After Episode 5, I think we were all braced for what was coming next – and this show delivered…so let's not waste any time in digging in. Here are my running thoughts on Episode 6 of WandaVision.
***As always – the following is spoiler heavy***
1. Loved the Intro
This week's introduction was inspired by Malcolm in the Middle, which ran from 2000-2006, so we know where we'll be on the evolving timeline. The lyrics hint at what's going on with lines like “Don't try to fight the chaos. Don't question what you've done.” and “But if it's all illusion, sit back enjoy the show.” More thoughts on this later…
Seeing Agnes in the family-focused credits spoke volumes about how integrated she's become into the family's lives, and of course the “Naughty” on the back of her pants is a nod to her underlying character. Also note that Pietro is appearing “as himself” – perhaps in contrast to the other people in town and the roles they are playing – or perhaps because that's exactly what he wants you to think. (See my thoughts below on who's saying the words in the lyrics…)
2. Halloween is in Full Effect
Seeing Wanda, Vision, and Pietro in their old school costumes for Halloween was pretty epic (Wanda was killing it…) – as was the flashback to trick or treating in Sokovia while a war was clearly playing out in the background. I laughed out loud at the fish…and then raised an eyebrow when Pietro suggested she was likely suppressing traumatic memories.
The chemistry between Wanda and Vision has been pretty amazing from the start but something about their exchange in this opening scene really grabbed me. When he jokes that he knows she has a thing for Mexican wrestlers and she says “mi gusta mucho” (“I like it a lot”) and he quips back with “chili con carne” you can really see the ease of their relationship and spark between them…which of course makes what's coming feel all the more tragic.
When Vision says he's going on the neighborhood watch, we see Wanda again struggle with the fact that she cannot control him like she can control the others when she starts to say “that's not what you're supposed to…” and then trails off. She's tried to orchestrate his role in Halloween by making sure the costume was the only thing in his closet…but ultimately she can't control Vision himself. And when he kisses her cheek and tells her to “be good” – there's a hint of knowing in his voice for a split second that makes the comment cut a little deeper and you can see the distance between them again.
Keep an eye on Vision's eyes and tone throughout these shows, as we're seeing him make eye contact with the camera and speak more and more “out of character” as things progress. He clearly has a growing awareness that something isn't right in Westview. (Which needless to say peaks at the end of this episode.)
3. Meanwhile, outside the hex…
The lines are drawn deeper between Hayward and Monica, Woo and Darcy.
We first see them getting ready to further analyze the drone and notice again that it's a Stark Industries device – all the more reason it triggered Wanda – and then Hayward and Monica have it out over the appropriate way to approach to her. Hayward seems to be spiraling out outside the hex as much as Wanda is inside. And it's worth noting that Hayward's distrust of superheroes in general suggests future issues that will likely be cropping up as we enter the world of characters like the X-Men and the world's take on mutants. Hayward also makes a somewhat disparaging comment about Captain Marvel and we're again left to wonder just what's happened or happening with her that has left people so bothered.
And speaking of foreshadowing what's coming, the ease with which Monica (with Woo) takes on the armed guards escorting them out suggests that something just might be happening to her, too. If you look at her expression after she takes down the first guard, you might notice that even she seems a little surprised about her own strength.
Her evolution is of course nailed down all the more later in the episode when Darcy notes that Hayward has samples of her blood and that it has mutated with each entry into and out of the hex. (Also remember how her brain scans were blank… or all light(?) at the beginning of the last episode?? Photon, anyone??)
Note too that we learn later that Hayward is tracking Vision. We already suspect that he was trying to weaponize Vision's corpse at SWORD headquarters when Wanda came in and stole it. Now it seems that of all of the things going on inside Westview, Hayward is still most interested in him. And since he's tracking the decay of his Vibranium, he still seems only to view him as a machine with a potential use. In fact, look how his tracking software refers to him:
And his name for this secret project on his computer when Darcy breaks into it?
The end of Vision.
4. And back inside once the Halloween festivities begin…
We see that Wanda clearly doesn't know why Pietro appears to be different. She's asking him about details of their early lives to see if it's really him and Pietro calls her out on it.
Then Wanda finds out from Herb that Vision is not actually on the neighborhood watch for the night. And Herb appears to acknowledge out loud for the first time that Wanda is in control. When he asks if everything is alright or if she “want[s] something changed” it's very much reminiscent of when Agatha asks her if she wants to take it from the top at the beginning of episode 5.
Also, probably nothing, but the silly string on Herb's back reallllly looks like a cape.
5. Vision explores the outskirts of Westview…
The actors out here are incredibly creepy and heartbreaking. You can see that, whether because they are farther away and harder to control or because they just aren't needed for anything more than a backdrop, the inhabitants out here are all but frozen in time or stuck in loops of repeated action. The woman moving her arm back and forth in the midst of hanging a Halloween decoration has a single tear rolling down her cheek and, knowing what we now do about how much the under-control inhabitants are suffering, you can only imagine what she's experiencing under the surface.
