's powers came from the Mind Stone, not the Reality Stone.

Right. This kind of persistent confusion is why I hope Marvel gets away from connecting everything to Infinity stones (the Mind stone was yellow, but it was hidden in Loki's staff which glowed blue, and gave Wanda powers that glow red, and Pietro speed with a blue glow; the Space stone was Blue but gave Captain Marvel gold-colored powers.)
posted by straight at 1:37 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely sure Agatha is a villain. Are we sure that Agatha created that theme song for herself?

When Vision started catching on to what Wanda was doing, there was a knock on the door and he knew it was someone coming in with "exactly the thing we need." (Sorry, can't find the episode/line right now.) And in walked Agnes, with exactly the thing they needed. Maybe a scapegoat and some light musical entertainment is exactly what Wanda needs right now?
posted by PlusDistance at 2:05 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
posted by medusa at 2:21 PM on February 20


> Are Howard the Duck and Man-Thing going to make guest appearances in the last episode?

Brain Drain! Brain Drain!
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:25 PM on February 20


I don't think Wanda is somehow controlling Agatha. As she explored the basement, when she got into the large chamber where Agatha appears, the aspect ratio shifted to the widescreen format used outside the Hex. I think that signifies that she's left the alternate reality that was under her control (to whatever extent).
posted by cosmic owl at 2:42 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


NJ.com: Where in N.J. is ‘WandaVision’ supposed to be set? Let’s investigate.

Fun fact: Kevin Feige is from Westfield, NJ.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:46 PM on February 20


Are we sure that Agatha created that theme song for herself?

Honestly, that Agatha theme seemed as much a gift from the producers to the fans as much as anything. I mean, talk about breaking the 4th wall.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:50 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


The mind reading twin noted that Agness was "quiet on the inside," which makes me think she's just a pawn and that's another BigBad behind the scenes.
I am wondering if your soul being in someone else's possession makes you "quiet on the inside"
posted by eckeric at 2:51 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


The interviewer voice from behind the camera is clearly Katherine Hahn doing a male voice, on rewatch.

This video about every clue to Agnes' real identity all long is great, though it has some speculation, which could be considered spoilery. The video does fail to mention that when Agatha/Agnes firs introduces herself to Wanda, she says "Charmed" - which has to be another reference to her being a witch, given the long-running TV series named Charmed.

Also, Agatha's house is the house from Bewitched.
posted by crossoverman at 2:56 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


I don't know that she's necessarily a big bad, so much as an opportunist. What she's taking advantage of is the real question though

I haven't read a ton of Agatha Harkness stories, but this is much more the vibe I've gotten from her in the few I have: more "opportunistic frenemy" and less "cackling puppy killer."
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:45 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


"You don't remember me from last night? We locked eyes. There was an unspoken understanding."

"Um, hard pass."
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:26 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


I've missed out on about thirty years of Marvel comics continuity, so I mostly think of Agatha Harkness as the imperious old lady that Jack Kirby drew

It's actually 50 years since Kirby drew her - in 1970, the same year he quit Marvel for DC. I always associate the character more with her depictions by Kirby's FF successor John Buscema for some reason.


No no, I think you'll find your maths is incorrect. 1970 was thirty years ago. It can't possibly be otherwise
posted by coriolisdave at 7:14 PM on February 20 [34 favorites]


Just rewatched Doctor Strange, and was reminded how much another particular book played into that movie's plot.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:39 PM on February 20


I don't need to clarify, but I will: I'm most familiar with Buscema's version, too, as the late 1970s is when I used to read Fantastic Four, but the image of her that I can bring to mind is Kirby, for some reason. The problem is that when I go to look for the picture on Google Images, it's a single panel inked by Joe Sinnott, and the one in my memory is a full page inked by (probably) Mike Royer that I'm now fairly certain doesn't exist outside of my head. It's very clear in my head, though. As I've not read Marvel comics for - now I come to think of it - forty years, I don't know whether there's a younger, groovier version now. Apart from this one. There's this one, obviously.
posted by Grangousier at 4:03 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I imagine this episode was super fun if you had any idea who Agatha Harkness was. I don't, I've never read those comic books. So for me it was a bit of a weird letdown. I mean I got immediately she was some character I was supposed to recognize, and apparently she's a Big Deal on WandaVision, but without any context it felt a bit empty. Fortunately her campy upbeat theme song filled that void pretty fast.

