WandaVision Ep. 2: What Product Are We Being Sold?
True Believers welcome to round two of MarvelBlog’s weekly coverage of WandaVision on Disney+, which premiered yesterday, January 15th. Although I already recapped and reviewed the first episode in RECAP: WandaVision Brings Something Entirely New, there is so much to say about the first two episodes of the series that it just couldn’t go into one article. So here we go with the recap of WandaVision Episode 2, and hopefully, you are enjoying the series as much as us!
WandaVision Episode 2 Recap
In WandaVision Episode 2, we are now in the 1960s, a la an episode of Bewitched, and the cold open is delightfully uncanny with its nods to sitcom history – Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision’s (Paul Bettany) bedroom is styled after the acceptable sleeping arrangement for television couple’s of that era. Suddenly, a loud sound coming from outside Wanda and Vision’s bedroom window alarms Wanda, who wakes up and asks, “What was that?”
Although the couple has vowed not to use their powers (another homage to the premise of Bewitched), Wanda proceeds to turn the light on and off: she seemingly wants the ease of figuring out what is going on without waking her sleeping husband. However, the plan quickly goes awry, waking Vision anyway.
Although Vision appears more terrified of the sound than his wife, he helps her locate the culprit from outside, only to discover that it’s a tree slamming against their bedroom window. Wanda asks her husband to check for the noise source (just a little bit harder), and jokingly asking him, “Are you using your night vision, Vision?” However, the WandaVision Episode 2 quip about dark vision between husband and wife, gives me a pang of nostalgia – just a pain of nostalgia, it’s not lost on me how sad this is, as well.
However, the conversation quickly turns back to the show’s theme: two outsiders trying to be fitter-inners in suburbia (one of the least accepting places in the United States).
Vision: Actually, I did overhear a couple of lads at work remarking on a few unsavory characters settling in the neighborhood.
Wanda: Now, who knows what those ne’er-do-wells might be up to?
Vision: Robbing houses, vandalizing property.
Wanda: Walking through walls, moving objects without touching them.
Vision: Wanda, darling, you can’t be suggesting my colleagues were referring to us.
Seizing on the moment of confusion to use her magic, Wanda flips her wrist and redecorates the bedroom, bringing their single beds closer together, before the scene closes into the opening theme music for WandaVision Episode 2 inspired by the Bewitched theme song: ♪ WandaVision, Wa-WandaVision ♪ ♪ WandaVision, Wa-WandaVision ♪ ♪ WandaVision, Wa-WandaVision ♪
The next day, Vision and Wanda are practicing their magic act for the somewhat morbid talent show, aka the Westview Talent Show fundraiser (for the children) – but to blend in with the rest of the idyllic town, they will be performing illusions, not tricks that reveals their actual powers. Vision asks Wanda whether she is a little bit worried that their neighbors might see through the charade, to which she says, “Well, that’s the whole point. In a real magic act, everything is fake.”
Vision and Wanda plan on performing under the names Illusion and Glamour, respectively, as they are practicing the conclusion of their magic act, the Cabinet of Mystery. The big easter-egg here is the box is adorned with an image of the Mind Stone – yes, the same stone in Vision’s head is the one on the doors of the Cabinet of Mystery. Also, as The Nerdist points out, their performer names are a really nice nod to The Vision and the Scarlet Witch #5, in which Vision goes to see his friends perform as the magic act Glamour and Illusion.
WandaVision Ep. 2: And so it begins, Wanda and Vision Westview fitter-inners!
After practicing their routine, Vision must head to the neighborhood watch meeting at the local library. Still at home, Wanda is suddenly interrupted by a loud thud, which sounds like something sputtering and crashing. When she opens the front door, it looks like a crashing sound is indeed what she heard, and she sees a (technicolor) red and yellow toy plane with the S.W.O.R.D. Emblem and the number 57 (referencing the first appearance of Silver Age Vision) in the bushes outside, which is odd since most of the first two episodes are in black and white.
