‘WandaVision’s Bewitching First Episodes See Wanda and Vision Move to the Suburbs (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for WandaVision Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2]
If you’ve seen any of the WandaVision trailers, you’ve heard Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) declare to her husband Vision (Paul Bettany), “We are an unusual couple.” Yeah, “unusual” doesn’t even cover it: She can manipulate reality, and Vision is a humanoid android who, among other things, can fly and walk through walls.
And yet, in the show’s delightfully wacky first two episodes — produced as an homage to early 1960s sitcoms’ The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched — the Avenger-lovebirds are doing everything in their power(s) to live a happy suburban life in the town of Westview. Yet, it’s clear not all is as it seems.
Cue the Yucks
The show’s initial installments are easy to understand even for non-Marvel fans. In the first episode, after noticing a heart drawn on that day’s date on their calendar, Wanda and Vision struggle to figure out what it means, and separately come to very different conclusions. Wanda, after much soul-searching and a suggestion from nosy neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), who steals every scene she’s in, guesses it’s their anniversary. But at work, Vision, who has a job in a computing office, discovers they’re set to have dinner with his boss (Fred Alamed) that night to determine whether he gets a promotion; the heart on the calendar was because his boss’s last name is “Hart.”
Of course, hilarious hijinks ensue. The boss and his wife (played by Debra Jo Rupp) arrive that night to find Wanda in a revealing dress (which they hurriedly explain as “European fashion,” a nod to her Sokovian roots). There’s no dinner prepared, so Vision sings a song to distract them while Wanda uses her powers to get food on the table. Things go right, things go wrong, Vision uses his powers to save his boss from choking on a piece of sausage. In the end, in true sitcom fashion, Vision’s in line to get the promotion, the couple are happy with wedding rings Wanda creates for them, and all is well.
Talent Show Gone Wrong!
The second episode focuses largely around a talent show and Wanda’s role in planning it, which has her crossing paths with Dottie (Emma Caulfield Ford), the snooty housewife who’s “the key to everything” in Westview. Wanda doesn’t make a good first impression; she claps at the wrong time during the meeting, and talks with Geraldine (Teyonah Parris), a newcomer to the neighborhood who isn’t all she appears to be.
As for their own act, a magic act, natch, there are problems. Vision gets chewing gum in his mechanical workings (which makes him appear drunk), and keeps flaunting his powers — he flies, he puts a hat through himself — and it’s up to Wanda to make things a little more mundane. (She attaches Vision to rope, she unveils mirrors, etc.) In the end, in true sitcom fashion, Vision’s sticky situation is fixed, Dottie tells them their act is the most hilarious she’s ever seen, and all is well.
Or is it?
More Than Meets the Eye
Throughout the first two episodes, there are clear indicators that something weird is happening (in addition to their obvious powers). For one, Wanda and Vision don’t remember their anniversary, how they met, or where they came from. And when Mr. Hart chokes, his wife continues to laugh as he falls to the ground and nearly dies; afterward, they’re both just fine about it all and get up and leave. Vision also has no idea what the company he works for actually does, and neither do any of his co-workers.
Episode 2 is when things start to get really strange. At the talent show planning meeting, Wanda hears a voice over the radio asking, “Wanda, who’s doing this to you?” But the biggest moment arrives at the end: Wanda reveals she’s pregnant, and but their happy moment is cut short when they hear a loud noise. They go out to investigate and find a mysterious figure in a beekeeper suit crawling out of the sewer. “No,” Wanda says, simply, and suddenly they’re back in their home, time rewound to before they saw him, reveling in their impending parenthood as the world around them turns into color.
It seems that this reality is something Wanda has created, whether in her head or via a whole new reality a la the House of M comics. In that series, Wanda forged a new universe in which her twin sons and Vision were still alive (oh, yeah, Marvel fans know an important point: Vision died in Avengers: Infinity War). We’re betting this world has something to do with her grief.
If the show drags out its mysteries for the entire season or devolves into the same-old, same-old “good guys vs. bad guys in a huge battle” storytelling, things might get stale, but for now, it’s just fun to watch this endearing, “unusual” couple.
WandaVision, Fridays, Disney+