The fourth episode of WandaVision is here – and it doesn’t mess around. The first three episodes took us on a wild, funny, sometimes creepy journey through American sitcoms of the 50s, 60s and 70s – complete with era appropriate title sequences, canned laughter and even special effects.
Yet behind the mid-20th century suburban American Dream there was clearly something much more going on – and episode four is our first extended peek behind the curtain.
It’s difficult to talk about without spoiling – and much of the enjoyment from the extended exposition we get here is in discovering what’s been happening while our favourite superpowered sitcom couple have been attempting to keep up their facade of normality.
We do get to see some familiar – albeit minor – MCU characters make very welcome appearances here in what will be recurring roles. Though seeing what’s going on outside the sitcom does give us a more traditional MCU-style narrative, there’s still plenty of questions left unanswered after this week’s episode.
Just as the final Avengers movie, Endgame, went some way to ensuring that Thor: The Dark World – widely considered to be one of the MCU’s weakest entries – suddenly became an essential part of the MCU’s overall narrative, so does WandaVision somewhat rehabilitate and elevate the necessity of Age of Ultron, another weak link in the MCU’s output. Though not to the same extent, there’s a sense that the events of Joss Whedon’s second (and final) Avengers movie are likely to become increasingly important to WandaVision’s arc.
Though some may find the change in tone from the first three episodes disappointing – having settled into the extremely clever, impressively detailed sitcom pastiche style – the way that the narrative plays out and explains previously baffling moments is extremely satisfying.
It’s certainly going to be discussed and dissected an awful lot in the next seven days. And the next episode can’t come soon enough. WandaVision has really upped the ante with its fourth episode; the MCU magic is clearly just as effective on the small screen as it is on the big screen – and I, for one, cannot wait to see how it all plays out.
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