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Can Someone Explain Wandavision

author
Maria Johnson
• Sunday, 13 December, 2020
• 9 min read

The new series, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda/Scarlet Witch and Paul Bethany as the synthetic humanoid robot Vision both from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is like a kooky romp through decades of sitcom history. Both of the initial two episodes, streaming now on Disney+, pay homage to the family comedies of yesteryear, with a bit of Marvel mystery baked in too.

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Contents

The name “Trucker,” which comes up in a watch ad, is the name of the person who experimented on Wanda, giving the superhero her powers. Scarlet Witch similarly created an alternate reality in Marvel’s popular “House of M” comics, which is already confirmed to be one of the inspirations for the series and has an Easter egg in the premiere.

In the comics, this alternate world was created after the deaths of a number of heroes, allowing them to come back to life blissfully unaware. In Episode 2, new neighbor Geraldine (Hannah Paris) tells Wanda she doesn’t know what she’s doing there and momentarily seems to forget her own name.

It’s too early to know if this is the case, but a prevailing theory is that the villain of the series is a demon called Mephisto. Mephisto plays a part in a storyline from the comics involving Wanda and Vision’s twin boys.

And with Wanda revealed to be pregnant at the end of the second episode, it’s not a huge stretch to assume Mephisto will show up in some way. At the talent show planning committee meeting in Episode 2, someone mentions the “devil’s in the details,” and Wanda’s nosey neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) tells her, “That’s not the only place he is.” (P.S.

The logo suggests that the agency is keeping tabs on Wanda’s alternate world, possibly even trying to bring it down altogether. It’s worth remembering that prior to Vision’s death in “Infinity War,” his consciousness may have been saved on a computer program by Shari (Letitia Wright).

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When HuffPost asked “Infinity War” directors Joe and Anthony Russo in 2018 if Vision had been saved by Shari, they said it wasn’t “territory” they wished to discuss. Though Vision technically died in Avengers: Infinity War, the show centers around his and Wanda's seemingly perfect lives in the suburban town of West view.

In the comics, Wanda is a mutant with reality-shaping powers, and she experiences a mental breakdown after the death of her magically created twin sons, Billy and Tommy. This makes her powers incredibly unstable and leads to her create a whole new utopian reality in which her children are alive.

She jokes that Vision has an “indestructible head” despite Thanos crushing his forehead to take the Mind Stone in Infinity War. When a mysterious beekeeper, who sports the same sword logo as the TV monitor, climbs out of a manhole, Wanda tells him “no” and reverses time so that she and Vision can continue to live in domestic bliss.

In Age of Patron, Wanda revealed that a Stark Industries mortar shell struck their Segovia home and killed her parents. While Wanda went on to team up with Tony Stark and the Avengers, she's undoubtedly still processing that now her parents, her brother, and her lover are all dead.

At one point, a voice that sounds like Ant-Man's Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) asks on the radio, “Wanda? In the comics, pieces of Mephisto are used to create Wanda's sons; in WandaVision, it's possible that she made a deal with him to bring Vision back.

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A sword logo pops up several times in the show, appearing on the beekeeper's suit, a man's tie, and on the notebook of whoever is monitoring Wanda's actions. It's like the outer space arm of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Earth defense organization that Nick Fury was working for before it all blew up in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

As one fan on Twitter pointed out, the beekeeper, Vision's coworker, and the milkman are all background characters from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was announced in 2019 that Hannah Paris would play Monica Ram beau, the little girl from Captain Marvel, in WandaVision.

With Vision once again alive, Thanos ripped the Mind Stone out of him, and he fell to the ground, lifeless. Iron Man & co. hit the undo button on the “Nature” but not the deaths that had happened before Thanos killed off half of the universe’s population.

She’s “weird,” as another character put it in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Patron, where Wanda debuted. According to that movie, the powers Wanda got from experiments using the Mind Stone include “ferroelectric interfacing, telekinesis, mental manipulation,” but we really don’t know the full range of what she can do.

