by Miller C. Lashbrook
Wow! This show just continues to get better and better. Episode 4 of WandaVision, “We Interrupt this Message”, grounded the show in the reality of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the viewers, but episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode”, kicked things into high gear, setting the show on a collision course with what could be a mind-blowing ending to the series. Below you will find my current theories and thoughts after watching episodes 4 and 5 broken up by characters.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Episodes 1 to 5
S.W.O.R.D. has been hinted at since the ending of episode 1 of WandaVision, however I don’t think many fans were expecting episode 4 to center solely around the government organization’s endeavors to discover what the “Maximoff Anomaly” was all about. Starting the episode with a cold open of Monica Rambeau “blipping” back during the events of Avengers: Endgame was exiting and heartbreaking all at once; it took me back to how I felt in the theater watching Hawkeye’s family get snapped away at the beginning of Endgame. Some MCU films have been able to ground the big superhero events with moments of everyday people, but nothing like this hospital scene with Monica.
S.W.O.R.D. seems to be taking the role that S.H.I.E.L.D. had in Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2, with S.W.O.R.D.’s camp around Westview reminding me of S.H.E.I.L.D. in Thor (2011). S.W.O.R.D. is usually a space related organization, the ‘W’ standing for ‘World’ however, her they have replaced it with ‘weapon’. In the comics, a woman named Abigail Brand, a half alien, half mutant, runs S.W.O.R.D. Seeing her in the MCU would be amazing, however here we meet an original character, Acting Director Hayward, who is true “government organization evil” fashion, seems to have an agenda of his own, separate from Monica. In episode 5 we even learn that he had been withholding information from Monica, hiding the fact that S.W.O.R.D. had Vision’s dead body, which Wanda stole.
We meet the real world Geraldine, Monica Rambeau, the daughter of Maria Rambeau seen in Captain Marvel (2019) and now agent of S.W.O.R.D. Those who read the comics will know Monica as a member of the Avengers with light and energy based powers know as Spectrum, Photon, or even Captain Marvel. In episode 5, after Monica has been shot out of Westview, we see that Monica’s MRI is coming back as just a bright light. Could her exposure to the energy field around Westview has given her her powers from the comics? And could the big finale of the series be Monica vs Wanda?
While on the topic of S.W.O.R.D. we have to discuss Agent Jimmy Woo and Dr. Darcy Lewis. Agent Woo returns from Ant-Man and the Wasp played by Randal Park and Darcy returns from the first two Thor movies played by Kat Dennings. These two characters are such a treat when on screen and seem to be our audience insert characters as the voices of confused viewers and theory crafters. Their chemistry together is perfect and I would watch an X-Files type show starring the two of them as some fans have suggested.
Is Wanda the Villain?
In a see of question marks, the biggest question at the end of episode 3, after Monica was ejected from Westview, seemed to be, “is Wanda the villain?” Comics like Avengers: Disassembled or House of M might have us think this, but I am not so sure. Part of this might be my love of the character; I would rather see Wanda be a complex hero with issues rather than see her painted as a villain like she has been at times in the comics. But episode 5 also gives the audience more reason to suspect that Wanda is not the only one in control of “the Hex.”
Throughout the first three episodes we have moments where Vision seemed to be acting independent of Wanda’s control, unlike some of the townsfolk. In episode 5 we see this expand to Vision questioning his wife in an argument, with her hilariously rolling the credits to end the discussion. The credits were clearly under her control, however she goes on to express that she cannot be in control of everything and that she doesn’t even remember how it all started.
There are four other characters in episode 5 that seem to not be under Wanda’s complete control: Billy, Tommy, Agnes, and of course the visitor at the end of the episode (we will come back to him). To my delight and shock, the twins are seen aging up on their own twice. Part of this may be that Wanda may not want to control her children, but it could also be that they are outside of her control. Jimmy and Darcy bring up a great point, are the twins of her own creation? We may get this answer in our next episode. Agnes also seems to break Wanda’s control, asking to do another take in our opening scene.
Of course though, the biggest question that episode 5 leaves us with is, “what is going on with Pietro coming back looking like Evan Peters, the Quicksilver of the Fox X-Men films. The internet has been a flutter with theories since Friday about what is going on, but I am of two minds surrounding this topic.
Option 1: This Pietro is from another reality and has been brought here by Wanda or someone else, perhaps Mephisto. I think this option is less likely, mostly because I do not think Marvel wants to have most of the baggage left behind by some of the less than stellar X-Men movies or the mess of continuity that they bring with them. If this is what has happened, I do not think Pietro will stick around or survive the end of the series.
Option 2: This is not Pietro, but it is in fact some other entity like Mephisto in disguise, having just picked the wrong Pietro to disguise himself as. I think this option is more likely, partially because it would help to make Wanda less of an outright villain and end the series with her at least being an anti-hero. Everything in the first three episodes seemed to lead to Wanda giving birth to the twins. Episode 5 seemed to shift to a focus on Wanda wanting to stay in Westview. If there is another entity, they wanted Wanda to have her boys and now they want Wanda to stay in Westview, and what better way to do than to give her something else that she wants in addition to her husband and sons, her brother. The face acting that Elizabeth Olsen does here tells us that Wanda knows something is off.
Based on what we have seen in trailers for the show, it would seem that episode 6 will be our Halloween episode, seeing Vision become more and more suspicious of Westview. Meanwhile, it seems that we will see Monica attempt to reenter Westview, this time inside a “hex-proof” vehicle. I am sure that we will also see Pietro interact more with the WandaVision family, which should give us more insight into the nature of his presence in Westview.