‘WandaVision’: Life in the ’80s Ain’t So Rad (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for WandaVision Season 1, Episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode…”]
Up until this point, Vision (Paul Bettany) has seemed mostly content to be the happy husband. He goes to work, helps his wife around the house, and (mostly) conceals his true android nature — you know, regular human husband stuff. But in “On a Very Special Episode…,” a nod to ’80s sitcom Family Ties as the show within a show skips to yet another decade, events lead him to question out loud the nature of his and Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) reality. Things are getting real, kids. And if Westworld has taught us anything, it’s that this can lead to heaps of pain, confusion…and rebellion. Here’s how it happens.
The Weird Stuff Keeps Happening
New parents Wanda and Vision are having typical new parent struggles, namely, getting the babies to sleep. When “Aunt Agnes” (Kathryn Hahn) stops by and offers to help, Wanda is into it, but Vision, who’s a protective dad, declines. This is when Agnes, knowing Wanda wants the help, asks someone not in the scene if she should “take that from the top.” Vision picks up on the oddness, but Wanda waves it away. Far weirder, at the end of the scene (and while Agnes is in the kitchen), the babies have turned into toddlers. When they find a dog, they’re told they can’t have one until they’re 10. Which they then are. The magic of television!
While Vision’s at work, more off things occurs: First, a computer intercepts one of Darcy’s (Kat Dennings) notes about the Maximoff Anomaly, and while everyone else laughs it off, Vision’s suspicious; and Vision’s co-worker starts to lose it, saying, seemingly randomly, “She’s in my head” and “It hurts so much.” He implores Vision to “Make her stop,” then reverts to his sitcom self.
No Change Required
Meanwhile, in the real world, SWORD is briefing Maria (Teyonah Parris) about what happened to her inside Westview. She talks about the pain and being able to sense Wanda’s soul-shattering grief. Oh, and something’s wonky with the blood sample she gives, and it has to be redone.
At a briefing, we learn some major news: Nine days earlier, Wanda broke into SWORD headquarters and stole Vision’s body, then resurrected him. Maria argues Wanda’s not trying to hurt anyone in Westview, but the head of SWORD at the very least figures her fake reality was pre-meditated.
And then we get a second major piece of news: Maria, based on an experiment she conducts on the outfit she was wearing in Westview, discovers that Wanda is truly re-writing reality, not creating an illusion. “If she can change things as they go into the hex,” she says, “what if we send something in that requires no change?”
So, they send in an era-appropriate device — a drone, which seemingly she’ll have no need to change. The drone catches the attention of the Maximoff family’s new dog and, thus, Wanda.
Running From the Pain
Through the drone, SWORD tries to talk to Wanda and then fires a missile at her, which makes Wanda angry enough to step outside of Westview and have a contentious chat with Maria, Jimmy (Randall Park), Darcy, and the head of SWORD, Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg). She tells them to stay out of her life, and when Maria offers her anything she wants to stop the hex, she answers by saying she has everything she wants inside Westview. Then she uses her powers, appearing to make the host of soldiers believe the man in charge is their enemy. Uh-oh!
When Wanda’s back in Westview, tragedy strikes. Their dog has died after eating Agnes’ azalea bushes. The twins are heartbroken, but Wanda says they can’t age themselves up to run from the pain, which is rich, considering running from the pain is exactly what she’s doing. Vision later confronts his wife about the pain his co-worker was in and the blips of his true personality he witnessed.
At his core, Vision is afraid because he can’t remember his life before Westview, and Wanda, saddened, says there’s nothing to remember. After all, who would want the love of their life to remember their death? She expresses anger and disbelief at Vision’s insistence that she’s controlling everything and says, perhaps honestly, that she doesn’t remember how all of this started. Vision sits with her and, says gently what she’s doing is wrong.
And then the doorbell rings. Wanda gets up to answer it, and, surprise, it’s her long-lost brother, Pietro (Evan Peters, who portrayed Quicksilver in several X-Men non-Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. This, by the way, is a “re-cast” Darcy, who’s watching on SWORD tech, notices).
“Can’t a long-lost bro get a hug?” he asks, and Wanda steps into her brother’s arms.
WandaVision, Fridays, Disney+