(warning: spoilers ahead)
The big question so far on “WandaVision” has been, “What exactly are we watching?” Well, in episode four, we began to get some answers. Granted, it is a Marvel show so we also got more questions, but we did get some answers too, along with the appearance of two Marvel Cinematic Universe sidekicks, and a better idea of what S.W.O.R.D. is.
Today’s “WandaVision,” amusingly titled, “We Interrupt This Program,” gives us some of the backstory on what exactly is going on. The episode begins with a chaotic scene. In a hospital room, we see Monica Rambeau re-materialize after The Avengers bring her back from “The Blip,” the MCU’s name for the 50 percent of living beings that disappeared with the snap of Thanos’s fingers in “Infinity War.”
She runs around in a panic looking for her mother who was apparently about to be discharged from cancer treatment. After finding a doctor who recognizes her, Monica is informed that her mother died three years ago when the cancer came back, which was two years after Monica up and vanished along with half of the universe.
This is the first time we’ve seen the immediate aftermath of the heroic sacrifices The Avengers made at the end of the Infinity Saga. Now we see just how traumatizing it must have been for people to vanish from existence for five years only to return to a world they didn’t necessarily recognize.
After Monica leaves the hospital, she makes her way back to the headquarters of S.W.O.R.D., where she works, only to find her key card doesn’t function anymore. She encounters the director of the organization, a role that used to be held by her mother. He sends her on a mission to aid the FBI in a “missing persons” case in rural New Jersey.
At this point, Monica finds agent Jimmy Woo, played by Randall Park, who we last saw in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” as the FBI guy in charge of keeping an eye on Ant-Man. Woo is now trying to track down a source he had in witness protection who was hidden in Westview, New Jersey. Monica learns that no one in the town seems to be reachable, and the sheriff, who is stationed outside the town’s city limits sign, denies the town even exists.
Monica and Woo send a S.W.O.R.D. drone into the town only to watch it disappear. Monica then walks up to the town’s border and sees an “energy field” that looks a lot like an old-fashioned television screen did if you got too close. She touches it and gets sucked into the town.
Twenty-four hours later we see the next MCU sidekick join the party, Darcy Lewis, played by Kat Dennings. The last time we saw Darcy was in the first two Thor movies. Here she’s being called in by S.W.O.R.D. to investigate the town. Upon examining it, she finds that the town is broadcasting an old television signal.
Darcy proceeds to have the government “goons” set up an old TV so she can see the broadcast — a broadcast that happens to be what we’ve been watching through the first three episodes of “WandaVision,” and we learn that it’s Darcy whom we saw at the end of some of these episodes watching them with us on an old television set.
We then see Woo, Darcy, and the S.W.O.R.D. team investigate the anomaly and try to figure out what’s going on. They begin to identify the people “cast” in Wanda’s delusion, and it turns out many of them are just normal citizens who somehow got dragged into this sitcom fantasy. Darcy also asks the question we’ve all been wondering about Vision since the first minute this show started, “Isn’t he dead?”
In an earlier episode, we heard what sounded like Woo trying to talk to Wanda through the radio. Now in this episode, we get to see how that moment came about. Darcy and Woo cobble together a plan to try and talk to Wanda through the radios they can see on screen. They also send a man dressed in a biohazard suit through the sewer to try to reach Monica. He’s the one who appeared as a random beekeeper in the first episode. That’s what her delusion changed him into.
We also get to see the rest of the scene from the last episode where Wanda figured out that Monica was not who she appeared to be and ejected her from the town. It turns out she did that quite violently by sending Monica through the walls of her house, the fence in her yard, and flying through the air at breakneck speed. The thing is, the S.W.O.R.D. observers don’t see that scene; they just see Monica disappear as we did in the previous episode. That leads Darcy to posit that someone is “censoring” the broadcast from them and not letting everyone see what is happening.
Then we’re left with the most disturbing of images as we approach the end of this episode. Wanda, slightly shaken from her delusion by Monica’s mention of Ultron, but not entirely, sees Vision enter their home. Instead of the Vision we’ve seen who is miraculously alive, well, and remarkably human, we see the dead Vision we last saw in the fields of Wakanda after Thanos ripped an Infinity Stone straight from the sythezoid’s head. He’s still talking to her, but he’s clearly not alive, with vacant eyes, and a large hole in his head.
It’s a jarring, unnerving, and very disturbing break from the happy-go-lucky sitcom world we’ve been immersed in through the first few episodes.
Then, it’s gone.
Wanda returns to her world where she and Vision are alive and well in a 1970s sitcom with two bouncing baby boys. Then we get perhaps the most interesting exchange between the title characters we’ve had yet. Vision, seeing the upset nature of Wanda, says, “We don’t have to stay here. We can go wherever we want.”
Wanda, beginning to piece together what is going on, with tears in her eyes, says, “No we can’t. This … is our home.” Vision says, “Are you sure?” and Wanda answers, “Don’t worry darling, I have everything under control.”
Then we cut to Monica, who is on the grass outside Westview, exactly where we left her at the end of the last episode. She is surrounded by government agents. Darcy and Woo run up to Monica, who is still dazed on the ground, and ask if she’s okay. Monica says, “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda.” The episode closes with Wanda and Vision cradling their babies while watching TV on their couch as Jimmy Hendrix sings “Voodoo Child.”
My working theory has been that Mephisto is the villain behind all this nonsense we’ve been seeing in “WandaVision” and that he would be the central villain of the next few Marvel movies, but the way this episode ends raises interesting questions.
Will Wanda herself move from being a hero, a member of The Avengers who saved the universe from the evils of Thanos, to a villain herself? Could her immense grief at the loss of her lover, Vision, drive her to become a crazed supervillain?
Could Wanda be the next big baddy of the MCU? Maybe we’ll find out more next week on “WandaVision.”