A REAL SCIENTIST WOULD USE A STICK, MONICA
So after a brief recap of the fact that Geraldine is Not Part of the Program and got thrown out of Happyville by Wanda, we cut to her….forming up…in a hospital room somewhere. So are a lot of other people. A doctor she bumps into says “they’re all coming back” and they “don’t have the capacity.” Which seems like a lot of information to hand out to just a random person, no? I mean, wouldn’t most doctors would just say “Excuse me” and keep walking? Or in my case, “Psych ward’s that way.” [Oh, okay. See, I haven’t watched the Avengers/Endgame movies, so I didn’t realize this was referencing the Thanos thing at first.]
Geraldine (?)–is then accosted by a nurse who calls her Monica and tells her that her mother (who is the patient she’s looking for, Maria Rambeau) is dead. For three years….which was two years after she…after she…after she (are you ready for it yet?) DISAPPEARED.
SMASH TO TITLES, OH WOOOO THE SUSPENSE IT IS KILLING ME.
(It kind of isn’t).
So we drift into S. W. O. R. D. (Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division….guys, really? Seriously? Why do you need to observe them? If they’re sentient, give them a job to do or put them out to pasture with a pension and crappy health care options. Problem SOLVED) Headquarters. Monica attempts to let herself in but her key card isn’t accepted and the door guy isn’t impressed until Director Tyler Hayward saunters over and explains that she is Captain Monica Rambeau. And now that we’ve gotten that on-the-nose dialogue out of the way, surely we’ll switch back to something a little more palatable.
(YOU KNOW! YOU KNOW! YOU KNOW WHAT THEY MISSED OUT HERE?? THEY COULD HAVE MADE THIS THE “MAN FROM UNCLE” EPISODE OR THE “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE” EPISODE, with like, modern sets and technology but with retro-era scripts and costumes and hairstyles and everybody just going for it with straight faces. Now THAT would have been cool. I’d’a been all on board for that.)
Director Tyler Hayward gives the door guy a snide aside glance for doing his job, so my hopes really aren’t that high, though.
Argh. Unfortunately, the next ninety seconds just proved my expectations need to be dialed down quite a bit more, though. I’m going to go hit myself on the head with something and see if that helps.
So there is a brief scene about MONICA RAMBEAU and MONICA RAMBEAU being awesome and the person who should rightfully be in charge of everything, because US Government agencies operate on the feudal system now. Notice that this isn’t a scene in which MONICA RAMBEAU gets briefed, gets debriefed, issues orders, or asks questions. It’s not a scene in which MONICA RAMBEAU advances the plot or even interacts with the plot. It’s just a scene in which Some Guy (who, being middle-aged, white, not hugely attractive, and wearing a suit, kind of looks like he’s going to be the Act 2.5 Twist Traitor) tells MONICA RAMBEAU that she’s awesome and should rightfully be in charge of everything. And since I didn’t feel like giving myself a concussion to make it tolerable, the dialogue is freaking painful.
Only then we do move into something that seems somewhat plot-relevant. Monica is on ground-based missions only….and, HAH, it’s her mother’s (who founded SWORD)’s policy: in case vanished persons ever returned. On the one hand, HAH, but on the other hand, half measures are worse than whole. She’s being assigned to the missing persons’ case, supporting the FBI.
So presently, Monica is outside Happyville (real world) meeting with the FBI agent who happens to be sitting there at the town sign, Agent Wu. His missing person was in Witness Protection, but has…vanished off the face of the Earth. Meanwhile, two local LEOs who are also sitting over at the town sign insist that there is no such place. They ought to know. They’re from NotHappyville. Agent Wu hasn’t gone inside the town itself, because it Does Not Want Him To, which is a really kind of pathetic excuse for not having at least wandered up and poked at the barrier.
Monica sends out a tiny little helicopter drone of the sort you can frankly buy from Walmart….which fritzes out when it hits some sort of energy field. Which Monica proceeds to poke at with her finger like a moron (a real scientist would have used a stick) and then gets pulled inside.
Cut to: 24 hours later. A van with Kat Dennings (Miss DOCTOR Lewis) and some other people (molecular biology, astrophyisics, chemical engineer, etc) has pulled up at what is now a gigantic SWORD response base. Now, see, I liked this character when she was in Thor and, in contrast to Natalie Portman, had a personality. She’s got a personality here, right now, but it’s: condescending hipster girl who luvs da science. Hm. Let me not praise with too many faint damns. On the one hand, she has a personality and that’s a good thing. On the other hand…isn’t Doctor Lewis supposed to be a mature professional at this point? Oh well.
Within ten seconds of plugging one gadget into another, she ascertains that there’s way too much cosmic radiation in the area aaaaaaaaand there’s our WandaVision episode 1.
Turns out, the beekeeper guy (actually a hazmat, as everyone guessed), was inserted to look for Rambeau. Agent Wu and Director Tyler Hayward (still looking highly suspicious, as middle-aged white guys who are not particularly attractive and have taken the jobs rightfully belonging to attractive young black women, do), disagree on the efficacy of this. They then cluster around Miss Doctor Lewis’ TV as the only useful source of information.
(Dude, you know, at this point I give up. If that last sentence doesn’t speak volumes about the intelligence quotient and imagination levels of current-day scriptwriters, I don’t know what does. And yes, this is coming from someone who did quite enjoy the first two episodes of this series, but those were pretending to be a different series entirely.)
Director Tyler Hayward, with much masculine energy and decisiveness, orders for an analysis and a helicopter and then….exits the scene. Weird flex but okay. He’s probably going off to get ready to betray the heroes or something anyway.
Anyhow, they now have some data to start working with and start ID’ing people in the show and writing down questions. This is when Monica/Geraldine turns up in Episode 2. Miss Doctor Lewis suggests sending a message to the radios inside.
Meanwhile, our Hazmat guy crosses the barrier….which turns him into the beekeeper guy and also severs the cable that he was probably expecting to bring him back home. ((….what happened to him, then??? Because we get the whole big deal about Monica Rambeau getting back out, but what about this guy when Wanda blipped him out of her universe??!))
Miss Doctor Lewis and Agent Wu are discussing the Bobby/Tommy situation. Agent Wu has the, my socially maladept nerd self found quite amusing, bit where he tends to overshare: “Want one?” “Yeah, I thought about it, have a little Jimmy Wu, get him a tiny FBI badge…oh, you meant the chips.” Heh.
But then (in-series), Monica breaks script and asks Wanda about her brother’s death by Ultron. We saw what happened already, but on the outside, the “show” blips directly to the end credits. (Inside, Wanda has ejected Monica with extreme violence which oddly enough does not leave her multiply-fractured and highly dead.)
Back in Happyville, Wanda repairs the damage to her house before Vision returns….but when she turns around to look at him she sees the damaged, gem-less, dead Vision. He tells her that they could leave if they want and she tells him that, no, they can’t. And she has everything under control, sweetie. Vision is having some doubts about this situation but when you’re a fake psychic copy of a person and under the control of an emotionally unstable reality warper, such things tend not to be conducive to ones’ health and welfare to communicate.
Back outside of Happyville, Monica gasps out, in case no one noticed yet, that it’s all Wanda’s doing.
Back inside, Wanda and Vision and Tommy and Bobby sit down to watch TV like good little American citizen-drones.
Rated: Do not go out there and buy Disney+ in order to watch this show.
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