WandaVision S01E05 – On a Very Special Episode – Recap

So after a brief recap, we zoom into the 70s and our odd couple parents attempting to get their respective favorite twins to stop crying and go to sleep. (“Oddly enough, Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man only made him cry harder.” Heh.) Wanda is at the point of attempting to magic the twins into submission, uh, we mean sleep, but it doesn’t work.
(“Why wouldn’t you do what I want?”)
Wanda thinks that they maybe just need more time to figure things out, but Vision’s opinion is that maybe means they need some help.
Cue Agnes rocking in in a, whoops, this must be the 80s outfit (I PREFER THE FAUX-70s STYLES AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT) on her way to Jazzercise and she has baby-soothing tips GALORE, gal-pal…except Vision freaks out and doesn’t want her to touch the twins.
Okay, see this is where the whole “the actors are playing it with several levels of staginess and it’s creepy” thing starts to register to my malconditioned nerd brain. Agnes freezes. And then asks if they should just start over from the top again. (the baby crying noises cut out while they stare at each other.)
Wanda, theatrically, tells Vision that AGNES IS HERE TO HELP WITH THE BABIES. And everything is fine again, except that Vision wants to know WHAT THE HELL IS UP. Wanda soothes him, (Agnes dodges out of the room in search of the hard liquor) and then suddenly the problem is solved with the sudden appearance of the three (??) -year old Tommy and Billy instead.
(Agnes is drinking directly from the bottle.)
After the credits, Monica is getting examined and possibly debriefed? Although it’s by a nurse, so I’m going to guess not. She has a recollection of: grief…and violation…and terror. Agent Wu and Miss Doctor Lewis arrive with pants, though, and Monica refuses to let the nurse run more tests and/or blood draws after it turns out that the scans they just took are blank. (Now me, I’d be really worried IF MY BRAIN SCANS TURNED OUT BLANK but hey, strong women are going to strong women, even if there’s only strong women around to strong woman at.)
We cut to the briefing, where Director Untrustworthy And Slightly Unattractive Middle-Aged White Guy (I forgot his name) starts out by crediting Captain Rambeau with their first-hand intel. They now know that Wanda is the principal victimizer, and not a victim.
OKAY, So. Almost immediately we run into a problem. Director UNSUMWG is trying to apply real-world logic to the situation, such as including the full history of Wanda’s association with the Avengers, Hydra, and America, while Agent Wu and other characters are operating on comic book logic, which is that if you help the good guys and they trust you, then you are a Good Guy. I would not have a problem with this setup (we are in a comic book universe), except that Agent Wu is completely snotty about correcting Director UNSUMWGUNSUMWG that WANDA IS ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS whereas you are white, middle-aged, male, not particularly attractive, and in a position of power that might otherwise be occupied by the attractive young black woman. Dick.
Is Director UNSUMWG Who Is Probably Going To Die In A Humiliating Way jumping to conclusions? Yes. That’s what UNSUMWGs do. Is everybody else, including Monica Rambeau, being snotty and insubordinate? Yes. And that, unfortunately, is what “heroes” do these days, too. Monica argues with the Director about Wanda being actively malicious, despite the fact that she herself reported feeling terrified and violated while under mind control.

Okay, one bad writing demerit to the authors. While Monica has a point that Wanda has no political agenda for, y’know, holding thousands of people hostage, this is something that the Director himself should also know, given, YEEEEEEEEK, the very next thing he brings up is that a) nine days ago, b) Wanda stormed the S.W.O.R.D. lab Vision’s body was in, c) resurrected it, d) AGAINST VISION’S PRE-WRITTEN WILL. (Also, that’s creeeeeepy, eeeeeek!)

And that’s it, that’s the briefing. What? Okay, you’re supposed to end a briefing with a plan, questions, or orders–that’s what gives the scene it’s hook. And while this scene does have a hook, it’s: “boy, I wonder what will happen in the next episode (of the thing I have no control over.)”
Back in the house, Tommy and Billy are plotting something involving a puppy in the sink.
(“What is this canine doing in my kitchen sink?”
“A doggy paddle…?”)
Vision enters, in his humanoid disguise form. He’s had, you see, a feeling that someone will be popping over.
(“HI GUYS!”)
…with a dog house.
Wanda magics up a collar for the newly-christened Sparky without making an effort to hide it from Agnes (who is looking the other way! NBD!) Vision freaks a little, but Wanda’s tired of hiding and after all, Agnes didn’t notice anything wrong when the kids went from babies to five year olds. Or, thirty seconds later, when they become ten year olds.
Back at the S.W.O.R.D. encampment, Monica and Miss Doctor Lewis have determined that they need a 10-ton fallout shelter to get back inside the barrier. Monica knows a handy eurospace….what the hell, I’m leaving that typo…engineer, but Darcy points out that there’s a hex (BECAUSE HEXAGONS, eheheh…eh…eh…no, no, no, I love the science, really I do I don’t believe in magic no of course not) that might just mind-wipe her anyway.
Monica wants to go back in despite what Wanda has done to her. We elide over the exactly why this is to have a brief discussion of how this whole setup (being able to potentially create the sets, costumes, etc, means that Wanda is FREAKILY, SCARILY, DANGEROUSLY powerful) except that naw, Captain Marvel is probably cooler. [I mean, she would be if you followed my suggestions, but naw, not really.]
Monica then does something that I don’t even know if the writers realize is 1) really insulting, 2) really stupid, 3) no, even dumber than that.
1) she pulls Agent Wu’s gun out of his holster without his permission. Do I have to go into how this is an improper thing to do? Do I have to point out how this is unlikely to happen with either a professional military officer or a trained FBI agent? Do I need to detail how denigrating this is to both characters?
2) What the fuck?
3) She fires the gun at clothes that are hanging on a clothes rack, in a tent. Do I need to go into more detail?

