Author Topic: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface  (Read 1015 times)

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
There's something comforting about seeing & Marvel logo sequence unravel underneath composer Michael Giacchino's fabulous "Marvel Studios Fanfare:" especially after 18+ months since Marvel Studios' last release (SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME for those who find it difficult to remember pre-pandemic).  While the COVID lock-down has put entertainment release plans into a constant cycle of 'delay - set new release date - delay again,' Marvel has finally delivered their newest product to Disney+.
Luckily for us, they've delivered something _totally_ different from what fans may be expecting!!

Marvel films have been under the meticulous mind of super-producer Kevin Feige since the beginning.  This is great in the sense that after 10+ years and 20+ films we have a wonderfully entertaining series of films that maintain cohesive continuity.  What's not-so-great (from a certain point of view) is the films definitely follow an explicit 'formula,' and all have a seemingly set style.  Marvel has delivered time & again for us, so I'm certainly not complaining: some of their films are flat-out great (BLACK PANTHER is one of those non-debatable great films, where even critics who aren't into comic films can agree this one is special), and some films not-so-great (I'm looking at you THOR: THE DARK WORLD).  But all of them have been entertaining, and have delivered high quality production values and superb casting.

"WandaVision," however, delivers something totally different to the MCU: or at least, the first couple episodes do.  Plenty of folks will be able to see Marvel play in the pools of old school sitcoms.  Episode 1 is a bit of a homage to "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from the early 1960's, right up to the kitschy theme song & credit sequence ("Starring Wanda Maximoff & Vision!") that 'climaxes' with the husband "tripping" over a piece of furniture as Van Dyke famously did (only here, Vision 'phases' through the furniture instead of tripping - well played, Marvel!).  The first two eps are in black & white, with momentary bits of color, particularly in the second episode (a bit of blood from a cut; a flashing red light on a Stark brand toaster).  But this series is obviously more than just a pastiche of classic sitcoms.

Disney wisely released the first two episodes (the 2nd mixes up the opening credit sequence to mimic the mid-60's classic "Bewitched") to let its comic movie fans know that there is indeed more to this series that features one main character who seemingly died for good during the INFINITY WAR film.  There are moments were there seem to be 'glitches' in the 'program,' so to speak in E1 as Vis (as Wanda affectionately calls him) and Wanda have to entertain Vision's boss via inviting them over to the house for a meal.  Vision is still (mostly) the cyborg-esque 'robot' we know him, though spends a lot of time looking like a regular guy while around others.  Episode 2 involves Wanda & Vision having to put on a neighborhood magician act for a school charity event, while Wanda and Vis mingle with their community members (Vision in a 'neighborhood watch' meeting that is mostly a bunch of guys gossiping; Wanda with the housewives planning the meeting where most of the women come across more like the 'Stepford Wives' - gals who are seemingly obedient to the neighborhood lead lady/bully).  So on the surface we see standard old school sitcom fair.

But we all know there is something just underneath the surface, and the last shot in E1 confirms as much by showing some sort of (now in complete color) organization monitoring Wanda & Vision (comic fans will recognize the S.W.O.R.D logo: Sentient World Observation and Response Department, to be exact).  The second episode starts with Wanda finding a (fully colorized red) toy helicopter in the bushes: something that's never really mentioned or referenced again. 
But also, everything about this 'world' feels a little off.

In other words, 'WandaVision' feel very "Lynchian," to borrow a term often used incorrectly but 100% applies in this instance.  Think "Twin Peaks:" the OG series about a seemingly normal small town that has a myriad of oddities just underneath the normal veneer.  Director/series creator David Lynch has built a career around movies that deal with weirdness beneath the surface: BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, etc.  A lot of people deem a show or movie 'Lynchian' to mean "kind of weird," but with 'WandaVision' the term gels for real.  There is something not right just underneath the surface: at Vis' work office, where no one seems to be able to explain just what the company does or what the employees are supposed to be doing; odd behavior from a neighbor Agnes (played wonderfully by Kathryn Hahn, who can do broad or dark comedy perfectly) that seems to be constantly checking in on Wanda; with weird radio transmissions 'speaking' to Wanda.  The second episode has much more 'weirdness' going on than the first, and even ends with a S.W.O.R.D beekeeper popping up unexplained from a manhole cover on the MCU couple's house.