Aug. 23 was not the date of the Snap, according to the MCU Wiki, which suggests that it took place in spring 2018, when Infinity War was released. The expo itself is named after the year 1923, when Walt Disney founded the company.

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Elizabeth Olsen’s frazzled housewife in the first episode does owe a lot to Lucille Ball, but the biggest reference point seems to be The Dick Van Dyke Show, the first great workplace sitcom. The scene when Vision ushers his boss through the door of his house and into the living room looks like a direct homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show’s opening credits, and the sight of a frazzled Wanda trying to cook dinner for her unexpected guests recalls the episode where Mary Tyler Moore rustles up dinner for her in-laws while she’s high on pep pills.

The peppy plot summary of the first episode’s theme tune owes a lot to The Patty Duke Show, and the Kafkaesque nature of Vision’s job at “Computational Services,” where no one can seem to explain exactly what it is they compute, is right out of Billy Wilder’s movie classic The Apartment. The first episode’s scenes of Wanda using her powers to make dishes fly around the kitchen also has a strong whiff of the “I married a witch” classic Bewitched, which the series makes explicit with the animated opening credits of Episode 2.

A good guess might be that the mission of this group has been redefined for the MCU, but we don’t have much to go on yet. Given that the closing credits sequence is made up entirely of red, green, and blue lights, it’s fair to say that it is meant to take us into the inner workings of 20th -century color TVs, which used a red, green, and blue (RGB) color system to produce their images.

In other words, like the episodes themselves, the credits sequence appears to take us inside an old TV set. The concept of the multiverse is set to appear in two upcoming MCU movies, including the MCU’s third stand-alone Spider-Man movie and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with the directors of these three projects even trading notes to stay on the same page.

Why does Vision point his remote control at the camera at the end of the first episode? The moments when the characters look straight at the viewer add to the feeling that Wanda and Vision are, in some way, trapped.

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Another, less weighty reference point would be Tom King’s 2015–16 run writing The Vision, in which the character creates a family of “synthesis” (androids) and moves to suburban Arlington, Virginia. That the manicured, synthetic-feeling suburbs are a good setting for a story about a robot trying to discover his humanity.

And that when she’s facing incalculable loss, there’s no telling what terrible things Wanda will do. As literal disruptions to the narrative, the commercials seem like they play a key role in hinting at what’s really going on here.

The concept turns up again in Episode 2, with its advertisement for a Trucker watch, featuring the tag line, “He’ll make time for you.” Baron Wolfgang von Trucker was one of the secondary villains of Age of Patron, a leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s evil counterpart, Hydra.

Then again, there is a rather silly Marvel villain called Swarm, who is made of bees. Indeed, Vision has previously endorsed gum, by appearing in a 1976 set of Marvel bubblegum cards.

Hopefully this shocking continuity error will be explained in a future episode. Correction, Jan. 15, 2021: This article originally misstated that Wanda’s powers came from the Space Stone.

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Disney+'s new Marvel Studios limited series WandaVision is part superhero drama, but mostly plays on tropes and styles of a number of classic American sitcoms. WandaVision focuses on two Marvel heroes of the last half decade: Wanda Maxim off/Scarlet Witch, and Vision.

The pair are gallivanting through sitcoms and getting into all sort of wacky hi jinx along the way, complete with a nosy neighbor, new friends, and some classic comic pratfalls. The first episode is done in the style of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the second is Bewitched.

This failed; eventually, the only option to stop Thanos was for Scarlet Witch to kill Vision and destroy the stone. Thanos snapped half of the world out of existence, Scarlet Witch one of the many heroes erased.

Vision's body, lacking the mind stone, laid to the side, dead and discolored. Vision isn't suddenly back alive with no explanation, and the show will eventually explain to us what's going on.

When asked whether he ever thought Vision would be returning after Infinity War, he gave an interesting answer. Evan Romano Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.

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