So far, WandaVision has been a really trippy, mostly comedic ride with some occasional ominous undertones. Aside from a few odd mentions, it’s been mostly isolated in the seemingly idyllic small town of Westview. Now, we start to see much stronger ties to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. “We Interrupt This Program” is aptly titled, as we see little of our titular heroes, and a great deal more of various supporting characters from throughout the MCU.
The episode starts with the utter chaos of “The Blip” as they have termed the sudden return of all those who disappeared in Thanos’ snap. This was played for laughs and lightly touched on in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Now, it gets much more serious treatment as Monica Rambeau suddenly reappears. We last saw Monica as a child in Captain Marvel. Now, we see the ramifications and confusion as people that have been missing for five years return, overwhelming everyone and everything.
Eventually, we learn that Monica’s mother not only died while Monica was gone, but she founded SWORD, no doubt drawing on what she learned during the events of Captain Marvel. Monica is trying desperately to catch up with what happened in her absence. We get a vague idea of what SWORD is, and what Monica’s new role is, at least temporarily. There’s a memorial to Maria, Monica’s mother, and a not so subtle reminder that Maria’s callsign was Photon. Photon is one of several codenames Monica used in the comics in her superhuman identity.
She gets assigned to assist the FBI with a very unique missing persons case in New Jersey. The case is being handled by Agent Woo, last seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp. There’s a nice nod to one of his earlier interests as the two get to know each other, and send a drone in to investigate the growing mystery of Westview. The drone, and then Monica, disappear, leaving behind a puzzled Woo.
The situation escalates, and a massive, multi-agency encampment gets set up. Among the experts is Darcy Lewis, the comic relief intern from the Thor movies. Darcy is a lot less funny now, but is apparently good at what she does, and figures out something everyone else has missed. This leads to a very meta moment as the people outside are watching the episodes we’ve seen so far in the show, only now we get more insight into some of the stranger moments.
There’s a very condensed montage of Woo and Darcy doing everything they can to figure out what’s going on inside Westview, and who’s who in the strange drama. They scrawl a lot of questions on their white board (hey, at least it’s not a wall of pictures and yarn) with some fun Easter Eggs. Darcy also gets excited when they find the missing Monica, who now has “a speaking part.” The various meta lines between Darcy and Woo are some of the best bits of this episode.
We get a much better look at what happened when Wanda confronted Monica, with much more detail. Wanda is definitely not just an innocent victim in all this, although there may be more going on than we’re aware of. Wanda gets a disturbing vision in the aftermath of this, while we see Geraldine/Monica getting expelled. Those of us who know her history are wondering if this is the MCU version of her origin. There’s an interesting discussion between Wanda and Vision before the episode ends with them having a stereotypical family night.
What I liked: While the weird sitcom world has been fun, I really enjoyed seeing more of the world outside. The many ties to different MCU properties were great. It was fun seeing Monica grown up, Woo, and Darcy. I appreciated the much more serious treatment of “The Blip” than it got in Spider-Man: Far From Home. I’m very intrigued by what exactly is going on with Wanda, and how Agnes ties in. I’m hoping this turns into Monica’s origin. She’d be a great addition to the next Captain Marvel movie, along with the already-announced Ms. Marvel.
What I didn’t: Not a whole lot, really. I sorta thought they were gimmicky, but I found I was missing the commercials a bit. They introduced a new mystery and we learned nothing about it. Did we need more complications?
This was a great addition to the series, and some fantastic ties to the rest of the MCU. I’ll give this a high 4.5 out of 5.