Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 8

by @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 8: Previously On

“What is grief, if not love persevering.” Vision’s poignant line in Previously On encapsulates the complex themes and raw emotions explored in this week’s heartfelt episode of WandaVision. Previously On lives up to its title in providing a touching trek through Wanda’s trauma-filled past, while offering insight into the origins and motivations of the series’ villain Agatha Harkness. 

This week’s episode marked a departure from the established structure of the series by shifting away from the sitcom elements and the adventures of Monica’s team, instead opting for a more intimate focus on the show’s lead. Indeed, Previously On was an emotional roller-coaster to say the least. Not only to see the horrors Wanda has experienced in her life, but to watch our titular character relive them was both disturbing and touching in an uncanny way. The beautiful moments with the Maximoff family highlight what could have been for Wanda and Pietro, in addition to (finally) explaining the sitcom influence on the Hex.

The pinnacle of the episode’s touching sequences, however, came with a conversation between Wanda and Vision at the Avengers Compound. In the MCU films, little time is actually spent on Wanda and Vision’s relationship, relative to the grander plot mechanics at work. As such, we only get to see glimpses of their intimacy and love for one another in the films. WandaVision has elevated the Wanda-Vision bond immensely, perhaps most evident in this scene in Previously On. Wanda’s grief and turmoil is palpable, truly brought to life by yet-again another stunning performance from Elizabeth Olsen. Paul Bettany deftly plays Vision as he captures the robotic nature of his character, while conveying such empathy and care for a woman he is beginning to love. This scene more than any other emphasized the strength of Wanda and Vision’s relationship and, in turn, the immense grief Wanda felt upon losing Vision.

Coupled with its series of touching moments, Previously On was filled to the brim with revelations and explanations. In fact, it’s quite commendable that the writers and director were able to assemble an episode that packs in so much emotion, while simultaneously delivering so much information in a manner that feels natural and not like an exposition dump. The explanations/revelations kick off with the episode’s first scene, showcasing Agatha Harkness’ evil origins. A departure from the comics, we see Agatha be punished for the misuse of her magical powers by her fellow coven members, before she unleashes her dark magic upon them and kills them all. After last week’s revelation that is was “Agatha All Along,” (the song is still stuck in our heads), Agatha’s true motivations were uncovered in Previously On as it was revealed that she infiltrated the Hex to learn how Wanda managed to wield such extraordinary power and create this world. While we’re not exactly sure what Agatha wants to do upon learning Wanda’s power, we suspect she’s up to no good.

With the emotional moments adding layers to Wanda’s character, so did the reveal that Wanda had latent abilities. Although not explicitly stated, Avengers: Age of Ultron suggests that Wanda and Pietro acquired powers upon HYDRA experimentation, which, as revealed in this week’s episode, is only partially true. Wanda had some predisposition to magic powers, before these abilities were enhanced by an infinity stone. This definitely changes the way we view Wanda throughout the series and also has implications regarding inborn abilities of human characters. Are Wanda’s innate abilities suggestive of her being a mutant? Are other people around the world like her in sharing unique powers? 

The episode’s concluding moments set up WandaVision’s season finale perfectly. After various films and episodes, we finally get our first mention of Wanda’s superhero title – The Scarlet Witch. It appears that this is some type of prophesied, legendary powerful being that Agatha believes Wanda is. The brief visual preview of Wanda in her classic Scarlet Witch costume was one of the series’ most impressive visuals yet and has us excited for the time when we get to see this costume in the flesh. 

Akin to last week’s episode, we once again got a post-credits scene this week, adding yet another layer of complexity to things. All Wanda wanted to do was grieve in peace in this artificial world she conjured, but she can’t achieve the peace she desires for multiple reasons. While Agatha poses a mystical, superpowered threat, Hayward and SWORD are a more technological menace as we see the live-action debut of White Vision in Previously On. This sets the stage nicely for the episode to come as we’re likely to see a Vision vs. Vision battle, in addition to the resolution of the conflict between Agatha and Wanda and a set-up for upcoming MCU films.