The first two eps may leave viewers looking for costumed comic hero action a little confused, but I'm all in so far.  I don't know where this is going yet but the wonderful performances from our two leads, as well as the solid supporting cast is a reminder that Marvel Studios know how to cast well, build a situation and intrigue, and how to deliver a good story.  I'm not super familiar with House of M or Vision comics that this series seems to be taking some ideas from, but it seems clear this is not some 'reboot' or instance where Vision is somehow magically back alive post-END GAME.  There is something "weird" going on here, and I'm along for Marvel's ride wherever it leads!

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 10:50:55 AM »
**SPOILERY THOUGHTS**

(more like questions/speculation)

* In two episodes we've seen the SWORD logo in each of them: what does that mean?  In the comics the organization was mostly heavily connected to the X-men (co-created by Joss Whedon, actually, for Astonishing X-men).  How does the Sentient World Observation and Response Department fit in here?  After posting my original thoughts above, I found poster/Tops card for 'WandaVision' that listed SWORD as meaning: 'Sentient WEAPONS Observation and Response Department!  The last MCU film, SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, showed Nick Fury hanging out in space with the Skrulls.  The implication was Fury was taking a break/vacation or something in space but at this point perhaps he was instead setting up SWORD as a new, kinda cosmic replacement for SHIELD.  Whereas SHIELD was earth-based, maybe SWORD is intergalactic.

*How would SWORD fit into "WandaVision?"  Could be lots of reasons.  Maybe helping Wanda deal with PTSD dealing with her dead love.  Maybe kinda 'protecting' her from some so far unseen event; maybe they're overreaching here, or monitoring Wanda as she's (seemingly, at least in her mind) "gone off the grid" and created her own alternate reality or something.
Another interesting tidbit:
*in the credits we see in Ep1 (the 'fake' end credits on screen as seen by a seeming SWORD official), we see 'Produced by Abe Brown.'  Abe Brown does indeed already exist in the MCU: a former classmate of Peter Parker - a member of the academic decathlon team that went to Washington DC!  We know he survived the sand and graduated before the events of ENDGAME.  In the comics Abe was a vigilante ninja-type named Black Tiger.
But adding to that question....

*Episode 2 introduced us to Teyonah Parris's Monica Rambeau!!  Remember the little girl from CAPTAIN MARVEL?  Marvel recast the early 1990's girl as an adult for "WandaVision" (and CAPTAIN MARVEL 2, and maybe future MCU projects), only she was introduced as 'Geraldine,' one of the ladies in the 'town' of Westview.  Kevin Feige has talked about her importance to the show, as well as the MCU moving forward.  A Topps card has revealed that Monica Rambeau is indeed an 'Agent of SWORD'

*Who's the voice on the radio seemingly calling out to Wanda?  Many on the internet say it sounds like Ant-Man’s Agent Jimmy Woo, then an FBI agent perhaps now an Agent of SWORD

*What's behind all of this?!  Ep1 seems to enforce Wanda is control; when Vision's boss is choking, his wife is kind of low-key begging Wanda to do something.  After Wanda saves the boss, the boss immediately praises the family and promises Vision a raise Monday morning.  Is Wanda the master of her own domain?  There may be some other clues...

*Some immediate possibilities of whom may be (nefariously?) involved:
1) Mephisto?  He's teased in the "Loki" trailer at least, and who better to be the foil of a 'witch' than the (Marvel pseudo-version of the) 'devil' himself!  There's a throw-away line in Ep1 one of "the devil is in the details" could be nothing or it could be a clever wordplay foreshadowing
2) Agatha Harkness?  In the comics Agatha was Wanda's "mentor" of sorts, though one with a darker streak & questionable moralities.  Agatha is an OG Salem witch.  Maybe 'Agnes' is Agatha: perhaps Agatha has Wanda partially under some spell to keep her in check, with SWORD monitoring the situation and ready to step in to save Wanda if/when needed?  There's maybe a cute Easter egg in the Ep2 "Bewitched" introduction: an animation of 'Aunty A's Kitty Litter' and wouldn't you know it - Agatha often went by "Aunty Agatha" (by Franklin Richards, son of Fantastic Four's Mr. Incredible & Invisible Woman).  If Agnes is revealed to have a black cat in a near-future episode, be suspicious (Agatha often had a black cat around)!

**Comic Fans = waaaaaay overthink stuff, huh**  :P

*Anyone else catch the 'House of M' wink with the bottle of wine?  In the Ep1 dinner party, Wanda serves wine with the label 'Maison du Mépris' which translates to "House of Misery."  The label did have a distinct M.  Doc Strange has suggested in the comics that one who can control reality such as Wanda can backfire when 'reality controls you:' suggesting Wanda loses control of what's going on as she slips deeper into the illusions she has created.

