TL;DR – A difficult part 1 of a show that you won’t know how well it lands till next week.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit Scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.
WandaVision Review –
If there is one thing about WandaVision that we could say, it is that each week has pushed the boundaries of the show. Time after time, I was left feeling in awe about what I just watched. Well, this week, I’m not sure about that, and I don’t know if that flows from the structure of the episode or its content.
So to set the scene, and the end of last week’s All-New Halloween Spooktacular!, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was forced to dramatically increase the size of the Hex to save Vision’s (Paul Bettany) life as he had left the protection of The Hex and had started to disintegrate. This absorbed most of the SWORD base and personal sitting just outside, including Darcy (Kat Dennings). As we crash into this week, we have jumped into the 2010s, but something is not right as parts of Wanda’s house start reverting back in time. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.
Well, I am not sure this one landed well for me, but it is telling how good the show is that even when it is not firing on all cylinders, it is still a good time. It was great to see Paul Bettany and Kat Dennings have some time to bounce banter off each other, and I am glad they didn’t waste much time before giving Darcy back her memory. Each week the kids become more engaging, which will be one of the big things that will suck if the show is heading where I think it might.
It was good to see a glimpse of Monica’s (Teyonah Parris) powers, and I like how she talked Wanda down from the ledge. Again, can I just say even before the reveal in the last few minutes with Anges being Agatha Harkness and the Agatha All Along montage. That Kathryn Hahn has been perfect in every moment she has been on screen. Goodness, I wish I had even one iota of her talent.
This week didn’t land for me as well as it has in the past, was in how it adapted the modern sitcom into the storyline. This week was focused on the mockumentary style that you see in shows like Parks and Rec, The Office, and where they got most of the inspiration from this week, Modern Family. These have all been titans of the modern era, but instead of being the strong homage that we have seen in previous weeks, this felt more like a pale imitation. For example, this week’s title scene comes from Happy Endings (thank-you to Argonide over on the Back PocketDiscord for pointing that one out). While I love that show, it is an entirely different style from what we are going with. That odd juxtaposition finds itself flowing across the episode this week.
I think part of the problem is that they had so much to do in such a short time frame that this is the first week where the balance between the sitcom elements and the mystery elements didn’t work. This week is very much a Part 1, and we will have to wait for next week, or even more likely the week after that, to get the resolution, which left the episode feeling more like it was treading water, something we have not had so far this season. To be clear, I don’t mind that the show is releasing week-to-week. On the whole, I think it has been a positive for the show. Just that this week, the amount of new content versus the content that it promises to resolve next week didn’t feel in balance.
In the end, do we recommend Breaking the Fourth Wall? Well yes. While I have been a bit negative on the episode this week, that is because the show has been so strong up until this point that when it does not quite land, it is a noticeable issue. But that being said, the production qualities and the acting are so strong that even if it is not landing as well as possible, it is still an entertaining show.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of WandaVision
Directed by – Matt Shakman
Written by – Cameron Squires
Created by – Jac Schaeffer
Based on – Characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas & John Buscema
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Wanda Maximoff, Vision, Tommy, Billy, Agnes and Pietro Maximoff as himself (Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris, Evan Peters, Randall Park, Debra Jo Rupp, Kat Dennings & Kathryn Hahn with Julian Hilliard, Jett Klyne, Josh Stamberg, Emma Caulfield Ford, Jolene Purdy, David Payton, David Lengel & Asif Ali