[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision, Season 1, Episode 2.]
I hate to start on a negative note here, but my least favorite part of WandaVision as a show so far is that Episode 2 has a very modern and very irritating “Previous On …” segment. For a show that has so brilliantly led us into a trippy world stemming from the history of classic television and based on darker secrets, this totally world-breaking choice is a real disappointment and one of the few missteps on the show. I suppose it’s understandable why Disney + / Marvel would make that choice, but I just wanted to stand on the record and say I don’t like it.
Fortunately, it happens before the Marvel credits roll, so we can pretend it never happened and consider Episode 2 for what it is: Another charming / subversive episode of Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and vision (Paul Bettany) Fairytale romance, this time slightly forward to the 1960s. The fashion is a little more modern, the effects of sex are a little more present, and instead of calling them Bolsheviks, we call them communists. Fun for the whole family!
The Cold Open (because we are now in an era of television where the Cold Open takes place before the opening credits) shows Wanda and Vision in their separate single beds, roused from their sleep by an annoying noise outside their bedroom. While it shakes both of them, the good news is that it turns out it was just a twig – and that in the heat of the moment Wanda was inspired to push her beds together, a newbie might start.
The new opening credits are a very charming animated sequence (no really noteworthy lyrics beyond “Wa-Wa-WandaVision!”). And then it’s time for the meat of the episode as Wanda and Vision rehearse their appearance on the town’s talent show fundraiser – magic tricks that don’t rely on their actual powers because, as Wanda Vision says, “in a real magical act, it’s all wrong . ”
The rehearsal ends because Wanda has to go to the fundraiser planning committee meeting and Vision wants to check out the local Neighborhood Watch meeting at the local library. But before that, Wanda hears a buzz outside and discovers that a toy helicopter has landed in her bushes – one with a completely different color scheme:
Image via Disney +
It throws Wanda for a loop, but our old friend Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) arrives just in time to join Dottie’s (Emma Caulfield Ford). Agnes warns Wanda that Dottie is the “queen of the cul-de-sac,” so getting on her good side is critical to Wanda’s future success in the neighborhood. But the planning committee meeting is not going well, even though Wanda has found a new friend in Geraldine (Teyonah Parris). Wanda does her best, but is terribly inept with the other girls.
Oh, and if she helps clean up the meeting, things change after Wanda says she and vision are no harm and Dottie says, “I don’t believe you,” and then the clock radio goes off near that Song “Help Me Rhonda” to a male voice that says, “Who turns this on to you, Wanda?” and the world feels like it’s falling apart …
Dottie’s glass breaks, the blood glows bright red and the salmon trail returns with a vengeance. And then it’s time for a commercial break!
When he meets Neighborhood Watch, Vision looks a little better socially and manages to have a good chat with his neighborhood colleagues. But although he usually refuses any food offer, he tries to chew a piece of gum – and accidentally swallows it. The result for a synthetic creation like him is basically like chugging a bottle of tequila and he shows up for the talent show that can barely stand.
However, he does not lose his super skills. So when he uses powers through the magical act, Wanda quickly covers him by using her own skills to make his true magic appear to be fake. And it works! (Although Geraldine, who suddenly plays the part of the missing lady, is a bit surprised.) Wanda and Vision are the hit of the day, they win the Comedy Performance of the Year Award and bow in triumph.
Image via Disney
“It wasn’t that hard to adjust,” Wanda explains as she and Vision snuggle up on the couch, but when she gets up she suddenly discovers that all the talk about “for the kids” could have had an unexpected effect … because she is now noticeably pregnant. And besides, a strange man in a beekeeping outfit crawls out of the sewer hole in front of her house, with a distinctive logo on the back of his overalls … Until Wanda says “No” – and he no longer.
Instead, we return to a newly pregnant Wanda and Vision who are happy together in their house – so happy that the world around them is turning to color. What a good time we are all having! What a wild show it is! In the words of a great man: FLOURISH!
And now for these messages
The evolving production design is a real treat – based on Episode 1, we’ve got a lot more decoration in general here, including a staircase to a second floor!
Look, we all know Kathryn Hahn is an indescribable treasure, but the moment she examines Dennis the Mailman’s ass thoughtfully and scientifically should earn her the Emmy here and now.
Another moment for Hahn’s Emmy FYC role: “How does someone sober up?”
No payoff yet, but someone else is getting a creepy cult vibe from the repeated chorus of “For the Children”?
Some more thoughts on the commercials, but in this episode Strucker watches are shown – Wolfgang von Strucker is of course a figure who is of great importance to Wanda. “He will take time for you.”
Curious about this guy in the beekeeping suit? You could look at a group known as AIM.
Wondering why Dottie looks familiar and hasn’t gone to IMDB yet? Well, Buffy the vampire butcher Fans will remember Emma Caulfield Ford (in front of the Ford) as the adorable and sometimes terrifying demon Anya. Also relevant to this particular project: she also starred in the 2009 indie sci-fi rom-com timer who happened to be a WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaefferis the very first project!
Sorry, but just one more time … FLOURISH!
New episodes of WandaVision will be streamed on Disney + on Fridays.
The ‘Last Week Tonight’ trailer announces when John Oliver’s show will return for Season 8
The gritty comic book series will be back soon.
About the author
Liz Shannon Miller
(207 articles published)
Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has been speaking about television on the internet since the dawn of the internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider. Her work has also been published by Vulture, Variety, the AV Club, the Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She’s also a Produced Playwright, a variety of podcasts, and a collection of “X-Files” trivia. Follow her on Twitter at @lizlet.
More from Liz Shannon Miller