Chaos Walking: ‘WandaVision’ Episodes 5-8 Review

Due to the nature of the Internet and the Easter egg-laden material: SPOILERS will be placed at the end of each episode synopsis, separate from the episode recap.

Episode 5: On a Very Special Episode…

This one right here was quite literally the shot heard ‘round the world. The whole Internet was set aflame by the implications of the ending. All of the mystique built up from the first four episodes pays off in a huge way. Episode Five has WandaVision entering the 80s/90s era of sitcoms with the brilliant use of the Family Ties-type intro. Note: director Matt Shakman starred in the Family Ties spin-off Just The 10 of Us way back when. This episode is where things get real. Wanda’s sitcom world starts to show its seams, similarly, we gain more and more insight to the more insidious side of why and how the broadcast came to be. Darcy calls the ‘Maximoff anomaly’ “the hex”, a great callback to the Marvel publication history of Wanda’s powers as magic. The twins go through some ‘changes’. An unexpected guest arrives that changes the game for what fans of the MCU even thought was possible, and Wanda and Vision’s domestic bliss comes under fire. At this point, WandaVision has gone from meh to must-watch TV.

*Spoiler Corner* [Y’all. Quicksilver (played by Evan Peters) from Fox’s X-Men universe shows up as the Pietro Maximoff that Wanda conjures! Vision gets hella suspicious and realizes Wanda’s running the show and it gets heated! Monica’s MRI test comes back blank (Spectrum, I presume)! Agnes is Agnes!]

Episode 6: All-New Halloween Spooktacular!

Remember when Bryan Cranston wasn’t a household name yet and Frankie Muniz was the king of television? If you don’t, Episode Six is here to remind you. The early 2000s of break-the-fourth-wall narration returns along with several more brilliant and self-aware references and callbacks. WandaVision’s intro this go-round is full of just enough generation Z nostalgia that it induces a cringe in anyone who lived through it. We all thought we were so edgy back then. The Halloween theme is perfect for what goes down, and it goes down. All the main characters wore some dollar store versions of their Silver Age costumes; we even get to see Tommy and Billy in versions of their Speed and Wiccan outfits. A lot of this episode takes place outside of ‘the hex,’ and several times throughout we learn that things fall apart outside of what we can see. So many implications and deceptions are hinted at and a few new power sets come into play. Jimmy, Darcy, and Monica are a Bast-damned gift to TV character arcs and elevate the device of the secondary arc. Vision is on one and we’re here for it.

*Spoiler Corner *[Pietro reminds Wanda that Vision is dead! Vision makes it outside of the hex and dies (again)! Wanda expands the hex and Darcy gets caught up inside! Darcy tells Monica her cellular structure is changing from going in and out of the hex! Tommy and Billy manifest superpowers! Agnes spills the tea to Vision that he’s dead! Agnes is still Agnes!]

Episode 7: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Now we’re back. To the future. Of the present. Episode Seven snaps up to speed with the 2010s visual palette and ‘mockumentary’ filming style of the current era of TV. It’s a little Modern Family and a little Parks and Rec with a dash of ‘holy crap what the heck is happening?’. Wanda was going through it in Episode Six and it’s a prime factor in this episode as well. The twins head off with Agnes early on while Wanda takes some time for herself. The Vision talking-head confessionals are peak comedy and Twitter has made it clear that each one is a meme-able thirst trap unto itself. But wait, there’s more! Wanda is losing more and more control, and the fabric of Westview is unraveling, quickly. The intro for this one is a hilarious take on The Office and bless them for the levity because this episode gets dark. Peep how the opening doesn’t feature Vision even a little and gives creator credits for the ‘show’ to Wanda. For every handheld jostle, smash cut, or staged confessional that gets a laugh out of you there’s a moment that feels sinister. Vision has trouble getting back home after his revelation outside of the hex and he thinks Wanda is responsible. Monica attempts to reenter the hex despite knowing it’s affecting her on the cellular level, but not affecting her curl pattern at all (you love to see it). Not only does she make it through, but she does it with a kickass voice montage straight from the Captain Marvel movie. Wanda and Monica finally confront one another but are interrupted by Agnes. Over tea at Agnes’ place, Wanda looks for the twins for some comfort and finds her way to the basement. The episode ends with Wanda finding out how the show gets made with a second opening theme to close it out.

*Spoiler Corner*: [SWORD is tracking Vision because they want to rebuild him to use as a weapon in a project codenamed ‘Cataract’! Billy sits with Agnes and lets her know it’s nice at her place because Agnes is ‘quiet on the inside’! Monica manifests some of her Spectrum abilities and resists Wanda’s attack! Wanda finds a dungeon in Agnes’ basement! A glowing book (the Darkhold maybe?) is focused on in Agnes’ basement! Agnes is actually not Agnes but is, in reality, Agatha Harkness! There’s a post-credit sequence! It features Pietro!]

Episode 8: Previously, On

The entire focus of this episode is fleshing out witchcraft because the cold open is a quick dossier on Agatha’s origin story. All pretenses have been dropped, Matt Shakmaan takes us on a legitimate flashback trip mixed with an MCU crossover clip show. What may come across as a slightly underwhelming episode is really a case study in character development. Agatha takes Wanda hostage in her own mind in order to understand how she created the Westview hex. From Sokovian civil war through to the upstate New York Avengers compound, Agatha walks us through a ‘This Is Your Life’ that doesn’t pull any punches. The takeaway in episode 8 is a gigantic, but smoothly delivered, retcon for explaining both mutantdom AND magic use in the MCU. For many of us, this is the most backstory we’ve ever received for the Maximoffs. Ever. After the show was announced, I wondered how far-reaching the implications of the plot would be. Episode 8 lands some bombshell concepts and delivers them some experimental narrative progression with classic TV panache.

*Spoiler Corner*: [Yoooo! We get to see Wanda get Hydra drafted and changed by the Mind Stone! Agatha killed her mom and lived through the Salem witch trials! Agatha identifies Wanda’s abilities as “Chaos Magic” and reveals that Wanda had powers before the Mind Stone! Wanda is dubbed ‘the Scarlet Witch’ (finally)! Post-credit banger with SWORD activating their 3-D printed copy of…Vision!]

Want more WandaVision recaps? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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  • Poet, MC, Nerd, All-Around Problem. Lover of words, verse, and geek media from The Bronx, NYC.

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