Warning — This article contains major spoilers for WandaVision.
“Episode 7 - Breaking the Fourth Wall" of WandaVision finally gave much-needed answers to some of the show's treasure trove of mysteries, and the show did it by breaking the fourth wall (which is fitting for a series like this). This week, the latest episode of the hit MCU series embraced a brand-new decade, jumping into the modern era of sitcoms.
After an intense sixth installment and a surprising Hex-pansion, the next chapter of Wanda's fabricated reality started off on a quarantine-style staycation, with the show's lead star dealing with an existential crisis. In many ways, it's fitting for the episode to finally show Wanda in this current state, mainly because it mirrors the real world self of the hero outside Westview.
As a result of Wanda's “punishment” to herself, it looks like Westview is paying the price. Throughout the episode the sitcom world begins to glitch with several elements from previous episodes popping up unexpectedly, seemingly hinting that the reality that Wanda created is slowly falling apart. There's a chance that this is happening due to Wanda's nonchalant attitude, as evidenced by the character's belief that “everything is meaningless.”
This essentially means that Westview's reality depends on Wanda's well-being. During the first six episodes (mostly), Wanda seems to be at peace with everything, but this all changed after Vision's confrontation and the arrival of “Pietro Maximoff.” Now, it's reasonable to assume that the powerful MCU hero experienced an emotional toll, and all she can do now is to regroup and re-evaluate her next steps.
On the real-world side of things, S.W.O.R.D., specifically Director Tyler Hayward, takes a back seat, and the spotlight was given to Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau. The captain of the sentient organization took charge from the get-go, with the character determined to go back inside the Hex no matter what. Admittedly, minus Westview's sitcom scenes, this episode feels like a backdoor pilot to a potential Monica-led TV series, especially after her impressive evolution.
Monica's willpower to enter Westview is showcased in a compelling manner, showing off a unique take on the character's superhero origin by infusing vital elements about her past interactions from 2019's Captain Marvel. Upon entering the Hex, the character's resolve to once again confront Wanda about her grief stands out, and the build-up to their standoff was perfectly shown. The intense moment was surely one for the books, and it was a captivating heroic introduction for Monica to stand her ground opposite the MCU's most powerful Avenger.
Meanwhile, Tommy and Billy once again shine even though they are only featured in a minor role. It's important to note that the twins are asking the important questions to Wanda from the get-go, and their curiosity could eventually lead to bigger things down the road. On top of that, it was established that there was a bond between Agnes and the twins in the previous episodes, but it was revealed in the end that this was all a ruse, spelling danger to the young heroes.
As for the other half of WandaVision, Paul Bettany's android form was given importance like never before in this episode, dismissing his human look altogether. The character's partnership with Darcy is one of the clear standouts of the episode, and it's refreshing to see the two MCU veterans interact.
Lastly, it's been Agatha all along. As many have already predicted ever since the show's premiere, Kathryn Hahn's nosy neighbor was ultimately revealed to be the MCU's Agatha Harkness. The episode did a good job in terms of showing Agnes' true self by incorporating sitcom elements alongside a terrifying reveal.
It's also suiting for the villain to be unveiled in a wacky manner, showing the character's hidden agenda during the first six episodes. Overall, Agatha's introduction is appropriate, especially for WandaVision's show-within-a-show tactic.
Every week, WandaVision surprises viewers with tantalizing performances from its all-star cast, and Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau no doubt shines in this latest installment. After being evicted from the hex in “Episode 3,” Monica was deadset to go back inside Westview, and this was further amplified in this episode, eventually leading to stunning results.
Parris handles Monica's strong drive exceptionally well, and it was apparent from the start that no one (not even Wanda's powerful hex) can stop her. Now that it has been confirmed that Monica is imbued with powers, it will be interesting to see how Parris takes her performance to the next level, and the episode hints that she has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with MCU's elites. This is a welcome sight, considering her upcoming appearance alongside other powerful heroes like Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan in Captain Marvel 2.
On a separate note, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany once again delivered strong performances. The pair's clever use of the fourth wall approach is apparent throughout the episode, and it provides a lot of comedic undertones that will make any viewer chuckle. In a lot of ways, WandaVision provides a unique avenue to showcase Olsen and Bettany's acting prowess, and so far, the duo is amazing on all fronts, successfully adapting to any format that is presented to them.
Kathryn Hahn's shift from a caring neighbor to a menacing “magical girl” should be commended. Given that the true identity of Agnes has been revealed, Hahn's portrayal will be a must-see, and her villainous nature will be pushed to the forefront even more.
PRODUCTION — CINEMATOGRAPHY, MUSIC, EDITING, ETC.
Inspired by The Office and Modern Family, this latest installment of WandaVision perfectly captures the look and feel of the shows. The mockumentary approach provides a unique avenue for the show's titular characters to voice their thoughts about the whole ordeal, with some lines even alluding to the thoughts of the viewers. More so, the score this week is top-notch as it easily blends with the style that the episode is going for.
