Review: Wandavision- Just for Marvel Fans?


Zoe Barnhart, Former Writer

I’ve never been that big on Marvel, but Wandavision completely changed my perception of what the popular franchise is capable of. I’ve seen almost all of the movies in the MCU, and while I enjoyed most and loved some, I wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan just yet. Wandavision, however, brought something completely different to the table and left me actually excited for the new projects Marvel is coming out with in the future.

Before I get into reviewing the episodes themselves, I would like to start off with what I don’t really like about Marvel and what Wandavision did to fix that. To me, too many Marvel movies seem to just follow the same formula and tone (especially in earlier movies), have poorly written villains, or are pretty forgettable to me. However, Wandavision is something completely different and brand new from all other projects Marvel has set out on, had me so confused the entire time in an amazing way, and keeps making me want to watch it over and over again even if I’ve already memorized half of the characters’ lines at this point. It even has me watching Tik Toks and YouTube videos about everything it’s referencing from the comic books. This show has really made me appreciate Marvel, and, while I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Marvel just yet, I’m definitely headed that way.

*Spoiler Warning*

Episode 1: “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience”

This episode really set up the stage well for the series in a very unique way. Most Marvel movies follow the same kind of formula with a hero whose goal throughout the entire movie is to defeat the bad guy. However, this episode doesn’t even have a bad guy per se, and I’m all here for it. Its setup allows the viewer to understand that this experience isn’t like anything Marvel has ever done before. While I never cared much for Vision or Wanda, I fell in love with their characters here. They compliment each other very well in their relationship while also being very strong characters in their own right. I was very glad that Marvel didn’t start unraveling the mystery of the show too much here in order to give fans a chance to get used to the new format. This was one of the best pilot episodes I’ve seen in a while.

Episode 2: “Don’t Touch That Dial”

This is my favorite episode of the show. I loved that they began to expand the world of Westview slowly here, introducing us to new side characters that I already like. Every scene unraveling the mystery was done extremely well, giving subtle hints as to what might be going on but still not revealing enough to actually have a clue. The talent show scene with Vision actually had me laughing out loud no matter how many times I watched it. In fact, all of the humor in the episode was just spot on, and practically every joke stuck the landing. I don’t have any critiques at all for this episode because it was just too perfect.

Episode 3: Now in Color

I think this episode was a really good jumping-off point into the more serious plot of Wandavision. I really liked how it simultaneously showed just how offset and powerful Wanda is when she throws Geraldine out of Westview. It really makes the viewer start to question if Wanda really is the hero she once was in the MCU, especially when she dismisses Vision’s questions at the end of the episode in such a creepy manner. This episode was just very solid in every aspect, and I don’t have many complaints at all.

Episode 4: “We Interrupt This Program”:

This episode did an excellent job at answering questions while not giving too much away. I absolutely loved the opening scene that revealed how chaotic Hulk’s snap really was. At first, I had a slight issue with how quickly Monica Rambeau was able to get back to work with all her grief and life issues she now had to deal with. However, I don’t think my complaint is really all that valid anymore because three weeks could be enough time to at least somewhat figure all of that out enough to return to work. Nonetheless, this episode made me do something I never thought I would do: enjoy Darcy Lewis as a character. I found her really annoying in Thor, but I think Marvel finally found what works best with her and put her in a group that she plays off of well. And I think I stand with the masses when I say I love Jimmy Woo.

Episode 5: “On a Very Special Episode…”:

While I think this episode is the weakest of the bunch so far, it certainly isn’t lacking in very many areas. My main critiques are that there aren’t many jokes that hit, and the storyline feels a bit hollow at times. The story with Sparky really just doesn’t interest me as much as the others have, and I think that’s partly because of the twins’ subpar acting. I understand that their bad acting as five-year-olds might be intentional to be reminiscent of child actors in the ‘80s, but it still caused me to be uninterested in them as characters. I also think Hayward is really toeing the line at being a one-dimensional villain. However, Vision’s arc in this episode is very solid. I was so sucked into this episode when I first watched it that it was like coming out of a daze when it was over. I loved Vision’s confrontation with Wanda during the end credits, and the surprise appearance from Evan Peters just made it that much better. I’ve only seen a few parts of X-Men here and there, but now it’s on my watchlist just so I can understand his character fully. And the scene with Wanda throwing the drone at Hayward truly sold me on her role as an MCU superhero. 

