This week’s episode of WandaVision perfectly captures the aesthetics of ‘90s sitcoms with a quintessentially Malcolm in the Middle vibe. Looking back at classic ‘90s sitcoms, it makes perfect sense that Wanda would conjure up a perfect Halloween-themed episode to reintroduce all of the children in Westview.
WandaVision Episode Six and the Occasional Holiday Cameo
Following Evan Peter’s surprise appearance as Wanda’s brother Pietro last week, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” focuses on the relationship between the twins, while also underscoring the relationship between Wanda’s twin sons. This works exceptionally well, as we see Billy and Tommy coming into their own abilities (which aren’t dissimilar from Wanda and Pietro’s). Pietro is also keenly aware of his role in Wanda’s idyllic Westview life — throughout the episode, he makes comments about his new appearance, his “cameo,” and even references the fact that Vision is dead.
Towards the close of the episode, Pietro even questions Wanda about how she took over Westview. While Hayward and S.W.O.R.D. seem hellbent on believing Wanda is some evil villain, it is quite clear that Wanda doesn’t know how she created this new life for her and Vision. This scene also reinforces how alone Wanda felt after the close of Avengers Endgame.
For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you know who Wanda lost, but for audiences who pick-and-choose what elements of the franchise they view you may not know. Wanda lost her brother Pietro in Age of Ultron and then she promptly lost everyone she was close to within the Avengers. Natasha tragically died, Steve went back to life his life with Peggy in the 20th century, Clint Barton returned to his family, and of course, Wanda had to kill Vision only to have it undone by Thanos so she had to witness his murder instead. Wanda has been through unfathomable trauma and grief and it’s only been a handful of days since the “Blip” brought her back to life.
At least someone understands her grief. Despite Hayward (I don’t trust him) kicking Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy off the base, the trio is still determined to help Wanda. Particularly Monica who is keenly aware of what grief feels like. It is a relief to see someone sympathizing with Wanda, rather than villainizing her. We also learned that Monica’s cells have been rewritten twice due to her entering and exiting the Hex, which is likely setting up Monica’s own superhero origin story. Fans of Marvel know that in the comics she gained her powers from being exposed to extradimensional energy, which leads her to become the second Captain Marvel, and later Proton or Pulsar.
All of this aside, I have neglected to discuss the biggest “Oh my God” moment in the episode. Vision, undeterred by Pietro’s surprise arrival, has not forgotten what he learned last week. From the top of the episode, it is clear that he is still angry with Wanda (we didn’t need the kids breaking the fourth wall to tell us this) and he shirks Halloween merriment to investigate Westview without Wanda’s watchful eye. He ventures towards the outskirts of town, where the people move slowly like NPCs that aren’t needed at the moment. If you look close enough, some of the townspeople are crying too. For a Halloween-themed episode, the horror of these encounters is sobering.
Why was Agnes on the outskirts of town? It seems strange and unusual that she just happened to be out where Vision was investigating. Dressed as a witch, no less, which feels too on the nose when most fans are theorizing that she is the witch Agatha Harkness. While she tells Vision that everything is Wanda’s doing, I just do not know if she is a reliable narrator. We only have three episodes left, so time will tell.
While Wanda and Pietro trick-or-treat with Billy and Tommy, she warns the boys not to go past “Ellis Avenue,” as we see Vision head towards the perimeter of the Hex with Ellis Avenue in the foreground. Vision manages to break through the Hex, where he encounters Hayward, S.W.O.R.D, and Darcy. He pleads with them to help the townspeople, while Darcy pleads with Hayward to help Vision. Vision starts to crumble apart, pieces of him flying back towards the Hex. Whether this is because he forced his way through the Hex or a side-effect of being dead… we just don’t know yet.
Billy hears that his father is in danger and rushes back to Wanda to tell her. Wanda freezes everyone around them so she can focus on extending the perimeter of the Hex to save Vision’s life. Of course, with the perimeter expanding, the S.W.O.R.D joint base set-up is brought into the Hex and transformed into a big top circus, complete with soldiers being transformed into clowns.
Hayward, Jimmy, and Monica manage to evade the rapidly growing perimeter, but Darcy is not so fortunate. Mostly because Hayward handcuffed her to a car and abandoned her there. Seriously, I do not trust this man. With just three more episodes left, WandaVision continues to build the mystery and the drama, while wrapping each episode in a candy-sweet sitcom veneer. Elizabeth Olsen’s performance continues to be a highlight each week as she balances the two extremes of Wanda’s identity. Wanda is a grieving young woman, clinging to the world she created to cope through.
Whatever theories we may have about the last three episodes, it is quite clear that there is no happy ending in sight.