Verdict: 9/10

After last week’s somewhat stuttering episode, WandaVision returned with a bang with Previously On. Delivering the series’ most emotionally impactful and intimate moments yet, episode 8 also pulls the curtain back on what’s going on behind the scenes in terms of Wanda’s past, Agatha’s motivations, and the nature of Westview. All of this set the stage nicely for next week’s finale.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 7

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 7: Breaking the Fourth Wall

It was Agatha all along. Amidst an expertly executed, intriguing plot twist, we can safely say that episode 7’s concluding song will likely be stuck in our heads for weeks to come. WandaVision continued in good form this week, plummeting viewers into a modern sitcom a la The Office or Modern Family. As Monica and her team try to safely defuse the situation inside the Hex, Wanda begins to grow disillusioned and Vision teams up with Darcy, all while an ominous threat operates in the background.

Compared to the last few episodes, Breaking the Fourth Wall seemed to stutter a bit in terms of its pacing and sitcom-leanings. Regarding the latter, the feel of a documentary was well executed in simulating shows like The Office, but made the episode feel at times choppy and stop-start. The edits, handheld camera movement, and monologues spoken directly to the camera (hence the episode’s title) simply don’t work as well as when WandaVision has leaned into aspects of sitcoms from other eras.

Similar to episode 6, Breaking the Fourth Wall balanced three central characters this week in Wanda, Vision, and Monica, but this time with varying degrees of success. This may be due to the fact that, at barely over 30 minutes without credits, the episode doesn’t quite linger long enough on any one character or storyline. Indeed, when the episode draws to a close, it leaves you wanting more, partly due to all that the show does well, but also because the episode felt as if it needed more meat on the bones. 

This isn’t to say, however, that WandaVision didn’t yet again deliver a really entertaining, intriguing, and ominous episode. Vision’s team-up with Darcy was interesting and led to a lot of good banter and back-and-forth dialogue. The concept of a character like Darcy recapping the events of the Infinity Saga to Vision was funny, especially as we saw Vision try to put the pieces together and Darcy downplay the stakes and severity of the Snap. The journey of Monica this week wasn’t as enthralling as previous weeks, despite Teyonah Parris’ excellent performance as the character. The mysterious emergence of Monica’s powers, however, make for an intriguing talking point moving forward in the series. And, after a scene-stealing performance as Pietro, Evan Peters’ return as Quicksilver was missed this week (albeit for a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in a post-credits scene).

Meanwhile, Wanda’s journey diverged from her ‘happily-ever-after’ reality of previous episodes as she struggled with the idea of Vision uncovering the truth of Westview and wanting to leave, in addition to unpredictable anomalies occurring all around her. Elizabeth Olsen once again excels in the role she has truly made her own over the course of her journey in the MCU so far. It’s incredible to see Olsen’s performance both subtly and overtly shift gears each episode as both the sitcom era and Wanda’s emotional state change. Olsen jaw-droppingly switches from a character in a sitcom to a traumatized, grieving woman with such delicacy that each episode warrants repeat viewing simply to absorb the actress’ skills on display.

We’ve saved the best for last, however, as Kathryn Hahn completely stole the show this week with her performance as Agnes, a.k.a. Agatha Harkness (!!!). Yes, Agnes was finally revealed as a classic, sinister character after much fan speculation. The writers of WandaVision played this twist very well by almost making it seem too obvious over the last few episodes that Agnes had sinister motives, in turn making the audience think this wouldn’t come to fruition. With two episodes still to go, we’re sure that there are going to be layers added to this reveal, but, for the time being, it was brilliant both in theory and in execution. For fans of the comics, Agatha Harkness has a long history dating back to Fantastic Four comics in the 1970s. Harkness’ inclusion has a number of implications for the broader, ominous nature of WandaVision, including characters like Nicholas Scratch and the Salem Seven. Regardless of one’s prior comics knowledge, the execution of this twist was superb. Wanda’s mysterious trek down into Agnes’ dark basement already sparked some suspicions, and when Agnes’ true identity was revealed, Hahn shines. The montage that follows is both humorous in fitting into the broader aesthetic of the show, but also insidious in highlighting the extent to which Agnes, a.k.a. Agatha, was operating in the background. This balance of humor and insidiousness has been one of the hallmarks of WandaVision so far, and this twist really emphasized that.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Despite some shortcomings in regards to choppy pacing and integration of this week’s sitcom theme, Breaking the Fourth Wall was yet again a great episode of WandaVision. The Disney+ series continues to reveal aspects of the mystery slowly but surely and brilliantly balances its sitcom structure and ominous undertones, making us excited to see how the events in Westview unfold in the final two episodes. 

