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WandaVision Episode 5's Huge Twist Ending Could Change the MCU Forever

As Wanda seems to lose control of "the Hex" and more is revealed to Vision – and the audience – the series delivers its biggest and most meta surprise yet with a knock at the door.

by | February 5, 2021 | Comments

WandaVision

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

Warning: The below contains spoilers for WandaVision episode 5.

After last week’s episode of WandaVision returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Episode 5’s attempt to go back to the TV format feels unconvincing. This is, of course, by design, as even Vision (Paul Bettany) is starting to see the artifice involved in his own television show. But does it mean Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is losing control of it all?

Also, will a certain knock at the door change the MCU forever?

Let’s take a look at the family ties involved in Episode 5 and what it could mean for the health of Wanda’s relationship.


Clues Lie in the Aspect Ratio, And the Floor Plan

WandaVision

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

As we noted last week, Westview had so-far been presented in the old, boxy TV frame, while the world outside its city limits was shown in the MCU’s widescreen aspect ratio. This week, though, Westview’s take on 1980s family sitcoms contained a striking difference from shows of the era like Family Ties: it was framed in the modern dimensions of television. For those keeping track of the technical details, that’s the 16:9 frame of current flat-screen TVs or the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

That framing is important. With a few exceptions, television would not adopt the wider aspect ratio until the early part of the 21st century – it was a change enforced by the US government’s decision to abandon the old analog TV wavelength that Wanda is using and in deference to the proliferation of high definition flat screens. But as Wanda is using Family Ties as the source of 2800’s look this week – and this week’s sappy opening credits sequence – the wider framing is our first indication that she may be losing her grip on Westview.

The recreation of the 1980s TV is not as accurate as the previous decades seen on the show. Besides the width of the frame, camera set-ups, lightning, and even performances all strike a more modern feel. See also: Wanda’s appropriation of the Keaton Family home. On Family Ties, their house is oriented in the exact opposite layout of 2800. The kitchen is to the far left of the stage and the front door stands at the back of the living room on the far-right. As head writer Jac Schaeffer told us recently, a certain level of consistency in the 2800 set was intentional and though the interior finishings greatly resemble those seen in the Keaton house – it has enough wood paneling to rival the Brady house – we’re beginning to believe the fairly consistent layout of 2800 is the true shape of the New Jersey home Wanda is using in her fantasy.

And, as we’ve suspected all along, WandaVision wants us to believe this is all Wanda’s doing.


The Sokovian Accent Returns

WandaVision

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

The most damning piece of evidence in the case against Wanda finally arrived this week when she emerged from Westview – or “the Hex” as Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) is calling it – to confront S.W.O.R.D. in an attempt to get them off her back. She seems fully aware of what’s happening and why. The scene also comes with one of the most unexpected returns: Wanda’s Sokovian accent.

Though it was present in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda appeared to have trained herself to speak in a more generic American accent by the time of Captain America: Civil War. But in her anger against S.W.O.R.D., she appeared more foreign than she has in nearly a decade. Just about anyone masking their native accent would do the same in a stressful situation, yet it is unclear if it was just her anger leading to Eastern European vowels and syntax. Even in her white-hot rage against Thanos (Josh Brolin), her accent didn’t break, so why allow the Sokovian part of her to be exposed now? It may be another sign that her control of the situation is weakening. It also suggests to us that her American accent was an early sign of her reality-warping ability.



Or, it could be something we have not considered until now: Wanda may still under the influence of Hydra.

S.W.O.R.D. Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) was pretty quick to consider her an enemy combatant and the accent slip could be an indication of a personality buried in Wanda’s psyche which is still loyal to Hydra; although, in both the MCU and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. realities, the organization is complete defunct. Even the commercials would seem to agree with this, although, as this week’s product prominently featured Lagos, it would also seem the ads are accounting for the worst events of Wanda’s life.

As it happens, Monica’s (Teyonah Parris) testimony about the energy around Westview seems to confirm our suspicious about what is really going on. As she put it, the barrier felt like grief and considering the way she stormed the facility housing Vision’s corpse, we’re inclined to belief her inability to grieve anything is the true source of the Hex.


