WandaVision episodes 4 and 5 transform the show from an entertaining yet perplexing ride with a hint of intrigue to some of the best content in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This episode bundle begins and ends on extremely high notes. Episode 4’s cold open is one of the best of the MCU, and episode 5’s ending reveal is not only a paradigm shift for the series — but it changes the franchise forever.
WandaVision Episode 4 “We Interrupt This Program” kicks off with the moment from Avengers: Endgame that everyone is brought (or ‘blipped’ as the show calls it) back. This time, it’s from the perspective of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), rematerializing in a hospital that in the moment of return is thrown into complete chaos. This opening is a glimpse into what kind of traumatic impact everyone returning from the blip might have had on the world — it’s a look into the average human perspective which is so often overlooked and overshadowed in the larger-than-life superhero storylines.
“We Interrupt This Program” breaks the formula of previous chapters, taking place almost entirely outside of the sitcom world. If the previous three installments left you frustrated with its dearth of meaningful answers and lost as to where the show was possibly headed — episode 4, thankfully, bucks this trend.
Episode 4 puts context to the seemingly confusing choice to focus so entirely on the sitcom elements from the previous episodes. Darcy (Kat Dennings) discovers that the barrier around Westview is emitting a broadcast frequency, when she tunes in with a vintage television the sitcom begins to play. This places the characters in the same shoes that we were as viewers, watching the show Wanda is putting on and asking many of the same questions.
This episode ushers in the return of Darcy from the first two Thor films, as well as Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), the endearing FBI agent from Ant Man and The Wasp.
These Marvel television shows are a perfect opportunity to explore and flesh outside characters that only have a limited screen time in the films. WandaVision uses Darcy and Agent Woo elegantly — it’s lovely that these characters have not been tossed to the wayside.
“On a Very Special Episode” begins in somewhat of a return to normalcy for WandaVision, opening in the sitcom world, this time set in the ’80s with beautiful-as-always production design and costuming, capturing the look and feel of shows such as Full House. The show is now split between the sitcom and the characters in the outside world, giving ample time for both.
As Vision uncovers more secrets and Wanda’s grip on this fabricated “perfect” reality continues to slip, the tension between the characters comes to a boil. These moments are where the episode shines the brightest.
Paul Bettany continues to completely steal the show every minute he’s on screen. It’s clear through his performance that Vision’s fits of rage are not seeded in anger but utter confusion and loss at the secrets Wanda is keeping from him.
Elizabeth Olsen conveys beautifully how lost the character of Wanda truly is, how much it pains her to keep secrets from Vision but knowing full well, this painful fabricated reality is the only one in which she can live a life with the man she loves.
The last moments of episode 5 are jaw-dropping and world-breaking in a way that I’ve never seen in any form of media. What this moment will mean for the remainder of the show and the rest of the MCU from this point forward remains to be seen.
WandaVision has been a wild and confusing ride, but I know for a fact that I will be tuning in on Friday to see what the next installment has to offer.