This text incorporates spoilers for WandaVision episode 7.
Over the previous few weeks, WandaVision has managed to raise itself from an amusing and inventive experimental present to one thing extra significant and intelligent, on high of bringing again fan-favorite characters and giving them their very own highlight. However an enormous ingredient of what has made the sequence really feel distinctive would possibly have simply gotten tossed out the window in Episode 7: ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall.’ If the writers behind the present did not plan this out rigorously, the sequence might have blindly missed out on a golden alternative.
On the one hand, this episode confirmed that true to MCU custom, this TV sequence would possibly all be establishing and introducing new figures into the fold for future tales – it may very properly find yourself serving as another person’s origin story. Then again, the ‘huge reveal’ of the episode, as enjoyable as it’s within the second, might be what ruins the present’s deepest which means if it is not dealt with properly.
The comical unveiling of ever-helpful neighbor Agnes as being a villain in Agatha Harkness brings some blended emotions with it as soon as it is taken under consideration with all the pieces the present has achieved to date. Seeing it specified by comically dramatic type, confirming that ‘it was Agatha all alongside,’ saps quite a lot of emotional edge from the narrative WandaVision has been exploring, each inside its personal context as an MCU present in addition to the broader context of popular culture and mainstream superhero movie. It may show to be a horrible mistake within the pursuit of well-worn tropes and expectations of super-powered tales.
WandaVision spends its first three episodes as an eerily amusing meta-joke that does enjoyable issues to homage an older period of tv and the traditions of sitcoms. And this is enjoyable, particularly with its moments of unease that work towards the reveal of what is really occurring. However the place WandaVision is genuinely particular and really distinctive amongst its friends – together with MCU films themselves – has been its earnest willingness to give attention to precise ache. Utilizing incredible components like ‘the Thanos snap’ as a catalyst to discover a story about grief, loss, and PTSD is what units this TV sequence aside. Whereas Wanda has all the time been an antihero in comparison with the remainder, this present’s first six or seven episodes do not body anyone particular person as ‘the villain.’
Fairly than going together with drained ‘huge dangerous’ plotlines, WandaVision was brilliantly framing the antagonist of the story to be one thing summary and significant: inner struggles. Monica Rmbeau’s willpower to empathize with Wanda and search to assist her be her personal answer to this mess is extra poignant and emotionally related in a time the place we’ve got seen so, so many superheroes beat their issues up however not course of them. Wanda right here is clearly coping with her inner points in exterior, extraordinarily damaging methods. There are various parallels to real-life relationships that may be extracted right here, and significant was that they are often resolved to precise wholesome coping mechanisms.
But when all the pieces boils all the way down to ‘Agatha dangerous, all the pieces her fault, go beat up,’ then will probably be a really deflating conclusion to what has been a well-thought-out battle. It is true that many will anticipate a giant combat in any Marvel-branded property at this level, in addition to some form of huge cameo from a main character within the MCU. And hopefully, the inevitable battle will infuse intelligent reality-bending comedy and creativity the likes of which viewers have seen by the present to date. But when the sequence drops its complete setup of advanced and troublesome emotional battle only for a giant climax, it might be disappointing and even defeat the very best factor the present has had going for it.
There are various theories floating round as to what the present may actually be doing, and what it – and different ‘multiverse’ themed ideas within the pipeline – might be establishing for the MCU. The cheerfully ominous ‘Nexus’ industrial in Episode 7 alone has some potential foreshadowing that would imply rather a lot. However hopefully, the cope with Agatha is not so simple as ‘huge dangerous, go beat up,’ however maybe one thing extra in-line with the present’s sample to date. For example, Wanda’s unconscious might be working in opposition to her. Or Wanda accepting her losses and ache might be the important thing to unraveling the entire mess she’s made. Nonetheless the present concludes, it is vital to see it take its emotionally clever themes – thoughtfully woven into this ‘superhero’ media – and resolve them in a manner that’s trustworthy to the questions and concepts it has established, in addition to being true to the struggles its characters face.
It is on the level with the Marvel Cinematic Universe now the place it is changing into abundantly clear the franchise is uncertain of what to do with, a lot much less the way to write, a lot of its girls characters. WandaVision has to date been a breath of contemporary air on this regard. It isn’t solely written varied girls in numerous roles of prominence, nevertheless it’s tackling extra delicate and nuanced subject material. And it is doing all of it with a burst of creativity in utilizing references from Marvel’s historical past (together with its Fox-owned X-Males movies) in addition to homaging complete generations of sitcom tv. This is hoping Episode 7’s reveal is only one flip in a twisting path that does not ignore Wanda’s inner struggles because the anchor holding the present’s which means collectively.