When Wanda later reminds the kids not to go past Ellis Avenue, we know why – she doesn't want the kids to experience what's happening (or not happening) on the outskirts of town.
6. The Yo-Magic Commercial
This week's commercial is a haunting claymation ad for Yo-Magic. I've talked a bit about it elsewhere already so I won't get into it again here – except to say that in the context of the episode as a whole, this seems to further indicate that things are getting less and less sensical and under control as these Episodes progress. Whether the child in the commercial is Wanda, Vision, or just a general symbol of them all, it's becoming clearer and clearer that her magic cannot “fix” death.
7. Wanda and Pietro
When the scene flashes back to Wanda and Pietro in the middle of the Halloween festivities, you first see the theater behind them advertising that this week's movies are The Incredibles and The Parent Trap. The Incredibles are of course Pixar's first family of superheros. And The Parent trap tells the tale of the antics of twins trying to get their parents back together.
It's incredibly interesting that Pietro says that his ultimate purpose is to “give her grief” – the very thing that she's been suppressing all along.
Love that they're both openly acknowledging that the other has lost their accent and asking why, since we have similar questions.
Later, when we return to them, their conversation is loaded. He brings up their parents, likely trying to trigger her more and elicit that “grief” that he referenced earlier.
He makes it all the more clear that he knows what she's doing, asking where she'd been keeping all of the children and laughing that they were only necessary for the occasional “holiday cameo”. But note what he says as the conversation continues. She's handled the ethical considerations as best she could – keeping couples together. Making them as close as possible to their regular personalities. Improving their jobs. If Pietro was new to Westview with no prior knowledge, how would he know any of these things? It seems like he's been watching this town for far longer than he's letting on, and didn't just show up out of nowhere with no idea what was going on. And much later in the episode, when he says “It's not like your dead husband can die twice,” we have the same question. Pietro died long before Vision did. If this was some version of the real him, and his claims about remembering nothing but dying and then returning to her now because he could tell she needed him, then he would not have known that Vision had died. Pietro's story doesn't add up at all.
And he's comforting her – making her feel like what she's doing isn't wrong. Almost like he has a vested interest in its continuing.
When she says she doesn't know how she did it – again, I believe her. Completely. Something bigger is at play here, and it seems more and more likely that “Pietro” might have a hand in it. In that moment when she says she remembers only feeling endless nothingness, I don't think it's a mistake that he appears dead to her for a split second…much like Vision, of course, in an earlier episode. He wants her to think he's the resurrected version of himself. And he wants her to remember her grief so that she has every motivation to keep this illusion going.
“I'm not some stranger and I'm not your husband. You can talk to me.” This is talk that isolates her further and enforces that he is the only one that she can trust.
Remember those lyrics from the intro? “Don't try to fight the chaos. Don't question what you've done.” and “But if it's all illusion, sit back enjoy the show.”? Makes you wonder who's saying that, doesn't it?
8. Vision is on the outskirts of town.
As of course the main event of the episode, Vision makes his way past Ellis Avenue. Rising above it all, he's able to take in the difference between this and the center of town, and then, lo and behold, he stumbles on Agnes – dressed up as what else but a witch.
And I'm just going to put out into the world, right or wrong, that I'm not buying her act again this week. Just like last week when I suspected that her offer to take it from the top was unnecessary and aimed at cluing Vision in to what's going on – this week seems like all theatrics to me. If she was under the same sort of trance as others on the outskirts of town, she wouldn't have been alert and talking to him. Her tears even look different. Not dripping down her cheek under a trans-like mask, but welling up from visible (feigned?) suffering.
Vision notes it was odd that she got lost in the town that she grew up in…but of course that's not likely true. Unlike most of Westview's residents, she's likely a very new arrival.
And look at that…when he “wakes” her up…she says all of the things that are most dangerous to Vision. He's an Avenger. Is he there to help them? And…the final blow…that he's “dead, dead, DEAD”. Absolutely nothing about her in this scene – when she's under her “trance” or “awakened” – seems genuine.
Then at the episode's end, Vision exits the hex. And seems to answer all of our questions about whether he could survive outside of Westview. We watch him coming apart while only Darcy cares.
Billy's sentient powers seem to be developing just like Tommy's speed, as he's the one that clues Wanda in to what's happening to his father.
And then it happens.
To all of you who wondered why this was such a big problem – why the events of one town would warrant so much concern and attention. She can make it grow. And this isn't likely the last time she'll do it.
Bring on Episode 7.
* * * * * * * * * *
Drop your theories in the comments!!
* * * * * * * *
All of this is fun…but I also live a stone's throw from Walt Disney World and take you on regular tours of the magic here, too!! You can find my complete guide to making the most of your runDisney race weekend RIGHT HERE. And while those are on hold, you can find my guide to running trails on Disney World property RIGHT HERE.
* * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *
If you’re planning a trip to Disney and want a fun way to rock a mask, check out my designs at TeePublic right HERE!! If you cannot or choose not to visit now and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.