NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “WandaVision” are present in this review
WandaVision began on a surreal, yet endearing note with its two-episode series premiere last week, presenting an authentic sitcom world that nonetheless appears to be layered atop a sinister, reality-bending mystery brewing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The world of Westview continues to evolve on this week’s third episode of WandaVision as well, not only bringing the show to the latest sitcom era of the 1970’s, but also finally presenting Westview’s reality in full colour. The aptly-titled, “Now in Color” also stands as WandaVision’s best episode yet in many respects, not least because it’s continuing to find fascinating ways to flesh out this miniseries’ overall mystery, while still not compromising its lovably retro sense of humour.
Following on from the cliffhanger conclusion of last week’s 1960’s-inspired latter episode, “Now in Color” has Wanda and Vision scrambling to try and deal with Wanda’s surprise pregnancy. The first half of this episode in particular is steeped heavily in comedy over everything else, complete with some amusingly nostalgic tropes such as Vision powering through baby training, while Wanda finds herself struggling to properly adapt to a pregnancy, particularly a super-powered one! The kicks in Wanda’s belly most notably cause all manner of havoc around the neighbourhood, presumably provoking Wanda’s powers, and this leaves both Wanda and Vision exceptionally nervous that the neighbourhood remains on the verge of figuring out their big secret.
Avid Marvel fans however will call one particularly important twist in advance; The fact that Wanda is not pregnant with one baby, but two! Wanda’s and Vision’s debate over what their child should be named also results in two recognizable identities for both babies; Billy and Tommy, namely the identities of Scarlet Witch’s two superhuman children, Wiccan and Speed, in the Marvel Comics Universe! Wiccan and Speed are both members of the Young Avengers in Marvel Comics lore, a team that the MCU has been teasing for a little while now, and one that looks like it’s going to be gradually formed over the events of the MCU’s first wave of Disney+ Original Series offerings.
More than that however, the accelerated birth of Wiccan and Speed, as Billy and Tommy in this case, also strengthens the speculation that WandaVision is effectively a loose adaptation of Marvel Comics’, “House of M” storyline from the mid-2000’s. In that comic book storyline, Wiccan and Speed were created through the intervention of a demon (a similar presence appears to hang in the background of WandaVision’s events), and weren’t natural births, a peculiar origin that could very well be maintained in the MCU, assuming these newborns survive the inevitable collapse of Wanda’s false reality. Wanda is most certainly in control of the majority of events taking place in this sitcom world as well, as further evidenced by the fact that she resets an uncomfortable interaction with Vision, whereupon he confides in her that something feels wrong about the world they live in.
A similar event also occurs with ‘Geraldine’, a.k.a. Monica Rambeau, who visits Wanda about midway through this episode, while Vision is trying to run after the doctor. Wanda amusingly tries to hide the presence of a stork from Geraldine at this point, in another throwback-style gag, though this extended sequence does trip up the otherwise strong momentum of this episode a bit, especially when it’s apparent that Wanda can just reset any interaction that she doesn’t like anyway. Regardless, after Wanda makes an off-the-cuff mention of being a twin, Geraldine asks if her twin was killed by Ultron, of course referring to the tragic conclusion of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the very movie that introduced Wanda, Vision and the late Pietro Maximoff to the MCU. This inquiry about Pietro predictably angers Wanda, at which point she notices that Geraldine is wearing a necklace with a sword in the middle of it. Seemingly figuring out the truth, Wanda then boots Geraldine/Monica from Westview, at which point Monica is dropped back into regular reality.
The fact that Monica is an undercover S.W.O.R.D. agent, as made obvious by her necklace (she couldn’t have put it under her shirt?), is not all that surprising. It’s nonetheless crucial however that we’ve now seen Monica become ejected from Wanda’s fake reality, which appears to have engulfed a real-world town! This creates the picture that Wanda has indeed snapped after the events of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, which saw Vision killed by Thanos as he seized the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, and is effectively holding several citizens of the real Westview hostage, or so it would initially appear. There’s definitely another sinister presence at work in the background of Westview however, as evidenced by Vision attempting to interact with both Agnes and his neighbour, Herb, at which point they both express visible fear about Monica coming in to disturb their world. Like I said, the fact that we never see Agnes’ apparent husband, Ralph, despite frequent mentions of him, is especially suspicious…
WandaVision doesn’t have a ton of time to keep its cute, old-fashioned illusion going in the weeks ahead, but so far, this miniseries is continuing to do a great job of balancing its classic sitcom tropes with its over-arching mystery. “Now in Color” continues to raise the stakes of WandaVision to strong effect, while also continuing to sow the seeds of the Young Avengers in the MCU to boot. Most importantly however, we’ve now been given a tangible taste of the kind of threat that currently appears to be facing the MCU’s true reality, as Wanda’s increasingly unstable powers appear to have engulfed a small town, and are likely about to spread even further. With Monica also being found out and booted from Wanda’s sitcom world, S.W.O.R.D. will no doubt have to come up with a new plan to contact Wanda from here, as next week’s episode inevitably moves to an 80’s sitcom backdrop. As much as Wanda seems like a clear and present danger to the MCU at this point though, one can’t shake the feeling that an even larger threat continues to loom in the shadows, one that no doubt has something major to gain from Wanda’s uncontrollable grief.