The beginning of Marvel’s Phase Four continues with the ongoing adventures of a mutant witch and her synthezoid husband who may or may not be some kind of ghost. The end of last episode moved us out of the black and white era in another time jump, and into the 70’s version of sitcoms, ala Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family. With the chromatic shift, we finally get an actual episode title instead of numbers, as we get WandaVision “Now In Color.”
After a Very Brady opening sequence, with a lot of attention given to Geraldine and Agnes, we see Wanda’s pregnancy continuing to race ahead with unexpected speed. Ironic, given speed was her late brother’s power. Our heroes’ home now looks a lot like the Brady Bunch living room, including the big staircase. With her complicated pregnancy continuing, Wanda gets an examination from the remarkably condescending Dr. Stan Nielsen (as in Nielsen ratings, maybe?), and there are a lot of fruit references. Vision is beginning to realize how little sense a lot of this makes, and is asking questions Wanda would prefer he didn’t. Finally, the doctor departs, enthusing about his upcoming vacation to the Bahamas. As Vision walks him out, we see something very odd going on with neighbor Herb.
Wanda’s condition keeps moving ahead, and she and Vision do some redecorating and research. They discuss names, and each seems determined on either Tommy or Billy. Those are, of course, the names of their children in the main comic book universe, where Billy is the Young Avenger called Wiccan, and Tommy is Speed. There are more superpowered hijinks and Vision figures out Wanda’s alarmingly soon due date. While early sitcoms were often not noted for tight continuity, I’m wondering what happened to Vision’s job.
Using a vintage doll that’s apparently right out of the Brady Bunch, Vision does some practice runs with changing diapers. Wanda develops some new complications from her pregnancy, and that, in turns, affects pretty much everything around them. I think their kitchen might need a remodel after all this. Things finally calm down a bit, and Vision goes to check on the neighbors. Phil and Dottie show up long enough to make a bad joke, and Wanda worries about their secret getting out. Vision starts making some deductions and observations, and Wanda once again casts some doubt about who the actual bad guy is here. After some more chaos involving out of control powers and bad cliches, we get another commercial.
The product this time is Hydra Soak, and it appears to have a few levels to it. It’s fairly obviously a nod to the old “Calgon, take me away” campaign from long ago. There’s also an interesting line about “getting away without going anywhere,” which might apply to what’s happening to Wanda. But there’s also a subtle nod to Marvel’s longest-running show that I missed the first time myself. When the Agents of SHIELD were caught in the Framework, there was a bit about Hydra having blue mind control soap. Given how much the MCU loves it Easter Eggs, and that this show hints at the “multiverse” concept according to rumor, it makes me wonder about the selection of this particular product.
While Wanda uses her powers to clean up some mess and deal with contractions, Vision gets sent to get help. I’ll give them point for him using speed (which we never really saw in the movies, but makes sense) instead of flight, since his flight involved him being intangible so he can’t carry anyone. Things get more complicated when Geraldine shows up unannounced and launches into a long story about her job. Wanda tries to hide her condition and another unexpected visitor from Geraldine, but that only lasts for so long.
Vision finds Dr. Nielsen, who can’t leave on his trip since his car just happens to have broken down. Vision persuades him to come back to the WandaVision home, and they leave quickly, to the confusion of Mrs. Nielsen. Wanda goes through some painful contractions and, with Geraldine’s help, gives birth to Tommy. Vision and the doctor arrive after the fact, missing some impressive environmental effects. Geraldine and Nielsen go to the kitchen, giving Wanda and Vision a moment. Then we find out Wanda isn’t done, and she goes into another huge fit of screaming, which somehow doesn’t bring the doctor or Geraldine back out.
It should be an “All’s Well that Ends Well” kind of situation, but we’re not done. Things start getting ominous and eerie in the aftermath of the birth. Wanda and Geraldine coo over the newborns, and Geraldine starts to pierce the mental fog so many in Westview seem to have. She makes some references to events in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Wanda isn’t pleased. As Vision walks the doctor out (again), Nielsen makes a comment that could be either innocuous or ominous. As Vision ponders this, he has a scene with Agnes and Herb that makes it clear there’s more going on that it seems, and that Agnes, at least, really doesn’t want anyone to talk about it. Agnes also makes some odd comments about Geraldine, as Wanda gets more and more annoyed with the woman who just helped her give birth.
Finally, Wanda sees something that really upsets her, and ties in to an ongoing presence that seems to be lurking around the edges of everything. Vision comes back inside, not getting the answers he wanted, and Wanda dismissively says Geraldine had to run home. We do see where she ended up, and it gives rise to a lot of questions. Then, to make it more surreal, the Monkees’ Daydream Believer plays as the episode ends.
What I liked: They nailed the 70’s feel very nicely. I’m getting more and more intrigued as to what’s going on here. The recurring imagery is either a big clue or a massive red herring. A whole school of them, really. The commercial seemed to finally be a nod to Agents of SHIELD, which got more and more ignored by the MCU as it went (although not as badly as the Netflix/Defenders). Agnes’ husband, Ralph, continues to seem to be another in the long line of sitcoms characters who are an unseen presence. That, or there’s going to be a big reveal later on. It was good to see the twins, and it makes the rumors about an upcoming Young Avengers project seem a bit more likely (as does Kate Bishop on the Hawkeye series).
What I didn’t: I’m a bit curious about Vision’s job. I’m starting to both worry about, and feel bad for, Wanda. The fear and tension from some of these characters is hinting at some real ugliness coming down the pike.
To quote Carol from The Walking Dead, “I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way.” I am, however, enjoying the ride. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next week.