REVUE : WandaVision – Episode 5 “A Very Special Episode”
Well… …that was something. “On a Very Special Episode” is an appropriate name for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is the best WandaVision episode yet. All the elements that make the show so entertaining are there, and they are all perfectly balanced. The sitcom aspect seems to be aiming for the 80s, but SWORD Investigation is also moving forward, and just when you think you know everything about the series, another new movie comes out.
As the world of Wanda’s sitcom enters the ’80s, SWORD tries to communicate with her. Monica has an idea about Wanda’s powers – and intentions – thanks to her time undercover. The cracks in Wanda’s magic begin to show, especially in her vision.
“On a Very Special Episode” returns to sitcom satire after last week’s episode, and immediately the attention to detail is overwhelming. Wanda’s hair, Vision’s plaid shirt, the jeans, Agnes’ legs and even the window of her front door scream ’80s. But “pièce de résistance” is the opening sequence of the title. The amalgamation of family ties, growing pains, a full house and more are the best openings and even go so far as to punctuate the ’70s pastiche of “Now in Color.” Probably the biggest laugh I’ve had from the show so far is seeing Wanda, Vision and the kids hit the park as Tanners. No one can blame WandaVision for not achieving its goals with enthusiasm.
In “On a Very Special Episode,” this premise is used in a new and interesting way, not only to comment on the sitcom’s stylistic tropes, but also to advance the story and the characters as a whole. The last time we saw the super couple, they had just become parents to twins Billy and Tommy. After a brief scene in which various jokes about the babies pass in review (Wanda can’t get them to stop crying; Vision uses their nipples as earplugs; the ubiquitous neighbor Agnes offers them a drink to get them to sleep), they suddenly turn ten and fall into the category of jokes preferred by tween comedy shows. This inevitably leads them to ask Mom and Dad if they can keep the dog they found on the street, making them the subject of one of those “very special episodes” of sitcoms that used to exist when they felt it necessary to get their message out in advance: This week, the Maximoff family learns to accept death.
It’s not hard to imagine how this will affect the main issue. As we learned last week, WandaVision is Wanda’s refusal to accept the harsh realities of life. “In a very special episode, she reveals that she stole Vision’s body from SWORD headquarters just before she turned Westview into Nick at Nite. She has now created a world where she will never again face tragedy. By explaining the inevitability and finality of death to her boys, she reveals the contradictions in Wanda’s vision (not to be confused with her vision). She wants to teach her children the truth about life and the world, but her very existence is a denial of this truth, which Wanda stubbornly maintains. Her inability to understand that the dog must stay dead is due to Wanda’s blatant violation of the laws of nature. Elizabeth Olsen is terrific in this scene, playing Wanda’s emotions close to the chest; we don’t know if Wanda realizes that she is confusing her, or if she is so deluded that she doesn’t see the problem.
His confrontation with Vision also leaves things unclear. During “On a Very Special Episode,” Vision slowly begins to see the inequities of the fantasy in which he is trapped. His rapidly aging sons, as well as his character crumble with his friends. Agnes suddenly asks Wanda to repeat her lines, like an actress looking for clues after a bad take. Wanda tries to work her magic, but this time Vision is not so easily swayed. He tastes the terror that Wanda unleashes when he manages to remove his colleague Norm from his role, and Norm’s true identity, Abhilash Tandon, tells him how much the spell hurts him. The Vision eventually confronts her and tries to make her realize the pain she is causing him, but Wanda resists and asks her to simply accept what she has done for him. Which is preferable in the end: the painful truth or the comforting lie?
