Written by David Holland
After the first two episodes of WandaVision I thought I knew what to expect: lots of sitcom with a few breadcrumbs. After the third episode I figured they were going to ramp things up a little bit.
Then came episode four. I was not prepared.
I had a whole system down for these reflections. First I would recap the surface level sitcom part of the episode, and then I would address the breadcrumbs. Well this episode gave us the whole loaf, so I have to change strategies. Instead, I’ll recap the episode and intersperse theories along the way.
Monica Rambeau, daughter of Captain Marvel’s best friend Maria Rambeau, “blips” back into reality after having disappeared five years earlier in The SnapTM. She has missed quite a bit: her mother, founder of Sentient Weapon Observation and Reporting Division (SWORD), died of cancer and her disappearance meant she got passed over as the organization’s director in favor of Tyler Hayward (Theory #1 – this guy is evil. Evidence? He works for a shadowy government organization in the Marvel Universe. I know that’s not much to go on, but remember SHIELD was originally organized to fight Nazis and they got taken over by the Naziest Nazis, so I feel like it’s a fair bet).
A few weeks after returning to existence, Monica’s headed back into the field to help a familiar FBI agent recover a missing person who happens to be in witness protection. It’s possible that this person is a character we have already seen on “WandaVision”, but Marvel brought Agent Jimmy Woo of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” out for this. Maybe they did that just for comic relief, because Woo is definitely hilarious, but since this is Marvel and everything is connected, I’m going way out on a limb with Theory #2 – Jimmy Woo’s missing person has been in a past MCU film, probably “Ant-Man and the Wasp”. Possibly Bill Foster, Sonny Burch, or a member of Scott Lang’s team. Remember, it has been 5 years since we saw any of them. That’s plenty of time for a lot to happen. This feels like a long bet since most of the internet seems to think it is a character already on the show such as Dottie or Jones, but I’m going with my gut.
When Rambeau gets pulled into Westview, a place that she has been confidently told does not exist and which is surrounded by strange energy, SWORD goes to work. They set up a base outside the town and bring in scientists from a multitude of fields, including our old friend from Thor and Thor: The Dark World, Darcy Lewis.
Darcy realizes that Westview is putting out CMBR, a type of radiation described as leftover from the Big Bang. She also says the radiation levels are safe “for now” and Theory #3, those radiation levels will be unsafe later. That’s called Chekov’s Radiation. She realizes there is a broadcast signal intertwined with the radiation levels and bada boom: suddenly we are watching characters watch episode 1 of WandaVision. Kinda trippy. SWORD starts uncovering the identities of the citizens of Westview. They aren’t just projections or illusions. They are real people. We don’t know how they all ended up in Westview, but Monica is soon discovered to be Geraldine, apparently living as one of them. SWORD makes a couple attempts to gather intelligence about Westview, but they mostly fail.
Episode four ties together a few questions from our previous episodes. What was with that helicopter? That was the SWORD drone that Monica flew into Westview. Whose voice was that on the radio? Just Jimmy Woo, trying to contact Wanda. Who was the Beekeeper? Oh, he was just a SWORD agent whose radiation suit became a beekeeper outfit when he crossed into town. What happened to the Beekeeper? That’s easy, he… wait… what DID happen to the Beekeeper? Did we ever see him come out?
Monica/Geraldine is thrown from Westview, just like we saw in episode three, but this time we see the whole scene. Wanda is in clear control, confirming my theory from last week: Westview is Wanda’s world. Her powers have grown, even since we saw her in “Endgame”, to nearly godlike levels. She also clearly understands what is going on. Unlike the comics version, I think this Wanda knows her twins aren’t real. I also think she knows that Vision is dead. In fact, the version of Vision we see might be the actual body of Vision, reanimated with her power. After all, it’s not like he would decay. Theory #4: Westview is comparable to “House of M”, the comics storyline in which Wanda remade Marvel’s reality into one in which mutants are dominant over ordinary humans. This event was caused on in the comics in part by Wanda’s grief over the loss of her twins, who were only illusions created by Mephisto, and the wedge this caused in her relationship with Vision. In the MCU, Wanda’s grief over Vision’s death and the growth of her powers could have led her to create what she believes is a paradise. To be fair, she would not be the first hero to believe they were doing the right thing only to have it go horribly wrong.
Monica spells it out for us in case it’s not clear: “It’s all Wanda”.
We get two important peeks at Vision in the episode’s final moments. In one, Wanda sees him as he was after Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his head. He talks normally, but he is gray and there’s a gaping hole in his forehead. Wanda flinches, but when she recovers he is back to normal. It’s possible that this was a trick in Wanda’s own mind, or that her illusion slipped if she really is animating Vision (which seems super dark). More telling, I think, is what happens after Wanda says that she has “everything under control”. As she walks away, Vision’s smile falters. He seems scared of Wanda. There’s been rumors floating around that Doctor Strange will come in to save the day in WandaVision, and I suppose it’s also possible that Monica Rambeau, Darcy Lewis, or Jimmy Woo could do it. But I think Theory #5 – Whatever version of Vision is in Westview will have to confront Wanda and put a stop to whatever is going on there.
On a final note, there’s a funny thing about comic book heroes and romance: it almost never sticks. Comics are a lot like soap operas. You always have to introduce new drama, otherwise things get boring. That’s why so few couples ever get a real happily ever after. This isn’t a theory, but it’s a hope: I know Vision is dead, but I hope Wanda comes out of this with some peace, even if they can’t be together. To quote Darcy from this very episode, “What? I’m invested!”
Oh, and also some people have theorized that Agnes’ husband Ralph, whom we have not yet seen, is Mephisto – the closest thing in the Marvel comics to actual Satan. I’m not sure I’m on board with that one, but he does play a role in the Vision/Scarlet Witch story, specifically around their twins. So I guess anything is possible!