WandaVision Episode 4 “We Interrupt This Program” Review
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a track record of being predictable, yet its grand outcomes and heart-pulling leads have always pushed the comic book empire through its various critical cracks and holes to retain its constant lovable feeling. Rather than diving directly into the 80s as many thought it would, WandaVision trades the past for the present amidst tackling the opposing perspective of the show’s delusional fantasy. However, the result will either play out substantially or end flat depending on its following events and what exactly viewers might be expecting from its intriguing enigma. ‘We Interrupt This Program’ does exactly as the title implies: the flow of Wandavision is interrupted to discuss the sanctuary warship sized elephant in the room.
Episode Four is a complete interruption and barrier destruction to Wanda’s immoral coping mechanism as it takes its time to pull back the curtains of the show’s overarching mystery. As the cogs in the titular lead’s new reality slow down for the first time since its debut, viewers get to witness the parties attempting to save the Avenger from the sadistic sitcom she is partaking in- or rather the one party we know of that is at least trying to understand what is going on with Wanda as they begin to invade the nonexistent location of Westview, New Jersey. WandaVision’s latest episode is a whole lot of “I knew it” rather than “aha” moments- which is fine, but disappointing, to say the least depending on where the show is headed. While it has not entirely ditched its overarching mystery just yet, WandaVision makes a risky move for its story as it plays it safe when tackling the present.
As Monica Rambeau- Geraldine as we previously knew her in Wanda’s distorted world- returns from the horrible catastrophe ignited by Thanos five years ago, the agent of S.W.O.R.D. is assigned to investigate a missing person case with America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation. After meeting up with her colleague who is making a comeback from his well-received comedic role in Ant-Man and The Wasp, Randall Park’s Agent Jimmy Woo and Monica encounter the energy field surrounding a town that seemingly appeared overnight according to local authorities.
When Monica falls into Westview along with her drone that Wanda previously discovered doused in some color, Agent Woo brings together the government’s highest-ranking forces to deal with the complicated situation at hand. Of all the characters that would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of these collaborating officials happens to be Kat Dennings’ Darcey Lewis from Thor and Thor: The Dark World, who is finally able to help uncover the details about Westview.
As everyone predicted thanks to the previous episode’s hints, Wanda is the one who is in control of her reality- or at least we currently are being lead to believe. Going back to those “I knew it” versus “aha” moments, Episode Four lacks any real surprises outside of its opening and ending moments that serve to further developed Wanda as a character and questions posed from the latest Avenger films. While it was clear that the series was going to focus on the internal conflicts of our dismantled heroine, WandaVision’s full overarching mystery may have either just come to an abrupt end or a new beginning.
Perhaps Marvel may still have some surprises up their sleeve, but it would be relatively disappointing for audiences if the mystery behind Wanda’s vision came with a simplistic answer this early on. Episode Four explains the majority of the anomalies Wanda has already faced, yet it still leaves room for interpretation and revelation. Aside from the shocking beginning and ending there truly is not much to discuss as the episode plays out as one giant recap from another perspective.
On the topic of those two particular scenes that will leave the audience in shock, by far the highlight moments of the entire episode comes from the fantastic bookending sequences that will have any die-hard Marvel fan’s muscles tensing before they end. During the opening, as viewers learn that Monica exited the world after the legendary Thanos snap, the agent gets to discover what it is like returning from dust five years later; the answer is something that is rather scary. It may be less than five minutes, but the journey viewers take on this disturbing reentry through a hospital is magnificent. From the immense panic and shuffling throughout the building to seeing those sick in beds pop out of thin air in need of immediate medical attention, seeing this world in utter chaos for the second time from the same event is eye-opening for viewers. For a show that has arguably suffered from predictability, not only is this moment surprising to see, but it adds more emotional depth to the events of the movies as we see a destructive yet hopeful aftermath take effect.
Speaking of disturbing things, they may only have a minute or two of screen time despite being the title characters, but Wanda and Vision’s ending for this episode continues to present why the former’s mental conflict will always remain the rightful spotlight of this series. In a brief moment of shock from the mention of Ultron, Wanda sees the true current predicament of her lover. Audiences get to see the cold dead corpse of Vision walking casually around asking Wanda if she is alright- her visual response is clearly a red flag that the answer is not really. As the infinity stone lies missing from his head along with the combination of rolled back eyes and dead skin discolorization, the possibility that Wanda is playing dress-up with the character’s corpse is becoming far more likely as her reality continues to have its walls torn down. The buildup to the psychological confrontation only becomes more hankering as Wanda closes in on reaching a meltdown.
While WandaVision’s fourth installment is a solid episode in itself, I cannot help but feel Marvel Studios may be taking the easy way out when it comes to developing a complicated mystery with a delicate payoff. The reintroduction of former Cinematic Universe cast members is delightful as familiar faces fans already enjoyed get to finally stand out from their vastly overshadowed appearances, but episode four feels like an unnecessary break from the drama audiences are waiting to see unfold with Wanda and her deceased partner.
There are still several questions to be answered in regards to what exactly is going on in Westview, but as it stands, this short broadcast interruption might have actually answered the majority of the audience’s questions if the only conflict in the series is to be Wanda’s internal struggle. Whether or not Episode Four will be well regarded in the future is obviously yet to be decided, but the current lookout shows that its long-term reception may come off as being quite weaker than its predecessors. Outside of its bookending moments, WandaVision’s fourth episode leaves more to be desired as it sticks to being a splurge of needed exposition despite containing a welcoming introduction and return for its three key characters.