Maybe Wanda left sooner than she thinks, now that her brother is back. Elizabeth Olsen hinted at a big surprise in “The Very Special Episode,” a bit like the return of a legendary character in another Disney+ show. I wouldn’t say it’s not quite on that level, but the final revelation caught me off guard. Not only is Quicksilver back, but he no longer looks like Kick-Ass; WandaVision’s Quicksilver will be played by Evan Peters, as he did in the recent X-Men movies. This raises a number of questions. First, is it just a mystical “makeover” as Darcy suggests? Or is it actually Pietro Maximov from another dimension? I’m inclined to believe the latter, especially since Marvel is plunging headlong into the multiverse. Then he’s a mutant, and now he’s with Wanda, who is not. I don’t recall Wanda being mentioned in the X-Men movies, but her existence has never been denied either. So there could be a mutant Wanda Maximoff who is Magneto’s daughter. Or maybe this Pietro is the key that makes Wanda realize that she too is a mutant who has always had powers that only the Intelligent Pearl has discovered.
But more importantly, was Wanda Vision telling the truth when she said that her brother’s appearance was not her fault? Earlier in “A Very Special Episode,” Monica says she believes Wanda is not intentionally hurting people, that she is somehow controlled or manipulated because she was doing things like protecting Monica instead of killing her. If that is the case, then whoever or whatever is behind this could be sending Quicksilver to control her even more. Some of Wanda’s actions seem to fit the character perfectly, while others do not. For example, she doesn’t harm innocent people; even at the worst moment of her Age of Ultron, she and Pietro turned against Ultron and sided with the Avengers when Ultron’s plan to wipe out humanity was revealed, even saving those involved in the resulting super battle. And the deaths in Lagos – which the director of SWORD remembers fondly – were not their fault, but rather the result of their efforts to save lives. I’m pretty sure we don’t know everything yet, and I like the way it’s arranged in a drip.
The only thing I didn’t like about “The Very Special Episode” was the unnecessary and mean-spirited reference to everyone’s favorite assassin, Captain Marvel. The idea that these people know the details of the final battle against Thanos is already implausible because none of them were there, but I can ignore that because they are talking about the power of Wanda. But Jimmy Woo must have dropped that line about our new Lord and Savior (she probably wouldn’t appreciate a sexist title like “Mistress and Savior”). Not only is it unnecessary and just putting this character in front of us, but it distracts from what Monica had to say about Wanda and the power she uses in the show. Does a compliment for a beloved character follow a trophy for verbal dedication to Carol Danvers?
Conversely, I liked the suggestion that SWORD become as corrupt as the rest of the UCU government agencies, or at least as useless and obtuse. The director’s emphasis on Wanda’s evil, his reference to Sokovia’s contracts (which I think are still relevant today ; (one of the biggest mistakes of the last few films is that they didn’t pick up on this plot), his deliberate misunderstanding of the Lagos incident, his dismissal of Monica as soon as she says something he doesn’t approve of, and his attempt to kill Wanda are all indications of a cold-blooded bureaucrat who is just as bad as the people he is “protecting” us from. I also love the way Monica begins to question his actions and motives by offering him a bow. And the fact that Wanda forced all of SWORD’s agents to turn their weapons against him was immensely satisfying (and reminded her of her father, if only from another dimension).
“On a Very Special Episode” presents everything that makes WandaVision great. Although I wish they had left out an unnecessary reference to a character who remains better in the MCU, the satire of the sitcom, the questions about the Wanda agency, the SWORD eclipse, the merging of real and imaginary worlds and the big surprises make this a winner.
Frequently asked questions
Who was there at the end of episode 5 of WandaVision?
You may not be quite sure what just happened. So let’s cut to the chase. “WandaVision has just reunited Wanda’s brother, Pietro Maximoff, who we last saw die in the climactic battle in Avengers: Age of Ultron,” says the source. “At the time, the character nicknamed Quicksilver was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
What TV show is episode 5 of WandaVision based on?
They hit ballads. And it was nice to bring some emotion to what we do”. The 5 series is also aesthetically inspired by 80s sitcoms Growing Pains and Step by Step, but Family Ties is a true homage.
What happens in episode 5 of WandaVision?
Meanwhile, Monica Rambo finally woke up in the field hospital outside after Wanda chased her out of Westview, and SWORD’s reaction split into two factions. Jimmy Woo, Darcy Lewis and Monica think Wanda is grieving and suffering; SWORD’s Hayward is perfectly willing to go through the motions.
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