*Fun Easter eggs in the 'Bewitched' opening animation:
- what looked like an 'outline' of the top of Galactus - actually, it looks more like the helmet of Marvel's Grim Reaper (significantly more intriguing as far as how Grim Reaper could tie into this show)
- a 'heart' that (for me) kinda evoked what Johnny Storm does fairly often with his flames in the sky
- a poster for Bova Milk in the market (Bova = Wanda's nursemaid/mutated cow - yeah, comics get weird we know this  :P )
- a poster for Aunty A's Kitty Litter as mentioned above (complete w/black cat)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 05:02:26 PM by perc2100 »

Friends of Comic Cons

  • Guest

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 06:07:43 PM »
Episode 3: Now In Color

Overall, another fun episode that seemingly widens the crack a bit more for the audience to catch a (slightly) wider glimpse into the world beyond Westview (a 'town' that may or may not be real: may or may not be some sort of construct).  This week we're in color, but still (mostly) in the boxy 4:3 old school TV ratio (vs the now-commonly acceptable widescreen) as WandaVision pays homage to 60's classics such as 'Brady Bunch' (complete with a cheeky stylized 3x3 picture 'grid' at the end of the opening credits sequence), w/their house now resembling the classic Brady's domicile.  FWIW I felt this week's opening theme song was closer to the "Patridge Family" theme song than "Brady Bunch," but that's just me.  Most of the episode was structured around Wanda's odd pregnancy that is rapidly developing and seems to go from "not pregnant" last episode - delivery in the span of, like, half a day.  While Vision has quite a bit sillier than we've ever seen him before in this series (which likely is a clue that he isn't indeed real), even he was perplexed at the rapid pregnancy development. 

This episode seemingly goes through the motions of TV pregnancy tropes (one of my favorites being a slight play on the fact that when women actresses get pregnant, often their pregnancy is NOT written into the series so they're forced to 'hide' their pregnancy with baggy clothes, holding huge purses or other grocery-type bags, etc), though is starting to color in (ever so slightly) the Lynchian odd underpinnings of the environment and people.  We see one of the next door neighbors, Herb (complete now with a glorious afro) trimming some shrubbery but somehow absentmindedly cutting right through the brick/cement wall that divides the properties.  Adding to the suburbia oddity is good ol' Agnes, conversing with Vision openly about some of the weirder things going on around them: for example, mentioned what was up with Geraldine hanging w/Wanda while saying she doesn't have a home.  Adding to the oddness, we again get a "rewind," though this one is both a bit more subtle, shorter, and unexplained.  In Ep2 Wanda rewound the 'scene' when she noticed the SWORD insignia beekeeper coming out of the manhole; there, it was obvious this scenario was not how she wanted the moment to play out so she rewound (seemingly?) and announced her pregnancy.  Here, in Ep3, Vision voices suspicion at a situation and we see a 'glitch' that rewinds back a few seconds and Vis has no more doubts.  It's not as clear in Ep3 if Wanda is again rewinding a 'reality' she's not happy with or if someone else does so.

We get another ad: I was looking forward to the ad this week, as they've quickly become fun.  The 1st two ads were clearly linked to Wanda's past, with Ep1 being a Stark product and Ep2 related to AGE OF ULTRON and her imprisonment/experimentation with her brother.  This week seems more related to her anxiety of being a parent, though still related to her past w/the Hydra brand bath soap (hydra + something water-related is a nice goofy play on words, IMO).  I've noticed that the same to commercial 'models'/actors are consistent and I wonder if they factor in at all (maybe her parents?!).

Things start to unravel for Wanda & Vis in the final 10 or so minutes.  Geraldine brings up Wanda's past in a way that clearly upsets Wanda, and Geraldine is seemingly "blinked"/phased out of Westview and into some sort of militarily/security-enforced "real world."  Once Wanda notices the SWORD logo'ed necklace Geraldine is wearing, Wanda is seemingly 'done' with her.  Or, maybe once SWORD realized her cover was blown they 'phased' her back to the real world to get her out of the (massive) dangers posed by an upset Wanda.
I also dug the closing song, the Davey Jones sung Monkees tune "Daydream Believer."  Not only is this a kind of fun wink to "Brady Bunch" (Davey Jones was a guest star in an episode), but the lyrics may hold meaning: daydream believer; it (6:00 alarm) rings, and I rise; wipe the sleep from your eyes.  That song _could_ be a wink at 'waking up' to reality or whatnot; of course "Oh what can it mean" in the chorus can be another cheeky wink to the audience wondering the same exact thing at this point in the series.  Dr. Nielsen's comment, "a small town like this... so hard to escape" is also a bit chilling given the circumstances.  With the townsfolk acting a bit odd this episode, who knows if they're constructs, there maybe against their will, or something else entirely.