The Vision Thing and What It (Might) Mean

WandaVision

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

Then again, it is possible her grief-stricken psyche is beginning to heal – if one wants to be charitable in their interpretation of events. For one thing, she’s less interested in hiding her powers, producing a dog collar from thin air in full view of Agnes (Kathryn Hahn). For another, her control over Vision is weakening and she did nothing to edit out his suspicions about their situation. (If you want to be less charitable, Vision’s increasing independence and understanding of his situation could also be another sign of Wanda losing control in every conceivable sense.)

Also, there is the fact that Wanda is clearly forcing him and everyone in town to play these sitcom roles. And as Vision saw with Norm (Asif Ali), it is causing everyone harm. Like Vis, we’re inclined to believe Wanda doesn’t mean to be hurting anyone, but kidnapping thousands of people to live out the shallow lives of TV characters is pretty twisted. In fact, it’s a plan worthy of Marvel Comics characters like Arcade or Mojo.

Not that we’re suggesting either is behind this – at least, not seriously at this point. The story is more compelling if it really is all Wanda’s doing. Doubly so if it turns out much of the Westview Anomaly is unintended consequences she will eventually have to answer for.

Then again, for those hoping for a certain devilish detail to emerge, it is interesting to note her powers do not work on the twins. Also interesting: the look on Agnes’s face when Wanda tells the boys she cannot raise the dead. Despite S.W.O.R.D. behaving as though the citizens of Westview are alive, we still think it’s possible Wanda is reanimating a whole lot of deceased New Jersey residents.


“No, More Mutants!” and The Knock At the Door That Could Change the MCU Forever

X-Men Evan Peters

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

But the absolute most shocking moment this week was the return of Pietro Maximoff, played by X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s Evan Peters. As Dr. Lewis noted, Wanda has recast her brother.

The joke is about as meta as you can get. Pietro, as a character, appeared in both X-Men: Days of Future Past and Age of Ultron under a special arrangement between Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox. At the time, the two studios were completely separate entities and the film rights to Pietro were cloudy. Although Pietro and Wanda are better affiliated with the Avengers, they first appeared in X-Men comics as villains. As it happens, the studios agreed to share the character as long as Fox made no mention of the Avengers and Marvel made no mention Pietro’s (and Wanda’s) Mutant father.

In Age of Ultron, he was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and expressly not a Mutant. As Hayward reminded us in this week’s episode, both Pietro and Wanda’s powers are a result of Hydra’s experiments with the Mind Stone. Also, the Taylor-Johnson version of Pietro died at the end of the film (a point we keep bringing up as we believe Wanda never grieved for him). Peters, meanwhile, would continue to appear as the character in two subsequent X-Men films.

WandaVision

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

And then, in a terrifying display of power, Disney bought 20th Century Fox and handed control of the X-Men film property to Marvel Studios.

Speculation on a new film and a new Wolverine occurred even before the merger was official, but there was also the possibility the arrival of Mutants into the MCU would be more subtle. By bringing Peters into WandaVision — something that had been rumored for some time – Marvel has seemingly introduced its first Mutant.

For fans of comic-book Wanda, this is a big deal as she banished most of mutantkind in a 2005 miniseries called House of M. The effect of her decision was so widespread, X-Men comics are still restoring powers to the mutants she altered even today. As it happens, her reality warp went into effect when she uttered “No more Mutants” – a directive Marvel Entertainment’s chairman and CEO emeritus Ike Perlmutter would follow up on in subsequent years. As Marvel Studios began to make a foothold at the box office, he became increasingly annoyed with the small royalty the company received from Fox’s X-Men films. An attempt was made to bury the characters, although, he was more successful taking The Fantastic Four – a film property also controlled by Fox – out of the Marvel Comics limelight for a time.



So, it is only fitting that we, as many fans have done already, take comic book Wanda’s infamous statement and apply the Lionel Hutz red pen to it by saying, “No, more Mutants!”

Of course, it remains to be seen if this is how it will play out. Peters’ character may just be another New Jersey resident press-ganged into playing the part of Pietro Maximoff. It is also possible he really is the Pietro of the X-Men film reality. If so, he is incontrovertibly a Mutant and that changes the fabric of the MCU in a fundamental way.

Then there’s the topic of his father, but that’s a discussion for another day.

In the meantime, it would seem WandaVision will deliver us a pretty full house at 2800 next week – although, the presence of Pietro may force the series off course from the 1990s and its TGIF programing block. In its place will no doubt be something to make us still look forward to Friday.

New episodes of WandaVision premiere on Fridays on Disney+.


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