Vision, Don't 'Jim' The Camera - WandaVision Episode 7 Breakdown
The following contains spoilers for WandaVision episode 7.
Hello handheld cameras, snap zooms, and confessionals. We have entered the 2010s, the time where sitcoms have become a bit more cynical, and a bit more complex, which could be the end of the sitcom eras of WandaVision.
The Marvel show goes full Modern Family, with Wanda paying ode to Julie Bowen, particularly the episode in which Bowen's Claire Dunphy has her depression kick in hard. Something which is all too real for us all over the past year. Meanwhile, Vision finally learns the truth about his past life from Darcy (who is now trapped in the 'hex' thanks to the chaotic events of last week's episode).
The episode's opening credits is a medley of three sitcoms from the past couple of decades. The music is a similar rendition of the US version of The Office, but instead of the cheerful hopeful tone of the show, it has a distorted electrical sound, possibly because Wanda's world is slowly crashing down. The multiple pictures of Wands's name is also a homage to Happy Endings' intro, as it was executive produced by the Russo Brothers for ABC. Finally, the text of the show's title is the exact same as that used for Modern Family, including the creator credit, which here is Wanda Maximoff.
As with every other previous episode, the sitcom world fully commits to the mockumentary medium, providing some excellent comedic pieces from Wanda, Vision, Darcy, and especially Agnes (we'll get to that). As Wanda and Vision embrace the roles that the formula provides, it also shares some deeper sides of them, showing underneath the roles the fake shows have covered them with.
Personally, my favourite part of these modern sitcoms was always the awkward looks at the camera by characters in moments of relatability. That troupe is called the 'Jim' look, based on the character Jim Harper, played by John Krasinski in The Office (arguably the show that brought mainstream attention to the mockumentary genre). It's both funny and fitting that Agnes also gets to give some of those looks too throughout the episode. Although, Vision walking away from his final confessional is probably the best comedic bit in the episode.
While Wanda goes through her existential crisis and Vision tries to understand his history, things get interesting for our SWORD team. Now, we know that Hayward is trying to use Vision's body as a weapon (possibly to use him as a defence program against super-powered individuals), as it has become more and more obvious considering his prejudice towards enhanced people.
In retaliation to Hayward's plan, Monica enters "the hex" in a moment of both stupid bravery and selflessness, becoming what many expected since her introduction in Captain Marvel- Photon. Her transformation through the force field is probably one of the most visually interesting presentations thus far, with multiple versions of herself expanding from her body, including versions from her sitcom personality, Geraldine, and her past selves as she was a kid in Captain Marvel, and during the blip.
Besides the reveal that the hex can manipulate individuals through its magic or possible connections to the multiverse, this moment also acts as a fulfilling arc for Monica, as she is finally able to build on her abilities and determination, carrying with her the strength and emotion of what she's been through.
As for this week's ad (and probably the last), this is certainly my favourite so far for multiple reasons. Firstly, it is a great recreation of various manipulative commercials from pharmaceutical companies targetting depressed individuals, fully committing to the cliché of midclass citizens standing around on a cloudy day, vacant and without hope.
Besides that, the ad is an obvious representation of Wanda's state of mind (the actress does have a similar hairstyle), but also the most interesting thing about it is the name of the medicine.
Nexus in the comics refers to 'nexus beings', something that Wanda has been called in before, referring to her ability to open interdimensional portals to other universes. This ad confirms that Wanda will play an important role in the MCU's future plans of the multiverse, as it has already been confirmed that the show will be setting up the up-and-coming Spider-Man and Doctor Strange sequels (which Wanda will also be a part of).
After the ad, we see a short confrontation between Monica and Wanda (big congratulations on Monica's first superhero landing) where Monica seems to be getting through to The Scarlet Witch until Agnes interrupts the reunion to take Wanda away to her house.
Inside the house, we don't the twins, nor any sign of Agnes' much referred to husband Ralph. Instead, we get a jarring (but effective) Silence of the Lambs like moment, with Wanda realizing there is something off and very creepy about the room she is in. Wanda heads down to the basement, to find a rock structure that has no place there, and inside a major revelation- Anges is the witch, Agatha Harkness...
While many speculated this was the case, the series continually threw red herrings our way and created a mystery around Agnes, that will leave many wondering who Agnes really is. Finding out that it was "Agatha all along" (sorry about that) gives us an all-new opening intro, with that title used in a title sequence clearly paying tribute to shows such as The Munsters and Addams Family.
Katherine Hahn (who plays Agnes / Agatha) has been one of my favourite actors in the past decade, making it an absolute joy to see her in a role that seems to have been tailored especially for her, bringing all campiness and evil we'd expect from a sinister witch like her. The introduction is a testament to the show's creative choices, using well-known formulas and troupes to their advantage (both from comic-book lore and sitcom television).
But that's not all folks. This episode had the first mid-credit scene with Monica trying to enter Agatha's house only to be interrupted by Pietro. Their inclusion suggests a potential standoff or team up, but notice that Monica's eyes are now purple, therefore potentially under Agatha's control (as Pietro is?)
It's great that Evan Peters had the chance to show up again, but with it more apparent he is not real, it does suggest this could all just be stunt casting for the fans than an actual connection with the X-Men universe. But when it comes to the multiverse, anything is still possible...
Ultimately this scene proves that the show is finally entering its final act, stepping away from the sitcom world and heading to the classic superhero mode the MCU has been most famous for...
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