Review: ‘WandaVision’ episode five reminds us that “family is forever”

“On a Very Special Episode…” family is forever and Wanda’s perfect home is starting to fully fall apart around her. 

After last week’s interrupted broadcast, we’re taken back to the 1980s as Wanda and Vision struggle with putting the twins down for a nap. Wanda attempts to magically sway them to sleep, but when that fails their friendly neighbor “Auntie Agnes” arrives in full jazzercise gear. When Vision resists the idea of letting Agnes help put the boys to sleep, the sitcom façade shatters in a way that we have yet to see. At that moment, Agnes asks Wanda if they should go back to the top — like a scene being shot in front of a live studio audience. 

Vision is understandably confused by this exchange, but Wanda brushes it aside and perhaps ages the twins up as a distraction for his concern. Now at five years old, Billy and Tommy are a new kind of handful. 

(L-R): Paul Bettany as Vision, Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WandaVision. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick.
(L-R): Paul Bettany as Vision, Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WandaVision. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick.

In a creative homage to Family Ties, the credits roll and we are treated to childhood photos of Wanda and Vision, before we are taken back to the world just beyond the perimeter of the Hex. At the joint-operations base, Monica completes her (incomplete) scans and joins the rest of the team for a briefing with Director Hayward. If you were suspicious of him last week, the way he approaches the situation with Wanda certainly seems extreme

Despite what Monica went through in Westview, she is still sympathetic towards Wanda’s situation and quickly shoots down Hayward’s notion that Wanda should be referred to as a terrorist. As she pointed out, Wanda isn’t politically motivated — she’s grieving.

In the “real world” aspect ratio, audiences are treated to a major information dump. Nine days ago Wanda Maximoff broke into S.W.O.R.D Headquarters and stole Vision’s body, before taking over the town of Westview. We also learn that Vision’s will stated that he didn’t want to be turned into someone’s weapon, which Hayward alleges Wanda is violating. 

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Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios' WandaVision.

After a brief jump back into Wanda’s sitcom life where the twins find a dog, the trio of Monica, Jimmy, and Darcy continue working through what they’re dealing with. Much like last week’s gloriously meta moments, Monica points out that Wanda could have defeated Thanos, but Jimmy argues that Captain Marvel could have handled it. 

During this conversation, there is a potential set-up in the making. Off-handedly Monica mentions that she knows an aerospace engineer who could be helpful. Is she talking about James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) or are they setting up to bring in another character from the multiverse? 

And yes, Darcy finally got her coffee. 

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(L-R): Paul Bettany as Vision and Asif Ali as Norm in Marvel Studios' WandaVision. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick.

Back in the sitcom, an email comes through at Vision’s work that snaps him out of Wanda’s thrall. Like the radio that Jimmy spoke to Wanda through, S.W.O.R.D sends a message to Vision informing him of what Wanda’s doing. He realizes, in that moment, that everyone is being controlled by Wanda. He turns to Norm, sticks his fingers in his head, and pulls him out of the sitcom fantasy. Norm is panicked, in pain, and worried about his family. 

While Vision grapples with what his beloved wife is doing, Hayward and co. send a 1980’s drone into the Hex to make contact with Wanda. When Hayward gives the command to fire on Wanda, things go haywire. Wanda breaches the Hex and emerges in all of her Scarlet Witch glory to threaten them. Monica tries to appeal to her, insisting that she is an ally and that Wanda must know that she is, but Wanda is more concerned with protecting her idyllic life. 

She returns to the sitcom to help the boys look for their lost dog Sparky, but tragedy strikes when Agnes finds him deceased in her azalea bush. Billy and Tommy plead with their mother to bring him back to life and in a sick twist of irony, Vision shows up just as the boys say, “Bring him back, mom.” Wanda offers motherly wisdom that she is not taking, which makes it even sadder. 

“You can’t reverse death. No matter how sad it makes us. Some things are forever.” 

Vision confronts Wanda about what he learned about Norm and everyone and Wanda tries to avoid the conversation. In fact, the credits begin to roll. But as she walks into the family room, Visions pursues her and they fight. The kind of fight where they hover above the ground and Wanda pulls out her magic. This is the first time, Wanda notes, that he’s ever spoken to her like this. 

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(L-R): Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios' WandaVision.

We do learn that Vision has no memory of what came before Westview, which makes sense. Wanda claims that she doesn’t control everyone in the town and Vision points out that there are no other children in the town. It’s hard to tell how much is Wanda not fully realizing what she has done and how much is Wanda lying to herself. It’s very clear that there’s more to the story that we aren’t privy to yet. 

I feel bad for those that expected WandaVision to be a light-hearted romantic sitcom. It was always going to be a tragedy. Like I’ve said in previous reviews, I’m not a huge Marvel fan, but I have been a consistent fan of Wanda Maximoff (and Vision) and we have a stack of comments and movie moments that reinforce the fact that the world sees Wanda as a threat. She is incredibly powerful and incredibly broken. Think of how she was treated in Civil War, think of how the mutants were viewed in the X-Men franchise. The government is going to try to find a way to neutralize her and, most likely, take Vision away from her again. 

Now, I didn’t bring up the X-Men franchise for no reason. The final moments of WandaVision gave us an epic multiverse, franchise-crossover, culmination of Disney’s 20th Century Fox acquisition moment. Wanda opens the front door and finds Peter Maximoff (Evan Peters) on her doorstep. Uncle Peter has come to visit and all I could see was Uncle Jesse with a dash of Joey thrown in. 

The best part? Darcy’s line: “She recast Pietro?” 

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Maggie is the Managing Editor of Entertainment for Your Money Geek and a lover of all things Star Wars and pop culture. She is a freelance writer, podcaster, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.