Let’s Talk about WandaVision Episode 1-6
“She has the world’s only vibranium synthezoid playing Father-Knows-Best-In-Suburbia. What happens when he learns the truth?”
Doctor Darcy Lewis posed this question last episode, allowing WandaVision to continue with its core purpose.
The show loves messing with viewers’ heads, yet it always leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for the next episode.
Let’s talk about WandaVision episode 1-6, All-New Halloween Spooktacular!
Spoiler: It’s about to get weird. Well, weirder.
The Holiday Trope
Every superhero gets to wear their most famous costume in this episode, even the twins.
I’m mentioning this because the episode marries a sitcom staple with a costuming conceit.
Historically, sitcoms have utilized holiday episodes as excuses to marry stories with stunt casting.
Producers adopted this approach to pop a big rating during sweeps months.
WandaVision has employed the practice for two different reasons. The first is to provide a sitcom justification for the sudden presence of Pietro, Wanda’s twin.
The other represents a blatant excuse to put Wanda, Vision, and Pietro in superhero costumes no sane person would ever wear.
In fact, even currently insane Wanda wouldn’t dress like that, and she’s holding thousands of people hostage.
This cheeky approach comes with a decidedly flirty explanation, as Wanda has “a secret thing for Mexican wrestlers.” She confirms with “mi gusta mucho.”
Still, tensions remain between the two, which the show approaches from an original perspective.
The twins count as the protagonists now, as the story mimics Malcolm in the Middle, with some Lizzie McGuire thrown in for good measure.
Billy and Tommy may be less than a week old, but they can already tell that their parents are fighting.
The early dialogue reinforces this, as Vision points out he only owns one outfit. Also, he passionately requests that his wife “be good.”
Doctor Darcy’s predicted the future here. Vision has figured some stuff out, and he’ll spend the episode investigating.
Meanwhile, the main show-within-a-show story centers on the twins hanging out with cool uncle Pietro, who may be a vampire.
Well, that part’s a sitcom joke (I think). Still, Pietro behaves like a man-child, something everyone notices.
Finally, in the classic sitcom style, Dad hates his in-law. WandaVision goes all-in on cliches this week.
Halloween Night Horrors
Wanda doesn’t realize it, but her husband’s a man on a mission. He claims to anchor the holiday neighborhood watch, preventing kids from pranking.
In truth, Vision seeks to explore the great beyond of Westview, the region that exists beyond Ellis Avenue.
Since the Avenger counts as one of the most powerful beings in the world, he achieves this goal…to his own detriment.
Before Vision can reach this section, he meets Agnes. The only person in town resistant to Wanda has tried to make a break for it.
Agnes sits in her car at the corner of Ellis Avenue and Rolling Hill Drive. She’s not the only one struggling to move.
Vision takes flight as he tries to explore the outskirts of Westview. Along the way, he finds people virtually incapable of motion.
Whatever Wanda has done, the effort appears too much for her. She must pool her resources for the major players in her sitcom.
The thousands of people uninvolved behave like they’re frozen in place. Even the lights flicker as they stand motionless.
Agnes has somehow advanced past this stage. She’s mere blocks away from escaping. Alas, her car won’t move forward.
Vision engages her in dialogue, wherein Agnes attempts a transparent lie to hide her true motives.
For the second time, Vision taps a character’s brain to “unfreeze them” from Wanda’s spell.
Agnes, hilariously dressed as a cliché black witch, recognizes him as an Avenger. In fact, she calls him by his name/call sign, Vision.
While the superhero confirms that he wants to help, he immediately shatters Agnes’ hope when he asks, “But what’s an Avenger?”
Wanda – or someone – truly has eliminated all his memories.
Agnes asks whether she’s dead and then informs Vision that he is.
This is the creepiest Halloween episode ever.
Is It Halloween Everywhere?
Once again, episode 1-6 veers between the inner workings of S.W.O.R.D. and the horrors of Westview.