And to top if off Wanda has twins: both boys.  As her and Vis seemed to be conflicted over what to name the boy it's fitting they both get their wish.  And of course, in the comics Wandas had twin boys name Tommy and Billy: in one story they were manifestations of Mephisto, and in another they are members of the Young Avengers.

Now that Geraldine is back in the 'real world,' likely with SWORD, it seems plausible we'll start learning what it all means shortly.

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 03:24:44 PM »
Interesting read about what the implications for 'WandaVision' _MIGHT_ have on the MCU moving forward: more precisely, whom may be the 'Big Bad' of Marvel's Phase 4, how they may be set up in 'WandaVision,' etc.  Really good read: it walks folks through some of the comic stuff (specific runs) that may hold clues, some potential Easter egg meanings in 'WandaVision,' and other fun stuff.  Great read (especially for a 'mainstream' publication)!!
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 11:38:23 AM »
Episode 4: WOW!! 

** SPOILERS **

We are now fully entrenched in the MCU, with an "explainer" type episode that brings us up to date.  Clever writing shows us:
* the first "Blip" experience from a non-jokey point of view.  While I sincerely dug the FAR FROM HOME stance of "yeah, this is kinda inherently silly, lets just roll with it and move on with our lives, huh?!" I also appreciate a more dramatic stance we see here with...
* Monica Rambeau is officially revealed.  Sure, most folks who read the internet have known since day one what was up, but now it's all come into place.  We now know the "why" she and the Feds are hanging out outside 'Westview' (which doesn't exist, which we've kinda already known), and a slightly clearer 'vision' (no pun intended) of the "what" we've been watching.  We're not 100% sure of the situation other than we now know Westview is a construct of Wanda's for... well, that's not 100% clear yet.
* Westview townies - we now also know these are all 'cast' from real people.  Dunno much more than that other than these folks are not 100% constructs (at least not most of them - Agnes and, IIRC, Dottie were conspicuously absent from the list of "known cast members").
* the helicopter and 'beekeeper' were SWORD entities trying to figure out WTF is going on.  Like the rest of us!  And thus, what we originally saw of them was also a juxtaposition by Wanda in order to 'conform' to her sitcom-esque construct
* we're back in the proper ratio (at least for most of the ep)!  We've been mostly living in the 'boxy' old school TV format of a 'flat' ratio, but in the real world we were back to the widescreen aspect ratio of most films and modern widescreen TV's!  We saw the old TV boxy ratio at the very end as Wanda 're-centered' he sitcom construct.
* welcome back to the MCU Darcy & Agent Woo!!  Darcy was a highlight of the earlier (not-so-good: at best I think we can say weaker films of the MCU) THOR films, and I was very happy to see her take center stage.  Agent Jimmy Woo also returned from ANT-MAN & THE WASP in a solid 'lead' role.  This is the type of detail that makes the MCU feel special and lived-in: recurring 'fringe' characters that pop up as a reminder that this is all connected.  This is also the type of thing that really hindered "Agents of SHIELD" and the Netflix series: not having those details made those series feel disconnected from the MCU (which they mostly were).  Now the Kevin Feigi is running the Marvel TV/streaming stuff it's ALL connected, which is for the best of the 'brand' and the overall (connected film) world.  A friend put it best when she said "this is what I kept hoping Agents of SHIELD would be like!"
* we now know 100% where this takes place in the MCU timeline.  There might've been questions of whether or not this is in the 'modern' times (or, really, 5 years in the future) or sometime post-AGE OF ULTRON/Pre-INFINITY WAR.  We now know this is post-Blip return, which likely puts it up-to-date in the current timeline.  We also got a glimpse of dead-Vision in a pseudo-jump cut that had to make horror fans smirk just a bit.
* this now feels like the MCU version of the "House of M" comic: when Wanda constructed a reality that completely 'rewrote' the reality of earth, giving all of its characters what they thought they would want.  In the comic she went quite a bit too far and became dangerously entrenched in her false reality.  This feels like what we're getting here (though we're only at about the halfway point so who knows where this ends up).
* we get a slight look at the pseudo-villainous Wanda.  Seeing her expel Monica Rambeau at the end we get a glimpse of the Wanda comic fans may know.  She was a bad guy in the comics (as daughter of Magneto she was an original member of his 'Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" for a while before becoming an Avenger), and even after becoming an Avenger she kind of has gone back-and-forth between good and bad: and she's certainly done tragic, awful things even as a good guy.  At this point is seems at least possible that she IS the "bad guy" of her own series (regardless of what internet pundits want to think about Mephisto or whatnot)!

What we don't know:
* WHY is Wanda doing this?  Post Traumatic Stress seems plausible: with her 'love' being murdered not too long after her brother - both in the service of being good and fighting bad. 
* Who exactly are the other townies: are they 'prisoners,' co-conspirators, etc?  Maybe some are prisoners but others are there nefariously: it stands to reason if Monica can easily just walk in and infiltrate so can others w/evil intent.
* Why is this in a sitcom format? And why indeed does it change decades so frequently (though I'm with Darcy - this is also wildly entertaining me personally on several layers)?

I love that we're about halfway through this series, with 5 more eps to go, and we've only just kind of scratched the surface.  The writers have done a great job spreading out the details of the 'hows'/'whats'/'whys' with still PLENTY of question marks after 4 episodes.  I know some folks are (oddly) upset that we're back into the MCU fold/format after "only" 3 episodes of glorious weirdness.  To me, I suspect the fact we're already answering some big questions means there is likely still A LOT of stuff to happen in the back 'half' of this series.
And I can't wait to see where this is all going!!

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 10:28:54 AM »
Well, we are off to the races w/Episode 5, huh?!?!

** SPOILERS **

First, let's get to the fun:
I'm a child of the 1980's, and while I enjoyed "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Bewitched," and (especially) "The Brady Bunch" (among other 'classics') in syndication growing up, 1980's sitcoms were enjoyed in real time for me so I was eagerly awaiting the 1980's 'WandaVision' ep.  I immediately knew from the commercials they would riff on "Family Ties," the Michael J Fox star-making sitcom (dopey trivia: I grew up in Columbus, OH where "Family Ties" took place so that particular sitcom holds an extra special place in my heart).  The creatives do a great job once again constructing the set to mimic the "Family Ties" house (don't recall what the outside looked like to see how close that was), and while the theme song doesn't copy the "Family Ties" 'sha la la laaa' classic, it was evocative; and the visual did a good job of combining different seasons (mostly, from what I remember, the first couple).  Having the kids go from babies to elementary age immediately is also evocative of "Family Ties," when the family has a fourth baby one season and then he magically aged to elementary age the next.  Of course, not literally before our eyes as we saw here.  So A+ on the nostalgia meter from me, this week!!  There's also a "Full House" (which premiered in the mid/late-1980's while "Family Ties" premiered in the early 1980's; I kinda think of "Full House" as more of a 90's series, but it can go either decade, I suppose) homage in the opening theme this week: a bit of fun considering Wanda actress Elizabeth Olson's twin sisters co-starred in that series.

Lets also get the faux commercial out of the way, though it's maybe the darkest so far of the series.  "Lagos paper towels: for when you make a mess you didn't mean to" - yikes!  You'll recall from Captain America: CIVIL WAR's early scene of The Avengers dealing with Crossbone took place in the city of Lagos (large city in Nigeria for those who don't recall HS geography class).  Wanda being unable to completely control and contain Crossbone's act of suicidal bombing led to the explosion of a building that killed many (and set in motion the Sokovia Accords that were the catalyst for the Civil War in the MCU).

The commercial is symbolic of the main theme of the episode: Wanda's constructed world starting to unravel in front of her.  As SWORD becomes more aware of what's going on (Wanda essentially taking a town full of folks 'hostage' as part of her construct), paralleling Vision himself starting to become aware of what's going on, it's become clear that Wanda is seemingly the villain of the series.  She's holding people against their will, is being branded a terrorist by SWORD leadership, and the people she's controlling are clearly in pain as Wanda is controlling their minds/actions/everything.  We learned that Wanda literally stole Vision's body so that may mean that shot from Episode 4 where we saw a brief shot of black & grey 'corpse' Vision may actually be the real Vision.  We know the the people are real and physical, and we learned that the objects Monica Rambeau wore when she was expelled from Westview are also real constructs (seemingly formulated from the clothes she wore going in - another clue that while these artifacts/clothing/town items are REAL they were constructed based off of _something_ from the real world).

