(Spoilers from Marvel Studios and Disney+’s WandaVision will be found below.)
Last week, Disney+ premiered WandaVision‘s first two episodes, which were a retro dream that conjured up visions of The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. Episode 3 switches to Brady Bunch vibes in a big way, although all of that is mere framing for something sinister brewing in Westview. The baby twins arrive, which (for those nerds who have dug into the comic history of those babes) suggests that Wanda Maximoff’s fantasy world is getting out of hand and will eventually crumble down around her. She became pregnant quickly (and possibly without the physical aid of Vision, who may or may not have the proper anatomy), quite like she conjured it all in her mind, right? That likely inevitability — Wanda has created this wacky sitcom-escape as a means of coping with her trauma and cherishing some final moments with Vision, however imaginary, before sh*t hits the fan in Phase 4 for her — is made even clearer this week.
Exactly how tragic things will get when reality fully crashes through remains to be seen, but aside from what feels like about 83 fruit references (including Vision getting seriously punny while calling himself a “proud papaya”), there’s something very rotten at work here. And again, the show’s “commercials” are pushing out reminders of Wanda’s past as a HYDRA test subject. After seeing a Strucker watch last week (that was a reference to Baron Strücker, who we learn in Age of Ultron performed experiments on Wanda and Pietro), we’re practically being trolled with the obviousness of “Hydra Soak” here.
Let’s talk about what’s possibly rotten here: how about those neighbors? We’ve got passive-aggressive Herb (David Payton).
And the extremely shady Agnes. Look at Kathryn Hahn bringing it here.
Both Herb and Agnes — who seem to be very aware that Wanda’s fabricating things (they may even know this whole world is her creation) — appear to want to clue Vision into what’s going on with Wanda, but they refrain from doing so and only let on that they are suspicious of Geraldine, who’s new to town and has the audacity to arrive without a husband in tow. There are pointed references to her having “no home,” and once again, Agnes makes reference to her husband, Ralph, who people suspect might secretly be Mephisto, which would tie in with other fan suspicions that Agnes is really Agatha Harkness, a sorceress from the comics who helped Wanda come into her powers while training with HYDRA. And that would be exactly why she’s not fond of Geraldine, who’s inside the house with Wanda and not-at-all hiding that SWORD symbol on her necklace. (SWORD is essentially a cosmic version of SHIELD that similarly deals with threats to humanity that would include HYDRA.)
Inside the house, Geraldine has helped Wanda birth her babies, and a mention of twins quickly leads to a namedrop about Pietro/Quicksilver, who Geraldine not-so-casually mentions was killed by Ultron.
So many Age of Ultron references seemed like an inevitability in WandaVision, given that the movie deals so heavily in Wanda and Pietro’s origins. Whether that history will keep on resurfacing and haunt Phase 4 (including movies) in earnest, it’s hard to say. We’ll definitely see some HYDRA-linked characters in Falcon and Winter Soldier, though, so buckle up for that wildness. In the meantime, I’m still thinking of poor Pietro.
Wanda’s thinking of him too, and this is perhaps the first time she’s allowed herself to do so since Age of Ultron. She actually utters his name in response, which yeah, that is huge for her. It looks like we’re gonna see a lot more from inside of Wanda’s mind, because clearly, she cannot escape her past (last week made reference to Stark Industries and the bomb that killed her parents), and she can’t hide in Westview forever. Geraldine looks to be a full-on agent of SWORD, which has been trying to communicate with Wanda through radios and an ominous beekeeper, and so on. Let’s talk about Geraldine for a moment before we wrap up until next week.
Geraldine may have rolled back into the real world at the end of the episode. I’m assuming that we’ll see follow-up there, but this is where things get confusing because actress Teyonah Parris was initially announced to be picking up the role of a grown-up version of Captain Marvel‘s Monica Rambeau, who might actually become Captain Marvel one day. There’s no clue on whether there’s alias business going on or a casting switcheroo (which I would not put past Marvel because they’re so secretive). Whether the character’s name is Geraldine or Monica, however, her SWORD necklace leaves no mystery about her belonging to the Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division, which WandaVision is introducing into live-action for the first time.
In the end, Episode 3 lays more groundwork for some HYDRA and SWORD clashes to come and more of the crumbling coming from Wanda’s concocted world. Vision’s beginning to sense that something (or everything) is amiss, but he might not even really exist, either. Wanda may have imagined him (and the return of his not-“indestructable head”), too. The MCU is back and preparing us for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, no doubt, and it’s a damn fine thing to watch this unfold.
‘WandaVision’ will stream new episodes each Friday.