Wandavision Episode 6 (Disney+)
Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron
Directed by Matt Shakman
The sitcom world of Wanda Maximoff reaches the early 2000s, so we get a pretty brilliant Malcolm in the Middle homage. Of all the sitcom nods in the series so far, this one felt the most confident, in my opinion. Having the twins narrate directly to the camera was a beautiful touch, and Pietro felt like a variation on Malcolm’s older brother/Francis character. The show does a pretty excellent job balancing the in-sitcom story and SWORD plot happening outside the illusion. Once again, there are hints and teases towards the finale, which is three episodes away now.
This episode is set at Halloween, allowing Wanda, Vision, and Pietro to dress up like their comic book counterparts. Billy and Tommy get in on the action, with the latter wearing a copy of his uncle’s costume (a nod to his super-speed powers). Billy is dressed up as his Wiccan persona, but we only get a hint of his powers in this episode. While Wanda, Pietro, and the kids trick-or-treat, Vision sneaks out to the edge of town, where he finds the illusion breaking down. Westview residents are caught in a loop, possibly to save arcane energies when they aren’t being observed by the “star of the show.”
Agnes continues to be a confusing character. She’s shown an awareness of being a performer in Wanda’s sitcom, more so than other characters in the series. But here, she appears to be in the same thrall as the other residents. I am still holding out that she has a more sinister role in the story and that she could Agatha Harkness. It seems more plausible that Mephisto will be part of the story. The twins are canonically portions of his soul, and Pietro calling them “hellspawn” for a laugh this episode hints at that. Or it could just be a clever Easter egg.
I’m sure all viewers are reevaluating the rules of this illusion in each episode. So let’s look at some of the things we know for sure about the “sitcom-verse”:
- Time moves extremely fast inside the show
- Everyone appears to be unaware of the changes in fashion, technology, etc.
- The illusion adapts intruders and anachronisms to the period
- The illusion seems to expand with every episode (we see more extras with each episode, the locations outside of Wanda & Vision’s house has grown)
- Some people are aware they are performing (Agnes & Herb) and will ask Wanda about what she wants; Wanda, however, is surprised by this and seems to be caught in her own illusion to an extent.
- The illusion is not perfect, and people can be jostled out of it either through their own will (Vision, Monica) or with help (Agnes, Norm)
- The illusion is connected somehow to other realities, seen in the Evan Peters version of Quicksilver
- The illusion can blend realities, seen in how Pietro looks different but has his MCU self’s memories.
We have two things to anticipate as we get closer to the end. I expect next episode, we’ll meet Monica Rambeau’s aerospace engineer friend she’s hinted at. There’s a lot of online speculation that this will introduce Reed Richards into the MCU, but I’m not 100% sure about that. Monica has in-comic book connections to another brilliant scientist I’d love to see show up, Adam Brashear, The Blue Marvel. He was the leader of The Ultimates (of which Monica was also a member). Brashear was a child genius turned soldier turned early superhero in the 1960s. He wore a mask because he was Black and the U.S. government at the time was worried about “the optics.” Brashear is a Reed Richards-level genius, and the way we’ve seen the Fox X-Men-verse acknowledged in this show may mean the Fantastic Four are coming from another reality further down the road.
The second thing is there have been a couple of mentions of Wanda & Pietro’s parents. Their parentage has been the focus of many storylines in the comics, and for the longest time, Magneto was their father. Some retcons have erased that (mainly because Marvel wanted to distance themselves from the mutants until they could get the property back). I would love to see a hint somewhere in this series that Magneto is in the MCU looking for his long lost children.