WandaVision: Season 1 Episode 1 – Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience (Recap & Review)

[Please note: there are FULL spoilers here for the entire first episode of season 1.]

A newlywed couple have just moved to town, a regular husband and wife – or not. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) begin their day in the kitchen, as Wanda uses her magic powers to clean the dishes, and Vision, an android, gets ready for work. The two notice a heart on today’s date on the calendar, but neither wants to – or is able to – remember specifically what the occasion is. Vision dons his human disguise, and leaves for work.

At home, Wanda receives a visit from Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), her new neighbour (to the right, Agnes’ right that is, not Wanda’s). The two discuss the impending event, where Agnes surmises it is probably a wedding anniversary, and sets out to plan the perfect night for Wanda and Vision. Meanwhile, at work doing his computing job, Vision’s boss, Arthur Hart (Fred Melamed) reveals that he and his wife will be attending the Vision residence for dinner, explaining the heart icon on the calendar. Vision calls Wanda, and the two unknowingly agree to a very different plan for the evening.

An era-appropriate advertisement is shown, for a product made for a woman who always burns her husband’s toast: a Stark Industries Toast Mate with an ominous slogan: “Forget the past, this is your future!”

Arriving home, Vision is accompanied by Arthur Hart and his wife (Debra Jo Rupp), but finds the house bathed in candlelight with Wanda nowhere to be found. An awkward introduction takes place, where Wanda’s Sokovian heritage is referenced, before Wanda soon realises she has no dinner prepared. Thankfully, Agnes is ready to save the day with a spare dinner for four just sitting around, but Wanda hurries her out of the kitchen. The cooking does not go well, as Wanda seemingly cannot control her powers, and she is almost busted several times as Mrs Hart offers to help in the kitchen.

An impromptu singalong does little to lighten the mood, but eventually Wanda makes do with a unique meal; “Breakfast for dinner, how very European”. A pressing conversation from Mrs Hart makes it clear that neither Wanda nor Vision remember where they’ve come from or when they were married. As Arthur presses the issue, he begins to choke, and his wife can do little but tell him to “Stop it.” Eventually, at Wanda’s command, Vision must reach into the boss’s throat and remove the food, saving him. As the Harts leave soon after, Vision is told he has most likely earned a promotion

Acknowledging that they really are an unusual couple, Wanda and Vision he two decide to use the date as their personal anniversary. They decide on their song (“‘Yakety Yak’, naturally.”) and Wanda conjures wedding a pair of wedding rings. As Wanda and Vision pose, the camera pulls out to show someone watching the events on a CRT screen, taking notes in a notepad with a strange logo.

+ generally, it’s great to see Wanda and Vision together, despite the horrid end the latter came to in Infinity War. I always thought Wanda in particular was underutilised in the Infinity Saga, as it’s now known, so I can’t wait to see her get to really let loose her powers. As far as other characters, Agnes (Hahn) is a real standout, and made the most of her appearances
+ this whole thing was surreal and weird, like a eldritch version of I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners. The subtle facial expressions of confusion or horror on the characters as they struggle to recall basic detail of their lives hints at something far darker to come
+ the S.W.O.R.D. logo showing up right at the end makes for a few interesting ideas to come, but best to leave it at least another episode before we go too crazy with fan theories
+ Arthur Hart said it best to Vision, “Look around, there’s chaos going on in your household.” Oh Arthur, if you only knew…

– straight up, this episode was interesting but supremely uneventful, with the most important moment coming in the final few seconds. Compared especially to the second episode, released simultaneously, this almost felt like something that could have been an unreleased pilot
– from the very beginning, I can understand entirely why people would be turned off. If they were fans of the flashy, CGI-heavy Marvel Cinematic Universe films and then saw this they must be disappointed or confused. Though not necessarily a deep cut of the comic book version of Wanda Maximoff, a medium concept of her character and powers is probably required
– I really wish I had not seen any of the trailers before this, and to that end I have resolved to not watch any more sneak peaks, previews, inside looks or special clips. Similarly, so much stuff is spoiled by websites in just their article titles or featured images

> Hahn previously voices Doctor Octopus in the animated film, Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse. Between you and me, I don’t foresee a crossover any time soon

Final thoughts: I really liked how different this was to everything else in the MCU so far, but I can entirely understand why people may not have lasted the whole episode. If you did, and you enjoyed it, then we are on the same page, and we can see where this goes together.

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