Episode 4 of WandaVision moves full steam ahead into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For better or worse, fans are given both more answers and questions this week. What were the best moments? How does the episode grade out? In the words of Eminem’s Lose Yourself – “back to reality ope there goes gravity.”
WARNING!!! This WandaVision episode 4 review contains HEAVY SPOILERS AND THEORIES about the direction of the series and Phase 4 of the MCU. Click below for past episode reviews of WandaVision.
We Interrupt This Program is taken literally, as we abandon the sitcom format for a more MCU-esque fourth episode.
What an epic beginning to episode four of WandaVision as we see Monica (AKA Lieutenant Trobule) returning from snap 2.0. Watching Monica grasp the reality of missing the previous 3 years due to the original snap was both heartfelt and riveting. I’ll even say this, that initial sequence might go down as one of the best introductions in MCU history.
After that incredible introduction, we’re immediately thrown into SWORD headquarters with Monica Rambeau which has apparently been around for quite some time (wait what?).
We learn that Monica’s mother, Maria Rambeau, has built SWORD from the ground up and passed away from cancer. It doesn’t take long for Monica to return to work, as she is the first of those who blipped to report to SWORD headquarters.
While investigating a new case, we’re taken to New Jersey where Randall Park’s Agent Jimmy Woo gets his first MCU screen time since 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. All individuals in the surrounding area have obtained some kind of selective amnesia due to the events taking place. “This isn’t a missing persons case, Monica. This is a missing town,” says Jimmy Woo.
I couldn’t help but get significant X-Files vibes from watching Monica and Jimmy discuss the town that doesn’t want to exist.
Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis (who is now Dr. Lewis by the way) makes her first appearance shortly after. It’s crazy to think that it’s been 8 years since the last time we’ve seen her character in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. For me, Denning’ comedic timing was brilliant here and much less annoying that what we saw in Thor sequel.
Then the magic happens. Darcy taps into a broadcast frequency where can see Wanda’s false sitcom reality taking place in real time. “He’s dead right? Not blipped, but dead” says Wanda regarding Vision’s prognosis. We then fast forward to last week’s episode during the dialogue between Monica and Wanda. When Monica confronts Wanda regarding Ultron, we get a glimpse of what actually happened behind the scenes (err off camera).
The transition of the aspect ratio from the retro 4:3 to the widescreen was terrific. It’s an excellent method at telling the audience which reality we’re watching.
As mentioned in earlier reviews, Wanda is truly struggling. She’s clearly fragile and doing her best to push down all the trauma from the past that is trying to resurface. This is evident when we see Vision’s true appearance following the events of Avengers: Infinity War. His zombie-esque appearance was both eye opening and disturbing at the same time. I was not prepared to see Undead Vision thrown at me like that, but here we are. It was an unnerving reveal that reminds us of Wanda’s instability.
Not only has Wanda resurrected Vision, but she’s controlling the entire town of Westview. But to what extent? We’ll get to that in a little bit. Also, quick nod to Wanda’s acting which was terrific. Despite the minimal screen time and the overall madness of her situation, I truly felt sad for Wanda’s current mental state. I’ve been really impressed with Elizabeth Olsen’s acting in this series so far.
Shortly after being thrown out of the bubble, Monica wakes up. “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda,” says Agent Rambeau as she is both shocked and horrified. The credits roll to Jimi Hendrix’s amazing track Voodoo Child, which leads us to so many questions this week.
What is the meaning behind that choice of song? Is it that Wanda’s twins have officially arrived and have more meaning moving forward? Is Voodoo Child a clear reference to the presence of witches moving forward? What happened to Agent Franklin the bee keeper? Who is censoring Wanda’s broadcast? How many episodes have there been in WandaVision? Since the radiation discussed has existed since the Big Bang, does that mean the reality stone is currently in play? What is the meaning behind all the hexagons?
From everything we learned this week, it appears that Wanda is in control of who can leave Westview, a major theme central to what we saw in episode 3.
And now we arrive at the biggest takeaway from episode four. I’m sure we’ll see more sitcom formats moving forward, but I enjoyed the break. We were given nearly an entire episode in widescreen format (our reality) that will surely be a heavily discussed topic over the next week.
The chemistry between Darcy Lewis and Jimmy Woo was also terrific. They gave me serious Fox Mulder and Dana Scully vibes throughout the episode. Teyonah Parris’ Monica was also terrific and a standout in episode 4. Teyonah has had to play with a wide spectrum of emotions during her short stint in WandaVision and she’s pulled it off every time.
Lastly, we get to the nitty gritty of what is going down in Westview. The idea that Wanda may be living inside her nightmare rather than dreamworld was a hard realization for me. I still believe that there is someone else behind the scenes (cough Mephisto cough) manipulating reality. While I agree that Wanda has some control, my guess is there is something or someone who has Nightmare-ish plans (pun intended) for Wanda’s twins.
Sadly, we did not get a single scene of Kathryn Hahn’s amazing Agnes character this week. It’s important to note that her name wasn’t even revealed while Jimmy and Darcy were identifying those found inside Wanda’s false reality. Kathryn Hahn has stolen every single scene so far this series. Fingers crossed that we see Agnes get more of the spotlight in episode 5. If I had to guess, I’d say Agnes backstory takes center stage next week.
Final Grade & Thoughts:
Another strong week of storytelling and moving the needle forward for WandaVision. Randall Park, Teyonah Parris and Kat Dennings truly carried this week’s episode with some strong and memorable performances. Fingers crossed we’re inches away from discovering who and/or what is creating this false reality. It’s clear that Wanda will do anything it takes to stop those who want to break into her dreamworld. One thing is for sure- these last 5 episodes of WandaVision are going to be pure cinema bliss.