For three episodes now, WandaVision has mostly given us a wacky sitcom homage. Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) has made it clear that she is in control of whatever fake show they are appearing on, and Vision (Paul Bettany) is somehow still alive. Nobody really knows what’s going on, but in the latest episode, we just got a peek behind the curtain.
Episode 4 of the Disney+ series, appropriately titled "We Interrupt This Program," showed us that the authorities outside of Wanda’s fiction are just as puzzled as to what is happening as real audiences likely are. We also saw just how firmly connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe the series is... in case there was any lingering doubt. In many ways, this installment begins Phase 4 of the MCU in earnest, thanks to some returning friends.
***WARNING: From this point forward, there will be huge spoilers for Episode 4 of WandaVision. If you have not watched yet, then get outta here, Dewey! How many times do we have to say it, you don’t want this! Get outta here!***
Teyonah Parris begins the episode, and she doesn’t do it as Geraldine, the character we’ve seen her play within Wanda’s morphing sitcom. We knew that she was really playing Monica Rambeau, but this episode confirms it instantly.
If anyone has forgotten that Monica Rambeau is Maria Rambeau’s little daughter from Captain Marvel, a crash course is given. The opening shots of dazzling colors and disorientation right away remind you of the opening shots of Captain Marvel, as we see Monica return from Thanos’ snap, aka “The Blip.” We hear a snippet of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) calling her "Lieutenant Trouble," and then the grown-up Monica is off looking for her mother.
In short, Monica got snapped while her mother Maria was in the hospital. Maria died during the five-year time gap, and now Monica has been un-snapped thanks to the events of Avengers: Endgame. This happens in a hospital, where a lot of people are getting un-snapped and appear out of nowhere. Are you getting that MCU feeling yet?
Cue the Marvel theatrical fanfare.
We cut right to the headquarters of S.W.O.R.D., which in the MCU stands for “Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division.” It is almost the same as its comics counterpart, except “Weapon” is used here instead of “World.” The organization isn’t new, either. Maria created it a while back. Space is full of threats, though Monica points out that it also has allies. Can't forget Aunt Carol.
Maria had hope that everyone who got snapped would return, so she put a protocol in place to ease such people back in. This is how Monica is forced to deal with her own trauma, not only from her blinking in and out of existence and losing five years, but losing her mother as well. She doesn’t create her own sitcom to heal and pretend, though. Instead, she goes to help investigate whatever is happening in Westview, New Jersey.
Westview is a place that may or may not exist, depending on who you ask. She gets looped in by the returning Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) from Ant-Man and the Wasp before being sucked into Westview herself. She’s still Lieutenant Trouble — because getting pulled through a funky barrier and into a reality-warping, we're-not-sure-if-this-place-exists town is likely the kind of behavior that Maria was worried about.
After she’s gone, the FBI and S.W.O.R.D. ramp everything up, and this includes bringing in a “clown car” full of scientists. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) of the Thor movies is in their ranks, and she manages to tap into the sitcom that is playing out within Wanda’s bubble.
Over the course of the episode, we see where all of the little interruptions that Wanda has experienced came from. The little red helicopter is a S.W.O.R.D. drone (with a magically changed production design to make it match the '60s aesthetic Wanda's got going on) that was sent in by Monica, the person watching the television at the end of Episode 1 was Darcy, and the voice calling Wanda over the radio was Jimmy. The beekeeper was a S.W.O.R.D. agent whose hazmat suit only became a beekeeping suit when he crossed the Westview perimeter.
Darcy and Jimmy become just as enamored by Wanda’s show as the rest of us are, but not before Darcy points out Vision and asks, “I know it’s been a crazy few years on this planet, but he’s dead, right? Not blipped. Dead.” Jimmy’s initial reaction also questions the weirdness: “The universe created a sitcom starring two Avengers?” Darcy has already accepted it, responding that yes, that it is the working theory. She's just as onboard as the rest of us.
As Jimmy and Darcy pretty much binge WandaVision and look for Monica, they catch the Ultron reference from Episode 3 and discover that Monica now appears as Geraldine. They see her glitch out, but the fake show edits what happened.
The actual show doesn’t, as we see more of Geraldine/Monica’s banishment than we saw last week. Wanda’s glowing red power-ball hands are in full display as she tosses Monica out of her world (and through several walls), and then again when she restores her home to order. When Vision enters, Wanda is shocked to see that he momentarily appears dead... drained of almost all of his color, with a gaping hole in his forehead. Thanks 3000, Thanos.
It doesn't last long. In a blink, Vision is set right, and he and Wanda settle down in front of the television with their newborn twins. Wanda says, “Don’t worry darling, I have everything under control.”
Monica, fresh out of whatever the hell is going on in there, knows this full well, saying, “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda.”
A huge (and official) MCU welcome to the fully grown Captain Monica Rambeau is in order. Parris nails the role from the jump, and we feel like she’s always been here. She’s going to have a lot to deal with, too — besides Wanda, the acting director of S.W.O.R.D. is a guy named Tyler Hayward. That could be nothing, or... he could be connected to Brian Hayward (of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) who was a part of Project Centipede and by extension, HYDRA.
Whether he's connected or not, we don’t trust him. The last time we trusted someone we lost an eye. We don’t trust Wanda either, as much as we hate to say it. She’s out of control, and her coping-via-sitcom mechanisms are baffling to those on the outside. Maria Rambeau would have grounded her as soon as Endgame wrapped.
That said, Wanda's journey is extremely watchable for Darcy and Jimmy. We’re overjoyed to have them back, and once Monica joins her information with theirs, perhaps there’s a chance they can walk Wanda back from the edge of insanity.
WandaVision gives plenty of trouble (and new episodes) every Friday on Disney+.