Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode 5 of WandaVision
WandaVision sees a return to “normal” this week as we rejoin our titular characters on their adventures in Westview. This time Wanda and Vision, and the denizens of Westview, are set against an 80’s backdrop.
The episode sees Wanda and Vision navigating the challenges of parenthood with a superpowered twist. Billy and Tommy grow up exceptionally fast. I am talking about aging up 5 years in an instant fast. It is incredibly interesting seeing the twins showcase some form of powers and it will be exciting to see how those powers develop over the rest of the season and eventually later on in the larger MCU.
While Wanda deals with the twins Vision begins having a crisis of his own. Throughout the season we have seen moments of Vision questioning the nature of his reality, Wanda thus far has quickly course-corrected these instances, but it seems as though it is starting to catch up to Vision. He can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong in Westview, and upon further investigation has some harrowingly eerie discoveries. His co-worker, Norm, when freed of Wanda’s control goes on a rant about how much pain he is in and that he’s being held captive.
Interspersed with Wanda dealing with the twins and Vision’s identity crisis we get more investigation into what is happening at Westview. It is revealed that Wanda had broken into the S.W.O.R.D. headquarters to retrieve Vision’s corpse shortly before she took over Westview. All signs point to Wanda essentially holding an entire town, with thousands of residents, hostage. She seems to be controlling them against their will and manipulating reality in Westview to fit her perfect idealized life.
The episode does an outstanding job playing all these elements against each other for maximum suspense and tension. We know that Vision is dead, that something is terribly amiss at Westview, and that Wanda is stepping over some lines she should not. Seeing everything start to fall apart is harrowing and though we have received some answers we are still left with a myriad of questions. One of the highlights of the episode comes when Wanda leaves Westview for the first time, after being attacked by a drone sent in by S.W.O.R.D. Wanda carries the drone outside and threatens all the agents to leave her alone.
The complete authority and raw display of power Wanda showcases in this scene is truly terrifying. Elizabeth Olsen has knocked it out of the park the entire season and this episode is no different. Speaking of performances, the entire cast remains superb. Paul Bettany truly shines as Vision, especially as his mental state starts to crumble and the world he thinks he knows dissolves. Olsen and Bettany play off each other so well, and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes is another top tier standout. The rest of the supporting cast, including Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) also deliver great performances that help round the show out.
There is also a surprise cameo (though it was speculated on for a while) that is bonkers to see come to fruition. I’ll touch more on it next week as the episode ends with it. Overall, this week was another hit for WandaVision. A standout episode among a standout series. With consistently fantastic costume, set, and prop design, incredible sound design, stellar performances, an engaging mystery, and superb writing WandaVision is establishing itself in the upper echelon of Marvel Studios products.