So, I don’t like this. I do not like or agree with the unwritten rules of this universe. I don’t like the fact that it’s dumb and so incredibly okay with being so. I don’t like the fashion in which it breaks the rules of reality, or that it expects me to follow said breaks without complaint or notice.  

The ACTUAL point of this scene, anyhow, is that Monica figures out that, since Wanda is changing whatever gets sent in, maybe they should send something in that doesn’t require change.
Anyhow, back in Wandaville: computers have arrived. And so, at Vision’s workplace, has an email from S.W.O.R.D., with enough information that it pushes Vision to release whats-his-face, the Indian coworker guy, from the hex. Diverse Coworker Guy begs Vision to stop “her”, it’s all “her,” “she’s in our heads”, “it hurts,” “please” “stop her,” but apparently this isn’t enough information for Vision to, you know, process.
Back at the house, the twins are starting to ask questions. Such as, how is Daddy at work when today is Saturday? Or at least, when, this morning was Saturday? And, did you have a brother, Mom?
The rest of our people are flying an 80s-era drone into town. And while Monica is on the speakerphone going “I just want to talk,” Director UNSUMWG-Who-Is-Obviously-A-Villain starts going “Take the shot.” And frankly, the man has a point because Wanda’s eyes are glowing red THROUGH A BLACK AND WHITE SCREEN.
At which point alarms start blaring in the S.W.O.R.D. compound, which means that everybody rushes outside with little bitty machine guns. In fact, there are so many machine guns (and helpful green laser sights, drawing even more attention to them), it’s kind of obvious that the guns are or are going to be a plot point. 
They’ve succeeded in provoking Wanda, because she comes marching out (in Scarlet Witch garb) dragging their drone. Director UNSUMWG says: you have hostages. Wanda says: You’ve got the guns. [Audience: do you notice any kind of subtle foreshadowing here?]
Monica says: Hey, hey, hey, I am an ALLY! (NO LITERALLY SHE SAYS I AM AN ALLY. GOOD GOD.)
Wanda says: I have what I want, and you all are not going to take it from me. AAaaaaand then psychs out the men to point all their guns at Director UNSUMWG, and goes marching back.
Back in Wandaville the next day: Sparky’s dead. And Wanda is forced to tell the twins (and Agnes, who has the body), that she can’t bring back the dead. (Cue Vision wandering up: “Bring who back?”)
That evening, Wanda is packing up Sparky’s toys when Vision says: “I spoke to Norm. He was in pain, Wanda.”
Wanda rolls credits, but Vision just keeps talking. He demands to know what has happened (and the credits stop rolling). Why is she doing this (hopefully subconsciously)? Why can’t he recall his life before Wandaville? Why are there no other children in Wandaville?
Wanda denies that she is doing anything at all, let alone controlling everything and everybody in Wandaville at all times.
(the doorbell rings)
“I didn’t do that.”
“Wanda, I want to believe you but at this point I’m ignoring statistics entirely.”
(I kinda like Vision now that he’s grown a spine.)
Wanda opens the door and blanches, while, back at S.W.O.R.D., we have delayed gratification with a scene of everyone, in the face of this emergency, alarms blaring, lights flashing, RUSHING DESPERATELY TO THE TV. God, I hate the semiotics of this show.
…..I don’t actually know who this person is. But, apparently, it’s her brother Pietro….recast.

What?

10 thoughts on “WandaVision S01E05 – On a Very Special Episode – Recap

  1. “But, apparently, it’s her brother Pietro….recast.”

    The “recast” part is a joke, as they got Evan Peters (from the newer X-Men films) to play Pietro rather than Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the man who portrayed Wanda’s brother in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ But if Wanda didn’t consciously bring him into the picture that’s…. Really Not Good. Up to now everything she’s done has been at least partly intentional. If she’s starting to slip, then everyone is in BIG trouble now.

    (takes a moment to slap forehead over Monica’s portrayal) Well, at least they’re introducing her energy powers. That’s probably why all of Monica’s scans came back blank; she’s energy now, so there’s nothing physical for the machines to pick up. And freaking out after that discovery would be normal, though telling the nurse not to investigate further is *weird*, to say the least.

