REVIEW: “WandaVision” Intrigues Audiences in Most Recent MCU Installment

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WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. The show premiered Jan 15 on Disney+ as the most recent entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Image courtesy Disney+.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many movies and TV shows either delayed a premiere or had at-home releases. This impacted Marvel fans after the wild year they had in 2019 with “Captain Marvel,” “Spiderman: Far from Home” and “Avengers: Endgame.” 2020 was the first year since 2009 without any Marvel releases. This led to huge hype for the Disney+ original show “Wandavision.” The show is the first Marvel TV show with the same major characters as the popular Avengers movies. 

After the tragic death of Pietro, Quicksilver, all the way back in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and the loss of fan favorite Vision, not once, but twice, in “Avengers: Infinity War,” fans weren’t totally sure how a show centered around Wanda Maximoff and her love would work out. The announcement was very exciting when fans realized that Paul Bettany would still be in the universe, the only actor to be in three decades of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We as fans have grown with Bettany from being JARVIS in Iron Man’s suit, to the beloved Vision with his own nine-episode TV show. 

“Wandavision” has a slow start and setup that caused many fans to give up. I have heard time and time again since I have been spewing about how good the show is that some people just couldn’t get into it. New episodes weekly give fans time to absorb and a somewhat traditional release like the sitcoms. Personally, I watched after the first six episodes had been released, and binged them all in one night. I waited for the seventh episode, and things have gotten good. From this point on, I will be writing about specific details from the new episodes.

Begin spoiler alert.

The show progresses in time and changes decades with every episode. This cleverly shows the ideal sitcom life from each decade from the ‘50s to the 2010s. Each episode gets more eerie and the characters realize that they are actually stuck in the tv show. In the ‘60s episode, the character Geraldine has a strange encounter with Wanda and she is contacted by the outside world through the radio. When Geraldine returns to her own world in modern times, she joins the SWORD team to see what the tv show anomaly is and how it works. They soon realize that Wanda is the one who fabricated the entire show to spend a life with Vision since he was killed by Thanos. Strange things continue, including the return of her dead brother Pietro, who is recast and played by “American Horror Story” star Evan Peters. These things confuse Wanda because she doesn’t believe that she is making these things happen. Her children age at a crazy rate, and she is confused about who is contacting her from the outside world. 

In episode seven, Vision is getting some clues and has figured out that he is in an ideal world constructed by his wife. He comes into contact with some agents when they get sucked into the “Hex,” named for its hexagonal shape and in reference to Wanda being called a witch. However, she is not the only witch in the hex. The seventh episode ends with a catchy song revealing that side character Agnes has been messing things up all along. Her name is short for Agatha Harkness, a witch character from the Wanda and Vision comics. 

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The end was something that many fans would never have expected. I also watched all nine episodes for a second time after seeing the finale. There are so many details and small things that were tied up by the last episode. The show’s post credit scenes also did some major setup for the second Doctor Strange movie, “Multiverse of Madness.” 

Harkness battles it out with Wanda, showing parts of her past and putting together the moments that led to Wanda’s fantasy life. Agatha wishes to take the powers that Wanda absorbed from the mind stone, as well as the power that she developed on her own. Agatha somewhat has sympathy for Wanda, as she knows that her powers are confusing. 

Vision has his own battle to fight for his own identity against a SWORD-made version of himself. The two Visions discuss the philosophy of the ship of Theseus. Rather than fight one another, they try to figure out which is the real Vision and what they should do about each other. 

End spoiler alert.

“Wandavision” took a few episodes to get me hooked. Personally, I just don’t find ‘50s and ‘60s style sitcoms funny, but the changing intros and canned laughter changing to a “Modern Family” type episode is so smart and intriguing. 

The show had the epic fights and visual effects that we have come to expect from the MCU. But there was also the sentimental, longform story that goes through all the movies, with references back to Age of Ultron, and clues as to what will happen in future MCU movies.

The show really impressed me. I almost wished for more, but I enjoyed all the characters, and the script was so clever. I am always shocked at how many little secrets are hidden throughout, and this show was no exception. There are many fan theory videos out now, and I have watched my fair share of them. 

I was skeptical from the beginning about a Marvel TV show just because they tell stories so well in movie form. I was worried that it was going to end up being a movie amount of information just stretched out into a show. The new characters as well as callbacks and references to old ones makes it a truly good standalone show. Anyone with even a vague knowledge of the avengers can get joy from this show. 

For now, I probably will not cancel my Disney + subscription, as I am now waiting for the return of Bucky and Sam in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” to come out in less than a week. I was definitely a big fan of this TV show, even though it was a big risk for Marvel.

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