Moving on from the black and white 50s-then-60s style shenanigans of the first two episodes – with the introduction of colour at the end of the second show – we’re another decade forward and straight into a 70s-themed milieu with episode three.
As with the inventive title sequences of previous episodes, here we have another completely different opener, fitting brilliantly with the appropriate 70s vibe. It’s impressively detailed and really shows how much effort the showrunners have put into creating the weird sitcom reality that Wanda and Vision have found themselves in.
I loved Paul Bettany’s look – his 70s hair and wardrobe are wonderful, as is the styling of the rest of the cast; though the 4:3 screen ratio, canned laughter, era-appropriate special effects (for the most part – a CGI animal is a brilliantly manic addition in this episode) and deliberate studio setting may initially give the impression that WandaVision is a smaller, cheaper experiment for Marvel to add to their MCU repertoire, the rapidly shifting settings, incredible attention to period detail and glimpses behind the almost comfortingly nostalgic curtain would suggest a much larger creative effort than it may appear at first glance.
This episode sees an unexpected development that causes further problems for our couple’s domestic bliss – and their attempts to keep their true nature under wraps. Comic book readers familiar with Wanda’s difficulty to keep her powers in check – particularly where her family are concerned – won’t be surprised when the episode takes an unsettling turn towards the end; the removal of the canned laughter only adds to the sense of dread as Wanda starts to realise that something’s rotten in Denmark. A symbol that’s also going to be familiar to readers of Marvel Universe comics makes an appearance – and is likely to give more of a clue to comic book fans than more casual viewers or those only familiar with the lore of the MCU.
The show’s central mystery is once again drip-fed to us, so even though we do get more development in this episode there’s still quite a bit we don’t know and lots to keep us guessing. It remains s brilliantly inventive, cleverly staged show – a truly original story, particularly for the MCU, that’s told in a way we haven’t seen before. Next week’s episode can’t come soon enough.
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