Wandavision Episode 3 (Disney+)
Written by Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman
As promised by the trailers, this episode moves us into yet another era of the American sitcom. This time around, we’re in something around the late 1960s/early 1970s. The faux theme song has hints of The Partridge Family, while Wanda & Vision’s house’s interior is a definite nod to The Brady Bunch. We’re also introduced to the fact that Wanda is experiencing an accelerated pregnancy, going through trimesters in a matter of hours. This is something the couple tries to keep hidden from the neighbors along with their powers, but it proves difficult when Wanda’s powers go haywire as she goes into labor.
One of the elements teased in this mini-series would be Billy & Tommy’s introduction, the twins. For those of you unfamiliar with the comics, these two are magical constructs. It’s revealed that Scarlet Witch used slivers of Mephisto’s soul to create these children. Mephisto is the Marvel Universe’s equivalent to the Devil. Scarlet Witch made them out of desperation to forge some sort of mundane everyday life for her and Vision. Eventually, it’s revealed to be a sham, and Mephisto takes back the children.
However, years later, with the Young Avengers’ debut, teenage versions of Billy & Tommy are introduced and revealed to be their reincarnations. Billy is known as Wiccan, a magic-user like his mom. Tommy is speed and has a shock of white hair, just like his uncle Quicksilver. Additionally, Billy has recently gotten married to Hulkling, a Skrull-Kree who is the emperor of those joined empires. This means Wanda and Vision are the parents-in-law to the ruler of the Kree & Skrulls. Comics are fun.
One of the things made clear by this episode of Wandavision is that there are two parallel narrative paths. There is the in-sitcom cliche story & the wraparound MCU narrative that is made clear in the episode’s final moments. This is also the first time we see the citizens of Westview breaking out of their preset narrative path playing out as a television show. Vision comes across Agnes and Herb whispering to each other and feigning friendliness to their neighbor. When Vision presses it, he discovers they both have suspicions about Geraldine, Wanda’s apparent best friend in this third iteration of the sitcom. She just showed up in town recently and doesn’t have a house.
This is intercut with Wanda inside the house having an exchange with Geraldine in a rare moment of clarity. Geraldine brings up Pietro and his death at the hands of Ultron back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This triggers something in Wanda that isn’t a warm reaction of being reminded of her previous life. Instead, Wanda becomes angry and suspicious of someone she’d trusted just moments before. Earlier in the episode, Vision appears on the verge of a breakthrough, and Wanda subtly rewinds and rests it to prevent that moment. Geraldine is wearing a SWORD insignia on her necklace, so she’s clearly an agent that has been sent inside this reality bubble to try and stop it. Wanda is on to her, and offscreen sends her hurtling back into the real world.
At this point in the show, they seem to be making it evident that Wanda is aware that this is fake. How deep her role is in creating it is still suspect. There is always a sense that Agnes is more aware of what is going on and that possibly other neighbors are demons or magical constructs working to maintain the illusion. Wanda has a history of engaging in reality-warping incidents occurring when her mind begins to crack. The trauma from Infinity War clearly did damage to her, and we see a vengeful Wanda briefly in the finale of Endgame.
My money is still on Wanda seeking out or being sought out by Agatha Harkness (Agnes) and given promises of learning magic to change reality as she sees fit. The name drop of Pietro makes me believe Quicksilver will be returning to the MCU. Now that Marvel owns the X-Men properties again, they are bringing mutants into the cinematic world, and some misplaced magic to restore Quicksilver could set off the chain reaction of X-Genes to start a mutant boom. We still have six more episodes to go, so I expect they will keep teasing us for a while before the reveal in the later chapters.