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wandavision-episode-5-explained.jpg

'WandaVision' Broke the MCU's Reality and It Was Very On-Brand

By Mike Redmond | TV | February 5, 2021 |

By Mike Redmond | TV | February 5, 2021 |


wandavision-episode-5-explained.jpg

So, uh, goddamn. After last week’s episode of WandaVision paused for a moment and allowed viewers to catch their breath as the series carefully set the table for its back half, Episode 5 “A Very Special Episode” got to work wheeling out the beginnings of one hell of a main course. Because I’m terrible at recapping TV, and let’s be real, if you’re reading this, there’s a 99% chance you’re actively watching the show, I’m just going to dive right into what is basically Ground Zero for a dramatic altering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But in case you popped in out of curiosity, here’s a complimentary SPOILER ALERT, and fair warning that it’s open season once you scroll past Winking Agnes.

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Whenever Agnes isn’t winking on screen, all the other characters should be asking, “Where’s Agnes winking?” - A wise prophet

Sweet Sonofabitch, They Really Are Introducing the X-Men. And How!

One of the huge wish list items for WandaVision is that Marvel would essentially pull a reverse-House of M to bring the X-Men into the MCU, and Jesus Christ, the show actually did it. To be clear, when Evan Peters appears at the end of the episode, he is Quicksilver from the Fox movies. This has been confirmed by the official Audio Description settings on Disney+, which read as follows when Wanda opens the door: “In Westview, Wanda stares at the version of Pietro from the X-Men films.” WELP.

What Marvel has brilliantly done now is certified the X-Men films as canon in their own pocket universe and blasted open a door to pick and choose whatever elements it wants from that universe and inject it into the MCU. And you better believe there was a healthy amount of “F*ck you” in using Quicksilver first. Due to complicated rights issues stemming from the comics company going bankrupt in the ’90s, Marvel and Fox were forced to share Wanda and Pietro, but with certain rules. Fox couldn’t refer to the twins as Avengers, which was a stupid easy needle to thread and led to the breakout, and perhaps only good scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past. As for Marvel, the twins weren’t allowed to be mutants or use the names Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. While a good question to ask would’ve been, “What’s the point of even using them?” the twins still showed up in Avengers: Age of Ultron. And if all of this sounds complicated as hell, welcome to anything to do with the X-Men ever. Want a convoluted mess on your hands? Drag the X-Men into it, and you’ll be confusing the shit out of everyone in no time. They’re the best there is at what they do, but what they do isn’t very nice (to brains).

Anyway, if you’re hoping I have answers to what the appearance of Peters’ Quicksilver means to the story in WandaVision, I truly and honestly don’t know, which is what makes the show so damn great. At this stage, Wanda, or whoever’s controlling Westview, can seemingly pull from an infinite number of realities. Think Marvel meets Fringe, but on a vastly larger scale. More importantly, any preconceptions about how huge properties like the X-Men would never be introduced on a Disney+ series just went right out the window. (See, also: The aerospace engineer Monica has on speed dial who could be a certain fantastic person.)

Wait, What the Hell Does a ‘Reverse-House of M’ Mean, You Dork?

Without spoiling too much of what might be happening in WandaVision — although, in the typical Marvel hand-holding way, the show is doing a very good job of highlighting that you should be questioning the reality of everything and everyone that you’re seeing — House of M is a comic book event where the Scarlet Witch has a nervous breakdown and rewrites the entire Marvel universe through a massive display of power. While the situation is “resolved,” the story ends with Wanda declaring, “No more mutants,” and that’s exactly what happens. Marvel fans are hoping WandaVision Wanda will do the opposite of that by bringing mutants into the MCU, and bada-bing bada-boom, there’s your reverse-House of M.

That said, yes, WandaVision does have huge shades of House of M, but the Marvel movies (and now Disney+ series) don’t exactly “adapt” comic book storylines as much as they extract a very general concept, and go nuts from there. In the case of WandaVision, the show is exceeding the source material by a country mile. Without dunking too hard on Brian Michael Bendis — who has evolved tremendously as a writer and created characters like Jessica Jones, Miles Morales, and DC Comics’ Naomi — in theory, House of M is a story about Wanda. There’s just one small problem: She’s barely in it. I recently reread the graphic novel, and you want to know who the main character is? F*cking Wolverine. Over eight issues, very little of Wanda is shown, and when she does appear, she’s a hysterical woman who’s breaking the entire world. It’s not the worst, but it’s not great.

