WandaVision Episode 5 “On a Very Special Episode…” Review
Last week, WandaVision’s fourth installment began closing several loose ends as the show’s overarching mystery began to receive more hints and answers than it ever produced before. As the narrative decided to skip the 80s and take a focus on the modern-day, concerns as to whether the show would be able to keep up with its constant slew of surprises quickly made the rounds. WandaVision episode 5, however, closes many cognitional concerns from last week as it excellently focuses on exploring the character of Wanda Maximoff whose distorted salvation continues to draw to a close. As the government and Vision are hot on the psychokinetic Avenger’s disturbing coattails, WandaVision’s latest episode pulls no punches amidst presenting what is quite possibly its most marvelous entry thus far. “On a Very Special Episode…” is indeed an occasion Marvel fans will celebrate as the cinematic universe’s premiere Disney+ show makes some bold moves with even more valiant implications.
Exiting stage right and heading back into the main performance, episode five picks up where its predecessor left off as Wanda and Vision dive headfirst into the responsibilities of parenthood. As the two titular leads struggle to take care of their newly born children, Wanda is able to bend reality and age Tommy and Billy up a few years after a brief encounter with the suspicious Agnes who seemingly has answers to all of the family’s problems. Once the twins begin to grow, Wanda is forced to tackle the many themes of life as she teaches her children about the hardships of raising a dog. Meanwhile, without any interventions able to stop him and plenty of abnormal signs to explore, Vision comes the closest he has so far in uncovering the fact that Wanda is manipulating the world around them all while S.W.O.R.D., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and multiple other government properties attempt to also solve the anomaly of Westview.
Unlike its prior week, episode five of WandaVision may have more than two plotlines to juggle now as it continues to explore the government’s involvement in conquering Westview, However, none of the three stories remain separated from each other as they all tie into the narrative’s focus: concentrating on Scarlet Witch’s uncanny utopia from multiple perspectives that coincide with her mental state. Each share of characters is given a fair amount of time to dabble into their current predicaments as the series never attempts to spotlight different issues for a major bulk of its short half-hour run. When it comes to exploring the show’s overarching mystery and the engrossingly complicated artificial chemistry of the two Avengers, WandaVision fifth episode finds a perfect balance in multitasking what needs to be done for the sake of developing both its story and characters. With the jump from Hollywood to the small screen, Marvel manages to notably work around its constraints in an articulate manner.
Focusing on that newly established third plotline, Wanda’s entanglement with the government quickly becomes a driving reason for her unbalanced emotions that affects Westview. Discovering the reality of the Vision’s corpse and dying will is critical in further developing Wanda, but her engagement with external sources attempting to help her will no doubt lie more important in the longterm of current events. Her ability to exit the nonexistent location is a given confirmation at this point that her utopia is her own doing, but that known fact in itself provides many implications as to what each party’s end goal is. Westview is constantly being affected by Wanda’s emotions from the outside world. Whether or not that will end up being a key factor in her protecting the imagination she has concocted or destroying it is rather likely, but more importantly she can not escape her own evolution.
Wanda’s delusional fantasy is not all fiction that will one day soon be just that as we have seen through both physical items and mental attributions. The unusual happenings inside her version of the New Jersey suburban town all have to do with her own cognition as the subject of grief looms over the neighborhood. This episode’s main plot, about raising her family and letting go of what is lost, is a heartwrenching tale that brings the character one step closer to recovering from tragedy. Staying keen on developing the children’s need to let go of their latest pet dog Sparky is a cruel visual trick screaming from Wanda’s unconsciousness that reflects her need to let go of the lover she once lost in battle. Everything she partakes in while in Westview is a desire of hers, yet she is completely aware that her experience is unimpactful as it pertains to no physical consequences that will last forever.
For the first time since the show’s debut, Wanda’s breakdown and choices to not bend reality to her liking in a moment of distress allow audiences to see the real side of Vision’s thought process- or perhaps rather Wanda’s internal struggle with the Avengers’ greatest failures. Going back to the idea of Wanda betraying her husband’s will after stealing his body from S.W.O.R.D.’s headquarters and dragging it to Westview, it is abundantly apparent from their interactions that Wanda is fully aware that everything she is doing is for her own selfish desires. Every episode she faces the truth, Wanda is slowly coming to terms with what needs to be done: escape from her own vision of salvation. Each episode’s lessons and themes continue to coincide with the character’s beliefs- something that will hopefully build right up until its finale.
To close off an excellent episodic story that heavily ties into the title character’s theme of grief, WandaVision still manages to once again end on another shocking note. The former son of Magneto and quick-witted speedster returns to the Marvel Universe with a recast: Pietro who is this time played by Evan Peters makes a grand appearance before the credits can roll. Just when audiences thought WandaVision was closing off its key enigmas, the show opens a backdoor of more questions. Why did Wanda envision a new version of her brother? Is there a chance the multiverse could be involved as Elizabeth Olsen is set to star in the sequel to Doctor Strange? Will we finally get to see the twin’s parents before they died? Has Wanda traveled the multiverse? It is impossible to tell what role Quicksilver’s praised FOX actor will play in the series as he clearly is supposed to be a literal different interpretation of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s deceased Age of Ultron character, nonetheless, the suspense WandaVision is building upon is nothing short of incredible.
After last week’s great yet concerning kickoff to the present, WandaVision demonstrates once again why the audience should keep its trust in the series showrunners. Not only has the show remained constantly engaging as it continues to introduce new ideas and perspectives to Marvel’s never-ending expanding universe, but it in no way aims to oversimplify its truly horrifying reality its lead is mentally suffering from. As WandaVision looks rightfully forward in exploring and surprising audiences with its cognitively perceived world that defies reality itself, the anticipation for conclusions to its desired questions only becomes more anxious each week. The Marvel Cinematic Universe only moves forward with each new episode…