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 6

by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 6: All-New Halloween Spooktacular!

After last week’s bombshell, surprise ending, WandaVision continues its strong run as it shifts to a late 1990s/early 2000s setting where the mystery continues to unravel. The episode, aptly titled All-New Halloween Spooktacular, follows Halloween night in Westview as Wanda and her children grow accustomed to the unexpected arrival of Uncle Pietro. Meanwhile, Vision and agents of SWORD continue to question what’s really going on in this too-good-to-be-true town.

Akin to On a Very Special Episode…, Wandavision’s sixth episode excels in striking a perfect balance between the ominous, David Lynch-esque mystery of Westview and the team outside of the Hex trying to discover what’s really going on. Relatively speaking, it’s still the happenings of Westview that are most interesting, but the team of Monica Rambeau, Darcy Lewis, and Jimmy Woo continue to be great to see and offer a nice juxtaposition to the characters inside the Hex. Little hints throughout the last few episodes hint at a potentially rocky relationship between Monica and Carol Danvers, something we’re excited to explore in Captain Marvel 2.

Into Westview and the episode really kicks into gear. Director Matt Shakman and writers Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron brilliantly capture the feel of 1990s/2000s family sitcoms, especially the brilliant Malcolm in the Middle. The Halloween setting also adds another layer to a visually impressive episode. Evan Peters’ performance as Pietro heavily leans into the 90s tone of this episode. 

Speaking of Peters, it’s really jaw-dropping to watch this unexpected convergence of the MCU and Fox Marvel films come to life. In a show already full of intrigue, the recasting of Pietro adds another layer to this mystery. Why does Pietro look different? Is he secretly a villain in disguise? Why does he have insight into Wanda’s creation of the Hex? And why does he seem intent on knowing how she created this world? The intrigue of these questions highlights one of the strengths of WandaVision so far in that so much is kept from the audience’s awareness. We are now 6 episodes into a 9 episode season and, beyond the series’ foundational premise, know very little of what’s happening under the surface and what events will unfold. It’s a testament to the weekly rollout of episodes as audiences can theorize week-to-week as we are slowly given more and more information about what’s really going on.

The way in which the mystery unfolded this week was largely through the lens of Paul Bettany’s Vision. Donned in his classic comic book costume, Vision’s suspicions about Westview grew exponentially in this episode and culminated in him actually breaching beyond Wanda’s conjured world. This sparked an intense conclusion to the episode as Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda recognizes that something is off in her idyllic world and quickly seeks to intervene. The full breadth of Wanda’s power is on display as she expands the Hex more and more, highlighting now more than ever just how powerful (and dangerous) Wanda can be. The prophesied threat she posed in Captain America: Civil War seems to slowly becoming an unfortunate reality in WandaVision.

It’s impossible to review the latest WandaVision episode without noting the superbly complex and nuanced performances of the show’s titular characters, in particular Elizabeth Olsen. Olsen deftly plays the role of a sitcom wife and mother, but, with only a few subtle changes to her performance, makes it abundantly clear that she has turned to her ‘real’ self again. The way in which Olsen captures extreme grief and sadness in an episode that largely plays like an episode of Malcolm in the Middle showcases what an extraordinary performance the actress is delivering week after week. 

Verdict: 8.75/10

WandaVision yet again continued to impress, now with an episode that perfectly captures the feel of classic 1990s/2000s sitcom series. The Halloween setting adds a great aesthetic to an already ominous episode that makes us eager to discover what’s going to happen next.

Images courtesy of Disney+ & Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 5

by @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 5: On A Very Special Episode…

And just like that, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is changed forever. WandaVision’s fifth episode, aptly titled “On A Very Special Episode…,” sees the series fuse together the sitcom, dream-like structure of its first three episodes with the mystery unraveling nature of its fourth episode. In doing so, WandaVision delivered its best, most unpredictable and intriguing chapter yet.

The structure of the episode is a good place to kick things off given that this has been somewhat of a point of contention among select viewers. Some found WandaVision’s first three episodes to be a bit meandering, a criticism we most certainly did not buy into. Conversely, WandaVision’s fourth episode shifted the focus almost entirely away from its titular characters in exchange for a more by-the-books installment that began to unravel the mystery of Westview. Despite us absolutely loving everything to do with WandaVision so far, “On A Very Special Episode…” felt like the show had came alive in new and uncanny ways. Director Matt Shakman and writers Peter Cameron and Mackenzie Dohr deftly navigate the fifth episode in providing plenty of the weird and plenty of the grounded. 

