What to Watch Verdict
A curious and twisty new entry into the 'WandaVision' saga. We've still got more questions than we have answers, but at this point we're just along for the ride.
🔸Delightful 'Malcolm and the Middle' cold open.
🔸Billy and Tommy get to shine this week.
🔸Paul Bettany's performance as Vision remains remarkable at every turn.
🔸No answers this week, only more questions!
🔸Pietro's been placed on the Do Not Trust list.
Bet you never thought you’d see a show on Disney+ where a superhero teaches a couple of kids how to shotgun a beer, but here we are! (It was just a soda, but uncle Pietro is definitely ensuring that his nephews are prepared for their college years.) Last week’s episode left us with all kinds of questions. Namely, how is Pietro Maximoff (Evan Peters) alive, and why is he wearing a new face? While we don’t get any real answers in this week’s episode, we at least get acknowledgement that something’s off with this unintentional recasting. But that doesn’t seem to be all that’s off about Wanda’s brother.
Pietro’s memories are there, but some of them seem to be missing. He’s also got an awful lot of questions for Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) about how she’s doing what she’s doing. That could be normal given the fact that he’s just as shocked as anyone that he’s, y’know, breathing, but we’re at the point where every new character is guilty until proven innocent.
Billy (Julian Hillard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) are given more substantial roles this week as they pal around with uncle Pietro. Their hijinks even eventually lead to their powers starting to show, with Tommy taking after his uncle and young Billy showing signs of some of his momma’s powers. Tommy blossoms early, but Billy’s strengths don’t manifest until the climax of the episode when Vision (Paul Bettany) finds himself in grave danger.
Vision decides to pass on trick-or-treating with their boys on their first Halloween. He dutifully puts on his costume (it was the only thing in his closet) and insists that he must head off for the neighborhood watch. Wanda’s suspicious, but he plays along just enough to allow him to get out the door. On his excursion, he finds that the further toward the edge of town he goes, the more people are beginning to glitch out or downright freeze. He’s understandably jarred by all of this, but nothing comes to a head until he finds Agnes (Katherine Hahn) frozen in her car.
When he touches her forehead, Agnes starts awake. She calls him an Avenger and tells him he’s dead — so the jig is definitely up there. In an act of mercy, Vision puts her back to sleep and promises her that he’ll make it alright. Then he makes the very silly mistake of trying to go outside.
Speaking of outside, a lot’s going on with the whole S.W.O.R.D. situation. Tyler Hayward’s (Josh Stamberg) innocent farm boy routine is gone and he’s done playing softball with Monica (Teyonah Parris). Sick of her “insubordination” he orders that she, Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) be removed from base.
Narrator: They were not removed from base.
After they beat their way out of custody, the trio make their way to a van so Darcy can do what she does best. The resident genius immediately susses out that they’re not only tracking Vision inside the Hex, but that Monica’s cells have been irreversibly changed by the bubble. For those who may not know, the Monica Rambeau we know in the comics started off as Captain Marvel before eventually changing her moniker to Photon and conceding the name of Captain Marvel to the son of the original hero. Her origin story? Exposure to an energy disruption gives her power over electromagnetic energy. Sound familiar? (If you're like us and you've watched all the Marvel movies in order, it probably is.)
Keep that in your hat for now, as it likely won’t be confirmed until the series’ penultimate episode at earliest. In the meantime, a whole lot more folks are about to find themselves exposed to the Hex and Wanda’s daydream.
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Because Billy can’t see exactly where Vision is in order for Wanda to save him, she gets creative. Expanding the entirety of the Hex miles further than what it already occupied probably wasn’t the smartest move for her ability to uphold the reality but, in her defense, her husband was dying for the second time. A whole bunch of S.W.O.R.D. agents find themselves in the barrier’s crosshairs, with many becoming clowns. Tyler Hayward, regrettably, manages to flee. Darcy is not so lucky.
We see some interesting tidbits in this week’s episode. First and foremost is the fact that Hayward wasn’t tracking Wanda, he was tracking Vision. This adds credence to the theory that they’re after Vision’s vibranium body so they can turn him into a weapon. It also makes it even clearer that Wanda didn’t steal his body from S.W.O.R.D., they just claimed rights to it. That Tyler Hayward, man. No way that guy’s not a villain.
The commercial — Yo-Magic. The snack for survivors — doesn’t drop any hints that I’m smart enough to sort out, but we’ll surely see some theories crop up tomorrow. Agnes’ breakdown is curious, given the fact that many (myself included) believe her to be Agatha Harkness. That said, her car placement was pretty convenient. Maybe the witch has become a bit of a thespian in her old age.
For now, the biggest takeaway from this week’s chapter are the expanded Hex and what it means, and whatever’s happening to Monica Rambeau’s body. Could we see Photon sooner than we expected, or is Marvel just teasing us along the way? All I know is that, superpowered or no, I want to see Monica ensure Tyler Hayward eats his teeth after his comments about her mother.
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.