(Also greatful to Fanfare for talking about theories, including Agatha from the very beginning. So I exaggerate when I say I have no idea who she is; I know from reading here and wikipedia.)

Also funny for me I haven't seen Modern Family. So I placed the interview aside style in The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Which makes no sense compared to the previous family sitcoms. Again the ignorance is on me and it's interesting how the show works even for someone lacking some bit of background, even if it feels a little hollower for it.

I don't know what to make of Vision's plight. It seems awful; he's sentient and self-aware, but he's also not real. Is he going to disappear again when The Hex ends? This is comic books so the answer could be anything but the thought of that is heartbreaking.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I had a similar experience, Nelson: I didn't know it was Modern Family until I read that here, because I've never watched it. The closest I could figure out was a pastiche of The Office and Cougartown.

I also didn't know Agatha Harkness except what I'd read here but it worked for me anyway.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on February 21


Really I don't think not knowing the comics is missing anything the show hasn't told us. Agatha is a witch, somehow involved in the mystery of Wanda's kids, who may or may not be on her side. The comics have at least three different explainations for Wanda's kids, and it seems likely they'll use none of them here.
posted by straight at 9:36 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Just rewatched Doctor Strange, and was reminded how much another particular book played into that movie's plot.

I noticed when I first saw Dr Strange that the display of books that Strange plucks the Book of Cagliostro from has all the books displayed inside prominent hexagons, and one book is missing. Now I note that the design is notably similar to the one seen in Agnes’ basement.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:43 AM on February 21


NJ.com: Where in N.J. is ‘WandaVision’ supposed to be set? Let’s investigate.

Fun fact: Kevin Feige is from Westfield, NJ.


The article says some people theorize Westview is a stand-in for Westfield. I used to live there. It really isn't. (If you want a reference, look up the opening credits to the TV show Ed.) The area is hilly, full old old trees and Victorian houses (the Addams family house is still there.) The only place you're going to get that kind of scrubby flat land is maybe down towards the Pine Barrens.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:13 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Monica may not be getting an entire movie with her name on it for her origin story, but she's getting a much more central role for her introduction to the MCU than Black Widow (Iron Man 2), War Machine (also Iron Man 2), Hawkeye (two minutes in Thor), Bruce Banner (that Edward Norton movie doesn't count, it's just not the same character), Falcon (Winter Soldier), or even Spider-Man, whose origin story was told in two sentences to Mr. Stark in his bedroom. Black Panther's role in Civil War was *maybe* as central as Monica's in this story.

This is how a lot of major characters have been introduced.
posted by straight at 12:31 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


some people theorize Westview is a stand-in for Westfield. I used to live there. It really isn't.

I think it’s because Westview and Westfield both have gazebos.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:42 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


The sitcom reference was Modern Family for the most part, but the titles were clearly a riff on The Office. The actual interaction with the interviewer was not ever done in Modern Family, but I was under the impression that The Office (US) did break down that barrier towards the end.
posted by jimw at 1:46 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Westfield Comics was (is?) a fairly well know direct comics seller. I remember getting that box delivered from UPS once a month during high school was better than Christmas.

Also, when I rewatched it again last night, I'm pretty sure Agatha's rabbit was purring in the scene where he's in the cage and again when she's carrying him during the big reveal. Is "Senor Scratchy" a former cat/cat in disguise? Is the name a reference to Old Scratch?
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 2:20 PM on February 21


I'm just throwing this out there, but I'm guessing that everything we as the 'Audience' sees inside the HEX is a lie- or at least puppeteered to make us believe a lie.

The 'Fourth Wall' is itself, an Unreliable Narrator.

I'm so excited for the final two episodes.

SO EXCITED.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:20 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I don't think the (un)reality of Westview will get any more convoluted. I think it's Wanda v Agatha now, although Wanda has Monica on her side and Agatha has "Pietro". The outside element of Hayward and SWORD will probably get in the way of both.