Let’s start with the weird. Everything in Westview seems happy-go-lucky, but there is always something ominous lurking under the surface. Wanda and Vision’s children voluntarily grow at an alarming rate. Agnes breaks character, asking Wanda if she should “start from the top.” Vision seeing into Norm’s terrified, trapped mind. This latter point provides yet another big, confirmatory reveal for the series as it is finally and explicitly revealed that Wanda is in control of Westview and all of its inhabitants. 

Back in the real world, SWORD and the FBI work on uncovering the secrets of the fake reality that Wanda has conjured. After uncovering that Wanda stole Vision’s dead corpse just days prior in order to create this world, the agents send a drone into the world, angering Wanda enough to make her come outside and confront them. This, coupled with the prior reveal of Wanda controlling Westview’s citizens, really made Wanda feel like the show’s villain in an interesting and unnerving way. Wanda’s confrontation of the SWORD agents is reminiscent of Ian McKellen’s Magneto in the original X-Men film, and Elizabeth Olsen’s performance in this scene certainly evokes the villainy of her comic book character’s father. The subtle return of Wanda’s Sokovian accent and her change in outfit marks a stark contrast to the idyllic character we see in Westview (a.k.a. The Hex). Wanda looks disturbed, grieving with the loss of a man she loved dearly and the trauma of losing her brother and parents before that. Now more than ever, we’re getting a glimpse into Wanda’s rationale for creating Westview as a way to live her ideal life with Vision and slowly discovering more about the extent to which WandaVision is a show about dealing with grief and trauma in destructive ways.

After warning the agents to not enter Westview again, Wanda returns home to find that Sparky has died, prompting Tommy and Billy to ask their mom if she can revive him, knowing that she has full control and power to do so. Vision finds this suspicious yet again. He eventually confronts Wanda a few minutes later, revealing he knows that she controls Westview.

We don’t have much of an opportunity to see this heated conversation pan out further, however, as the door knocks and one of the MCU’s biggest “holy crap” moments yet. Not only is Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver knocking on the door, BUT Pietro is played by none other than Evan Peters, reprising his role as the character from the Fox series of X-Men films. This cracks the entire MCU open in a way even bigger than J.K. Simmons appearance as a reworked J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The explanations for Peters’ appearance are endless. Is it as simple as Aaron Taylor-Johnson being recast? Is this some merger of the Fox X-Men films and the MCU? Or is this akin to Simmons in Far From Home? Is this really Quicksilver, or someone insidious in disguise? The possibilities are endless, but for the time being we’re just beyond excited and surprised to see Evan Peters in this role again. Peters has been one of the highlights in the last several X-Men films, highlighted by two incredible slow-motion action sequences in Days of Future Past and Apocalypse. So, the prospect of getting more of this version of the character is not only exciting for WandaVision, but the MCU more broadly. All in all, we’re extremely impressed.

Verdict: 9.5/10

WandaVision stunned with its best episode yet as we were delighted to see more sitcom weirdness coupled with plenty of intriguing reveals along the way. Elizabeth Olsen excels in perhaps her best performance in the MCU yet, subtly shifting from sitcom housewife to a mourning superpowered being. The episode’s concluding moments are sure to change the landscape of the MCU for better and we cannot wait to see what that entails as WandaVision heads into its last few episodes.

Images courtesy of Disney+ & Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 4

by @holocronJosh for @sw_holocron

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 4: We Interrupt This Program

The mystery of WandaVision finally began to unravel in We Interrupt This Program, an episode that brilliantly connects to the events of the broader MCU while spotlighting returning characters. The fourth episode of the Disney+ series changes course from the previous episodes in largely focusing on Monica Rambeau’s journey as she begins to expose what’s really going on Westview.

So far, WandaVision has impressively committed to its unusual premise, delivering entire episodes in jovial sitcom fashion with only brief glimpses of what’s lurking underneath the surface. We Interrupt This Program intelligently halts this structure in shifting the focus away from Wanda and Vision’s idyllic world to begin delivering some answers. These answers largely come as we track Monica Rambeau, impressively brought to life by Teyonah Parris in a nuanced, impactful performance. The beginning moments of the episode are haunting as they show the effects of the Blip unfold in real time. The confusion, the chaos, and the sense of dread is palpable in these early moments and certainly add yet another emotional layer to the events that occured in Avengers: Endgame.