    And yeah, Wanda IS that kind of SCARY, POWERFUL, DANGEROUS in the comics. They want Captain Marvel to be the most powerful heroine in the MCU? Fat chance. Wanda could knock her out with barely a thought. Her hex powers are – well, scary powerful dangerous. Especially after she learned Real Magic in order to control them better. She could rewrite the universe in the comics eight times over and never break a sweat. She’s the most powerful sorceress in Marvel, and they’re having the Director push her buttons to prove PC points? *whistles* Talk about giving a character a death wish……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, okay. My utter lack of interest in the X-Men franchise has now meshed with my growing lack of interest in the MCU. (j/k. Mostly).

      The implication that things Are Starting To Slip in Wanda’s world is being played up a lot, yes. And this show does have some good points. Aka: Wanda, and Vision. I don’t give two hoots as to the rest of the characters (except Agnes), because they’re either stupid, boring, vapid, or boringly stupid and vapid.

      So, Monica is energy/controls it now? How did that happen?? In the show, as far as I know, all that happened is she got bitch-slapped by Wanda and thrown through a couple of buildings and the hex-field.

      Wanda really does come across as SCARY, POWERFUL, DANGEROUS….not so much because she has powers, but because she actually has a personality, wants, wishes, fears, hopes, and desires….and will use those powers to *make* her desires come true. I won’t say “unlike Captain Marvel,” because I haven’t watched the complete Captain Marvel movie, but….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. (Laughs) Been there, done that, especially with the X-Men films. At least the MCU kept the tone of the comics and gave the characters their due screen time for ten years….

        Yeah, I figured that in a show like this, Wanda and Vision would probably be the most interesting characters. (Agnes is new, so I’ll take your word on how interesting she is.) Olsen and Bettany are bringing everything they invested in the characters from the films to the small screen, so it’s just business as usual after a point, with additional room to play and show off. And at this point, Wanda’s stretching reality too far too fast to keep her control while desperately trying to maintain her fantasy world. That’s a recipe for DISASTER right there.

        I’m going to guess – *guess,* mind you – that one of three things happened to give Monica her energy powers/controls in this series. 1) She had the latent talent and Wanda’s meddling activated it. (2) Exposure to Wanda’s power gave Monica powers – in the comics, Monica received her abilities when busting drug runners. They turned an inter-dimensionally powered, experimental energy ray on her, and instead of killing her it gave her superpowers. Could be something like that happened when Wanda threw Monica out of Happyville. (3) Monica’s had these powers for a while but they’ve suddenly gone into overdrive thanks to Wanda’s reality-warping madness, and she doesn’t want the Director to know. 1 and/or 2 strike me as more likely, but we’ll have to wait and see how things go.

        That’s precisely WHY Wanda’s so scary, you’re right. She’s got a ton of power and if she ever starts using it selfishly or loses her sanity…. Let’s just say that standing right next to her doesn’t keep a person safe. If Wanda decides she’s had ENOUGH and someone NEEDS TO BE REMOVED from the universe, running for the exit isn’t even an option. Scarlet Witch is going to use her hexes and people are *not* going to like the results – whenever they remember that things changed, of course. Because for the rewrite to last, no one is allowed to Remember How Things Were. Until they *do*, and everything reverts to normal, usually with a lot of explosions and fighting involved.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Olsen and Bettany really do knock it out of the park with this, and considering that Bettany has to have full-face robot makeup on half the time, that’s genuinely saying something. Agnes is mostly tolerable inasmuch as she’s someone who turns up consistently and reacts to/lampshades the main characters’ antics.

        The idea that Monica’s been hiding her powers for a while is a neat one….but she hasn’t been developed enough for there to be any reason as to *why* that would be the case. Especially when the drug-runners blasting her with a ray gun idea is that much cooler, hah.

        And, hey, I did too watch one of the X-Men movies once! It was a Wolverine movie where he took his shirt off and his claws came out and he went GRR a bunch. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was seriously impressed with how much Bettany did in the movies considering the make-up and the suit (which has air conditioning, btw, like Hemsworth’s Thor outfit). The man can chew scenery really well, and Olsen’s skill grew by leaps and bounds in the films. I thought we would get more time with them in the movies than we did, so I’m glad they now have the chance to make full use of their “powers.” 😉

        “Especially when the drug-runners blasting her with a ray gun idea is that much cooler, hah.” Yeah, that was a large part of why I really wanted to see her translated to film, too. She’s a great character with a great origin story…. Aaaand they’re not taking full advantage of any of it. Darn. *headdesk*

        (Laughs) That description covers all but a few of the X-Men films! Though I will never say anything bad about Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. He nailed down every aspect of the character and then expanded in those traits for *years*. The man deserves an award.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wolverine. Yes. 😀 To all parts of your comment. 😉

        Olsen was great in Wind River, but Bettany doesn’t seem to have been in (m)any movies that are a) relevant to my interests, b) if so, actually GOOD. I mean…Legion…Priest…. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Master & Commander – yes and yes he is, although I despise Russell Crowe enough that I plan to never watch the movie again.

        Inkheart, now. Is the movie any better than the book? Because I tried the book and it was decidedly meh.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ah, yes. Russell Crowe isn’t anywhere near my top ten favorite actors list, either, so I understand where you are coming from there.

        Having read the book after seeing the movie several times, I have to say I found the novel to be a letdown. The movie, in my opinion, is much better. I definitely recommend giving it a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

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