Warning — This article contains spoilers for WandaVision.
WandaVision 's latest episode once again encapsulated the vibe of a new era of American sitcoms - this week the 70s came to play. After the highly-talked-about premiere of the MCU series, it’s now time to settle down (literally). Similar to the first two installments, Episode 3 didn’t waste time in establishing its core storyline, beginning with Wanda and Vision consulting a doctor due to the former’s pregnancy. Typical, right?
Throughout the episode, Wanda hilariously progresses through various stages of pregnancy faster than Quicksilver’s “You’ll never see it coming" moments from Age of Ultron. It seems that this is one of the perks of living in Westview, and Vision, alongside the viewers, is surprised as to how it unfolds. From designing the baby’s room to learning how to change diapers, Episode 3 appears to be the perfect guide for first-time parents, but it seems to be tailor-fit only for superheroes due to the rapid-fire transformation of Wanda’s baby bump.
Wanda’s pregnancy is a major part of her character arc in the comics, and the latest episode clearly showed that the MCU is diving into this plot point head-on. Of course, it remains to be seen if an accurate adaptation will be featured, but fans should be well aware by now that Marvel Studios will create their own narrative regarding the matter.
The episode did a good job in peppering more hints about the altered reality of Westview, but the main highlight of the show is the live-action debut of Tommy and Billy. The twin’s arrival in WandaVision should serve as the first hint of big things to come for the unusual couple, and it’s reasonable to assume that they will remain a large part of the narrative in the coming weeks.
As expected, the humor is still there, but alongside that aspect are the darker elements of WandaVision. Wanda’s contractions could be a hint of the hero’s unstable mental capacity, and the neighbor’s continued gossip could provide clues that they are forced to act based on the Scarlet Witch’s wishes.
Once again, the end of this episode breaks away from the sitcom format to address the issues of the real-world. After Mr. Hart and the mysterious beekeeper, the character who received Wanda’s wrath this time was Geraldine a.k.a. Captain Marvel’s Monica Rambeau. On this go, viewers were finally treated with solid evidence of what’s really happening outside the Westview bubble. Monica’s ejection from the sitcom-world led to the massive reveal that SWORD is not just monitoring the events from television. Instead, it appears that the whole organization is keeping tabs on the situation, and this goes to show the dangerous ramifications of Wanda’s desire for a “normal” life.
The cliffhanger ending of Episode 3 should be more than enough reason to keep fans glued to Disney+, considering that more details about S.W.O.R.D. will be potentially unveiled next week.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany once again shine with their impressive performance this week. The pair's amazing back and forth is always fascinating to see, and the duo's silliness takes center stage in a charming manner. Bettany handles Vision's innocence (and sometimes anxiety-induced reaction) in handling Wanda's pregnancy in a convincing fashion while Olsen perfectly demonstrates the struggles of being pregnant in the show's limited runtime. As WandaVision's storyline progresses, the ongoing trend is the different portrayals of of Wanda and Vision from Olsen and Bettany week after week, with both of them adjusting to the specific decade of the episode.
On top of the show's lead stars, Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau is the clear front-runner to grab MVP honors in this week's episode. The actress' solid transition from being an outspoken Foxxy Cleopatra-inspired neighbor to an undercover S.W.O.R.D. agent in a matter of minutes is perfectly shown. Also, Parris' terrified reaction to Wanda being triggered due to the mere mention of Pietro is so intense that one can just feel that the viewers had a similar reaction.
Other notable performances are the brief yet meaningful appearances of Kathryn Hahn's Agnes and David Payton's Herb, with the two neighbors providing another clue about the strange nature of Westview. It seems as if the residents are giving hints that they want to be saved not just to Vision, but to the actual viewers of the show.
Lastly, Wanda's shift from a loving mother of two to a damaged hero in seconds was given justice by Olsen's impressive portrayal. There were short glimpses of Wanda's unstable self in the first two episodes, but Episode 3 took it up a notch by actually showing where the character is willing to go to protect her blissful life in Westview. The moment where Wanda broke her sitcom accent to sing her Sokovian lullaby appears to be the cherry on top of Olsen's breathtaking performance. If anything, it's safe to say that there will be more instances of Wanda's devastating powers in the next set of installments, and Olsen's performance will no doubt be a must-see in the coming weeks.
PRODUCTION — CINEMATOGRAPHY, MUSIC, EDITING, ETC.
After a black-and-white doubleheader, WandaVision is now back with color, providing a breath of fresh air into the MCU series. The vibrant atmosphere combined with the 70s setting makes the episode stand out. Even the house of Wanda and Vision went through its own decade-hopping transformation. Meanwhile, the costume of the characters is a triumph this week, successfully emulating the hip and cool fashion from the 70s.
The theme song of WandaVision is getting better and better every week. From a different musical rendition of the word "WandaVision" to an animated opening, Episode 3 propels the Disney+ series by showing off a full-scale sequence involving the cast of the show. Getting inspiration from 70s staple The Partridge Family, the lyrics have evolved to give viewers clues about Wanda's created reality.
In the first two episodes, the most obvious hints that Westview is not what it seems are the glitches that were shown such as Wanda's act of rewinding time and the presence of a colored toy helicopter. Now, Episode 3 took it up a step further by not warning fans about the exact moment of the glitch, instantly repeating the scene to Wanda's preferred outcome. During the first viewing, it makes one think that their Disney+ is acting up. This is one of the many unique aspects of WandaVision that separates the project from the rest of the entries of the MCU, and it will be exciting to find out what other kinds of glitches will be manifested on-screen.
A LARGER WORLD
Alternate realities will be the next big thing for the MCU, and WandaVision is slowly showing how the monumental franchise will deal with the concept. This week, the show goes into high gear in terms of unraveling its overarching mystery, and it starts with Monica Rambeau.
It's currently unknown if the S.W.O.R.D. agent is actually working undercover inside the Westview bubble, but evidence suggests that she is due to her character being somewhat aware of what's happening. In conjunction with that, the sentient organization finally makes its official grand entrance in the closing moments of the latest episode, and it will be interesting to see if Episode 4 will start to show the real-world side of things or if WandaVision will finish its promised six-episode sitcom format before fully unveiling how Westview ended up on Wanda's clutches.
Another reference to Wanda's Sokovian heritage is showcased this week in the form of a lullaby. The creepy yet compelling delivery of Wanda makes fans wonder if that song came from her parents, adding another layer of intrigue to the show's puzzle.
This week's commercial is another callback to Wanda's trauma, placing the focus on Hydra this time around. The line “find the goddess within” could simply allude to the awakening of Wanda's latent abilities that were activated by the Mind Stone.
Wanda's mention of Pietro's name is significant, considering that this is the first time that the character was name-dropped since Age of Ultron. This reveal makes it even more heartbreaking.
Wanda and Vision's twins, Tommy and Billy, made their MCU debut in Episode 3, and it is expected that they will play a much larger role in the franchise moving forward. The order of birth for the twins is also done in a clever manner, with Tommy being born first rather than Billy due to the former's (future) power of super speed. If anything, it's just a fun nod of Tommy being faster than Billy.
On the surface, Episode 3 of WandaVision truly delivered. It's no secret that the inaugural MCU series from Disney+ is one-of-a-kind, and it will take an overwhelming amount of patience before fans witness all the big reveals. So far, the show is taking advantage of compelling character moments between Wanda and Vision, and seeing them thrive in different eras of sitcoms is a delight.
Based on what's been revealed so far, WandaVision is heading in the right direction in terms of balancing its sitcom aspect and the real-world repercussions. The mystery surrounding the actual villain of the series takes a bit of a backseat after numerous teases from the first two episodes, placing the focus instead on Wanda's unstable self. This begs the question if the Scarlet Witch is the real threat to Westview, throwing away all the speculations and theories in a snap.
Knowing the tragic past of Wanda in the Infinity Saga, it's truly heartbreaking to see the character's downfall as she succumbs to her own fabricated reality. It remains to be seen which hero will save her this time, or if she can truly be saved at all. If anything, the unexpected nature of WandaVision makes the show both exciting and unnerving at the same time.