As the episode progresses, we’re introduced to Randall Park’s Agent Woo and Kat Denning’s Darcy Lewis, who are both scene stealers. Similar to the Star Wars universe, one of the best things about the MCU is its ability to call upon different characters or plot elements from the past and reintegrate them in new, unexpected ways. Darcy hasn’t appeared since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and it seemed like her tenure in the MCU was over, until she springs on the scene in a pivotal role in WandaVision. Similarly, Jimmy Woo was a highlight in Ant-Man and the Wasp and now shines in his expanded role in a new medium.

The fourth episode of WandaVision offers a glimpse behind what’s going on behind the curtain, without giving too much away too soon. This is a difficult balance to strike, because, if the show progresses as it did with the first three episodes, some viewers may grow frustrated at how abstract and ambiguous the series is. However, revealing all of the secrets of Westview prematurely spoils the fun and stops the guessing game MCU fans are currently engaged in. We Interrupt This Program largely confirms what fans have been speculated for a while now regarding WandaVision largely drawing upon the classic comic run House of M. We finally get confirmation that Wanda created Westview, presumably as a place to live her dream life with Vision away from the perils of the world. We’re also given answers about some of the unusual occurrences in the series so far, such as the red and yellow helicopter toy, the Beekeeper, and Geraldine’s knowledge of Ultron. The list of what we don’t know, however, is still rather extensive: is this world Wanda has constructed a threat? What’s up with Wanda’s neighbors and what are they hiding? What are the implications of re-creating Vision in this world? All of these mysteries and more are brilliantly set up and likely to unfold over the coming episodes, once again emphasizing how the story Kevin Feige and company are telling really lends itself to the week-by-week format of a television series.

The titular characters are notably quite absent in episode 4. Although it would’ve been nice to see more of Wanda and Vision, the decision to shift the focus away from them is a reasonable one in order to inform the audience about what’s going on. Along with the shift away from Wanda and Vision comes a shift away from the beautifully stylized aesthetics of the series’ first three episodes. Obviously, this is done for major story purposes, but it was a bit of an unfortunate contrast to go from entire episodes uniquely made to look like 1950s, 60s, and 70s sitcoms in exchange for a relatively bland looking episode set in the modern day. 

Verdict: 8.5/10

WandaVision continues its incredibly impressive run so far with an episode that ties nicely in with the events of the MCU and sheds light on what’s really going on in Westview. While the episode may not be as visually unique as its predecessors, the mysteries answered and mysteries left unresolved, in addition to the return of several MCU characters, make us excited for and intrigued by what’s to come in the Disney+ series.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episode 3

by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 3: Now in Color

Following last week’s duo of unusual premiere episodes, we were left intrigued as to how far and for how long WandaVision will continue in such a strange vein. And we’re extremely happy to say that the MCU’s inaugural Disney+ series continues with this trend of strange and weird set forth in the previous episodes. Episode 3, titled Now in Color, follows the happy couple Wanda and Vision as they continue their lives in Westview, now in the mold of 1970s sitcoms a la The Brady Bunch. The episode sees Wanda and Vision as they try to manage Wanda’s greatly accelerated pregnancy in jovial sitcom fashion, while something insidious bubbles under the surface.

After three episodes, one of the highlights of WandaVision has been its complete and total commitment to its mysterious premise. Critics of the MCU often target the similarity of various projects in terms of tone, plot, pacing, aesthetics, etc. But such a criticism can most certainly not be lodged at WandaVision. Creator Jac Schaeffer, director Matt Shakman, and company are all in on making WandaVision as weird as possible, really leaning into its sitcom structure and only momentarily hinting at what’s truly going on. It’s hard to watch WandaVision and not draw comparisons to the work of David Lynch, who brilliantly strikes a balance between the bliss of ideal American family living and the threatening, mysterious mechanisms operating under the surface. Needless to say, WandaVision has excelled so far largely due to its unusual premise and the mystery it leaves viewers thinking about in regards to “What the hell is going on in Westview?”

The sitcom elements of WandaVision provide a lot of opportunity to really emotionally invest in the relationship between Wanda and Vision. Vision’s burgeoning anxieties over being a father and Wanda’s frantic management of a crazy pregnancy felt endearing and genuine and made us care about their relationship on a level that transcends that which we’ve seen in the MCU movies so far. 

