WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR WANDAVISION EPISODES 1-2
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now a part of Disney+. It only took a year to make it happen. Let’s see if it was worth the wait.
In the first episode of WandaVision, we see our one-time heroes Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in a 1950’s Americana style sitcom theme song. It’s in full black and white, filled with comic mishaps. We can see what they have in store for us with this series opener.
Live studio audience laugh tracks and silly jokes start us off. Then confusion sets in on our main characters as they notice a heart on the calendar. It’s marked for today, and they have no idea what it means. Vision goes off to work where he soon finds out that it means he is to have his boss Mr. Hart (Fred Melamed) over for dinner. Back at home, Wanda meets her new neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), who convinces Wanda that the heart on the calendar means an anniversary and she should plan something special and intimate for Vision. When the Harts arrive for dinner more silly comedy takes place as Wanda tries to surprise Vision. That does not go very well, and laughs are had by all amid the confusion. Wanda then uses her powers to make dinner while Vision stalls. It all comes together like it normally would in a sitcom where the characters have superpowers. There is one moment where it stops being a sitcom and becomes eerily serious, akin to The Twilight Zone. Mr. Hart questions everything about the relationship between Vision and Wanda and they have no answers for him. Then suddenly Mr. Hart is choking on his dinner and Mrs. Hart (Debra Jo Rupp) is deliriously asking him to stop. After being directed to by Wanda, Vision saves his boss by reaching inside him and pulling out the food. This of course leaves his boss impressed and all is well. The show ends as any classic sitcom would- Vision and Wanda leaning on one another as the screen closes on them and credits begin to wrap. The screen then starts to pan out more, past a screen and into the full-color world of what looks like the present day. Someone was watching and taking notes. But who?
The second episode opens with a homage to Bewitched with a fun animated theme. Still in retro black and white, we see Wanda and Vision in their bedroom at night. In separate beds of course. There is a thud that startles them both. Vision goes to the window to see it’s just a tree branch banging against the window. This incident has him thinking about joining the local neighborhood watch in the town of Westview.
The next morning, Wanda hears another loud thud while she’s home alone and goes outside to see what it was. She finds a fully colored toy helicopter in her bushes- red and gold and bearing the same symbol that was on the notepad of the “real world” voyeur shown in the previous episode. She’s then interrupted by Agnes, who’s there to take her to the Township Talent Show meeting with other ladies in town. Agnes tells Wanda about the chairwoman, Dottie (Emma Caufield). She runs things and her roses are impeccable. At the meeting, Dottie treats the others like they are below her the entire time. Wanda makes friends with a nice woman named Geraldine (Teyonah Parris) which will come in handy later. Meanwhile, in town, Vision meets with the neighborhood watch and tries to become one of them. By doing this he tries gum for the first time. After a rough pat on the back, he accidentally swallows said gum, and hilarity ensues, but not before some weirdness back at the Talent Show meeting. Wanda and Dottie are alone as the radio starts to play “Help Me Wanda” to the tune of Help Me Rhonda by the Beach Boys. But then we hear another voice power over that song, asking “Wanda? Who’s doing this to you?” before the radio overloads and sparks. Dottie is mystified but is then quickly back to normal like nothing happened, despite having cut herself and the blood being bright red. Fast forward to the Talent Show “For The Children”. Vision is running late and Wanda is worried. He finally shows up and he seems off- almost like he’s drunk- because the gum he swallowed messed with his mechanical insides and is screwing with his head big time. Vision does everything he can to expose his powers and Wanda does everything she can to hide it. Wanda has to use an unwitting Geraldine to pull off the final act and they win the show.
When they arrive home, Wanda is suddenly full-on pregnant. Then another thud. They go outside to see a figure in a beekeeper’s outfit arise from a manhole cover. Wanda says a simple “No” and forces a quick rewind to back inside where she revealed they are having a baby. She kisses Vision and everything turns full color before a classic sitcom ending happens again.
Let me just start by saying how good it felt to see the MCU intro again. It might not have been on the big screen, but it has been too long. It was just cool to see and hear it again.
This show is wrapped in mystery and I am on board for it. How did they get here? Who’s controlling this? Where is this going? I do not know any of these things, and that is what makes it more fun. I enjoy the sitcom-style filming. The live studio audience was an actual live studio audience, which I am totally jealous of. The wholesome comedy is silly and fun to laugh at. The creepy, more serious parts of the show have me hooked. In the first episode when Mr. Hart was choking, Mrs. Hart was super creepy. The radio part in episode 2 with Dottie was super weird. And all of this leaves me with many questions and has me searching for clues. Like the commercial in episode 2 for a watch by Strucker, featuring the Hydra symbol- does that mean they’re involved, or is it just an easter egg? Also, the devil references from Agnes and Dottie. Could we be getting an appearance from Mephisto? Will that be the villain in this wonderful MCU story? I. Don’t. KNOW!! But, this is why I am on board and excited for the rest of the season. Agnes is already my favorite, so I hope we get to see more of her. But most of all, I hope we get some of that classic Marvel action we have all come to love so much. I feel the tension and mystery will continue to build. I just hope it doesn’t build to great hype just to fail us in the end.
4.5 out of 5 Stars for Wandavision Episodes 1 and 2