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Wanda Maximoff is an MCU time bomb of unprocessed grief. When will she explode?
The fantasy world of Wanda Maximoff is starting to break down, and she's not having it. Episode 3 of WandaVision (titled "Now in Color") shows how much control Wanda has over the isolated town of Westview, and how quickly that control can become dangerous.
If you know who Wanda really is, and you also know a little about her history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? You'd best tread carefully. Wanda is not allowing anything to break down her fantasy, which was possibly created with the help of old friends and foes. It's only a matter of time before Wanda cracks completely. She's become a magical, mystical MCU time bomb. What, is that not disco enough for you?
**WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Episode 3 of WandaVision, "Now in Color." If you haven't watched the episode yet, get outta here, Dewey! You don't want this. It's the cheapest drug there is and it's not habit-forming but you don't want this!**
Geraldine did her best, but jewelry and too much MCU knowledge proved to be her undoing. After trying to comically hide her pregnancy (and a magical stork), Wanda gives birth to twins. It's here that Wanda mentions that she herself was a twin, sharing that her brother's name was Pietro.
Outside of Avengers: Age of Ultron, poor, dead Pietro (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) barely gets mentioned in the MCU. Wanda's accent even comes back a little when saying his name, before coming back fully when she sings her newborns a Sokovian lullaby. It's a nice reminder of where she came from and how all of this began, especially because Vision was created in that same movie. But it's also maybe a hint that Wanda is slipping. This isn't the first instance of her losing touch with this new reality, but it certainly is the most prolonged and, arguably, the most intense.
Vision, it should be noted, is more in the dark about what is really happening here than anyone else. The neighbors know more than they let on, including Kathryn Hahn as "soon-to-be-revealed-Agatha Harkness." When Vision himself gets close to thinking that things aren't right, Wanda does a quick version of rewinding her own tape like she did in the previous episode. Whatever this fantasy is, Vision isn't in on the planning. It's all Wanda, and this notion is supported by the recently revealed information about an Avengers: Endgame post-credits scene that was cut: Wanda finding Vision's corpse.
Wanda rewinds Vision to get him back on track, but Geraldine (Teyonah Parris) doesn't get the same treatment. She pushes a bit too hard, remarking that Pietro was killed by Ultron. She's one of the first to mention Ultron outside of his own movie, and it's great to get more of this connective MCU tissue. It's great for us, but Wanda gets pissed. She doesn't want any connective tissue because her tissue is only connected to sorrow and grief.
Saying the name "Ultron" makes it clear that "Geraldine" knows too much. The necklace she's wearing looks a lot like the S.W.O.R.D. logo that Wanda has seen elsewhere, too. "Geraldine" doesn't get reset — she gets banished from Westview completely, which we see has shimmery edges and is surrounded by a small army of trucks and floodlights.
That's how Monica Rambeau (Geraldine) gets expelled. Hahn takes note.
What ties this show to Age of Ultron even further is the mid-episode commercial for a product called "Hydra Soak." Supposedly it makes all of your worries disappear in a bubble bath of dreams? In the MCU, Wanda and Pietro were experimented on and given superpowers by HYDRA, and the commercial makes you think that Wanda could be getting HYDRA's help to somehow keep her own fantasy bubble bath going. HYDRA keeps getting defeated, but they also keep coming back. "Cut off the head..." and all that.
What all of this adds up to is a very, very volatile Wanda doing whatever she can to keep her fantasy intact. Having fantasy children causes electrical outages and almost cracks Vision, but Wanda keeps it together. It's only when something goes really wrong (or someone makes an MCU reference) that her cold fury comes out, returning her to a much more familiar version of the MCU's Wanda Maximoff.
We have seen what she is capable of. In Endgame, she took Thanos on by herself and had him on the ropes before he resorted to cheating. Elizabeth Olsen is fantastic playing up the sitcom tropes of this show, but when she puts a little ice in her voice, watch out. This is likely why Hahn's character is taking her time, and why Monica probably wishes she didn't just blurt out names like she's at an MCU pub quiz. You gotta tip-toe here. Because one wrong move? Boom.
This is why all of Westview is surrounded by the aforementioned trucks and floodlights. Wanda is an MCU time bomb, and when her fantasy cracks completely, it's gonna be bad. The most powerful Avenger has not been allowed to properly process her grief, and the results could prove utterly catastrophic.
WandaVision provides vibranium cocktails (er, new episodes) every Friday on Disney+.