I dug that now we're into the nitty gritty of the story the creatives went the route of dual-format: we get some of the sitcom WandaVision Westview life as well as the 'real world' stuff in fairly equal doses.  We were originally lulled into the sitcom world for three episodes before being drug bag to reality in Ep4 last week: we got no new sitcom theme opening, no commercial or laugh track, etc.  While that was necessary for the narrative, I was happy for the sitcom return.  But really, this episode likely set the tone for the remaining four episodes of the series.  The dueling realities; Wanda vs SWORD (and maybe also Vision?!).  While I was happy for the sitcom return, I was even more happy for the return of Darcy & Agent Woo.  The Woo + Darcy + Monica team is a good one that I hope sticks for the duration, and they seemingly being against SWORD leadership is another nice power dynamic.
I also dug the shift in format.  Going from the 'bright lights/multi-camera' classic sitcom style from the early 1960's-1970's of the first three episodes (complete with boxy TV screen ratio), we know have a more modern look that skews the real world vs Wanda's construct.  Wanda's world was widescreen, albeit a slightly different aspect ratio of the SWORD world to still differentiate the two realities.

And lets take a sec to talk about how much fun Wanda-as-the-villain is!  The MCU has dropped the ball defining Wanda's powers, and even Darcy made light of that with a not-too-subtle comment of "she could've taken out Thanos by herself."  Joss W. was the only writer/director to delve into her _real_ powers of reality-manipulation in AGE OF ULTRON, and now we're seeing those powers on display on a MUCH larger scale.  When Wanda confronts SWORD at the end, sending her warning via manipulating the soldiers to aim their weapons at SWORD Director Hayward instead of her, the excitement factor for me JUMPED!  In the comics Wanda has been both good and bad, changing sides as the narrative sees fit.  Sometimes all she needs is a tragedy and/or the right powerful manipulation to go to the dark side, even if only momentarily.  Wanda doesn't seem concerned with the pain her manipulations are causing the people.  Also, when she confronts SWORD she seems to have her Sokovian accent & the wardrobe we know from the films: a further delineation between realities (and a seeming, or deliberate callback to AGE OF ULTRON when she was a villain for much of the film?)

Which leads us to Agnes: or, as she was referred to once in this episode "Auntie Agnes."  As mentioned in another post, in the comics Auntie _AGATHA_ was Wanda's mentor: an OG Salem Witch that taught Wanda how to cast hex spells (which is where she gets a lot of her powers in the comics).  Agnes seems a bit 'above the fray,' so to speak, with the other Westview townies: her asking if they need to reset a scene and try another take in Ep5 seems to imply she _might_ be in on the construct.  Maybe Agnes has manipulated Wanda a bit and is a larger part of all of this for...some reason we don't know yet.  I dunno if this is a red herring from Marvel or not, but at least it makes for fun speculation.  Referring to her construct as "The Hex" is a nice wink to the comics & Agatha as well (Darcy using it here because of the field around Westview is a hexagonal shape; in the comics Wanda's "hex" powers caused bad luck on her victims).

And speaking of speculation, how about that last-scene appearance?!  "Family Ties" was not just known for making Michael J Fox a star: it was also known for giving Tom Hanks a huge break as the 'long lost Uncle Ned.'  In fact, they had a rather famous/infamous "Very Special Episode" when Hanks' Uncle Ned appears to stay with the family and it's revealed he has a drinking problem.  Here, while Wanda's twins are asking her to bring their dog Sparky back from the dead, we instead get Pietro back: or rather Peter.  And instead of actor Aarong Taylor-Johnson, the MCU Pietro from AGE OF ULTRON, we get Evan Peters, the Quicksilver from a handful of recent X-Men movies.  This is a fun wink to "the two Aunt Vivs" from (the albeit 1990's) "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," or other sitcoms that famously recast roles mid-series run (such as the two Darrins from the "Bewitched" series).  But of course it also hints at the stories of the MCU playing the waters of multiverses (I mean, maybe that's not a "hint" since we know we're getting DOCTOR STRANGE in the MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS - I mean, "multiverse" is right there in the title); casting has suggested at the very least we're getting a mix of various Spider-man characters from different film series so why not start those shenanigans here?  It did make me crack up when even Darcy proclaims "she recast Pietro!"  Maybe this is a hint that Wanda can't indeed go so far as to raise the literal dead, but merely reconstruct a reasonable facsimile: like, her wanting to bring back her brother reached across different timelines/universes to find a parallel universe Pietro/Peter/Quicksilver.  Maybe this is Agnus (Agatha?) messing with her: like, a 'monkey paw' of "I want to bring back my brother, and my love, but they're not quite the version I remember/love" situation.  Or maybe just a bit of cheeky fun in a "recasting Becky from 'Roseanne'" type of thing (which seems doubtful - this _has_ to be a legit, meaningful reason, right?!).

