Warning: This WandaVision episode 6 review contains spoilers. If you have not watched the Disney Plus show yet, then bookmark this page and come back when you're all caught up...
Appointment television has become something of a rarity thanks to Netflix insisting on releasing all episodes at once. Yet, WandaVision suits the weekly release schedule perfectly, offering cliffhanger after cliffhanger and allowing Marvel fans to theorize over the smallest details – even more-so than The Mandalorian, which told more individual stories episode-to-episode, rather than being essentially a movie split into nine parts.
Last week, we saw Pietro Maximoff, now played by Evan Peters, show up at the Maximoff residence. It was a colossal reveal that crossed over the multiverses to bring the X-Men version of Quicksilver into the carefully curated Marvel Cinematic Universe. It could have been a baffling choice, but Peters is phenomenal in the role and it’s hard to imagine Aaron Taylor-Johnson having the same cocky swagger yet likable charm. Peters nails being the cool uncle who lies about until 4pm, only to cause chaos with the children when he’s finally awake. Even if there are no multiverse-antics at play here and they really have just recast Pietro, the choice is entirely justified by this one episode.
The impact of his appearance is felt immediately. Following the Malcolm in the Middle-style opening, we see Pietro encouraging the children to be even more boisterous than normal. It’s Halloween and the family is getting ready to go out trick or treating, with everyone wearing comic-book accurate costumes (each outfit is explained away as taking inspiration from different things). Vision, though, has other plans and goes into detective mode trying to find out what’s really happening in Westview.
Watching the android become increasingly aware that nothing’s right in this idyllic suburb, and going so far as to try and escape at the cost of his own life, is particularly ominous. I would have liked to have seen the glitches played out a little more and made creepier, but these scenes reinforce just how terrifying Wanda’s powers have become.
Wanda’s talk with Pietro in the town square also helps exemplify how things are really wrong in Westview. The speedster will no doubt help us get some much-needed answers – not being a stranger or husband or son, but a brother, Pietro can hopefully help Wanda open up, and maybe even reverse course on what’s happening. Either that or Pietro’s actually a pawn in the real villain’s scheme to destroy Wanda’s life...
Elizabeth Olsen plays the broken Wanda superbly, the character caught between wanting to hide reality and finally being able to talk with someone. Paul Bettany is equally great as Vision, playing the concerned husband role with great subtlety. Both actors have been stunning all season, and it’s exciting to think the other opportunities these Marvel shows will give to other leading actors who were sidelined during the main Avengers movies.
Speaking of the Avengers movies, the story unfolding outside Westview feels much more in-line with what we have come to expect from the MCU. Things are growing tense as the head of SWORD and Rambeau’s Scooby squad lock horns, and I’m excited to see Kat Dennings’ Darcy in Wanda’s sitcom world, but these scenes continue to fall a little flat. The rest of WandaVision is just so bright and whimsical and downright charming, all with hints of an underlying darkness, while the SWORD moments are becoming almost purely plot-driven, with Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo getting less and less time to do magic tricks. Give him more time to do magic tricks!
Saying that, the final moments build perfectly to an action-packed climax that sets up the final three episodes. Wanda’s powers are truly terrifying and there will no doubt be a few more twisty cliffhangers ahead. And sure enough, I’ll be tuning in again next Friday, excitedly looking forward to finding out who’s potentially manipulating Wanda – and I’m convinced there’s someone pulling the strings. Right now, in the midst of a pandemic that could last who-knows-how-long, having something to look forward to every week has become more important than ever. Thanks, then, to WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer. Not only has she delivered a fantastic series that’s both comical and deeply sad, but also given my life structure in this strange time.
Episodes of WandaVision are being released weekly by Disney Plus. Check out the full WandaVision release schedule for when to expect the next episode. For more Marvel coverage, check out our primer on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.