WandaVision 1×02 Review

WandaVision Episode 2
WandaVision Episode 2: Wanda and Vision wake out to strange noises outside their window (Marvel Studios, 2021)

WandaVision episode 2 blurs the lines between reality and a well-choreographed illusionist act!

Out of the two episodes of WandaVision that dropped last night on Disney Plus, I have to admit that the second episode was definitely my favorite. Despite the fact that I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of the episodes being only 22 minutes long, WandaVision Episode 2 takes the short runtime and makes the most of it. The second episode of the show was just as funny as the premiere, but definitely amped up the level of creepiness, which I was personally thrilled to see. I’m looking forward to seeing if the show will continue on this trend as more episodes get released. 

WandaVision episode 2 revolves entirely around an upcoming neighborhood talent show that Wanda and Vision both decided they’re going to participate in for the sake of fitting in with their fellow neighbors. Interestingly enough, the two decide that their choice of talent will be an illusionist act, filled with magic tricks. Now, this definitely caught my attention. It’s possible that the show is just poking fun at itself because the series is literally about illusions and magic.

However, I genuinely think that the whole “illusionist act” is meant to call attention to the mental gymnastics Wanda is potentially putting herself through in order to maintain a balance between reality and fantasy. The only problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a balance. 

The second episode breaks away from the 1950s setting that we saw in the premiere episode. This time, Wanda and Vision are in the 1960s, noted by the change in scenery and classic 1960s tropes. I think that this is bringing attention to the “dreamlike” nature of what’s happening.

In dreams, things can change for literally no reason whatsoever and still make perfect sense within that specific dreamscape. So, it’s not a surprise that the whole world around Wanda and Vision has suddenly changed, and yet, they both completely unfazed by their new surroundings. 

Wanda and Vision in WandaVision Episode 2
Wanda and Vision practice their magic act (Source: Marvel Studios, 2021)

Speaking of the 1960s, WandaVision episode 2 has no choice but to play around with some of the tropes from that time. Wanda spends her day trying to fit in with the other housewives in the neighborhood, which is led by a miserable woman named Dottie. At the same time, Vision tries to fit in with the men of the neighborhood at the local Neighborhood Watch meeting. During the meeting, Vision accidentally swallows some gum which comically “gums up” his inner machinery, reverting him into a goofily “drunk” state. 

At the brunch with Dottie and the rest of the neighborhood housewives, Wanda fails to live up to their standards. She’s not wearing the correct clothes, claps at the wrong times, and eats too messily. Dottie doesn’t seem pleased whatsoever, however that’s not what really caught my attention.

During the brunch, Dottie makes the comment that “the Devil’s in the details”, wherein Wanda’s friend, Agnes, replies: “that’s not all he’s in”. I think that this was a potential hint at the villain of WandaVision or the potential villain for Phase Four of the MCU. 

Agnes’ comment was clearly meant to be a humorous remark that Dottie is a terrible person. But I couldn’t help but think back to the rumors that were flying around regarding WandaVision and the upcoming sequel to Doctor Strange, titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. People have speculated that Mephisto might be the villain that Doctor Strange will face in his sequel movie, and considering the fact that WandaVision is supposed to connect to that sequel, it’s possible that Mephisto could make an appearance in this show. It’s possible that he could even be the one pulling the strings.

Mephisto in Marvel (Source: Marvel Comics, Deadpool vs. Thanos Vol.1-3, 2015)

In the comics, Mephisto is a villainous demon that rules over his own hellish dimension. He has many superhuman abilities, but just a few that stick out are his ability to shapeshift and manipulate reality. Considering the fact that WandaVision is all about reality not actually being real, is it possible that Mephisto is behind all of this? Is he the one casting the reality that Wanda is living inside of? Is she trapped and fighting for control over what Mephisto is orchestrating behind the scenes? I would say that it’s certainly possible and not something to rule out entirely. 

