WandaVision Episode 1×04 Review: “We Interrupt This Program”
WandaVision Episode 4, ‘We Interrupt This Program’, kicks us out of Wanda’s 1970’s fantasy and sends us back to reality!
‘We Interrupt This Program’ marked a huge shift in narrative and pace for WandaVision and I absolutely loved every minute of it. The first three episodes of the series took us through three different eras in sitcom history, focused entirely around Wanda living the perfect life with her husband, Vision. However, WandaVision Episode 4 elected to give us a shocking glimpse into what has been happening outside of Wanda’s personal bubble.
While the first handful of episodes in WandaVision focused entirely on Wanda, episode 4 shifted the narrative to focus on some of the normal humans that exist within the troublesome world of superheroes. We get to officially meet the character of Monica Rambeau for the first time instead of her “WandaVision” persona of Geraldine. The first thing that we find out about Monica is that she was one of the millions of people on Earth that were snapped out of existence by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. This episode, however, begins at the exact moment that Monica rematerializes following the events of Avengers: Endgame.
I really have to rave about the opening scene of the episode. The writers did a really great job tossing the audience directly into the chaos of the real world. Monica rematerializes, alongside dozens of other people, inside of a hospital. As it turns out, Monica was waiting by her mother’s bedside when she was snapped out of existence. However, she quickly learns that the world has changed in the 3 years that she’s been gone—her mother passed away. The opening scene is such a stark contrast from the lighthearted vintage nature of the first three episodes of the show and definitely makes an impression on the audience.
We find out that Monica works for S.W.O.R.D (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) which was founded by her mother, Maria, who we met in Captain Marvel. Instantly, it becomes apparent what the little “sword” clues scattered throughout Wanda’s false reality meant. The little toy helicopter from episode 1 was actually a S.W.O.R.D drone and the “beekeeper” with a sword emblem on his uniform from episode 2, was an agent from S.W.O.R.D that was attempting to sneak into Wanda’s reality.
Monica makes her way to the outskirts of the town of Westview, bumping into Agent Jimmy Woo from the FBI, who we met in 2015’s Ant-Man. Together, they question two cops that are posted outside of Westview’s city limits, only to find that the cops incorrectly believe the town of Westview doesn’t actually exist. It seems that anybody connected to the actual town has seemingly forgotten about its existence. But that’s only the first mystery of the episode.
The second mystery sparks up when Monica and Jimmy discover that there is some kind of energy field protecting Westview. Everything outside of the energy field is the real world, while everything inside of the field is the world of WandaVision. Monica tries to investigate the energy field with a drone (the toy helicopter), but it doesn’t work. So she decides to test it on her own, accidentally getting sucked right into the imaginary reality that Wanda has seemingly created all by herself.
And surprise—another MCU cameo gets revealed. Darcy Lewis, who we first met back in 2011’s Thor, is called in by S.W.O.R.D to investigate the frequency of the energy field. And not much to anybody’s surprise, she quickly and skillfully figures out that the field gives off some kind of radiation that can be tapped into via old television. And voilà, Darcy is able to livestream the sitcom episodes of WandaVision for the whole S.W.O.R.D agency to watch, review, and study.
Jimmy, Darcy, and the rest of S.W.O.R.D jump into action and begin running facial recognition software on the episodes of “WandaVision” that Darcy is able to broadcast. As it turns out, everybody who has appeared in the past episodes, like Mr. and Mrs. Hart and Herb, are real people that have been trapped inside of Wanda’s reality and given personas. The same is to be said of Monica, who gets sucked into the reality and pops up on Darcy’s broadcast as the character of Geraldine. It seems as though stepping into the fake-reality instantly makes you forget who you are and where you actually came from.
However, the montage scene with Jimmy and the rest of S.W.O.R.D identifying the Westview locals stuck out to me as being very important, because although we got to see the real identifies of some of the people, there were a few characters that were notably missing from identification. The first one that I noticed happened to be Dottie, the mean girl of the neighborhood that we met in episode 2, who seemed to be antagonistic towards Wanda for no good reason. Dottie was mysteriously missing from the line-up of identified locals, hinting that perhaps she is not from Westview. Perhaps she’s another character from the comics, who has yet to be introduced properly in the MCU.
Agnes, who we’ve seen play Wanda and Vision’s nosy neighbor, did have her picture placed on S.W.O.R.D’s wall of Westview locals. However, unlike how New Jersey driver’s licenses were brought up by S.W.O.R.D to properly identify some of the players in Wanda’s fake reality, there was no driver’s license found for Agnes. This lends some intrigue to the already proposed theory about the possibility of Agnes actually being Agatha Harkness from the comics.
