We’ve been watching WandaVision for the past six weeks now, and things have been strange, weird, a little outlandish and hysterically funny. We’ve travelled through multiple television decades and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has really been flipped on its head. Throughout this series, our protagonist Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has been claiming that she’s been fine. But she’s definitely not fine, and nor is anything else. And in ‘Episode 7’ of WandaVision, ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ things really take a solid left turn.
Following the shock ending of ‘All-New Halloween Spooktacular’ where Wanda got a tad overwhelmed and the Westview Anomaly, better known as The Hex, went completely haywire, Wanda has been left exhausted….and is in need of a much-needed break. But while Wanda lounges around the house and tries to relax, Vision is now back to his regular self and is starting to piece back his past with some startling revelations.
We’ve entered the mid-2010’s now and director Matt Shankman shifts the tone of WandaVision to that of the mockumentary family-sitcom style of Modern Family, with Wanda coming to terms with the events of the last six episodes and here she begins to reflect on them. The style and comedy of the mockumentary family-sitcom plays well in Shankman’s hands and he has a lot of fun with a series of ‘new’ cast members who have entered the suburbia of Westview, and we get to see these characters in a brand new light. Shankman’s use of quirky comedy keeps things interesting and it’s great to see a modern flavour of TV comedy injected into WandaVision.
Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff has been through a lot over the course of WandaVision. Whether it was cementing her love for Vision, building a home, raising a family or reuniting with her beloved brother Pietro, she’s been at the forefront of the show and has had to deal with a lot. There’s also her stance and protection of her ‘dream life’ and this aggression and anger have taken a serious toll on her and we now find her exhausted and a little bit shook up.
The unique style and progression of ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall‘ allow Wanda to sit back and come to terms with who she now is, and for the first time we get to see her directly speak to her audience. Olsen does a terrific job of making Wanda vulnerable in ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ and there’s a real honesty to her performance in this episode. It’s also a refreshing point-of-view for the character as we see the toll of her powers on her and this has definitely left Westview on the fritz. Olsen really clarifies Wanda’s own perspective in this episode and audiences get an idea of what she’s really been going through which is something we haven’t seen before.
‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ is also the first time that we haven’t seen Wanda and Vision together in an episode of WandaVision, and just as Wanda is dealing with her own issues, so is Paul Bettany’s Vision. Stuck together with a new friend, Vision undergoes a bit of a depth analysis to understand just where he came from and how he came to be here. The revelations make him sit-up and take notice, and Bettany strikes a terrific balance in the classic dramedy styling of the mockumentary family-sitcom style.
Also stepping up this episode is Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes, Wanda’s default best-friend and nosey neighbour who can’t stay out of her life. And there are some startling revelations for her here. Like Wanda, the audience gets to see Agnes point-of-view for the first time and it’s interesting to see a third party comment on the nature of Wanda’s life, especially someone from within the ‘series’ itself. Hahn gets to steal the show in ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ and fans will be wide eyed at the performance that she gives with this one.
While I don’t want to slide into any kind of spoilers in this episode, I will say that ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ takes a shocking turn in its final moments and boils over with a dark and menacing tension. Everything has so far been a blissful escape for Wanda, but this surprise is about to flip the series on its head entirely. Something witchy is in the air, and in these final moments, we get to see what I can only surmise as the first moments of connectivity between WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And this revelation is going to make things very interesting in the next episode.
We’re we go to next in WandaVision after such a dramatic turn in the events of ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall’ is anyone’s guess, but we’re now firmly on the edge of our seats with this one.
WandaVision streams every Friday night on Disney+.
Image: Walt Disney Pictures