After the recent run-in with Wanda, the new Scooby Gang of Darcy, Jimmy Woo, and Monica Rambeau has understandably lost confidence in their boss.
Acting Director Hayward promptly benches them by kicking them off the team. Yes, even the area outside Westfield relies on T.V. tropes.
This week, Hayward acts like Skinner while the other three become Mulder and Scully in a very special episode of The X-Files.
The military response has failed completely. So, the Scoobies take it upon themselves to ignore military orders – we call it sedition – and stick around.
The three of them steal gear and then dress up like officers while researching Wanda’s evolving powers.
Interestingly, the current Halloween episode plays on a television that the trio notices. Darcy reiterates the Pietro recasting. Speaking of which…
The Quicksilver Questions
In classic sitcoms, the annoying sibling who visits from out of town serves a storytelling purpose.
This character establishes how much the other sibling has changed and evolved. Usually, they’ve kept all their best traits while adding new ones.
Quicksilver doesn’t fall into that category. Even Wanda struggles to understand his arrival. She quizzes him to verify whether he’s who he says he is.
Interestingly, Quicksilver sidesteps this question while acknowledging that he looks different. Wanda seizes on this to ask why his appearance has changed.
Once again, Quicksilver boomerangs that question back to Wanda. To some, it’s enough to support the belief that he’s not her brother, after all.
By the way, the producers deliver an amusing reference here. Wanda watches her brother use his superspeed. She exclaims, “Kick-ass!”
Evan Peters co-starred in Kick-Ass. However, he didn’t play the title character. No, the actor who portrayed Kick-Ass was Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
You may know him as the MCU’s…Pietro. That’s right. Both versions of Pietro appeared in the same non-Marvel comic book movie.
Later in the show, the real current Pietro breaks the fourth wall when he describes his reason for appearing.
“I’m just trying to do my part, okay? Come to town unexpectedly, create tension with the brother-in-law, stir up trouble with the rugrats, and ultimately give you grief.”
Folks, that’s EXACTLY what the out-of-town sibling does in the average special holiday episode. WandaVision’s leaning into it.
Of course, the real topic of significance occurs when Wanda asks about Pietro’s vanishing accent.
You may recall I mentioned the same thing about her in a previous discussion.
I don’t know what’s going on here, but it’s important.
Three significant events occur during this episode.
The first one happens in two phases. First, Tommy develops superspeed.
Later, Billy displays Wanda-esque magical abilities. He can hear his dad when even she cannot.
WandaVision had hinted at these powers earlier when the twins recognized the flow of time in a way that nobody else could.
Billy’s ability arises after Vision leaves the city. He attempts to escape the barrier and eventually discovers the S.W.O.R.D. base.
Vision starts to disintegrate as he moves farther from the red wall. Wanda – or something else – will not allow him to leave.
So, he can walk through the hexagonal barrier, but he cannot survive beyond it. Billy hears this and signals his mom.
Then, everything falls apart. Wanda springs into action, extending the red barrier in an attempt to save her husband.
To Vision’s credit, his only concern demonstrates why he is worthy of Mjolnir. “HELP! The people need help!” As always, his actions are selfless.
Whatever is keeping Vision alive cannot sustain him beyond Westview or Wanda or whatever is doing this.
So, those are the three main developments. Simultaneously, Jimmy and Monica may get caught inside the barrier.
They’re driving to meet Monica’s helper, who may be able to get them back into Westview…although that now seems redundant.
Meanwhile, a S.W.O.R.D. soldier has tied Darcy to a Jeep. Then, he’s fled, leaving her alone to get swallowed by the barrier extension.
Oh, and the soldiers become clowns. Wanda’s tough but fair.
Virtually everyone’s in jeopardy at the end of this episode. We won’t know which characters are okay until next week.
That was a very good episode, though. I’d give it an A-.
Feature Image Rights: Marvel Studios