The helicopter seems to rattle Wanda. She starts zoning out before looking back at the tree outside their bedroom window almost like she is guessing a tree branch wasn’t the source of the sound the evening before, after all.
As WandaVision Episode 2 seems to slowly pull Wanda back to the MCU’s present-day reality (and right before she starts to question the nature of her own existence), her thoughts are interrupted by Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), who is eager to leave for the talent show planning committee. And Agnes offers a bit of friendly advice about getting in with Dottie on the way to the meeting. Wanda says that maybe she could just be herself, stopping Agnes in her tracks before she starts cackling: Wanda’s real self would ever be enough for Dottie.
At the planning meeting (again for the children), Wanda futilely tries to impress the local queen bee, Dottie, played by Emma Caulfield Ford, best known for playing the lovable demon Anya Jenkins in Buffy the Vampire Slayer – poor Anya, she must face bunnies in every television dimension.
The meeting begins immediately, with Dottie launching into some ground rules surrounding the event’s etiquette, including when to clap at the appropriate time – a test which Wanda immediately fails, and that’s after she fails the first test when she arrives in pants, not dressing like a proper 1960s homemaker in public.
Wanda also meets Geraldine, who fans recognize as Teyonah Parris‘ Monica Rambeau (last seen as a kid in Captain Marvel), in WandaVision Episode 2. However, when Wanda introduces herself, Monica cannot remember her real name, calling herself Geraldine.
Meanwhile, cutting back to the neighborhood watch, Vision storms into the meeting with a list of very reasonable security demands, but he is initially met with laughter because he doesn’t act like the other men sitting around the table (at least at first blush). However, he does eventually build a good rapport with the group, accidentally biting off more than he can chew when he takes a piece of Big Red gum from one of them, Herb (David Payton).
Once again, harping on the outsider theme, Vision is at first chastised for attempting to learn how to be a “Westview fitter-inner;” however, when he tries to show his sense of humor by
jokingly outing his neighbor as a communist, the group of men decide he must not be a square. When he takes the piece of gum, he even jokes he can have it because it’s purely for mastication. To which, after looking uncomfortably around, Herb responds. Unfortunately for Vis, he promptly swallows the gum when he is slapped on the back, which messes with his gears, and really gums up the works.
The two contrasting scenes in WandaVision Episode 2 present a very gendered perspective on idealized newlywed life, with both Wanda and Vision learning how to act in their new normative roles, essentially socializing on how to behave like husband and wife. And back at the planning committee luncheon, the tension to behave a certain way is similarly rising for Wanda as it has been for Vision. Wanda is trying to put up with being assigned to Dottie’s clean up team after the luncheon. Still, despite Wanda’s help, Dottie remains icy towards her, cementing Wanda’s place in the social pecking order (at least for now).
Dottie says she’s heard rumors around the neighborhood about Wanda and Vision. To which Wanda attempts to smooth the situation over by replying, “I don’t know what you’ve been told, but I assure you I don’t mean anyone any harm.” To which Dottie responds, “I don’t believe you.”
And just then, the radio gets staticky, and someone’s voice breaks through, which sounds like Randall Park‘s Jimmy Woo, saying Wanda’s name through the radio. Woo, then asks, “Wanda, can you read me? Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”
As the person keeps calling Wanda’s name through the radio, it scares Dottie, forcing her to ask, “Who is that? Who are you?” But suddenly, the radio breaks, simultaneously shattering the glass in Dottie’s hand. Once again, a little bit of bright red trickles through the black-and-white as the blood flows from Dottie’s cut, curiously the only sign of color. And just like that, it’s like nothing happened. Dottie reasserts her position as queen bee, joking that a wife knows the proper way to get a bloodstain out of white linen.