Additionally, not only is Mephisto somebody that can warp reality, but he does have a history with Wanda in the comics. In the comics, Wanda actually uses Mephisto’s soul to create her two twin boys, Wiccan and Speed, who both go on to join the Young Avengers. Interestingly enough, WandaVision episode 2 sees Wanda become spontaneously pregnant. We’ve also seen from the various sneak peeks and trailers for WandaVision that she will, in fact, have twins at some point in the show’s future. So again, the idea of Mephisto being involved in all of this does seem more likely the longer you look at the big picture. 

The second episode of WandaVision also encounters more breaks from “reality” than in the premiere episode. In the first episode, the main break was when Mr. Hart began choking on his food as Wanda began to question her reality. This hinted at the idea that perhaps reality “breaks” when Wanda loses her concentration and begins to think too hard about something. However, episode 2 seemed to break away from this idea with three different scenes. 

The first scene is when Wanda wanders out to the front yard of her home and finds a toy helicopter in one of the shrubs. The only problem is that while everything in this world, including both Wanda and Vision, exists in black and white, the toy helicopter was in color.

A second similar scene happens post-brunch when a strange voice calling out to Wanda cuts through the radio, causing Dottie to accidentally cut her hand on a glass. Dottie seems relatively unfazed, but while everything else remained in grayscale, the blood on her cut was bright red. 

This idea of color breaking through grayscale instantly reminded me of 1998’s PleasantvilleThe movie’s premise surrounds a brother and sister that get sucked into a 1950s television sitcom. The rule is that they must follow the norms of the sitcom, as to not disrupt the natural flow. Inside the sitcom, everything is in black and white. Everything is also “perfect”, as there is no such thing as fire, pain, or sex. However, as siblings disrupt the norm, things begin to shift out of grayscale to color and things like fire and pain begin to appear as part of the new norm. 

WandaVision Episode 2
Wanda and Vision share a kiss (Source: Marvel Studios, 2021)

I think that it’s possible this is also what’s happening in WandaVision. During the scene with Dottie, a voice from the radio calls out to Wanda asking her if she can answer back and asks who is “doing this”. It seems as though the outsiders we saw at the end of episode 1, surveying Wanda inside the television, are the good guys that are trying to reach her. And just as soon as they do, reality “breaks”, thus explaining why Dottie’s blood veered into color while everything else remained in grayscale. 

However, while that implies that Wanda is not in control of the reality inside of WandaVision, that’s obviously not the case. She has some control. At the end of the episode, Wanda and Vision watch horrified as a shadowy beekeeper crawls out of a storm drain and stares directly at Wanda. Wanda seems to immediately recognize this figure and/or recognize that it is interfering with her reality. So, she reverses time via a stereotypical VHS rewind effect, resetting things to erase the introduction of the beekeeper. 

This could possibly hint at the fact that the conjured reality of WandaVision is a push and pull type of deal. It could be a battle to keep control. For example, maybe Mephisto (or another evil entity) is trying to control things by causing mayhem. The mayhem could be the simple things like Mr. Hart choking on his dinner or Vision accidentally swallowing his gum. (Keep in mind that the gum Vision choked on was a Red Hot brand gum, as in spicy and fiery). However, Wanda and her extremely powerful reality-warping abilities have the ability to take control and override problems that present themselves. All the while, an unseen organization from the real world is attempting to contact Wanda to pull her back to reality. 

What did you guys think of the second episode? What are your theories about what is happening?

Leave your comments below!

Author: Rodney

Rodney has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Aspiring to one day write television shows and novels, he’s an avid slash-shipper and enthusiast for all things gay. Rodney’s especially a lover of magic, mystery, and superheroes—holding Harry Potter, the X-Men, and Scooby-Doo close as his own personal favorites. But when he’s not fantasizing about how cool it would be to have magic, he’s busy writing fanfiction and re-watching old TV shows.

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