And one kinda silly aside that I never really thought would be a 'thing' for me.  I _really_ enjoy hearing Michael Giacchino's "Marvel Fanfare" with the Marvel Studios sequence & logo that occurs before every MCU film & Disney+ series on a symbolizing new MCU content on a weekly basis.  I'm someone who loves the studio logos/fanfares, and as a movie nerd a lot of times those fanfares align in my brain with exciting content.  For example, the Fox Fanfare has an extended 'coda' that was designed for "Now In Cinemascope!" title card but was used in the first six Star Wars movie for the Lucasfilm title card.  So growing up, that Fox Fanfare was correlated w/Star Wars, particularly when the coda was on the end.  Now, hearing the Marvel Fanfare (which IIRC was first written & used for DOCTOR STRANGE - and revealed officially to the public at a Comic-Con they year they gave us all Marvel Studios caps in Hall H) before diving into the newest bit of Disney+ MCU content is a weekly treat that has never failed to bring a huge dopey smile to my face!

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 11:01:15 AM »
Also:

* I really dig how "WandaVision" is sculpting Wanda to be one of the most complex characters in the MCU!
* What's up with Monica seemingly annoyed with Captain Marvel: maybe blame for leaving the world/her mom?
* A critic for the website Vulture had an interesting take/insight on recast Pietro: maybe a wink to sitcom crossovers.  While Family Ties never did a sitcom crossover w/anyone, Growing Pains (which was another obvious influence on this episode, particularly the middle portions of the opening theme) and Full House both did.  I dunno if I buy into that thought, but it's an interesting one I didn't think of.  Obviously the entirety of MCU (and comics in general) are all about 'crossover' events.  Here's the Vulture article: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
- BTW, as noted in the article and unbeknownst to me,
Quote
By the way, if you’d like to have your own ’80s perm wig blown off, please note that Scarlet Witch appears with Quicksilver in a season-four episode of X-Men, the 1990s animated series, that is titled “Family Ties.” That episode can, naturally, be viewed on Disney+.
  :o

* In unrelated 80's sitcom nostalgia, enjoy the brief 'Family Guy' 80's sitcom homage (note: "Three's Company" and "Lavern & Shirley," while originating in the 1970's, did indeed finish in the 1980's - something I didn't think about until this bit of fun):
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 11:09:57 AM by perc2100 »

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 6843
  • Liked: 1618
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 11:11:17 AM »
I am ADORING this show.  They are taking full advantage of TVs slower pace to tell a complex comic book story.

I bet it is a hell of a lot of fun for everyone in that the shows are so drastically different each week.

The writing is great and very consistent.

Its so nice as a very long time comic book fan to see a comic book story so well crafted in a different medium.

Offline TardisMom

  • Supporter
  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 2929
  • Liked: 1507
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2021, 08:16:23 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
(dopey trivia: I grew up in Columbus, OH where "Family Ties" took place so that particular sitcom holds an extra special place in my heart). 

I'm from Columbus, too  ;D

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2021, 01:51:44 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I am ADORING this show.  They are taking full advantage of TVs slower pace to tell a complex comic book story.

I bet it is a hell of a lot of fun for everyone in that the shows are so drastically different each week.

The writing is great and very consistent.