The episode breaks away to a commercial, this time advertising a Strücker model watch with a Hydra logo on it. “Strücker. He’ll make time for you,” the ad declares, a reference to Wanda’s tragic origin story in the MCU.
After the faux-commercial break, we pick up back at Westview Talent Show (FOR THE CHILDREN), where we find Wanda panicky over her husband’s tardiness. But just in the nick of time, Vision appears, although he is obviously feeling a bit weird-y from the gum in his system, which has already done some damage, and the android, is now acting like he’s guzzled one too many martinis: he’s tripping over his own legs, slurring all over the place, and showing how expressive he can be. When asked where he’s been, Vision tells Wanda he has been busy playing with the horse’s shoes.
Suddenly the couple is called to the stage to perform (for the children). As they take the stage, Bettany’s Vision plays up the drunk husband trope (but with an Marvel Cinematic Universe twist). Rising above his audience, Vision is now so expressive that he’s performing magic tricks with his real powers, forcing Wanda to respond with increasingly hysterical antics.
Uncharacteristically, Vision jokes with the audience about the very nature of their magic act itself, saying the couple will lie to the audience and delight in their “dumbstruck little faces.” And this is exactly what the couple does, but with the help of slapstick comedy magic and the bunny Señor Scratchy (on-loan from Agnes).
Wanda conceals Vision’s use of his powers. She passes them off as an illusion, with a wiggle of her finger that’s not unlike Samantha Stevens’ nose twitch, albeit a goofy one, full of slapstick. To their own surprise, Wanda and Vision’s magic act sufficiently wows the audience.
They try sneaking away from the talent show after performing – and after Wanda removes the gum from Vision’s system, bringing him back to normal, with a superb animation sequence that refers back to the animated theme song at the start of the episode – but with no luck. Instead, Dottie calls them to stage to receive the inaugural Comedy Performance of the Year award (for the children).
Back at home, the couple is relieved to have passed their test as Westview fitter-inners and bask in their unexpected victory. Striking a pose, Vision saying, “You were tremendous, Glamour,” to which Wanda loving responds, “As were you, Illusion.” Hmm…Why are they striking a pose when they enter their own home, almost as if still performing for the camera despite being done with their performance?
However, interrupting the celebration of their achievement, Wanda realizes she is pregnant when she stands up and heads to the kitchen to get some popcorn – as if she was performing in the talent show for her children, subconsciously wishing her belly to grow. And, judging by Wanda’s bump, she is a couple of months along. Although Wanda should probably ask some questions about the miraculous pregnancy, she merely smiles and asks, “Is this really happening?”
Just as they kiss in celebration, they hear another disturbing noise outside, and they head to the yard to investigate. Outdoors the couple discovers an agent of S.W.O.R.D. in a beekeeper outfit, and as he emerges from the utility hole that’s slightly down the road, bees swarm him. Although we don’t see his face clearly, the Beekeeper turns to look directly at the couple.
The Beekeeper’s look prompts Wanda to reject the reality she doesn’t want, simply saying, “No,” and suddenly rewinding the WandaVision Episode 2. It’s clear Wanda is rewriting her own script to have a happier ending, and Wanda and Vision are now back inside their house, just like before the loud interruption. Once again, they realize Wanda’s pregnant for the first time, and the couple kiss. This time, however, without the loud bang outside interrupting their special moment.
Instead, as Wanda pulls away from her embrace with Vision, their world transformed into technicolor: WA-WANDAVISION! And suddenly, by the end of WandaVision Episode 2, Vision is turning into a bright technicolor red – and for that matter, the couple’s entire black-and-white existence quickly transforms into a more colorful and happier palate. Again, the couple marvels at their new surroundings before kissing and cutting away to the end credits.
However, as the episode ends, we hear that voice again: “Wanda? Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?” And aren’t all of us wondering the same thing after WandaVision Episode 2? What do you think of the series so far? Let MarvelBlog know what you thought of WandaVision Episode 2 in the comments section below!