Bravo, if you are one of the millions who are braving early morning hours to catch the Disney Plus premiere of WandaVision. Launching at midnight via California time (PST) comes one of Marvel’s most ambitious and mind-boggling projects. This premiering episode keeps its audience entertained with gaudy design and quick, witty one-liners delivered by two of the most understated Avengers, Wanda Maximoff and Vision. WandaVision follows the superhero beings as they live out their new lives in a picture-perfect suburban neighbourhood. The first episode is dripping in fifties culture, made obvious through everything: The episode’s sepia, colourless appearance; the actors’ voice modulations and changed body language; and the distracting and ever-present laugh track. Here’s our recap of WandaVision Episode 1 on Disney Plus.
Episode 1 of this new series opens with a cheery theme song, detailing Wanda and Vision’s marriage and their purchase of a cute, little house in suburbia. As unrecognizable as they seem at times throughout the episode, it is impossible to forget who they truly are. Vision makes comments reminding you that he’s an android like, “in fact, I’m incapable of exaggeration” and Wanda cannot seem to stop using her telekinesis abilities to complete simple, household tasks.
Appearing as a traditional household in an ankle-length and cinched waist dress, Wanda dallies around the house and keeps up with her noisy neighbour’s witty repertoire. Agnes, played by the lovely Kathryn Hahn, the couple’s neighbour invites herself into Wanda and Vision’s space, always pressing things into Wanda’s hands as she intrudes— flowers, one moment and a pineapple in the next. Meanwhile, Vision is working at an undisclosed business. Working puts it lightly, Vision has no idea what he’s doing at this undisclosed business. He’s told by an employee that “production has gone up 300%” and he responds with, “but what are we producing?”
This isn’t the Wanda and Vision we’ve come to know in the MCU
So yes, this doesn’t appear to be the Wanda and Vision that we have grown accustomed to know. Episode one is a directionless I Love Lucy-esque sitcom told through by our favourite characters, it’s like something out of an expertly written fanfiction. The episode’s plot adopts one of the most classic sitcom components: It laces a simple and relatable story with a mischievous sense of humour. In this case, Wanda and Vision have an important date marked on their calendar and they tease each other about it, each one fooling the other into thinking that they were on the same page. But, in fact, they were not,
Ms. Vision, or Wanda— truly, who knows their formalities— is dressed to the nines in a poofy tulle dress, ready to celebrate their anniversary while Vision’s boss reminds him that they will be in each other’s company for dinner. Vision thinks the big doo-wop of the day is that his boss is coming over for dinner and he must impress him to get on the right tracks at this work. This leads to the silliest happenings; Wanda didn’t make dinner — she didn’t think she needed to, Vision doesn’t eat. To remedy the situation, she seeks out the effortless and talkative Agnes for help. Agnes swoops through the kitchen door bringing everything one might need to host an impressive dinner party, “What kind of housewife would I be if I didn’t have a gourmet meal for four just laying about the place?”
This debut episode of WandaVision is a bit of a musical
To avoid getting caught by her increasingly-impatient guests while preparing for the meal using her powers, Vision bursts out into a ridiculous rendition of “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters. Wanda quickly wraps up the work and presents a beautifully put together dinner table. Things go awry when the boss-man, Mr. Hart, begins pestering her on their origin story. He and his wife question the two about where they are from, when they were married, and why they don’t have children— all questions that are overwhelmingly common, however, neither Wanda nor Vision had an answer for them. This causes Wanda to grow frustrated, she seemingly short circuits and stares out towards the camera, or into the abyss. As Mr. Hart continues to push the questions, he begins choking on his food. His wife laughs nervously and repeatedly tells him to “stop it” as the sound of a ticking clock in the background increases. The moment managed to be high-intensity despite its ridiculously low stakes. We didn’t care about Mr. Hart. Who even is this man? He is presented with no importance to us. However, as this plays out, it becomes abundantly clear that we aren’t going to get the answers to any of these questions anytime soon.
The guests quickly depart. After Vision discreetly uses his powers to extract the food from Mr. Hart’s throat, his boss stands up and expresses his appreciation for the life-saving endeavour. He looks at his watch and leaves abruptly, saying the classic line, “Oh, would you look at the time?”
Then the newlyweds (for all that we know) sit on the couch and Wanda magically creates a simple pair of matching rings for them to both don on their ring fingers. The episode fades out with a focus on the picture-esque couple but before the episode ends, the camera pans out and reveals a colourful control room. On the screen of the foremost monitor shows the black and white episode that we just watched. Creepy, right?
There are references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in WandaVision Episode 1
Beyond the character’s careless use of their superpowered abilities, there were two blatant references from the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- During an old-fashioned television ad, a Toast-Mate 2000 was being marketed as a product by Stark Industries.
- After Wanda flubs her introduction to the Harts, she and Vision disguise her odd behaviour as a “Sokovian custom” — a reminder to the country from Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Sokovia Accords that once tore the Avengers apart.
Simply put, this episode was filled to the brim with fast dialogue and utter madness. It made little sense, but certainly set the scene and the tone for the series. While it may be hard to be engrossed in from the start, it’s enticing humour and quick-wit keeps you tagging along— along with the promise that the cinematic action that Marvel is known for will eventually commandeer the scene. Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and the rest of the cast completely lose themselves in their characters and the era we’re all newly exploring in this universe. Episode one was a promising and warmhearted start to what is destined to be a mastermind reveal to explain what the heck is going on in WandaVision.
Let’s watch WandaVision together! Be sure to tune in at the end of each week for our recaps on the new episodes.
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