After the shocking, brilliantly executed conclusion to the previous episode of WandaVision, this week we get an episode comprised of little more than exposition, both in present day and flashback form. It can’t help but feel like a lot of the momentum that has been building over the course of the series is killed by this, but given the obscurity of the antagonist – I’d be surprised if a large percentage of long term comic readers even know who it is beyond being vaguely aware of the name – it’s a somewhat necessary step.
It’s also a given that, if we’re to proceed to a satisfying climax, the loose ends in the narrative do, I suppose, have to be tied up sometime. So, it’s here that we get most of the answers we’ve been awaiting; including previously unseen glimpses into Wanda’s past that have only been alluded to in dialogue during other MCU entries.
Though I must admit my own impatience in seeing how the current narrative wraps up made me eager to get back to seeing everything back in WestView play out, it was good to see how the sequence of events led to this point (and there’s at least one character who’s been lying to us and the people working with them, which is a bit of a revelation). There’s one sequence that feels grisly, but in actual fact isn’t at all; it’s body horror in your imagination only given the character involved – and it’s masterfully done. Along with these neat touches, the sitcom format that we grew to love is given proper context; it’s all neatly, cleverly explained.
Like last week’s mid-credits scene (which raises further questions when we have information about a certain resurrected character this week), there’s another in episode eight – so do be sure not to skip through the credits entirely. This week’s ‘bonus’ scene feels far too important to ‘hide’ in the credits, so I definitely wanted to ensure it didn’t escape notice. It features a comics accurate variation on a Marvel character that, unfortunately, seems to have been spoiled across the internet (but you’ll get no such spoilers here!).
There’s a danger in shows that rely on a central mystery to keep viewers glued to their screens that, when the revelations come, they’ll feel as if they’re made up on the spot or go in a completely different, unsatisfying direction to the theories that fans themselves put together every week. Shows like Lost and The X-Files lost the attention and interest of their audiences as one awkwardly revealed revelation after another eventually piled up, but WandaVision – thanks, in part, to its brevity – hasn’t jumped the shark yet (though at least one reveal is a big disappointment, there’s still time for this to turn into something different altogether). While this week’s flashbacks necessarily take us away from the kooky, clever homages of TV shows past and – for much of its running time – even away from the present day MCU narrative that unfolded alongside the sitcom scenes, I’m still eager to see how everything plays out in the final episode. With just one week to go, we’ll see if WandaVision can satisfactorily wrap up its narrative and give us the closure we – and the characters – need.
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