Its so nice as a very long time comic book fan to see a comic book story so well crafted in a different medium.
Yeah it's been awhile since there's been a good comic book series.  The quality of "WandaVision" (from writing to directing to production design, etc) has me REALLY excited for the future of MCU on Disney+!  I could never get into "Agents of SHIELD," and thought the Netflix series had varying degrees of quality, but now that Marvel Studios Kevin Feige is in charge of the streaming stuff too, this feels "right" in all the best ways.  I'm not really surprised, per say, but I am excited; even the 9 episode pacing feels pretty darn perfect at the 5 episode mark!  I mean, we essentially have the length of a feature film to wrap things up, presuming they don't leave it too open-ended: though knowing Wanda features in DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS it feels like this could be left a little unresolved.  To be honest, I'm really curious to see how Feige/Marvel Studios intertwine the Disney+ series into their feature films: not just as a 'continuation' or fleshing out of some elements, but maybe as actual necessary plot points for future films.  It's really intriguing to me to think that the Disney+ series and the films may feel like huge comic book crossover events.  I'm about to revisit the "Secret Invasion" comics, and being reminded of how Marvel weaved so many titles in and out of the storyline makes me think if Marvel Studios does similar with not just the different film franchises but also the different Disney+ series, we'll have legit unprecedented/groundbreaking entertainment!

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2021, 01:55:08 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I'm from Columbus, too  ;D
Ha; Buckeyes unite!!  I was fairly young when "Family Ties" first aired, and I think it took me a few seasons before realizing, 'wait a minute: this is happening in _OUR_ town?!?!'  ;D :P. If I recall the series didn't play up the C-bus connection very much, unlike the film TEACHERS that filmed in Columbus when I was a youngin'.  I was old enough to appreciate the 'Drew Carrey Show' taking place in Cleveland, and with Drew Carrey being a former Cleveland native himself, that show felt more connected to Cleveland (I'm originally from the Cleveland area, fam moved to Columbus when I was in kindergarten where I spend K-college before moving to San Diego summer of '99 - not that anyone cares about my residency history  :P )

Offline TardisMom

  • Supporter
  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 2929
  • Liked: 1507
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 07:56:20 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Ha; Buckeyes unite!!  I was fairly young when "Family Ties" first aired, and I think it took me a few seasons before realizing, 'wait a minute: this is happening in _OUR_ town?!?!'  ;D :P. If I recall the series didn't play up the C-bus connection very much, unlike the film TEACHERS that filmed in Columbus when I was a youngin'.  I was old enough to appreciate the 'Drew Carrey Show' taking place in Cleveland, and with Drew Carrey being a former Cleveland native himself, that show felt more connected to Cleveland (I'm originally from the Cleveland area, fam moved to Columbus when I was in kindergarten where I spend K-college before moving to San Diego summer of '99 - not that anyone cares about my residency history  :P )

I'd forgotten that Family Ties took place in Cbus until you mentioned it!  And yes, I remember Teachers filming at the old Central High and also that there were casting calls for extras.  Very exciting stuff!  What part of town were you in?  I grew up in Clintonville, my dad was a prof at Ohio State  ;D

Offline lliving

  • Room 6BCF
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 196
  • Liked: 102
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2021, 07:43:18 PM »
When I saw Fox version Quicksilver show up,  it made me think first of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the Becky switches on Rosanne.  They "Aunt Viv"ed Aaron Taylor Johnson with Evan Peters.

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2021, 08:30:41 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
When I saw Fox version Quicksilver show up,  it made me think first of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the Becky switches on Rosanne.  They "Aunt Viv"ed Aaron Taylor Johnson with Evan Peters.
Yeah it's totally a combo of 2nd Becky/Aunt Viv + Uncle Ned (Tom Hanks, the mom's never-before-discussed/seen brother on 'Family Ties')!  I really dig how Marvel is dealing with loss/grieving of death in depth here, as well as (maybe) setting up the MCU Multiverse

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 2964
  • Liked: 931
Re: WandaVision - that weirdness just beneath the suburb's surface
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2021, 08:51:48 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I'd forgotten that Family Ties took place in Cbus until you mentioned it!  And yes, I remember Teachers filming at the old Central High and also that there were casting calls for extras.  Very exciting stuff!  What part of town were you in?  I grew up in Clintonville, my dad was a prof at Ohio State  ;D
K-8 I lived in Columbus proper, pretty close to Whitehall.  Summer before freshman year of HS we moved to Pickerington where I went to HS.  I went to Ohio State, and before moving to CA lived several places relatively nearby (Clintonville, Westerville).  We moved in 1999 and I think a lot of Central OH has been built-up pretty nice since we moved.  The 'arena district' didn't exist near the Short North until after we moved, and campus & High St. has _really_ changed over the years!  We enjoy visiting family and our old stomping grounds in C-bus, but we def. enjoy the winters in San Diego much more than winters in Central OH!