Much to the surprise (and perhaps dismay) of many viewers, the latest episode of WandaVision breaks its pattern of moving up one decade in sitcom territory. “We Interrupt This Program” gives us a few answers, a few familiar faces, and goes more meta than Marvel has ever gone before.
(Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned)
The woman whom we knew as Geraldine in Wanda’s sitcom world wakes up, having been “snapped back” into existence, along with half of humanity. Awakening in the last place she was, confused and disoriented, she doesn’t realize that it’s been five years. She is then revealed to be Monica Rambeau, whom we met as a child back in Captain Marvel in 1995.
Returning to her old workplace at S.W.O.R.D. (a sort of S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart), she’s sent on a mission to New Jersey were a strange disturbance has occurred. Rambeau arrives and meets up with FBI Agent Woo (whom we met in Ant-Man in the Wasp). She goes inside the dimensional barrier and winds up inside the sitcom world that Wanda and Vision seem to inhabit.
We’re then treated to another familiar face as Kat Dennings reprises her role of Darcy Lewis from the first two Thor movies. S.W.O.R.D. has set up a base camp around the perimeter and are “tuned in” to the very same sitcom that we’ve been watching since the first episode.
We see Darcy and Agent Woo react to the series in an amazingly meta fashion. Woo even comments that the universe decided to make a 50’s sitcom starring two Avengers (much like Marvel and Disney+ decided to do).
It serves as both a sort of commentary on the first three episodes, as well as an explanation for things like the beekeeper coming out of the sewer, and the voice (Woo’s) calling out to Wanda from the radio.
For Marvel fans who weren’t entirely sold on the vintage sitcom setup, this fourth episode will be a welcome return to form. It exists more “in universe” with the rest of the MCU, and provides an explanation to a lot of mysteries thus far.
However, in the interest of complete honesty, the episode was a bit of a disappointment. The series had such a unique and fun vibe. It had a momentum building where each episode advanced another decade, and it experimented with the very idea of narrative and setting.
While this explanation was necessary, it came a bit too early and it’s ultimately going to just be more of the same. The WandaVision train was fun while it last, but even if the series jumps to the 1980’s, it’s lost that sense of mystery. Granted we still don’t know everything that’s going on, or what Wanda does or doesn’t know exactly. But we know enough that there’s not much element of surprise left.
A lot of diehard Marvel fans will praise this episode as the very best, and it’s not poorly made by any means. It just came a few episodes too early.
Or perhaps it would have been better to just give snippets here and there throughout rather than reveal so much so fast. It’s not a perfect comparison, but it detracts from the first three episodes in a similar way that the Chicago episode of Stranger Things Season 2 did.
As previously stated, it’s by no means a bad episode. But it was just so much fun getting something so different and so out there, and now we may not get that back again.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What do you hope to see next week? Let us know in the comments!
WandaVision is streaming exclusively on Disney+