by Sam Acosta
The fourth episode of “WandaVision” gives us answers to questions we had during the first three but leaves us with only more questions on top of that. It reveals what’s been happening in the outside world and fills in some of the gaps left by the previous episodes, all while giving us numerous callbacks to previous MCU movies.
The first big callback is the introduction of S.W.O.R.D. agent Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), daughter of Maria Rambeau from “Captain Marvel.” A victim of Thanos’ snap in “Infinity War,” Monica returns during the Blip to discover a very different world from the one she left. Soon after her return, Monica is assigned to a mysterious situation in Westview, New Jersey.
There, she meets James Woo (Randall Park), the F.B.I agent from “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” who shows her that Westview not only seems to be forgotten by the locals but is also surrounded by an invisible forcefield. Monica is able to enter this field, and in the process (and seemingly against her will), becomes Geraldine, a character in Wanda’s sitcom fantasy.
As a joint-agency mission is begun to investigate, astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from the first two “Thor” films joins the team and discovers a television broadcast coming from the town that just so happens to be playing the first three episodes of “WandaVision.” This episode ends where episode three did, with Geraldine (aka Monica) being thrown out of Wanda’s world.
Right away, there is a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with the return of Monica and her role in S.W.O.R.D. As I said before, Monica is the daughter of Maria, who was Captain Marvel’s best friend in her solo movie. We find out that Maria is one of the founders of S.W.O.R.D., confirming that S.W.O.R.D. and S.H.I.E.L.D. coexisted for a time but after the events of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” S.W.O.R.D. became the primary agency protecting the world against Avengers-level threats.
We also get a glimpse at the chaos surrounding the Blip. While we did get to see the havoc that Thanos’ snap wreaked during “Endgame,” we have not gotten a true look at the havoc that was caused by reversing it. This detail is such an important piece of what Marvel seems to be building: a slightly darker and more serious place in their universe. While I don’t think all the movies will head in this direction (with franchises like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor” retaining their signature senses of humor), I think Marvel realizes that there is a market for darker MCU stories.
The next plot point that is important to discuss is a question that we had at the end of episode three: what is creating the force field around Wanda’s world, and why? Episode four reveals to us that Wanda is indeed keeping the rest of the world at bay so that she can keep her fantasy world protected.
We also learn that the odd moments we saw in the first couple of episodes represented S.W.O.R.D.’s efforts to find out what was going on inside. The small helicopter from the first episode and the beekeeper from the second were both sent in to gain intelligence, and the weird radio static from episode two was Agent Woo and Darcy trying to contact Wanda.
It seems that Wanda is much more aware of her artificial reality than we were previously led to believe. Seeing it from the outside, we see that she is very active in correcting any errors in her world and eradicating anything that threatens it. We watch as she forcefully throws Monica out of the television world, violently catapulting her through walls and the force field.
Another reason I think she is aware of everything is how the broadcast seems to cut whenever the outside world tries to creep in. As Darcy says near the end of the episode, “Someone is censoring the broadcast.” That someone is Wanda.
This episode helps us understand how “WandaVision” is going to fit into the MCU as a whole. We now have a view of what is happening outside of the fantasy and are getting a picture of how they fit together. I am excited to see what will happen now that we have made this connection. Will future episodes be dedicated to either the fantasy or the outside world? Or will they jump between the two? We shall see very soon.
Episode four of “WandaVision” is now available to stream on Disney+.
Sam Acosta is a sophomore Theatre Comprehensive Major and an A&E writer for Cedars. He likes spending his time watching movies, drinking Dr. Pepper, and writing plays.