WandaVision: A New Era Review


Marvel Studios and Disney+

WandaVision released on January 15, 2021 on Disney+. This is the first production in Phase Four.

Conner Belcher, Staff Writer

WandaVision spectacularly blasts its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe following its debut release January 15, 2021. The TV sitcom is directed by Matt Shakman and written by Jac Schaeffer. It featured the two main known actors from previous Marvel films, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision. Marvel has marked the new Disney+ series as the beginning of Phase Four and the start of the Post-Infinity Saga. Each episode of the ongoing series is released on consecutive Fridays with nine episodes overall. 

I’ve been a Marvel fan for a long time and finally have caught myself up in the series chronologically. Themes surrounding the new series scatter the episodes throughout different decades, with each episode modeled after a different retro TV show. The couple starts their show in the ‘50s, paying homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show, then progress into the ‘60s modeling Bewitched, and then the ‘70s following the Brady Bunch. While the show has been progressing throughout time the episode titled “We Interrupt This Program,” stops the usual broadcast and cuts to the present time outside of the sitcom, then quickly picks back up in the next episode set in the ‘80s, giving a nod to Family Ties. The series is constantly changing and bringing up new questions just after the fans piece together the last episode.

[Spoiler Alert] Two episodes were released in black and white on the debut, starting with “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience” where it sets the scene for the show and the main characters’ relationships. The second episode, “Don’t Touch That Dial,” focuses on their attempt to merge into society by performing in the talent show. However, their superpowers compromise their normalcy when Vision’s cybernetics malfunction and he showcases his powers in front of the town. Luckily, Wanda secretly uses her powers to make everything seem normal in their magic act. The next episode, “Now In Color,” showcases Wanda’s unexpected and time-defying pregnancy while the agent Monica Rambeau assists as Geraldine. After she gives birth to twins, Wanda reminisces on how she was once a twin herself which causes Monica to break character and mention Ultron. Wanda uses her powers and throws Monica through 4 walls, and out into the present world where the agency S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) waits. The fourth episode resumes where Monica breaks through the barrier and explores the unnatural nature of the Westview anomaly with the conclusion that Wanda is causing it all, finally giving insight to how the reality bubble works. With the latest continuation in the series, “On a Very Special Episode…” Vision’s understanding of the reality they are living in is confronted as he begins to question the strange things happening in Westview. Soon enough characters in the show begin to show aspects of normal life and the truth is thrust into Vision’s head. Because of the signs, Wanda leaves the bubble to warn S.W.O.R.D. to stay out of her way and promise that what she has will not be taken away again. As Vision confronts Wanda himself, he is interrupted by a guest star on the show. Who’s at the door is none other than Wanda Maximoff’s dead twin Pietro Maximoff, also known as Quicksilver in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Outside the bubble from what has been revealed the superheroes Scarlet Witch and Vision are living inside an alternate reality surrounding the town of Westview, New Jersey. The energy field transports people and objects inside and distorts them to fit Wanda’s version of reality where the events of the outside world seemingly didn’t happen. Wanda Maximoff can control everything in said reality, even clouding people’s memories and rewriting them as characters in her show. However, her powers extend to allow her to manipulate energy along with telekinesis and neurological control, meaning she hasn’t used her powers to her full potential yet in WandaVision. With each passing episode her control seems to slip as the team outside unlocks more clues as to how to penetrate the shield and  stop Wanda.

Overall, I feel like this series is fantastic and am excited for the potential that the ending of this series will transition into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cinematography throughout the series while effectively switching decades and still keeping the story consistent is one of the major reasons this series is gaining popularity. Every action means something within this cinematic universe, and the fans and franchise know it which only brings more hidden details to explore. A glance at the camera, a change in music, or a simple pan of the camera can change the entire mood in the next scene of this sitcom. There are so many emotions over this series, ranging from heartwarming to confusion to shock as the fans catch a brief look at Vision’s corpse from Avengers: Endgame. The lore around the series connecting to the other films is so well done.

I give WandaVision a 10/10 due to the complexity and strong start of Phase Four. I would not change a thing from this series, especially after the captivating story set up. Before each episode, I rewatch the series just to lead myself into the newest piece of the puzzle. Each moment in the series brings such a strong reaction for Marvel fans everywhere, and this series is one that will mark a new era in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I have seen every film and now get to experience firsthand the next beginning of my favorite film franchise.