If you look online you are likely to see a lot of hate for the new Disney+ show, WandaVision. Critics claim the show is a slow start and such a divergent from the Marvel cinematic universe they are used to. This may be true, but it does not take mean the show does not work, because it does. WandaVision is the “fairy tale” story of Wanda (Elizabet Olsen) and vision (Paul Bettany). Their story is set in the forefront of a 1950’s American sitcom, at least the first episode was. This second episode takes a leap to the 1960’s where the fashion has changed but the mystery remains.
This episode begins with a cold open of Wanda and Vision upstairs in their room in separate beds, remember, the show is coming straight from the 50’s where sex was forbidden to even hint at on television. Now that the show is taking place in the 60’s, things like sex are at least allowed to be hinted at. Wanda and Vision, in their separate beds hears a noise outside. They argue a bit over who is going to go check it out and even though they find out it was only a branch, the sudden scare prompts Wanda to bring the two beds together. A subtle hint that the times are a changing…and cue the music.
Just like the first episode, the intro is mirroring television shows of an era of television long gone. Episode one was a replica of the 1950’s and this episode of the 1960’s. The intro this time around has something of a Bewitched feel to it. The replacing of the intro with each episode is a bold and entertaining approach. The fact that Disney is allowing two of Marvels most diluted heroes to have range and be acted out with a level some may not have known Olsen and Bettany have speaks volumes to the dedication it has in moving the Marvel cinematic universe forward.
When the actual show begins it starts out with Wanda assisting Vison with a “magic trick” he wants to perform during the talent show fundraiser Westview is hosting. Seeing the Scarlet Witch dumb down her magical abilities to make it seem as if the tricks are your average illusions is comical. Wanda has to cut the practice short so she can attend a meeting and Vision also wants to head to the local Neighborhood watch. As Wanda leaves to go to a planning committee meeting, she hears a strange sound coming from outside where she finds a toy helicopter crashed in the bushes. The helicopter is the first thing of this series to show any color, and a lot of it. With an entire background of black and white, the red and yellow color scheme of the toy really pop. One very noticeable part of this toy is the small sword icon on the front of it, something that is sure to be explained in later episodes.
Wanda heads to the committee meeting and it is there that she meets a new friend, Geraldine (Teyonah Parris). The one running the meeting is Dottie (Emma Caulfield Ford) who Agnes says Wanda needs to charm in order to be welcomed in Westview. When the meeting comes to a close and Wanda is helping to clean up, she begins to try and make peace with Dottie. While Wanda is trying to explain that her and Vision mean the town no harm, a strange voice comes through the radio saying “Wanda, who is doing this to you?” Dottie breaks the glass she is holding, and her blood is also in color, much like the toy helicopter. Suddenly, the show resumes, and it heads to a commercial break.
Meanwhile, Vision heads to the Neighborhood Watch meeting and makes a great impression on those in attendance. His socially awkwardness is taken as comedy and the guys at the meeting really start to like him. One of them offers him some gum and while he is chewing it, he swallows it sticking up his internal gears. The result is Vision’s literal motor skills malfunctioning and giving him the appearance of being drunk.
When Wanda meets Vision at the talent show she can tell something is wrong. Instead of dulling down their magic act like they discussed, Vision begins using his powers to blow the towns folks minds. The towns folks who creepily keep repeating the phrase, “for the children.” Wanda, with some quick thinking, uses her magic to counter act this and gives logical reasons how Vision is doing the tricks, I.E with wires and cardboard props.
The show ends with Wanda and Vision sitting on the couch talking about their day. As they discuss all of the talk about the children, Wanda stands up to reveal she is actually pregnant, and much further along than she was just ten seconds ago, when they sat down. They hear a noise outside and when they go out a strange man crawls out of the sewers wearing a bee-keepers outfit. On the back of the outfit is the same symbol that was on the helicopter, a sword. Wanda looks at the strange man and simply utters the word “no.” With that word, the entire world around them begins to take color getting viewers ready for the next decade jump.
As stated in the beginning, this is a slow burn that a lot of critics have not given much value to. I however find this episode just as entertaining (if not more so) than the first episode. I think the acting by both stars is excellent and really shows the range they both have. The mystery is building with each passing episode which will make the payoff that much sweeter. I am for one extremely invested in this series now and cannot wait to watch it continue to unfold.
Written exclusively for our TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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