by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract
WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for WandaVision – Season 1, Episode 3: Now in Color
Following last week’s duo of unusual premiere episodes, we were left intrigued as to how far and for how long WandaVision will continue in such a strange vein. And we’re extremely happy to say that the MCU’s inaugural Disney+ series continues with this trend of strange and weird set forth in the previous episodes. Episode 3, titled Now in Color, follows the happy couple Wanda and Vision as they continue their lives in Westview, now in the mold of 1970s sitcoms a la The Brady Bunch. The episode sees Wanda and Vision as they try to manage Wanda’s greatly accelerated pregnancy in jovial sitcom fashion, while something insidious bubbles under the surface.
After three episodes, one of the highlights of WandaVision has been its complete and total commitment to its mysterious premise. Critics of the MCU often target the similarity of various projects in terms of tone, plot, pacing, aesthetics, etc. But such a criticism can most certainly not be lodged at WandaVision. Creator Jac Schaeffer, director Matt Shakman, and company are all in on making WandaVision as weird as possible, really leaning into its sitcom structure and only momentarily hinting at what’s truly going on. It’s hard to watch WandaVision and not draw comparisons to the work of David Lynch, who brilliantly strikes a balance between the bliss of ideal American family living and the threatening, mysterious mechanisms operating under the surface. Needless to say, WandaVision has excelled so far largely due to its unusual premise and the mystery it leaves viewers thinking about in regards to “What the hell is going on in Westview?”
The sitcom elements of WandaVision provide a lot of opportunity to really emotionally invest in the relationship between Wanda and Vision. Vision’s burgeoning anxieties over being a father and Wanda’s frantic management of a crazy pregnancy felt endearing and genuine and made us care about their relationship on a level that transcends that which we’ve seen in the MCU movies so far.
Speaking of interesting characters, WandaVision has bolstered some great guest stars so far, with Teyoonah Parris’ Geraldine becoming a more prominent player in episode 3. Parris is immediately likable and genuine in the role and leans into the sitcom dialogue of the crazy situation perfectly. Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes has been great so far too and, although her appearance in episode 3 was relatively brief, she was still gripping.
It’s with some of the minor characters like Geraldine and Agnes that the intrigue kicked up a notch in Now in Color. Agnes and Herb are clearly concealing something and Doctor Nielson makes an intriguing statement regarding one’s ability to ever leave Westview. Vision, along with the audience, is beginning to recognize that something is off here, but, before we can get any answers, is thrown off the trail. The confrontation between Wanda and Geraldine marked the highlight of the episode as Geraldine inquired about Wanda’s brother Pietro saying, “He was killed by Ultron, wasn’t he?” The episode suddenly took a sharp turn here and, before we know it, Geraldine is plummeted out of the picturesque Westview presumably back to the real world. One can refer to comics like House of M or S.W.O.R.D. to theorize about what’s going on in WandaVision, but, other than that, the series surprisingly leaves you with little to go off of – something we really enjoyed as the series continues to grow more mysterious.
WandaVision’s third episode takes inspiration from The Brady Bunch in spectacular fashion, delivering great 1970s sitcom moments, emotional character development, and a mystery that continues to deepen and grow more threatening.
Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios