Supers and gentlefolk, the drought is finally over. It’s been an excruciatingly long year and a half since we had the chance to check in with a few of our favorites in Spiderman: Far From Home.
You read that right. Eighteen months. Without a MCU release.
After the year that felt like a decade, this is almost difficult to process. But Marvel is back with a vengeance, featuring a tragic hero who would be justified in seeking some herself. Following a series of trailers which inspired more questions than it answered, WandaVision premiered with a two episode release on January 15th. The iconic Marvel intro heralded its anticipated beginning before viewers were plunged into a bygone era of television—the 50s sitcom.
In the age of reboots and unnecessary sequels, these first two Wandavision episodes strike a refreshing balance between nostalgia and intrigue. The slapstick comedy of the Dick van Dyke show, the witty banter of Lucille Ball, and even the filming techniques put us right back in front of our favorite shows from days gone. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are absolute magic, not just in the talent show, but in every scene together. At times, it’s easy to forget we’re watching two of our most seasoned Avengers on the screen. But, much like our protagonists, just as we get comfortable in Westview, things start to fall apart. In these moments, Marvel reminds us just who we’re dealing with.
Even the smallest bump in the night may lead to an ominous discovery. Something appears to be off with most of the townsfolk…but less so with Mrs. Next Door, Agnes, who never seems to miss a beat. She may even be attempting to help Wanda and Vision navigate this new ”neighborhood,” and warns Wanda through a comedic quip that there may be devilry about (more thoughts on Agnes to come in the podcast, of course). This lucidness sets Agnes apart from the other neighbors, who we see quite literally skip a few beats like busted records. Wanda and Vision, while they look perfectly polished at every turn, seem barely able to keep it together. The only thing that is clear is that there is something strange about this reality.
Marvel left a trail of breadcrumbs through these episodes with so many tributaries that it’s nearly impossible to not fall down a rabbit hole trying to sort through them. With a little less than an hour of airtime thus far, the showrunners have seemingly been able to hide the underlying plot in small clues and Easter eggs, behind the sparkling smiles of our mid-century heroes. Is the wine bottle in the dinner scene the key to our villain? Is the Toastmaster 2000 the mortar shell that never went off when the Maximoff home was bombed in the year 2000? Is August 23rd a nod to a specific issue of The Vision and The Scarlet Witch, or is it, perhaps, related to the date of Vision’s death (or resurrection?!)? And if the answers to these questions are, “yes,” it still sparks more mystery. The classic Marvel Studios misdirection will likely have you going mad for the next week…which, we can be sure, is exactly the point.
While I did my best to avoid spoilers in this review (since it’ll be published before the accepted Monday spoiler deadline), you can hear us break down the details and spew some theories in this week’s episode of History of the MCU. We should be live tomorrow!
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, you can find more of my thoughts on twitter, @bloodybaroness. Additionally, @lord_anarchy and myself host The History of the MCU Podcast, a weekly podcast that reviews and analyzes not only the Infinity Saga but the new Marvel Studios Disney+ shows beginning with WandaVision. We would love if you gave us a listen and are currently available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Podbean, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio and Amazon Music.