Each Friday, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of WandaVision and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recaps will be released in mid-afternoon to avoid early spoilers.
Trick-or-treat Marvel fans! It’s Halloween in Westview, and things are about to get a little spooky on WandaVision this week…
We are in the late 90s/early 2000s now and the show continues to perfectly capture the tone and style of the sitcoms of the era the episode takes place in (I had some major Malcolm in the Middle vibes from this week’s episode). With it being Halloween, we finally get to see Wanda and Vision in their long-teased Halloween costumes, which are classic versions of their superhero costumes from the comic books. While there was less comedy in this episode, it still had some great sitcom laughs, including a flashback to young Wanda and Pietro trick-or-treating in Sokovia and receiving a fish, which I personally thought was the comedic highlight of the episode. The visual effects went to a whole new level this episode, delivering some of the most exciting sequences of the series as things get even stranger in Westview with the sudden appearance of Pietro. It felt like this episode was the close of Act 2 of the series, with the wild final act primed to begin next week, looking like it’s ready to change the MCU forever.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of WandaVision, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what answers we were provided with this week…
The episode opens with Billy and Tommy noticing Uncle Pietro (yes you heard that right, Uncle Pietro) sleeping on the couch on Halloween. Wanda and Vision come down the stairs in their Halloween costumes, ready for the big night. Vision tells Wanda that he is on neighbourhood watch that evening and cannot trick-or-treat with her and the boys, to which Wanda is upset as it’s the boy’s first Halloween. Wanda notes this was not what she planned, but Uncle Pietro quickly jumps in and offers to go with her and the boys.
Outside the Hex, Hayward is holding a debrief after S.W.O.R.D.’s encounter with Wanda last episode. He is clearly not happy with how things turned out, clearly determined to kill Wanda rather than help her. Monica clashes with Hayward over this, who calls her into question considering her past with Captain Marvel. Monica tells Hayward not to use the past five years as an excuse, before Hayward kicks her, Darcy and Agent Woo off the base. As being escorted away from the S.W.O.R.D. base, Monica and Woo take out their escorts and head back with Darcy in disguise to find out what Hayward is up to.
Back inside the Hex, Wanda, Pietro and the boys are now out trick-or-treating. While Pietro helps the boys cause some mayhem collecting candy, we see the beginning of an ongoing conversation with Wanda and Pietro that happens throughout the episode. Wanda begins questioning Pietro about what he remembers of their past. Pietro calls Wanda out for this and says that she is doing this just because he looks different. He continues to say that if he had found Shangri La, he would not want to be reminded of his past, hence his change in appearance…let’s believe that for now, but I highly doubt Pietro’s convenient explanation is the reason for it being Evan Peters and not Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Wanda sees Herb and asks how watching the neighbourhood is going with Vision, to which Herb responds that Vision is not on neighbourhood duty. Wanda is taken back by this because Vision has never lied to her before, and then Herb asks if she wants something changed. So Herb is potentially aware on some level of what Wanda is up to. The scene cuts to Vision, exploring another part of Westview. However, things are very strange in his part of town, where he encounters one couple stuck in a loop putting up decorations, with the woman crying and looking very disturbed.
We then got this weeks’ commercial, this time for Yo-Magic Yogurt. This commercial is very different, but it’s all themed around survivors. This could be a metaphor for Wanda, having survived all the trauma that she has experienced, which were the focus of the previous commercials.
After our commercial, we continue tricko-r-treating in Westview and Wanda and Pietro’s conversation. Pietro comments that he came to town unexpectedly to create tension with his brother-in-law, stir up trouble with the rugrats and give Wanda grief, asking rhetorically if this was not what Wanda wanted. If you are thinking that Pietro is not Westview for the right reasons, you are probably on the right line of thought at this point. Pietro further tells Wanda that all he remembers after being shot is hearing Wanda calling and knowing that she needed him, but the exact details are fuzzy. However, their conversation is interrupted as Tommy whizzes by them, because he now has super speed. The boys run off having fun with Tommy’s new found ability, but Wanda warns them not to go beyond Ellis Avenue.
Back at S.W.O.R.D., Darcy hacks into Hayward’s files and discovers that Hayward has been tracking Vision inside the Hex by tracking the decay of vibranium. Vision has moved towards the edge of the Hex, where the other residents are not moving, to which Woo questions if these residents are even alive. The scene transitions to Vision, surrounded by residents being frozen in time. One of them is Agnes, in her car dressed as a witch. Agnes claims she got lost, but Vision finds that hard to believe as she grew up and has lived all her life in Westview. As something is clearly not right with Agnes, Vision wakes her up. Agnes immediately recognizes Vision as one of the Avengers and asks if he is here to help them. But Vision does not know what an Avenger is!?!! This clearly distresses Agnes, prompting her to question whether she is dead since Vision himself is dead, which Vision was not aware of till this moment. Vision promises to help and to contact those outside the Hex, but Agnes questions how he can do this because Wanda does not let anyone leave, let alone think about leaving Westview. Agnes claims all is lost, and then begins cackling uncontrollably. Vision puts Agnes back to sleep, and heads forward. The shot pans out, and we see the stop sign that Agnes’ car was stopped at was at Ellis Avenue and Rolling Hill Drive.
While breaking into Hayward’s files, Darcy finds one on Monica, which indicates that the Hex has caused her cells to be rewritten on a molecular level and that it is changing her. However, determined to help Wanda as she knows how Wanda is feeling, Monica sets off with Woo to meet her contact, the unnamed aerospace engineer mentioned in the previous episode (that I missed on my first watch of last week’s episode but Joe kindly pointed out to me in discussing the episode). Darcy volunteers to stay behind as she thinks there are more files hidden behind Hayward’s firewalls that will tell them why he is insistent on killing Wanda.
Wanda and Pietro continue their conversation at the town square as Billy and Tommy continue enjoying Tommy’s new found power. Pietro asks Wanda where she has been hiding all of the kids in Westview (as this is the first episode that we see children other than Billy and Tommy), and he comments on how impressed he is with Wanda handling the imprisonment of the citizens of Westview. These are interesting comments, suggesting that Pietro knows a lot more about Westview despite having just shown up, but questions Wanda how she managed to create the Hex. Being a loving brother, Pietro says that Wanda can talk to him about it, but Wanda claims she has no knowledge of how she created the Hex. She only remembers feeling completely alone, empty, and as if she was stuck in an endless nothingness. But while having this heart to heart with Pietro, Wanda sees Pietro in his dead form flash in front of her eyes, much like Vision did back in the fourth episode.
And this is where the episode gets exciting. Darcy discovers a file behind the firewall entitled “Cataract” and described as a classified weapons intelligence. Darcy quickly emails the file to Woo without looking at it. At that same time, Vision approaches the edge of the Hex, just beyond Ellis Avenue, setting off S.W.O.R.D.’s warning system and prompting Hayward to send his men to meet Vision. Darcy follows the men, to find out what Hayward is up to. Inside the Hex, Vision approaches the edge of the Hex and sees the barrier and walks through the barrier with some resistance. As he appears outside the Hex, he is clearly in pain, screaming for the S.W.O.R.D. agents to help him and the individuals inside the Hex as the Hex attempts to pull him back inside. Darcy screams at Hayward and his men, pleading them to help Vision as he is clearly in pain. Hayward orders that Darcy is cuffed to one of the vehicles so she cannot interfere with his men.