WandaVision, on the other hand, has put the focus on Wanda, and “A Very Special Episode” does a riveting job of watching her struggle with whatever the hell is happening in Westview as last week’s reveal that Wanda is the “victimizer” is already being called into question. After putting the audience on firm ground, the episode bounces back and forth between suggesting Wanda is in control and making it seem like she’s just along for the ride, but is a very willing participant. At least for now. Things get messy when Wanda tries to explain to her sons that death is permanent, and it hits like a ton of bricks as Elizabeth Olsen acts the shit out of the extremely conflicting “Do as I say, not as I do” parental moment. If you’re left questioning who she’s really talking to in that scene, that was the point, and it has me very curious about how far Disney is willing to take this show.

Which brings me to…

Damn, Lady, You Really Are Playing Puppet With the Robot-Man’s Corpse

Turns out last week’s jump scare featuring Vision’s caved-in skull wasn’t just a brief delusion. Wanda literally has his corpse. For reasons not yet explained, there’s security footage of Wanda tearing through a SWORD facility to retrieve Vision’s body sometime between defeating Thanos in Avengers: Endgame and the start of WandaVision. It’s also revealed that Vision had a will where he specifically states that, in the case of his “death,” he should never be reactivated to prevent him from being used as a weapon. Wanda had zero f*cks to give for any of that.

This information only adds to the increasing marital tension as Vision starts to completely unravel. While Wanda grows more and more comfortable in their new home, to the point where she’s not even hiding her powers from Agnes anymore, Vision is straight-up losing his shit. For a robot man, he is a mess of emotions. By the end of the episode, he’s literally levitating over the couch yelling “I’m scared!” at Wanda, who only just now starts to notice that her android bone-bud isn’t usually so screamy. The scene also highlights the undercurrent of horror that continues to make itself known as Vision asks Wanda why there are no other children in the town. It’s a very random and off-putting question that she doesn’t seem to know the answer to. Or does she?

Jazzercise Agnes and Her Weirdo Buns of Steel

WandaVision hasn’t been the least bit subtle that there’s something up with Agnes, and now, that facade is completely broken, but in an unexpected way. Barely a few minutes into the episode, Agnes stops a “scene” and asks Wanda if they should “take it from the top” after Vision says he doesn’t think Agnes should help with the babies. (I cannot stress how key it is that Agnes froze after hearing that.) As the episode continues, Agnes isn’t even fazed by seeing Wanda and the twins use their powers, but there is a moment that catches her off guard. When Wanda’s boys say she can “fix the dead,” Agnes is genuinely surprised, and in a sincere moment she asks Wanda, “You can do that?” That exchange takes some heat off Agnes as the evidence for a larger, unseen villain continues to stack up.

The Great Mephisto or Kang Debate

After the second episode of Wandavision, Mephisto has been the top contender as the show’s big bad, if there even is one. While I’ve definitely been on the Mephisto train from the jump, and the Marvel version of Satan is a very likely contender, there is now a growing theory that Kang the Conqueror could be behind the events in WandaVision. (If you want to be confused as hell by the old ’80s comics, which I’ve been trying to slog through, ComicBook has a rundown on the Kang theory.) Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors has been cast as Kang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, so we know he’s coming to the MCU. Considering Kang has always been a major Thanos-like threat to The Avengers, I’d put good money on him being the major villain for the next crop of films.

However, there are theories that Mephisto will be the MCU’s next huge villain, but here’s why I’m not sold on that. While I think Mephisto is probably going to be the big bad of WandaVision, and possibly even Loki, I don’t see Marvel going too huge with him because it’s going to be a very risky venture to sell movie tickets (which are still the moneymaker) to the Bible Belt for Avengers films starring the goddamn Devil. I could be very wrong! But that’s just my two cents.

Other Stupid Rando Brain Farts

- Is everyone else noticing the Captain Marvel color scheme that keeps popping up? Wanda’s maternity outfit and the window panes in her house in Episode 3 were all Captain Marvel colors. Same deal in Episode 5. The window panes, door, and couch were red, yellow, and blue. Is this just more hinting at Monica’s inevitable super powers, or something else?

- “This all-powerful woman created her own reality and can literally reshape matter. I’ll shoot a rocket at her!” Real f*cking smart, SWORD dude. Hell of a space program you’ve got there.

- What is with the toy tiger on the table? Agnes said a line about how her husband “can’t tame this tiger,” then there was a tiger on the table, and the show really wanted us to see Wanda put away the tiger. Something is up with that tiger! I’m not smart enough to figure out what it is yet, but it’s something. Probably.

UPDATE: I wrote about the tigers in WandaVision. Hope you like batshit theories about Magneto!

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Mike is a Staff Contributor living in Pennsyltucky. You can follow him on Twitter.



Header Image Source: Marvel