Episode 6: “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”:

This episode left me with more questions than I think I’ve ever had about this show, and I didn’t think that was possible. I loved the comic book-accurate costumes, Billy and Tommy getting powers added to my interest in their characters, Pietro’s casual morbidness really threw me off multiple times, the commercial downright unsettled me, and Vision’s expedition was terrifying. This episode served to show just how massive Wanda’s powers have become and just how scary of a place Westview is. I think the car scene with Agnes and Vision could’ve been a bit better at hiding Agnes’ true identity, but it doesn’t bother me too much because at this point I had seen countless Tik Toks explaining who she really was. I enjoyed everything else in this episode, and I think Pietro’s character is now one of my favorites.

Episode 7: “Breaking the Fourth Wall”

I know everyone will look at this episode and think of everything it introduced and explained, but honestly, I loved how much it looked into Wanda’s mental health. I think a 2000’s sitcom was the perfect way to take a dive into an issue as complex as depression, as all of the cutaways to Wanda explaining herself served to show just how tired she is of everything in a way that no amount of sheer acting could project. I also enjoyed how nonchalant she’s even become about her kids, losing them as she became so wrapped up in her own grief. I think that arc could serve as a great way to get her out of her slump in some way and maybe show her that the only way to exist at the moment with what she has is to let Vision go. I do have one critique with this episode though: I didn’t really enjoy Vision and Darcy together all that much. While it wasn’t painful at all, I just don’t think they have much chemistry. I also wish the circus had been used a bit more with Vision and Darcy, but I also wouldn’t want it to distract from the serious ideas Wandavision is now exploring. I also wish they would’ve showcased Monica’s new powers just a little bit more. However, I loved Agnes’s reveal, even if at first I thought it happened pretty randomly, and her theme song will be stuck in my head for a while.

Episode 8: “Previously On”

I really enjoyed this episode for the most part. I say for the most part because the opening sequence was kind of just alright for me. While I think it’s a very interesting concept for Agatha to be a witch from the Salem Witch Trials, but it got too close to feeling like the directors were playing with action figures instead of telling a compelling story. However, the rest of the episode was very compelling to me. I didn’t really like Wanda’s younger self actress, but it didn’t bother me too badly. I loved the way they conveyed Wanda’s past trauma, making it feel like Wanda and Agatha were on movie sets. The way Wanda’s backstory was shown made me feel her pain and connect with her. I’m completely convinced of her and Vision’s love, and Vision’s comforting words made me feel some kind of way. I cannot describe how much I loved Elizabeth Olsen’s performance throughout this episode, and I think I even said “wow” when there was that scene of her breaking down over Vision’s body. I loved this episode, and I’m so excited for the finale despite the fact that I don’t want this show to end. I have no idea how they’re going to cram everything they need to into the last episode, but I trust the makers of this show at this point to deliver something incredible. 

Episode 9- The Series Finale

This finale had some really big highs and lows. I really enjoyed a good number of parts in this episode, but, overall, I think it needed to be longer. I’m not just saying it needed to be longer because I wanted more Wandavision content like many fans have been complaining about. I think there were a few parts of this episode that felt strange or disconnected because they weren’t explored enough. So much happened here, but they didn’t even give it an hour to play out. I especially think the townspeople needed to confront Wanda for longer so the audience could really watch her try to bargain with keeping her there. They really tried to make this a big deal, but didn’t give enough screen time to let it play out fully. S.W.O.R.D. could’ve used a bigger fight scene with more interesting aspects to it. Marvel really led up to that moment a lot but didn’t really follow through on it. I’m also ending with the opinion that Hayward was way too one-dimensional for a respected company like Marvel to come out with. And every scene with Monica Rambeau just felt off to me for some reason. I can’t really put my finger on why, but she didn’t really feel like how she did in the episodes before (excluding her in the hex). I mainly just expected Marvel to have more of a clever fight scene with ALL of the characters, but it was still interesting to watch. While I do think this finale could’ve been better, I really loved other parts of it. The Visions’ confrontation was really interesting, and I thought their fight scene was very cool to watch without it overstaying its welcome. I loved how half of their fight was just an intelligent conversation, which fit Vision’s character well. I’m also completely obsessed with Wanda’s new look. The end scene to this episode made everything worth it. It really made me feel something when Wanda had to say goodbye, and I thought it was bittersweet while not being too cheesy. Overall, not a bad ending for one of my favorite TV shows.