Inside the Hex, Billy begins to hear Darcy, Hayward and Vision in his head. He stops Tommy, who is running by at light speed, with his telekinetic powers and screams for his mother to help Vision. Billy then has a vision of Vision and the S.W.O.R.D. agents outside the Hex and tells his mom about it. Yes, Billy’s powers have been revealed now too. Then something strange happens. Pietro shows no concern because it’s not like Vision can die again as he is already dead. Wanda attacks Pietro with his powers, sending him flying into a pile of hay. Wanda freezes time, and begins expanding the radius of the Hex. It’s a terrifying sequence showing the extent of Wanda’s powers, trapping the majority of S.W.O.R.D. inside the Hex and turning them into carnival individuals, and Darcy and Vision, whose fates are unseen. The only survivors are Monica and Woo, off to meet Monica’s unnamed friend, and Hayward’s vehicle containing Hayward and some S.W.O.R.D. agents. Clearly visible from the outside is the mammoth hexagon shape of the Hex, ending the episode with Wanda’s eyes changing from glowing red to her normal colour.
The episode had some interesting developments. The biggest one being that we may have a fantastic entry to the MCU by the end of the show. And yes, I am talking about Mr. Fantastic himself: Reed Richards. After Monica referenced her aerospace engineer contact last episode, everyone has been theorizing that this could be Reed Richards. We know that the MCU is actively developing a Fantastic Four movie, with no cast or release date announced yet, but we do know that at this point Jon Watts will be directing it. Last week’s episode seemed like a nice nod to Richard’s existence in the MCU, but with Monica and Woo off to meet her contact at the end of the episode, we could be meeting him very soon. Like in the next few weeks! While we have no idea who will be portraying Reed, I’m hoping it’s John Krasinski who the fans have been calling for to star in the film, alongside his real life wife Emily Blunt as Sue Storm. Time will tell if Reed is our unnamed aerospace engineer, but with how much teasing the character has had so far in the show, I cannot see how it can’t be Reed.
The other is the potential identity of Mephisto, if he is indeed the villain of the show. While for weeks we’ve been theorizing who Mephisto could be in Westview, this week we have a new potential character that could be Mephisto in disguise: Pietro. Yes, Wanda’s brother. He unexpectedly showed up last week, not by Wanda’s wishing, and he knows a lot about life in Westview. How could he know so much, including that there have been no other children in Westview until now and knowledge about Wanda’s control over the citizens of Westview, if he only just arrived? Further, Pietro is very attached to Billy and Tommy this episode, and with the emergence of their powers and knowing their fate with Mephisto from the comics, Pietro’s attachment to the boys could be something far more sinister than just being the fun uncle. Plus, Pietro said to the boys near the beginning of the episode to “unleash hell” and calls them “demon spawn.” Now this may be a mere coincidence, but given all the devil references so far, I highly doubt so and now think that Mephisto is Pietro in disguise.
We are also treated to the beginning of the development of Monica’s powers. Readers of the comics know that Monica eventually becomes Photon and gains superhero powers. The comics give her a similar origin story that the MCU gave to Captain Marvel, so it’s not a far-off guess that Monica won’t get her powers the same way as we’ve already seen one character get powers after being blasted with energy from an Infinity Stone. But the Hex’s changes to Monica’s cells seem to indicate the start of her origin story, setting up her future in the MCU.
Surprisingly, Agnes’ true self did not seem to know as much about what was happening inside the Hex as many viewers have thought she had… or she is a really good actress. The witch costume and that maniacal cackle she let out support the theory that she is in fact a witch, namely Agatha Harkness. I think this week’s episode was a misdirect, trying to convince fans that she is not Harkness, but I still suspect that she will be revealed as Harkness by the end of the series given the development of Billy and Tommy’s powers, and Harkness’ role in helping Wanda with the boy’s fate in the comics.
Finally, Hayward is not an ally to Wanda or Vision. He clearly has an ulterior motive and now also top-secret intelligence on weapons. Who Hayward is working for is still unclear (if he isn’t the mastermind himself), the Hydra theory is still at play given his name sake, but whoever Hayward is working for, they clearly are going to play a major role in the future of the MCU.
What’s going to happen next week is anyone’s guess at this point, but things are going to start getting very strange and building for what is sure to be a wild finale! Make sure to check back next Friday afternoon for my breakdown of what happens next on WandaVision.