WandaVision: Breaking the Fourth Wall Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of WandaVision, Breaking the Fourth Wall, Agnes’ (Kathryn Hahn) real role in all of this and Monica (Teyonah Parris) goes through some major changes in a last-ditch attempt to get Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) to end all of this.
It becomes clear this week that we’re getting to the end of this sitcom run as the episode pokes fun at more modern sitcoms although it’s hard to say which one. The opening credits sequence didn’t ring any bells and there’s more fourth wall-breaking moments that feel reminiscent to Modern Family and The Office. The overall tone of the episode is definitely a mix of these two shows with the comedy style being a little more reflective of The Office. There’s a certain snide attitude and blunt delivering that just gives off vibes of that show and it works in creating some fun perspectives on what’s happening within the Maximoff household. Vision (Paul Bettany) even storms off set at one point in a small rant and it’s kind of nice to see the whole sitcom element of this series come to a close since Wanda’s world is starting to fall apart.
Wanda seems to be losing control as everything around her is sporadically going through time changes. The milk instantly goes from being modern almond milk to a classic looking milk carton and Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy’s (Jett Kylne) gaming controllers going through some generational changes. Even Wanda seems a little confused and out of sorts with Vision still being missing and her perfect world starting to go haywire. She’s much snappier at the twins and is really trying to wrap her head around things. It almost even seems like what Pietro (Evan Peters) said to her about keeping Vision alive really got to her and she’s going to have to confront her grief. She’s definitely lost without Vision and he’s certainly a little lost without her.
Vision wakes up just outside that pop-up circus we saw at the end of last week’s episode when Wanda expanded the Hex. He’s comically mistaken to be a clown that’s forced to work with the escape artist who ends up being Darcy (Kat Dennings). Vision quickly snaps her out of Wanda’s spell and unlike before, Wanda’s influence doesn’t bring her back to being under her control. It’s clear that Wanda’s power is weakening as she attempts to grapple with her world falling apart. With her head being clearer, Darcy lets Vision in on who he exactly is and it’s really interesting to see him reflect on his life in the MCU. I just saw an article recently that Bettany has been in the MCU across three decades and that’s pretty crazy. It’s kind of nice to have this moment that has a long-running character like Vision reflect and think about his and Wanda’s relationship within the MCU. Darcy even has a moment that many viewers can relate to where she says that because she’s been watching WandaVision that she can see that these two are truly meant for each other. This causes Vision to spring into action after the Hex causes some hilarious roadblocks in the same vein as The Truman Show to keep Vision around to confront Wanda about everything that’s happened.
Speaking of springing into action, Monica and Woo (Randall Park) return to try and get Monica back into the Hex without have her genetic code be rewritten again. Their attempts at using space equipment to send Monica inside end up being futile since the Hex just spits the vehicle back out. Thus, Monica just runs back in there and we get two amazing moments that change everything for her going forward. First, we get this amazingly trippy sequence of Monica being pulled apart as she walks through the Hex evoking all the visual awesomeness of Doctor Strange. Second, and most importantly, Monica’s genetic code being rewritten gives her powers. We don’t know exactly what these powers are yet, but those that know her role in the comics know that she eventually becomes another iteration of Captain Marvel. With Parris also appearing in Captain Marvel 2, it’s great to see that Brie Larson might not be the only Captain Marvel there and it’s great to see that Wanda might have some help fighting off the villain that’s just revealed herself.
As I said last week, Agnes has been a total question mark in terms of her role in all of this and while the show tricked me into believing that she’s just another trapped Westview resident, it’s finally revealed who she really is. After walking through Agnes’ dungeon-like basement and seeing magical artifacts everywhere, Agnes reveals to Wanda that she is actually Marvel villain Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch a powerful witch who has been screwing everything up in Wanda’s ideal world. She’s the one who’s been causing conflict, the reason Peter’s Pietro appeared, and even killed their dog Sparky. Agatha has been acting as sort of a director for the series and it’s probably one of the strongest twists reveals in the MCU. Not that it was completely out of left field, but the entire sequence of Agatha getting her own introduction is just amazing and it’s going to be great to see Hahn really thrive in this role. I will say though, it does leave me mixed.
It’s a well-built twist, especially when you look back at her dressing as a witch for Halloween, and it’s cool to see how Agatha has been messing up Wanda’s perfect world. However, it is kind of lame that Agatha’s appearance just continues Marvel’s trend of mirror villains with Agatha Harkness just being an evil version of Scarlet Witch. Also, with Agatha being present it takes away from Wanda being the villain, which she proclaims herself as here, and gives her grief an easy out. What has made this series so unique up to this point is that it’s so character-driven and focused on Wanda having to come to terms with her grief. Things like Pietro coming back and certain elements of the world falling apart felt like great moments of Wanda realizing how much she’s consumed by grief, but now we know that most of those things aren’t the case. It feels like all the messaging about dealing with grief is about to be thrown away and that Wanda isn’t really going to have to come to terms with anything because there’s a greater threat. It also makes me believe more than ever that Vision will really come back from the dead after all of this and it would totally ruin all the messaging about grief. There’s still a lot of intrigue to be had with Agatha’s appearance, especially when it comes to learning about why she’s here and what her plan is, but it’s not without its problems.
WandaVision reaches a narrative impasse this week that’ll truly make or break the show going forward. The introduction of Monica and Agnes’ real powers presents a lot of great possibilities for the next two episodes and the MCU beyond. However, there is this worry I have that the series’ great messaging about Wanda’s grief and the character-driven moments are about to go to waste for the sudden appearance of a greater threat.
Watch the Trailer Here: