WandaVision: First ImpressionsThe Dark Herald
This is not a review. I’ll have to finish the first season before I can do a proper The Dark Herald Recommends.
This show is very definitely an odd duck. In principle, I like those. We will have to see how this goes in practice.
The first episode starts off as a 1950s family sitcom. To include the style and tropes of shows like I Love Lucy and I Married Joan. The show is naturally in black and white.
Vision and Wanda are living an idyllic married life. Vision leaves for work each day (after disguising himself as a human) and Wanda lives a happy and contented existence as a housewife. (And incidentally driving the SJWs absolutely nuts in the process. How dare she enjoy being a housewife!?!?) The show includes such things as a very obvious laugh track and “hijinks” such as everything going wrong when Vision has to invite his boss over for dinner.
We are given no explanation at all as to how they got here.
The second episode jumps ahead ten years taking place in a 1960s family sitcom and is still in black and white. Here there is a much more blatant attempt to imitate the style of Bewitched, to include an animated opening sequence that duplicates that show’s art design. Clothing and hairstyles now match this period. The plot is again, trivial, it’s about a charity talent show. The Easter eggs are more prominent in this episode. Wanda finds a toy helicopter in the hedge of her front yard. In her black and white world, this is the only thing in color. The helicopter has a symbol for the organization SWORD* on it. A radio at a garden party tries to communicate with Wanda and then explodes. Finally, a man in a beekeeper outfit climbs out of the sewer in front of her house. Wanda looks at him and firmly says, “no!” And then the show rewinds to a few moments before. The episode ends with Wanda being suddenly pregnant and WandaVision washes into living color.
In the first episode, there was a commercial for Stark Industries. In the second there was one for Strucker watches with a small Hydra symbol clearly visible on the watch. Strucker being the mad Hydra scientist that gave Wanda and her brother their powers by dint of his experiments with the Mind Stone.
WandaVision is a very off choice to try and reengage the Marvel audience. Admittedly, it wasn’t supposed to be their first one. Black Widow was supposed to have had a big theatrical launch last year. Falcon and the Winter Soldier was supposed to have followed. Then WandaVision.
Vision and the Scarlet Witch was never that big of a thing in the world of comic books. It was up there with Rocket Racoon and Tommy Tomorrow. People who read a lot of Marvel knew it existed, but it was no Lois and Clark so far as famous comic book relationships went. In comic books, Wanda eventually has twins “fathered”** by Vision.
The last time we saw Vision was in Infinity War and he died twice there. The last time we saw Wanda was in Endgame where she was furiously attacking Thanos with everything she had. Still lost in her grief over Vision after three years and possibly about to have a psychotic break. She does not appear to have been that stable, to begin with.
The real premise of this show isn’t comedy, it is mystery.
Unless I get a very big surprise (and I’m not ruling that out) the show appears to be another Life on Mars. The Scarlet Witch is trapped in a very elaborate illusion. After two episodes we don’t have a clue as to why she is there. We have Easter eggs all over the place but no real clue as to why she is there. Has she been captured by some enemy and they are using this to extract information? Is SWORD doing this for some inexplicable reason? Or has Wanda become so lost her grief over Vision that she has retreated into her own mind, finding contentment in her madness.
The other mystery is, is Vision still dead? There honestly, isn’t any way to tell about that last one. The rules for time travel in the MCU are ‘whatever they need to be to make the plot happen.’ There is no consistency at all, just contrivance that serves the moment.
Vision and Wanda (in the MCU) are both products of the Mind Stone. The Mind Stone was in Loki’s scepter. It was removed and used by Strucker to create the Scarlet Witch and QuickSilver.*** Then the Mind Stone was used to power Vision. It was destroyed by Thanos, killing Vision in the process. But then it was captured during a time heist and finally returned to Loki’s scepter afterward by Captain America.
Avenger’s Endgame killed off an earlier version of Thanos and his entire army. Plus an earlier version of Loki escaped using yet another Infinity Stone. Thus, creating a shit ton of paradoxes which the MCU steadfastly refuses to acknowledge.
Loki has proven that death is now an optional extra in the MCU so who knows how any of this is going to work out.
That’s it for now. First impressions complete.
Okay, I’m done here.
*S.W.O.R.D. in the Marvelverse is the counterpart to SHIELD. SWORD’s purview is extraterrestrial threats.
** I didn’t ask, and I don’t care.
*** Sidenote: in the comics Magneto was their father. But then again so was the Whizzer so who knows if any of that will mean anything.