In the past weeks, fans have pointed out that there were instances where Vision looks exactly at the camera for unknown reasons, and this episode included a meta-joke to that tidbit by clearly showing the Android glancing at the screen. If anything, this goes to show the advantage of infusing sitcom tropes from WandaVision.
Interestingly, the theme song of this edition of WandaVision didn't include any lyrics, a clear departure from the other versions that were presented in past episodes. Still, the fact that this installment managed to include subtle clues while the opening song is playing was a clever strategy for Marvel Studios.
Another standout of “Episode 7” was Monica's re-entry to the Hex. The moment was beautifully done in all aspects, showcasing different versions of Monica as she powers through to enter Westview. From the stunning color combinations to the added bonus of hearing the voices of Carol Danvers, Nick Fury, and Maria Rambeau, the scene was a powerful representation of Monica's determination.
A LARGER WORLD
Ever since Kathryn Hahn was announced to play nosy neighbor Agnes, the internet was swamped with theories about the true identity of this mysterious character. After seven episodes, it's good to finally have a confirmation that Agatha Harkness is behind all of this, but it's possible that there is a looming and more powerful threat that is lurking in the shadows.
In Marvel Comics, Agatha and Wanda had a very interesting shared history, with the twins being at the center of it. Initially, Agatha served as a mentor for Wanda, but the relationship between the two characters proved to be far more complicated than a teacher-student dynamic. When it was ultimately revealed that Tommy and Billy came from the fragmented soul of Mephisto, Agatha made the hard choice of erasing Wanda's memories about having children.
Of course, this was a hard pill to swallow for Wanda when she eventually found out. This ultimately led to Agatha's death at the hands of the Scarlet Witch.
Not much is known about the MCU's version of the powerful witch, but there were already hints that some plot points from the comics will be integrated into live-action. For starters, the twins are nowhere to be found when Wanda enters Agatha's home, and this could be a sign that the nosy neighbor was able to trap Tommy and Billy somewhere or even erased them from Westview's reality altogether.
The episode may have also revealed that Agatha is the one responsible for the anomaly in Westview, as evidenced by the mysterious violet vines that were seen creeping within the depths of the town. It's possible that Wanda is literally just the “star of the show,” and the hero is being used as a cover-up for the witch's nefarious means. At this point, Agatha's motivations are unclear, and it will be interesting to learn more about her reasons for doing these shenanigans to this poor town.
Once again, another commercial was shown in this week's episode in the form of a drug called Nexus. On the surface, there is a lot of interesting possibilities about the coined term. First, this could directly tie to the origins of Vision since Nexus was the location where Tony Stark found Jarvis in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and this bit happened before the Android's creation. On the flip side, it's also reasonable to assume that this could tie to the Nexus of All Realities from Marvel Comics, which is a dimensional gateway to the multiverse.
It was also made clear in this episode that Evan Peters' Pietro Maximoff is not the MCU's version (sorry, X-Men fans). In different instances, Wanda and Vision appear to agree that the speedster that they encountered in the previous episode is not the one that they know from their reality.
Monica's transformation as Spectrum is a huge deal for the MCU, considering that this is the franchise's newest superhero in Phase 4. A fully powered Monica will prove essential to solving the Westview anomaly, especially now that Wanda appears to be in Agatha's full control. The character's evolution is also vital for Captain Marvel 2, and it will be exciting to witness the team-up between the trio of heroes in the sequel.
Agatha's underground lair plays host to a lot of Easter eggs that could help explain how the powerful witch controls Westview. There was a dark book of magic that could be the MCU's Darkhold or even the Book of Cagliostro that was last seen in 2016's Doctor Strange.
In addition, there were also multiple nods to Mephisto. When Wanda was sitting inside Agatha's home, a fly was spotted crawling down a curtain. In the comics, Mephisto's debut was tied to a fly, with the demon appearing as the insect for the first time. Also, Agatha's lair appears to feature a devil symbol, seemingly hinting that the character is working for or with the extra-dimensional being.
Lastly, the bonus of including a mid-credits sequence in the first MCU Disney+ series is a great tribute to the tradition that was established by the monumental franchise.
“Episode 7" of WandaVision is jampacked with surprising reveals and pivotal character moments that propelled the narrative to interesting directions. This installment is the perfect primer for an explosive final two episodes that will surely hook fans.
Time and time again, this MCU series didn't disappoint in terms of using its sitcom tropes to its advantage. No doubt, revealing the villain in a full-blown credits sequence is a brilliant approach while also staying true to the show's roots.
The relationship of Wanda and Vision might've been given the backseat in this episode, but a subtle line of dialogue from Darcy saying “the love you two have is real” is enough to remind viewers of the core focus of the show.
Given Agatha's now confirmed involvement, it's safe to say that Wanda is still the hero of the story. The powerful Avenger went through a lot throughout the Infinity Saga, and her upcoming redemption arc will not be easy. For the most part, though, Wanda has trusted allies to help her in this game-changing battle, and it will be interesting to find out how all of this will go down in the last two season-enders.