I really hope Agatha and Hayward aren't working together. I like the idea of the dumb militaristic dudes being after a weapon (Vision) alone and Agatha is after a more "natural" kind of magical power. She obviously wants the twins for their powers, for example.

It's possible that Agatha is working for someone else, but they won't be more than an after-credits mention or appearance in the finale. Let Kathryn Hahn have her moment.
posted by crossoverman at 2:45 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


If Sr Scratchy is Agnes/Agatha's familiar, I wonder if the delivery guy we saw with a dolly full of packages and a rabbit logo on his hat is a manifestation of Scratchy.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:51 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


or even Spider-Man, whose origin story was told in two sentences to Mr. Stark in his bedroom.

To be fair, we have seen Peter Parker get bit by that spider a lot in the last generation.

Before the modern superhero movie became as codified as a Happy Meal, Tim Burton was content to give us Batman’s origin in a thirty-second long flashback because we all know it, or as much as we need to know. On the other hand, how much screen time have we seen Wolverine thrashing around in that tank?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:11 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


To be fair, Hugh Jackman looks pretty damn good half-naked and soaking wet, so...
posted by wabbittwax at 6:04 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Monica may not be getting an entire movie with her name on it for her origin story, but she's getting a much more central role for her introduction to the MCU than Black Widow

On one (major) hand im ok with this argument, but on the other (niggling) hand it's unfortunate optics because an actual black woman superhero in the MCU-verse had to go through this route. Even T'challa appeared the way he did with the knowledge his solo movie is on the way. I think it's ok to live with the discomfort without having to spend too much time defending the implications.
posted by cendawanita at 7:12 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


but the titles were clearly a riff on The Office

Also a bit of Happy Endings, on which the Russo Brothers were Executive Producers.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:45 PM on February 21


I'm all for the elimination or reduction of superfluous origins, especially for characters whose decades-long popularity has rendered their stories as familiar as those of the major figures in the religion that you were raised in. We don't need to see the Waynes or Ben Parker bleeding out on the pavement again. Grant Morrison niced Superman's origin down to four panels, and that seemingly mostly to show off some striking Frank Quitely art.

Some retellings of these stories have something new or interesting to say about the characters (or think that they do), so we get the bits that matter: Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins showed him doing some cool ninja shit because it directly tied into the plot of that movie, and the upcoming Black Widow movie will presumably get into Natasha's origin WRT the Red Room and whatnot, and presumably because that's relevant to the story; she didn't have an origin because she didn't really need one--she was a Russian superspy who was working for SHIELD, who infiltrated Stark's company because he seemed to be cracking up and that was a concern for Fury, and from the instant when she shows up in the black tactical leotard, you know what her deal is going to be from every other black-clad superspy ever. (It's also not too far off her comics origin, where she shows up as a Russian superspy working for Russia, although her costume... uh, geez.) Of course, this approach can also backfire badly, as with the aforementioned "Wolverine thrashing around in the adamantium-injection tank" thing; as far as I can tell, the whole "the young X-Men get captured by Young Stryker and need to escape, kind of like how they did in X-Men 2" thing in X-Men: Apocalypse was just so that they could get a cameo by Hugh Jackman, because Wolverine is more popular than the rest of the X-Men put together.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:09 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


That Black Widow costume looks like Zatanna and Black Canary got mixed up in a Zeta tube accident and merged into one being. Then, the newly created being raided either the original Batwoman's or Catwoman's mask collection to complete the look.

Personally, I always liked Natasha with short hair and the grey jumpsuit.
posted by sardonyx at 8:19 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


There's a nicely oblique take on Batman's origin by Azzarello, Moon & Ba in Dark Horse's recently-reissued Noir collection. I can't say more than that without spoiling it.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:37 AM on February 22


Also, when I rewatched it again last night, I'm pretty sure Agatha's rabbit was purring in the scene where he's in the cage and again when she's carrying him during the big reveal. Is "Senor Scratchy" a former cat/cat in disguise?

