I get the feeling that WandaVision is going to run out of gas long before it hits episode 9. Call it a hunch but the clues and gimmicks are starting to point to their eventual grand reveal and I can’t help but wonder if three hours of classic sitcom homage is going to work at a good build up to that reveal.
That remains to be seen. For now, episode 3 has given us our first clues of what’s going on while continuing the overarching story of Vision and Wanda’s banal working class American Dream life. The miraculous conception on Wanda at the end of the last episode has escalated quickly. Within hours, a doctor has declared her four months pregnant.
Again, the noticeable facade of the scenario continues to break through more frequently with each episode. Vision starts noticing how wrong the scenario is. At every point of fracture though, the moment resets and the sitcom resumes.
The gradual implication of the involvement of the SWORD organization (Nick Fury’s extra-terrestrial variant of SHIELD) keeps rearing its head and hinting at the nature of Wanda’s illusions.
The WandaVision seems to be hinting at two separate things at once:
1. Some Sort of Extra-Dimensional Threat Has Trapped Her in this Scenario for Unknown Reasons
2. Wanda is using Her Powers to Protect the Status Quo and Silence People Who Question Reality
This actually does seem to set up a pretty efficient setup for drama. Wanda WANTS to be in this scenario and the unnamed villain is enabling her. The SWORD agents know she NEEDS to return to the real world for her own good and are trying to save her.
Given that WandaVision is going to dovetail into other MCU projects like Doctor Strange 2 and Spiderman 3, it’s anyone’s guess what is going to end up happening by the end of the season.
My only concern will be that the show’s allusions to greater menace won’t match what the ultimate reveal will be. Marvel Studios is generally pretty good about keeping their narratives functional but this show is drawing on deeper thematic material than other films before it.
Whereas most superhero films draw upon Superman: The Movie and the Sam Raimi Spiderman films as their primary point of reference, WandaVision is infusing the world of classic sitcoms like Brady Bunch and Bewitched with the quiet menace of David Lynch’s surreal films like Blue Velvet and Mullholland Drive.
That’s a super interesting source to draw from but it creates big shoes to fill. If this show is going to be a more aesthetically ambitious character study on Wanda Maximoff, WandaVision will need to dig up some deeper character stuff and tie the strange setting into those conclusions. If the show doesn’t do this, the premise will have been only a gimmick.