In Marvel Comics, Agatha Harkness is a powerful witch that serves as a mentor to Scarlet Witch, teaching her how to use her powers. Interestingly enough, Agnes wears a broach that Agatha wears in the comics and Agatha comes from the town of New Salem, which is hidden from the rest of the world by magic (much like Westview). Another interesting thing that lends to the idea of Agnes actually being Agatha connects back to the fact that Agnes was the first person to suggest to Wanda that she should have children. In the comics, Agatha is the one who explains to Wanda that her children, Billy and Tommy, were created using fragments of Mephisto’s soul and that she can’t keep them as her children.
As Darcy and Jimmy continue to analyze the ‘WandaVision’ broadcasts, Darcy realizes there are missing segments from the episodes. She figures out that somebody is actively censoring the show, which lines up with what we saw in previous episodes. Every time something falls out of place or fools with the false reality, the reality glitches, rewinds, or cuts to correct the mishap and send things back onto their merry way.
WandaVision Episode 4 eventually catches up to the cliffhanger we were left with during last week’s episode, giving us a peek into how one of the glitches got corrected. The episode jumps from reality back to the 1970’s sitcom version of Wanda’s reality to show how she confronted Monica about her knowledge regarding Ultron and Pietro’s death. From there, reality only seems to break even more. Wanda uses her powers and catapults Monica through the walls of the set and back out into reality where S.W.O.R.D is waiting to rescue her. Wanda then fixes up the house and gets back into character. The only problem is that she is visible shaken by the whole ordeal.
Personally, I think that something’s suspicious about this whole thing. We’re definitely led to believe that Wanda is truly the one controlling everything, however, I feel like that might not be the case. Yes, Wanda certainly does have some control of the circumstances inside of this reality, but considering the fact we’re on episode 4 of a 9 episode season, it just seems as though this grand reveal is too premature to legitimately ring true. If anything, I’m even more concerned because it seems as though another force is pulling the strings.
I think the biggest tip-off that something isn’t right is the fact that Wanda, herself, seems under the same spell as the other characters in the show. Since the first episode, Wanda has moments where she seems to break out of the dreamlike haze of the sitcom reality to ponder her actual life and actual history. Wanda didn’t know anything about her and Vision’s relationship, didn’t know why they weren’t married or why they didn’t have children. Wanda also seemed really confused by Agent Woo breaking through the radio waves, disrupting the illusion.
If Wanda was truly the one behind everything, how come she isn’t always in-the-know? How come she seems confused at times about her surroundings and her reality? Now, it’s possible that she’s just experiencing memory repression due to being so hurt by losing Vision, however, this would seem to break from what was established in Avengers: Endgame. In Endgame, Wanda was heartbroken but completely aware and alert. She knew that Vision was killed and wanted revenge. Yet the Wanda we see in WandaVision doesn’t seem to always be aware of this fact.
And speaking of Vision being dead, we have to talk about the coolest and most terrifying moment in the whole episode. Throughout WandaVision, it’s easy to forget that the Vision we actually know is dead in the MCU. After all, we see Vision in every episode and he seems perfectly fine. However, WandaVision Episode 4 decided to turn to the genre of horror for a split second, delivering a massive switch in tone for what can be portrayed in the MCU and delivering my favorite scene of the night.
Following Monica’s expulsion from the reality bubble, Wanda fixes up her destroyed living room and Vision runs in through the front door to question her about Geraldine’s whereabouts. Wanda turns around to greet Vision, only to be jump-scared by the dead and grey version of Vision that we saw in Avengers: Infinity War, after Thanos tore the Mind Stone from Vision’s head. Wanda recoils and covers her eyes, finally opening them back up to see Vision in his usual form.
I thought it was creepy to see Vision standing there talking while looking like a zombie. It was especially startling to see horror mixed into the bright and colorful Brady Bunch-inspired set. But not only that, seeing the dead version of Vision led to a potentially horrific fact that I think we have to talk about for a moment… is this reality? Meaning, is the Vision we’re seeing in WandaVision the dead body of Vision that Wanda is playing around with like some kind of puppet or doll?
Are we going to have a moment in this show where the colorful backdrop falls and Wanda is just sitting there playing make-believe with an out-of-order robot?
It’s morbid to think about and I don’t know if Marvel will go for it, but we’ll just have to see.
What did you guys think about the newest episode of WandaVision?
Let us know your thoughts about ‘We Interrupt This Program’ in the comments below!
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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