After spending some time with the S.W.O.R.D task force investigating the Westview Anamoly in last week’s episode of WandaVision we now return to Westview for ‘Episode 5’, ‘On A Very Special Episode…’, where Wanda and Vision have now moved into the 1980s. But the cracks are visible, and things are starting to spin out of control and Wanda’s perfect American sitcom life is starting to turn into a literal nightmare.
In ‘Episode 5’, ‘On A Very Special Episode…’, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are now living the perfect 1980s suburban life with a beautiful young family, and life appears to be nothing but bliss in Westview. But outside the Westview Anomaly, nickname The Hex, Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) are trying everything they can to reach Wanda in order to avoid a catastrophe. But best-laid plans soon turn messy…
Since taking a breather with ‘Episode 4’, ‘We Interrupt This Program’, it’s fun to return to the streets of Westview in this episode of WandaVision, and both Wanda and Vision have to adapt to parenthood very quickly. Mostly due to the fact that their twin boys, Tommy and Billy, are on an out of control growth spurt, and even Wanda’s own magic can’t tame them. Director Matt Shankman brings together quintessential American 1980s values to ‘Episode 5’ and draws his inspiration from hit 1980s sitcom Family Ties in showcasing Wanda and Vision’s growing suburban family life.
But things are far from perfect in Westview and Wanda’s dream life, which has already been showing to start fraying at the edges, is now beginning to show some very sizeable cracks. Shankman illustrates this via the disruption of WandaVision’s broadcast’, and the breaks from ‘her show’s’ continuity as Westview residents, including nosey neighbour Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), have to redo their lines and start over from scratch. It’s a very interesting choice on behalf of Shankman to showcase the disruption of Wanda’s fantasy, and his direction of this episode keeps things interesting.
While we learnt in last week’s episode of WandaVision, ‘We Interrupt This Program’, that Wanda was firmly in control of this fantasy, in ‘On A Very Special Episode…’ she very much takes control of the situation and out and out confirms that this is HER fantasy and no one is going to interfere with it. Shankman spins audiences feelings for Wanda and teases out a darkness and madness that we’ve never seen in her before. This dark, aggressive side of Wanda is mirrored by her insistence on keeping her family together, and Shankman really plays with the emotions of his audience in ‘On A Very Special Episode…’.
While for the most part, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda has been the driving force behind WandaVision for the past four-episodes, Paul Bettany takes centre screen in this episode, and Vision is very aware that nothing makes sense in his and Wanda’s Westview life. Bettany’s Vision gets very serious in this episode, and the complexity of his sitcom life, which defies all logic, makes him incredibly unstable. ‘On A Very Special Episode…’ is the first time in WandaVision that we’ve seen some very real tension exist in this show and the first time that we’ve seen both Wanda and Vision clash. It’s evident that the fantasy of WandaVision is starting to take a toll on our characters and this is only likely to intensify as we move forward with the series.
While tensions mount and Wanda’s dream life starts to be questioned, ‘Episode 5′ ‘On A Very Special Episode…’ also features a shocking guest appearance in the episode’s closing moments which is sure to make audiences sit-up! While not wanting to go into spoilers for those who still haven’t seen it, this moment has plenty of dramatic tension not just for Wanda, but has turned the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe around in a single moment. Exciting and exhilarating possibilities now lie ahead, and the MCU is about to become a very different place going forward.
WandaVision ‘Episode 5’ ‘On A Very Special Episode…’ is a complete and utter game-changer and features the biggest single shocking moment since the reveal of Thanos in 2012’s The Avengers. Where we go to next is anyone’s guess, but one thing for sure is that everything has now changed.
WandaVision streams every Friday night on Disney+.
Image: Walt Disney Pictures