Days of Future Cast - WandaVision Episode 5 Breakdown
This review contains some spoilers for WandaVision episode 5.
Following last week's exposition-heavy episode it looked as if WandaVision was in danger of becoming lost in MCU lore. However, with a jump forwards (or backwards?) to the ’80s, the show has regained lost momentum, resulting in the darkest instalment yet, with some truly bizarre developments for both this series and the wider MCU.
Wanda and Vision are now parents to twin boys, Tommy and Billy. The sitcom world has jumped forward to the ’80s, now referencing Family Ties with an opening theme so cheesy it’s borderline fondue. The classic new parent dilemma of trying to get babies to sleep is tackled with Wanda attempting to use her powers to pacify them but to no avail. Wacky neighbour Agnes arrives to help and this is where the episode kicks really kicks into gear.
After Agnes becomes confused by who is meant to hold the babies, she asks for a retake, breaking the fourth wall (or eighth wall?) of the fictional sitcom, instantly worrying Vision.
Paul Bettany has been in this franchise since the original Iron Man, as Jarvis, which led to him debuting in his Vision form in 2015’s Age of Ultron. Since then he has never had much of a spotlight, with his and Wanda’s relationship mainly being developed off-screen to the annoyance of audiences and comic book fans.
Despite his lack of drama in the past, thankfully WandaVision is giving us episodes such as this, in which Bettany is incredible.
At times it’s easy to forget he’s a robot (the fact he’s rarely in the make-up helps) as his growing unrest and paranoia regarding his reality builds and erupts in a confrontation with his magical bride in a brilliantly explosive argument. It’s unfortunate that this character has only come to shine post-mortem, but better late than never!
Luckily before baby jokes can become tiresome, the twins suddenly age up to toddler status, allowing them to become full-fledged characters in the ensemble. For a show that seemed to be running out of tricks, it will be interesting to see how suddenly dumping parenthood on our protagonists will affect the direction of the remaining episodes.
Unfortunately, we are then dumped back into the middling “real-world” setting to rejoin the supporters, the team of movie side-characters who have joined forces to attack the mystique of the series. Now in direct contrast, there is no competition in which half of the show is more engaging, and sadly the exploits of Woo and company are more flaccid attempts to connect the dots of previous Marvel films than any engaging storytelling of its own, in spite of typically strong performances.
This episode has made the gulf between realities even more frustrating as the teasing and cryptic clues of Westview have never been stronger. From the rapid ageing of the twins, Vision’s bizarre encounter with a co-worker, and even the mailman’s strange foreboding has shown the series has truly peaked in terms of enjoyable creepy moments.
Thankfully the most meta and intriguing moment of the show is at the very end...
Please note, what follows is quite a large spoiler so if you have yet to watch the episode I would recommend checking it out first.
At the height of an argument, Wanda and Vision are stopped dead in their tracks by a knock at the door. Now there have been a few references to Pietro, Wanda’s brother who died in Age of Ultron (creepily, the same day her husband was born) so it’s only natural to assume that Aaron Taylor Johnson may reappear. After all, Vision’s back and the Loki series is on the way. Emperor Palpatine may as well show up at this point.
Indeed, somehow Quicksilver has returned, yet, it is the Quicksilver of the X-Men film franchise as memorably portrayed by Evan Peters.
This is an especially interesting cameo as a clear power move since the unfortunate purchase of 20th Century Fox by the Disney singularity. Merging the worlds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with that of Fox's X-Men films- which were some of the earliest examples of successful superhero adaptations. Indeed MCU head Kevin Feige began his producing career as an associate on the first X-Men film. What this means for the story of WandaVision is unclear and could be a possible red herring. As a nod to a beloved if inconsistent series of films, however, there’s an undeniable joy to seeing the two series literally hug it out. After JK Simmon’s recent triumphant return in Spider-Man and DC’s multiverse story approach, it seems like these films are expanding their scope beyond strict canonical boundaries.
Will this all become utterly alienating and impenetrable for audiences to follow? Perhaps. As far as TV talking points go it was a savvy move and a damn sight more exciting than a digitally de-aged character showing up to capsize the emotional centre of your show. Take note anonymous other Disney Plus show. For here Wandavision reigns supreme.
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