Speaking of interesting characters, WandaVision has bolstered some great guest stars so far, with Teyoonah Parris’ Geraldine becoming a more prominent player in episode 3. Parris is immediately likable and genuine in the role and leans into the sitcom dialogue of the crazy situation perfectly. Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes has been great so far too and, although her appearance in episode 3 was relatively brief, she was still gripping.

It’s with some of the minor characters like Geraldine and Agnes that the intrigue kicked up a notch in Now in Color. Agnes and Herb are clearly concealing something and Doctor Nielson makes an intriguing statement regarding one’s ability to ever leave Westview. Vision, along with the audience, is beginning to recognize that something is off here, but, before we can get any answers, is thrown off the trail. The confrontation between Wanda and Geraldine marked the highlight of the episode as Geraldine inquired about Wanda’s brother Pietro saying, “He was killed by Ultron, wasn’t he?” The episode suddenly took a sharp turn here and, before we know it, Geraldine is plummeted out of the picturesque Westview presumably back to the real world. One can refer to comics like House of M or S.W.O.R.D. to theorize about what’s going on in WandaVision, but, other than that, the series surprisingly leaves you with little to go off of – something we really enjoyed as the series continues to grow more mysterious.

Verdict: 8.75/10

WandaVision’s third episode takes inspiration from The Brady Bunch in spectacular fashion, delivering great 1970s sitcom moments, emotional character development, and a mystery that continues to deepen and grow more threatening.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

Chris Evans to Reprise His Role as Captain America

by @holocronJulie for @mar_tesseract

Chris Evans is in talks to reprise his role as Captain America, according to Deadline.

Evans, who played the iconic hero from 2011-2019, was thought to have hung up the shield after the ending of Avengers: Endgame, which saw his character reunite with Peggy Carter and seemingly spend the rest of his days with her. Many believed that this would be the last time Evans would appear in the MCU, at least for some time, but now it seems he his back sooner than expected.

Per Deadline, Evans will play Captain America in at least one MCU film with the option for more. His role is described as similar to Robert Downey Jr’s post-Iron Man 3 career in the MCU, in which he was a supporting character in films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Captain America: Civil War. Although Evans seemingly made it clear that he was retiring his role after Endgame, the actor has expressed that he missed playing the character, saying “I absolutely loved my time with Marvel; I already miss it.”

If reports are to be believed, Evans isn’t the only returning actor to the MCU. Last year, Deadline reported that Downey Jr himself would be playing Tony Stark once more in the upcoming Black Widow prequel movie.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

Categories
Marvel

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episodes 1 & 2

by @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

After an unexpectedly long wait that totaled over 18 months, the MCU is back with WandaVision, an unusual and intriguing project marking the first Marvel series on Disney+.

The first two episodes of WandaVision are in the format of classic 1950’s and 1960’s sitcoms a la Bewitched or I Love Lucy: black and white, a laugh track playing, and a catchy theme song. They even filmed parts in front of a live studio audience! Over the course of the series’ first two episodes, the lead characters get into various sitcom-esque situations, such as inviting Vision’s boss and his wife over for dinner and hosting a town magic show, both of which go predictably awry.

Lurking in the background of these two episodes is an ominous feeling that something is not quite right in the world of Wanda and Vision. Things seem a little too perfect, they can’t remember their anniversary or how they moved to the town, and more highlight this feeling. The strange person on the radio asking “who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”, along with the red and yellow helicopter and, perhaps most notably, the beekeeper at the end of the second episode, all add to this ominous feeling. As the season goes on, the mystery of what is happening to these two Avengers will begin to unfold.

Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be said of WandaVision is that they fully commit to their unique premise. The first two episodes really feel like episodes of a classic sit-com, with only small bursts of mystery sprinkled throughout. It would be understandable if, after an episode, Kevin Feige and co. decided to bring these characters into the more traditional MCU world and tell the story in a way that fans have come to expect. However, even after two full episodes, WandaVision doesn’t back away from its premise, instead opting to turn the season into a slow burn mystery show. This makes it all the more appealing and highlights the diverse storytelling in the MCU’s future.

The third episode of WandaVision will air next week on Disney+. After WandaVision, Marvel Studios has The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, What If…?, and Ms. Marvel all scheduled to premiere this year on Disney+.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios