“WandaVision” starts slow but ends strong

WSS staffer Sam Westergaard ’21 reviews WandaVision and provides his predictions for the finale.


Marvel Studios

WandaVision episodes 1 and 2 are the weakest of the series.

Since summer 2019, Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans have been eagerly awaiting the latest installment in the franchise. In January 2021, Disney Plus released it’s first Marvel-related mini-series, that being “WandaVision.” “WandaVision” centers around its two leads, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), living their pretend lives after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” With only one episode of the series left, now is the perfect time to discuss my thoughts on the show, as well as my predictions for the last episode.

Unfortunately, I feel like the series starts off poorly. Episodes 1-2 are both slow-paced and rather awkward from a comedic standpoint. The comedy is not really that original or bright, and at times comes off as cringey. The pace as mentioned earlier is rather slow. The episodes are about 30 minutes but they felt like an hour. Not a whole lot happens and it’s mostly the awkward, old-timey jokes.

The biggest problem with episodes 1 and 2 is they don’t have anything to say about 50s or 60s sitcoms. In those types of sitcoms, the American dream was a prevalent theme. The dream was seen as the gold standard: to live a in suburban neighborhood, to have a perfect nuclear family, and a secure job. Sitcoms from that era were essentially propaganda for it. Unfortunately, these two episode don’t have anything to say about the American dream. They just recreate those types of shows like “Father Knows Best,” and “Leave it to Beaver.” The thing is, I would be fine with that if they commented on shows from that era. It’s unfortunate because there is a lot that can be done with these characters in a 50s setting. For example; Vision could be used as a metaphor for returning Vietnam war veterans who don’t fit into society. Vision would be perfect because, being an android, he wouldn’t fit into 50s suburbia either. He wouldn’t understand it just like the returning war veterans. Instead, the episodes just feel like boring recreations or bland old-timey sitcoms, but with Scarlet Witch and Vision.

Now I understand I’ve been dunking on “WandaVision” quite a bit, but I have been enjoying it. I feel like the strongest factor the series has is its two leads. Wanda and Vision feel like an actual couple. This is due to the fact that they are thrown into a family sitcom setting, so we are able actually witness them in ordinary situations. When the characters are constantly in conflict mode, it makes it somewhat difficult for characters to build relationships with each other. In “Captain America: Civil War” for example, there is a lot more going on, so Wanda and Vision’s relationship gets sidelined and they don’t do enough together. Here, we see them do stuff like go to work, talk with neighbors, watch TV and even get into arguments with each other. It feels a lot more realistic because they do realistic stuff as a couple. 

With all that lovey-dovey stuff out of the way, what about the rest of the episodes? Episodes 3-7 were rather good. They kind of blend together considering they are mainly about being introduced to Sword, and the audience learning about the situation Wanda and Vision are in. This is where the plot begins to unfold, and everything begins to make sense.

The stuff with Sword is also neat, I theorize they will be like the new S.H.I.E.L.D and will serve a similar purpose. I also quite like the re-introduced characters like Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). It was a nice reminder of the enjoyable side characters the MCU has. They, along with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), have a good dynamic. The group banters and plays off each other well. The concept of them going behind Sword’s back was interesting and I honestly didn’t see it coming. Basically, they’re fun characters.

Speaking of re-introducing characters, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) returns. It was a bit of a fun surprise considering he’s the first Fox X-Men character to appear in the MCU. Evan Peters delivers a good performance, I just wish he did a bit more. He appears at the end of episode 5 and in 6 he sort of taunts Wanda and adds more mystery to the story. Like I said, these episodes are quite good but at times feel a bit repetitive and there could’ve given some characters (Quicksilver) more to do. But, when these episodes are good they are really good.

Evan Peters stars as Pietro and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision”

Episode 8 is probably the finest of the bunch. It’s definitely the most memorable. It’s cool that we learn the origin of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn). However, she is not the main focus; Wanda is. We get to see her full past, and actually seeing who she has lost and what she has been through makes it feel more real. This is a good example of showing not telling the audience. In previous films we have simply been told what her childhood was like. But, when getting to actually see Wanda’s story through her eyes, we get to experience her emotions. I think this is probably Elizabeth Olsen’s best performance as Wanda. When she is looking at Vision’s lifeless corpse, and saying “I can’t feel him,” it’s very upsetting and great line delivery on Olsen’s part. Sidenote: I love that we finally get to hear someone call her Scarlet Witch, it only took 6 years. 

As for my predictions for the final episode, I think that we will get some surprise appearance like the “Mandalorian” season 2 finale. I really hope it’s Magneto, but I kind of doubt that. I also speculate that Wanda, Vision, and their kids will battle Agatha, like The Incredibles. As for Agatha, I hear people guessing she will be revealed as Mephisto, but I actually hope/theorize that she is Enchantress. I feel it would make sense as up to this point she has had powers similar to that of Enchantress. Or, for all I know, they could be saving either Enchantress or Mephisto for “Doctor Strange 2.”

But as for “WandaVision,” here are my final thoughts on the series up to now. It definitely starts very slow, and the first two episodes aren’t good. However, as the series progresses it gets better and better. It has some great character development for its two leads, and a very engaging mystery element. I would recommend it to anyone who is an MCU fan.