We're all in deep when it comes to WandaVision. And after a wee hours viewing of this week's Episode 5, I'm reeling more than ever before and braced for what I'm sure will be a nonstop onslaught over the remaining 4 parts of this story.
Here's a play by play on my thoughts while watching this week:
1. Wanda is NOT the real villain.
- We're slowly seeing the many ways that Wanda does NOT have full control in Westview. She cannot control the babies, actually saying “why won't you do what I want?” when they won't go to sleep on command. The dog appears seemingly out of nowhere – and with Agnes at the ready to care for (and “accidentally” kill) it – which wouldn't happen to Wanda if she truly had control over all of the town. And in the end, events truly seem out of her hands…but more on that later.
- The good guys like her. And the emerging bad guys don't. Monica ended the last episode by saying “It's all Wanda” but her tune seems to have changed going into Episode 5. And Director Hayward….yeah. He's not panning out to be one of the good guys.
- I'm willing to bet that Wanda was manipulated into stealing Vision's corpse back. He was very explicit about not wanting to be used as a weapon after his death. Telling her that his body was being held by SWORD (and by the way – WHO told her??) could have convinced her that his wishes weren't being honored – and she very well may have been made to retrieve him to make sure that didn't happen. Then, of course, Hayward uses footage of that event to convince everyone that Wanda is, indeed, a terrorist threat that went into Westview with an intent to do harm. Footage that he claims to have just gotten clearance to share…but if he's the director, from whom would he need permission?
- When she breaks at the end during her argument with Vision and asks somewhat rhetorically if he thinks she's controlling everyone in the town – from walking their dogs to getting to their dentist appointments on time – and says she doesn't know how this started either… I believe her. She is not looking down on this town from above and operating them all like marionettes. Someone else is.
2. And to that end…Agnes (Agatha Harkness) is up to no good.
- Agnes did NOT need to out Wanda in front of Vision at the beginning of this episode by offering to “start from the top”. Vision was fully in character in acting protective of the babies when Agnes offered to help calm them. But instead of continuing to play her role, she broke the 4th wall right in front of Vision…leading to the slow unraveling of the illusion for Vision that we see play out over the course of the episode. (We've seen him cast doubt on the situation in earlier episodes – but needless to say it comes to a head here in Episode 5 – all starting with this scene.)
- To say the least, Agnes also seems to be pulling some other strings. She's around both times that the kids age up…the first time after running to the kitchen for “dark liquor” (?) that was “for the kids” and the second time when the dog shows up out of nowhere, motivating the boys to want to be old enough to care for it. And when they almost age up yet again, it's after the dog has subsequently died after eating Agnes' azaleas. They have to be talked out of aging up by Wanda when they want to flee from their grief. Agnes seems to want those boys to be grown as soon as possible…
- Also…what was she spraying on the boys that she claimed was lavender? She jokes that “Ralph” sprays it on her at night but there's “no stopping this tiger”. Then there's a tiger on the kitchen table when she shows up unannounced with a dog house for the dog that has materialized out of nowhere. Is that tiger the (symbolic) eyes that she always has on the family? (Also worth noting: She names the dog Sparky – which is the same name as the one given to Vision's synthezoid dog in the comics. A dog that Scarlett Witch DOES bring back to life after a serious of unfortunate events saw it killed. And Agnes seems curious about whether Wanda has the same abilities here.)
- It's also worth mentioning that “Norm” doesn't say which “SHE” is in his mind when Vision wakes him. We're of course meant to assume it's Wanda. Vision certainly does. But…perhaps not?
3. And so is Hayward.
- Obviously. We've seen many hints that he's not a savory character – from his hexagon laden office to the fact that he chose not to reactivate Monica's expired badge when she returned to work 3 weeks after the blip. But this episode exposed his character more than ever before. From the obvious (his trying to nuke Wanda with the drone) to the more subtle. (I'm betting he's the one that made sure that Monica had to attend that meeting in a t-shirt instead of her work uniform to make her seem like less of an authority figure in front of everyone…) Also note that Wanda knew exactly who he was, addressing him by name, when she storms out of the bubble. Clearly there's history there.
4. What is up with Westview's Mailman??
- We've seen him twice so far…and both times were in awkward scenes that didn't seem to fit in. So they must have a deeper purpose or meaning. In that first scene awhile back, he tells Agnes not to shoot the messenger. And he doesn't show up on the casting wall. Could he be Woo's missing FBI informant?
5. Who is the aerospace engineer that Monica knows?
- Perhaps someone from the Fantastic Four…..?
And some random thoughts…
6. This intro might have been my favorite yet.
So many shows referenced!! It was such a mish mosh – from the family portrait to the cheesy lyrics that meandered into total nonsense by the end of the song. The pictures of Wanda smiling in front of backdrops like Sokovia spoke volumes about her desire to rewrite the past. And the fake pictures of Vision “growing up” were both hilarious and indicative of how ridiculous all of this is.
7. Darcy and Woo are my favorite.
- I love that Darcy and Woo are basically the voice of the audience – from the original board covered in questions (Why hexagons??) to Darcy spewing out “She recast Pietro??” at the end of the episode. (This is a little odd since Wanda and Vision are real people in their world and Pietro is talked about like a character in a movie…but still….)
8. I laughed out loud when Wanda started rolling the credits to avoid the conversation with Vision.
How nice would THAT little trick be in real life??
9. This commercial was the best (and most tragic) yet.
- Each commercial is clearly recalling a formative and tragic event in Wanda's life…creeping in on her perfect construction of this new reality. And they're clearly becoming less and less veiled. “Lagos: For when you make a mess you didn't mean to.” Oy.
And last but OBVIOUSLY not least…
10. Enter, Pietro.
- I'm so glad they didn't cut to the end when we saw the back of his head and didn't know who it was yet (short of some leaks). That would have been a terrible cliffhanger and I'm already braced enough for next week. There's a lot to say here but I'm not the person to dig into the details of what casting Evan Peters of Fox's X-Men means… except that whatever version of what Wanda is getting of her wishes doesn't seem to be on point. She is not happy enough to see Pietro, stunned or not. This is (supposedly) her brother. But not the one she knows and loves and misses. I do think that she was manipulated into missing him enough to conjure him by the boys' randomly asking if she had a brother. (So who IS controlling them?? Perhaps a certain witch who wants them grown as soon as possible so that she can take them for herself…or her master??) But what was conjured seems to have come from…the Multiverse.
- Or maybe this isn't Pietro at all, but someone posing as him. He seemed almost more like someone playing an exaggerated role of Peters' Quicksilver than the real thing.
- But whoever he is, when he called Vision a popsicle I about died….
- All of this said…I seriously doubt this is the Skywalker-level cameo to which Olson and Bettany have both alluded. I think that's still coming.
If you've gotten this far I certainly hope you've already watched this week's episode. What new theories do YOU have coming out of it??