WandaVision episode 4 may have been a "be careful what you wish for" situation, as it delivered almost exactly what I demanded last week: a completely shaken-up version of the show as we know it.
Of course, beware spoilers in this WandaVision episode 4 recap and review. We dive into all the big details and plot points of the episode, and add speculation about what's next to come in the Disney Plus series.
WandaVision episode 4 recap
The format of episode 4 threw out the "let's live inside a sitcom" template and switched to something far more familiar to Marvel movie fans.
We start off with a view of how you get un-blipped. Or to be more specific, how Geraldine woke back up in a hospital after the Hulk used the Infinity Stones in the Iron Gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame, to restore the half of the universe's population that had been erased from existence by Thanos in the previous Avengers movie.
Then we learned what many assumed: Geraldine is actually Monica Rambeau, daughter of Maria Rambeau. We met both in the Captain Marvel movie, which took place in the 1990s, but now she's grown up.
Monica learns that thanks to Thanos, she was gone for not just a moment, but for five years. She had been at the hospital to pick up her mother, who was being discharged for successful cancer treatment. But over the intervening five years, Maria's cancer returned and she passed away.
Insert Marvel Studios credits, and we're off to the races. First, we meet Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg), the current director of S.W.O.R.D., which isn't the organization we knew in the comics. It now stands for Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division, as the W isn't for World in this case.
Hayward reveals that Maria Rambeau started S.W.O.R.D. in this reality, building it from the ground up. So much for any hopes of seeing Abigail Brand, commander of S.W.O.R.D. in the comics.
Let's not jump past Hayward too quickly. While he's never been in a Marvel property before, there was a Brian Hayward who was Hydra -affiliated. Technically, he was in Project Centipede, a part of Hydra — but now we know to suspect Tyler Hayward of being more than meets the eye.
Hayward then asks Monica to take on a missing-persons case that the FBI is working on, and his use of pronouns suggests they're trying to find a man.
Jump cut to another returning MCU character: FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), whom we first met in the Ant-Man movies.
Woo is dealing with not just a missing-persons case, but also a perplexing puzzle about Westview, N.J. (hey, we know that place) that the local cops doesn't believe exists. Woo also doesn't want to go into Westview because he has a feeling that Westview doesn't want him.
We get another piece of the WandaVision puzzle figured out as we watch Monica send in a S.W.O.R.D. drone, which gets swallowed up by an invisible force field.
If you're thinking that's the same drone Wanda found, you're not wrong. Then Westview's force field drags Monica into the town to the shock of Jimmy.
Jump-cut to 24 hours later, and we have our third MCU return: Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from the Thor movies. She's in a truck with a bunch of other experts whom S.W.O.R.D. is calling in, and Darcy quickly realizes that S.W.O.R.D. has no clue what's going on.
Of course, the wisecracking Darcy pieces it together faster than anyone else. She scans the area to notice that the cosmic microwave background radiation is off the charts and tries to explain things to Hayward. Before you know it, she pulls out a physioscope to visualize the signal from Westview, and sees a blurry version of episode 1 of WandaVision.
Darcy is confused about Vision's appearance, exclaiming "He's dead, not blipped." She then goes on to ask a lot of the questions we've been asking, including “Did the universe create a sitcom starring two Avengers?”
Darcy and Jimmy soon figure out that the cast members of WandaVision are people from real life, under different names.
Next, much as we saw Monica send that drone in, Jimmy and Darcy use a broadcasting device to send a message in, to try and talk to Wanda. That's the same message we heard coming out of the radio.
Still, confusion surrounds everyone, and Darcy tells Hayward "It’s a sitcom. ... I’m working with the same scarcity of intel," which is clearly intended to make the audience feel as if it's OK to be confused. Watching the situation in Westview, Darcy and Jimmy are confused about Monica's mental state and why she's seemingly another person.
All the while, a man in a hazmat suit crawls through the tunnels to Westview. Yes, we're tying up another loose end, as he emerges in a beekeeper suit.
Darcy and Jimmy have an emotional reaction to the sight of Wanda giving birth to twins. Then they're utterly confused when Geraldine/Monica mentions Ultron.
Much like the episodes before it, we get the big plot advance at the end. Darcy and Jimmy witness Geraldine/Monica get ejected from the show, but to "viewers" of the "show" it just looks like she was edited out in post-production.
Then, we see the full action shot of Wanda blasting Geraldine out of Westview, and Geraldine becomes Monica again. Wanda's powers are on full display and she rebuilds the broken walls that Geraldine was shot through.
In the most unsettling moment of episode 4, we then see Vision as we saw him in Avengers: Infinity War — dying, but talking to Wanda. After Wanda processes this vision, they have a conversation that seems to tell us everything we need to know about this Westview:
Vision: "We could go wherever we want."
Wanda: "No we can’t. This is our home."
Vision: "Are you sure?"
Wanda: "Don’t worry darling. I have everything under control."
If that wasn't obvious enough, Vision grimaces, and on the outside reality, Monica says three simple words: "It's all Wanda."
WandaVision episode 4 review
I loved that ending, with the reveal that WandaVision is a Wanda Maximoff Production. The idea of Wanda controlling all of this is one of the major fan theories, but it doesn't necessarily have to be true. She might just think she has it all under control.
I wanted a less formulaic episode, and I (kinda) got one. Instead of a sitcom for the first 4/5ths of WandaVision episode 4, we got a mystery/procedural drama. Of course, WandaVision stayed true to form, giving us the major story-advancing nugget at the end.
This episode thrives thanks to Kat Dennings, Randall Park and Teyonah Parris, who all bring their best to the table.
Dennings' dry banter works well in the confines of the WandaVision world (Darcy still wants that coffee, by the way), and Parris really nailed the emotional drama of discovering her mother passed while she was blipped away. Park had a little less to do, but his line about having kids was really well delivered.
That all said, I'm hoping WandaVision episode 5 returns us to the sitcom world. Maybe Wanda is bringing the cast to the 80's this time? I could see us spending more time outside of Westview, but now that the FBI and S.W.O.R.D. crew has caught up to the end of episode 3's story, it feels like they'll return us to our regularly scheduled program.
Stay tuned, true believers. We're going to cover WandaVision episode 4 theories and Easter eggs in an upcoming post.