Marvel’s newest series, “WandaVision,” premiered on Disney+ on Jan. 15, with two debut episodes. An episode will come out every Friday until March 5, when the Season 1 finale will appear on the streaming service.
The first two episodes of “WandaVision” were, in a word, confusing. The first episode opens with mutant Wanda Maximoff, known as Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and comics, and Android Vision, also from the MCU, living in a ‘50s sitcom as wife and husband. Vision works at a computing company and Wanda is a stay-at-home wife. While the two seem normal, Vision maintains his android-appearance, modifying his face to look human when he leaves the house, as well as his superhuman powers. Wanda also still has her powers.
The aesthetic of this episode is reminiscent of “I Love Lucy” and “Leave it to Beaver,” while transcending the simple sitcom genre by including characters from diverse ethnic backgrounds instead of replicating the homogenous all-white casts of the period. The show is in black and white, all the characters wear clothing appropriate to the period and they speak in ‘50s style and colloquialisms.
The main plot of the episode is Wanda and Vision struggling to remember why they drew a heart on the 23rd on their kitchen calendar. Wanda assumes it’s her and Vision’s wedding anniversary, although she cannot remember their anniversary ever happening before. When Vision arrives at work, he realizes it’s a reminder that his impossible-to-impress boss, Mr. Hart, and his wife are coming over for dinner. Vision arrives home with the Harts to Wanda in a dressing gown, with no dinner in sight.
Wanda frantically uses her reality-altering powers to cook a dinner, with the ingredients delivered by her new neighbor Agnes. Vision must perform several funny antics to prevent their guests from noticing the food levitating in the kitchen. This plotline follows the “I Love Lucy” style of comedy, but Marvel makes sure to throw a wrench in it. Mr. Hart asks Wanda and Vision a series of personal questions, including where they moved to town from, how long they’ve been married, etc.
Neither of them can answer, leading them to discover they don’t actually know. Mr. Hart then begins to choke, with Mrs. Hart oddly repeating “stop it” over and over. The viewer then wonders whether Wanda, with her powers, is forcing him to choke to avoid answering the questions. Wanda then asks Vision to save him, and he uses his powers to reach into Mr. Hart’s throat to retrieve the food he was choking on. The Harts leave like nothing happened, seemingly forgetting the strangeness of the evening.
The next episode mimics a ‘60s aesthetic, with Wanda’s hair and outfit changing to reflect the changing times. She wears pants now, as a modern woman. She and Vision prepare a magic act for a talent show benefitting their local elementary school. Strange things begin to occur. Wanda finds a toy helicopter with a logo that reads “S.W.O.R.D.” in the bushes in front of their house. The helicopter is in color, while the rest of the show remains in black and white. Wanda helps plan with the other ladies, but during clean up from the meeting, the radio turns on, ominously saying, “Wanda, who is doing this to you?”
At the end of the episode, Wanda is suddenly visibly pregnant. She and Vision step outside their house, hearing a strange sound, in time to see someone in a beekeeper suit climbing out of a manhole cover. Wanda rewinds time, back to when she and Vision discover the pregnancy, and the show turns to color.
What does any of this mean for the future of the series? First of all, it’s crucial to note that Vision died in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Wanda struggled with his death that she ultimately could not prevent. It seems plausible, if not entirely likely, that Wanda is using her powers to create an alternate universe in which she can have a life and children with Vision.
Let’s look at some theories for the future of “WandaVision.”
Someone is controlling Wanda in “Wandavision”
The strange radio message seems to lead to the idea that someone besides Wanda is responsible for the creation of this alternate world. Fans have a number of theories about who this yet unseen antagonist could be. One is HYDRA, the evil, fascist organization present in the “Captain America” franchise. One of the fake commercials in the first episode is an ad for Strucker watches. Strucker is the last name of one of the HYDRA scientists who gave Wanda and her deceased twin, Pietro, their powers via experimentation. The watch in the ad also features the HYDRA logo on it. Perhaps HYDRA has some agenda, either for Wanda or her magically induced pregnancy.
Mephisto will appear
Another potential villain is the demon Mephisto, who features heavily in the comics. Mephisto’s storyline revolves around Wanda and Vision’s twin children, whom Wanda created from his power fragments. Since the second episode reveals Wanda to be pregnant, it seems possible that Mephisto isn’t far behind. Mephisto is also a demon, and there are several lines referring to the devil in the show, including Wanda’s neighbor Agnes responding to the statement “The devil is in the details” with the sentence, “That’s not the only place he is.”
S.W.O.R.D. is watching Wanda
The toy helicopter in Wanda and Vision’s yard has the S.W.O.R.D. logo on it, which stands for the Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division. S.W.O.R.D. is an outer-space version of S.H.I.E.L.D. run by Nick Fury in the MCU. This lays the groundwork for Fury to appear in the Disney+ Marvel shows, and perhaps demonstrates that this agency is watching Wanda in her alternate reality.
Agnes is Agatha Harkness
There is a connection to Dr. Strange’s “Multiverse of Madness”
Marvel has confirmed that Wanda will play a large role in the second Dr. Strange film, “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” If Wanda is already making her own pocket universe, or alternate reality, this creates a foundation for her character to springboard directly into the narrative of this upcoming film.
“WandaVision” will bring X-Men into the MCU
Another theory is that Wanda will serve as a bridge between the MCU and the X-Men universe, which Marvel recently acquired. Wanda is an Avenger, but her and her twin brother, Pietro aka Quicksilver, who died in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” are the children of mutant Magneto in the comics, famous in the X-Men franchise. If Wanda can somehow bring Pietro back, this could integrate the X-Men and the Avengers.
Any or all of these theories are plausible. One thing’s for certain: Something dark is coming to “WandaVision.” Wanda can’t hide in her idealized sitcom world forever, as something or someone is clearly attempting to break through to her. Can she protect herself, Vision and their real/unreal babies from danger? Find out next week!