I don’t know about you, but I’m so happy to see this show finally pulling back the curtain on its big mystery. After a whole month of head-stratching episodes, last week’s episode 4 spent its whole runtime presenting us the backstory of SWORD agent Monica Rambeau (presented at first as Geraldine in the sitcom). Monica is in fact Maria Rambeau’s (Lashana Lynch) daughter, which was the wingman of Carol Denvers (Brie Larson) before she received her powers as Captain Marvel. Now, the tables have turned, as it is clear that Wanda is the main villain of the show, keeping the whole town of WestView and its 1,000 citizens hostage in her modified reality. The organization behind SWORD is the pheonix that rose from the ashes of S.H.I.E.L.D and is now responsible to keep the world safe following the event of Avengers: Endgame.
Episode 5 splits the narrative in two, as we both follow Wanda and Vision’s journey in their own sitcom and also the key experts of SWORD, FBI Agent Jimmy Woo, nuclear physicist Darcy and Director Hayward, located on the basecamp surrounding the force field. For the first time, the two opposing forces will collide, as we understand how disconnected Wanda has become from the real world.
The decades move along one episode at a time. The hairstyle of both Wanda and Vision now confirm that we’re in the 80s. The Wanda-Vision family has expanded, as their twins, Billy and Tommy, are growing up REALLY fast (jumping decades ahead, like the episodes). As they welcome a family dog, sniffy, Wanda is struggling to keep all the characters of her sitcom in place and in control now that the external forces of SWORD try to penetrate the forcefield (which is now called ‘the Hex’ for it hexagonal shape) to free its inhabitants. For the very first time, we see Wanda leaving the forcefield to send a message to the members of SWORD after a failed attempt from them to send in a drone. Meanwhile, Vision is having his own suspicions of Wanda’s plans as the other characters of the sitcom react differently from usual, namely their eternally nosy neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) and his colleague from work, Norm (Asif Ali). We thought the show would end on a confrontation between Wanda and Vision in order re-establish order, but they are interrupted by a surprising visitor, her late brother Pietro Maximoff (no…not Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but actor Evan Peters from the X-Men movies who played the other Quicksilver).
Officially, this is the very first time that the original X-Men franchise previously owned by 20th Century Fox makes an entrance in the MCU, which is a very big deal!! Through her little monitor, Darcy explains to Monica and Jimmy that Wanda made a casting decision in order to replace the ‘actor’ who plays Pietro in her sitcom. As to why, we have no clue, let’s wait and see.
To my eyes, the show is not yet perfect or as good as it can be, especially for the recurring sitcom format (it feels like reheated food…we get the point). However, the show shines in its introduction of new characters inside SWORD that are both humorous and highly competent (especially the chemistry between Kat Dennings and Randall Park). However, the true joy really lies in Wanda’s fury so far, which makes her as evil and powerful as ever (yes, even more so then when she was able to grab Thanos with her powers). As she is a grieving fallen angel, suffering both the lost of her brother and of Vision in the real world, we both love her and hate her. Her behaviour in the sitcom varies between ‘caring mother and wife’ to uncontralable maniac, which makes her more interesting than we remember her in the MCU movies. As for Vision, there still much mystery as to why he’s alive in this reality. It was revealed in the episode that Wanda stole his body from SWORD a few days before the events of episode 1, which points out to a possible reanimation.
As five more episodes are still left before the finale, Wanda’s real challenge to come will be to keep her lover/husband/life partner in play until the end, while we forsee that SWORD will eventually succeed in liberating WestView. Following Vision’s understanding of Wanda’s tricks as he received a warning email from SWORD while at work, he sometimes breaks free of his chains and confronts her. Will a final battle between Wanda and Vision confirm the fate of ‘the Hex’ ? I’m ready to bet some money on it 😉