There's a theory: In the comics Agatha has a son, Nicholas Scratch. We never see "Pietro" and Senior Scratchy together, so it's possible that the guy playing Quicksilver is on Agatha's side.
posted by nushustu at 11:10 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


As someone who has seen a lot of Modern Family episodes, props to Elizabeth Olsen for practically channeling Julie Bowen/Claire Dunphy. And is it time to include Katherine Hahn in the pantheon of MeFi National Treasures?
posted by Ber at 2:30 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


You all should be aware of the existence of this trap remix of Agatha All Along, which -- as the Bard would say -- slaps.
posted by Superilla at 3:10 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder who Ralph is.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:03 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Ber is completely correct on both counts.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:16 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Whatever reason they had to change the appearance of the Darkhold from AoS's was a good call, I was just not a fan of the 2000's nu-metal aesthetic of the stylized word "darkhold" that read upside down and right side up on the cover.

Obviously WandaVision got the Darkhold with the original 1950s Simon and Schuster cover, while Agents of Shield got one of the 1990s Baen reprints. It's only a matter of time before we get a generic Amazon Kindle Darkhold, with a cover that's a stock photo of a witch and a demon.
posted by happyroach at 8:41 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Chuck Tingle's Sexy Ankylosaurs Get a Dark Hold on Dormammu's Shredded Abs
posted by jason_steakums at 9:44 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Is the random SWORD unit with the really big truck the"guy" that Monica had mentioned two weeks in a row? I was hoping for a much bigger reveal than that. I guess there have to be some red herrings here and there.
posted by dforemsky at 10:47 AM on February 23


I can't believe I didn't think of this before, but Monica is in a pretty small subset of people who knows about Skrulls. I don't know how much her mother would have let it slip to other members of SWORD, but I would think not a lot. Monica has met and spent time with Skrulls and one of the Skrulls she met in Captain Marvel was a "science guy" who was able to convert a precursor to the Quinjet into a space-worthy vehicle in pretty short order. So, while the person who brought the really big truck may have looked like a non-entity, it's entirely possible that they were a Skrull in disguise.

This could still be a red herring though. Or a Skrull, disguised as a red herring.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:38 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Every time "A Skrull in disguise" comes up WRT Marvel, my interest plummets. Having people that can be other people at will is cool, and a useful plot contrivance, but with every second that passes while wondering who is and isn't who they say they are makes continuing to follow along that much harder. There's a good reason why folks don't often look fondly back on Marvel's Secret Invasion crossover event.

Then again, apparently there's going to be a straight-up Secret Invasion series on Disney+ so perhaps we're going to be spending a lot of time wondering if people are who they look like in the near future.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:44 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I like the idea that Monica has Skrull friends, though, and that they are her secret allies inside SWORD.
posted by emjaybee at 2:40 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Can anyone explain how Vision was able to do his "disrupt Wanda's control on people" to Agnes/Agatha, yet Agatha really is behind things? Or just chalk this up to tv science/magic handwavium?

Basically, I'm not convinced that Agnes/Agatha is who she says she is, but have no idea who she might be if not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:40 PM on February 23


Kristen Anderson-Lopez (one of the composers) breaks down how each of the theme songs connect to "Agatha All Along" from a musical point of view.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 2:43 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


The scene where she mugs the camera during Agatha’s theme song implied that she was faking the entire encounter in the car with Vision. She was never under Wanda’s control, and Vision never disrupted anything.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:44 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's quite clear that Agatha was messing with Vision when he tried to "wake" her.

And that link between the theme songs and "Agatha All Along" suggests, indeed, that this is a universe of Agatha's making.
posted by crossoverman at 3:14 PM on February 23


I like the idea that Monica has Skrull friends, though, and that they are her secret allies inside SWORD.

Yeah, I think there's a difference between some rando showing up to help Monica and we find out it's a secret Skrull friend (which I like) and using "Skrulls" as the answer to some mystery like "Who is this Peter/Pietro guy?" (which I would not like).

