If the first four episodes of "WandaVision" were any indication, this is unlike anything Marvel has done. In the early episodes, director Matt Shankman has thrown us into the deep end of Wanda's mind. Added into the sitcom world, we finally get to expand the canvas into what's going on outside Wanda's world of grief. As we open this world up to FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), we get some much-needed natural levity in episode four, compared to the manufactured world. This is why in this second half, my biggest compliment has to be Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany's dynamic.
When WandaVision was starting in those first three episodes, there's no denying that the show's nature is jarring. From homages to the world of "Dick Van Dyke," "I Love Lucy," "The Patridge Family," "Full House" and even "Modern Family," I never knew where it was going. Once SWORD agent Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) utters the words "It's all Wanda," that's where the pieces really started to fit for me. Particularly outside the "hex," as Darcy calls it, there's an acknowledgment of Wanda coping with grief. That grief manifests itself in plot twists and themes that Wanda slowly starts to lose control of, making it a fascinating watch.
Full disclosure, I didn't quite understand the numerous classic sitcom tropes disclosed in the first three episodes. The rug was pulled out from under me in episode five, in the finale scene that I'm sure many fans had heard about. Before Disney owned the "X-Men" characters' rights, we had two different versions of the same character, "Quicksilver." Evan Peter's arrival made my jaw drop truly because it proved the valuable point that Disney knows their audience. His arrival in Wanda's sitcom world as "the fun uncle" took this show down a twisted rabbit hole.
That rabbit hole was coated in a variety of twists and realizations as to what was actually going on here. Watching week to week, the social media reactions after each episode completely threw fans (myself included) down a road of theories. What could it mean? Where are we going? How is it going to tie into the next movie? It wasn't until episode seven where I had an epiphany. The point of "WandaVision" wasn't just a placeholder for future sequels, but a character study for Wanda. Episode seven, amply titled "Previously on," gives a recap of Wanda Maximoff's life up to this point.
We see the power she's had all along and the time she spent with her Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as a test subject of Hydra. This is the closest we get to a "tie-in" to future properties because it teases the possibility of Mutants, which fans are eager to see. This leads to why I loved this final episode because it diverted the expectations we all had. Instead of being riddled with cameos, we focus on both Wanda and Vision's fight for Westview. Some were undoubtedly disappointed in such reveals as "Pietro" not being the real Pietro, but also the surprise Actor Paul Bettany teased. As the tease was Bettany playing another version of Vision itself, it tied into the dynamic I found most interesting about the show.
Characters like S.W.O.R.D's alternate Vision and the reveal that it really was "Agatha all along!" forced our leads to come to a tough realization. To become their new and improved selves, they have to conquer their own traumas. Some Marvel films have flirted with dealing with this pain, but not in a way that moved me like this. When the credits rolled on Wanda leaving Westview, realizing she brainwashed an entire town, it brought her full circle as a character. She evolved as a character by the time the series was over, and I can't wait to see what she does next in "Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness."
Watch Trailer Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch0wMWnXjeA