I'm sorta okay with using "that was a Skrull" like "that was a Doombot" to fix an instance of someone having being written badly out-of-character, but would prefer that the problem not come up in the first place. The list of characters I would be okay with finding out they'd been a Skrull the entire time we've known them so far in the MCU is very, very short.
posted by straight at 3:25 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


It seems like Secret Invasion just wouldn't be that interesting in the MCU unless you could get some big names revealed as Skulls, but between contracts, cost and like, rewriting good endings for the big two from Endgame which would suck, I don't think the pool of potential Skrulls is that big. You get so few stories with these characters in movies so you undo way too much as a percentage of their screen time for a surprise reveal.

Maybe you could undo Black Widow's death? But as much as I didn't like that death it feels a little crappy to use the secret Skrull retcon this soon.

Also the Skrulls are notably good guys in the MCU which is a twist I really liked. I'm hoping Secret Invasion is less "they were a Skrull all along!" and more about a new threat from some rogue Skrulls that impersonate characters going forward, not retroactively.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:01 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Comics Secret Invasion was such a weird little continuity rinse, but I'm grateful to it for resurrecting Mockingbird and Elektra. I've not even begun to speculate on how it might work in the MCU. I'm not expecting it to climax with Willem Dafoe saving us all, but I'm not ruling it out either.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:02 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's quite clear that Agatha was messing with Vision when he tried to "wake" her.

And that link between the theme songs and "Agatha All Along" suggests, indeed, that this is a universe of Agatha's making.


Interesting and offers a different take for folks who aren't familiar with the comics. As someone who knows comic Agatha as friend of the Fantastic Four and on the general good side, it's a bit odd to see her as a villain here (she killed Sparky!). Hence why I was still wondering if she really was the big bad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 PM on February 23


As someone who knows comic Agatha as friend of the Fantastic Four and on the general good side, it's a bit odd to see her as a villain here (she killed Sparky!).

Good point, I think that Marvel making her the villain here is probably good for the MCU going forward - people who are well versed in comics history can be tricked. If they just adapt the books as is, a lot of the surprise is going to be taken away. Every geek who was analyzing the show knew that Agnes was Agatha "all along" but no one really knew what part she would play - and that's exciting.
posted by crossoverman at 5:26 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Then the question at this is this: Is Agatha a villain in the traditional sense in WandaVision?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on February 23


Now that I’ve finally sat down and watched the whole thing to date, I only have one major observation from the most recent episode:

I don’t think any of the stuff Darcy told Vision is common knowledge among MCU civilians, or even among SHIELD or SWORD staff. I think Darcy still hangs out with Thor sometimes and he’s a huge gossip.

also her escape artist costume rules and I want the jacket
posted by nonasuch at 8:02 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I don’t think any of the stuff Darcy told Vision is common knowledge among MCU civilians, or even among SHIELD or SWORD staff. I think Darcy still hangs out with Thor sometimes and he’s a huge gossip.


I would watch this series.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


Thor: Darcy Chronicles

I would pay to see it in the theater.
posted by Ber at 8:48 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


bonding over schwarma and beers in New Asgard Town (or is it Assbërg?)
posted by kokaku at 4:31 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


but wait... Thor went to space with the GotG so...
she must be getting the skinny from Valkyrie! maybe they're dating
posted by kokaku at 4:33 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


I would also watch the series of Valkyrie and Darcy hanging out...
posted by Karmakaze at 6:29 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Thor: Darcy Chronicles

Please Taika Waititi make this with Darcy mostly dishing on academia and her fight for tenure while Thor provides military commentary on how he would handle it.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:35 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


From the info currently available, it appears that Kat Dennings is not included in the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder. Make of that what you will.

In related news, the new Spidey flick has its official title now.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:01 AM on February 24


Two things I noticed during Monica's confrontation with Wanda:

1. At first I thought the bystanders were all stopping to gawk, but you can see that some of them are frozen in mid-stride, unpausing after Agatha leads her away. It says to me that Agatha may be manipulating things but Wanda's the one running the simulation.

2. Wanda's "Woman Yelling At Cat" pose can't have been an accident.
posted by whuppy at 10:20 AM on February 24


From the info currently available, it appears that Kat Dennings is not included in the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder. Make of that what you will.

Probably because she's getting her own movie, right? RIGHT?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:05 AM on February 24


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