'WandaVision' Episode 4 Review: Teasers for what's really going on in Westview tie the show to the greater MCU

'WandaVision' moves on from being a sitcom and onto a proper MCU superhero show bringing in a number of familiar faces and characters

                            'WandaVision' Episode 4 Review: Teasers for what's really going on in Westview tie the show to the greater MCU
Tayona Parris as Monica Rambeau and Randall Park as James Woo on 'WandaVision' (Marvel Studios)

Spoilers for 'WandaVision' Season 1 Episode 4

Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has created a beautiful dream for herself and Vision (Paul Bettany) in the small town of Westview, but we saw just how much that dream started to unravel in the last episode. Now, the show itself has woken up from that dream, giving viewers a more familiar sense of Marvel's cinematic storytelling, bringing in plot threads and characters from 'Avengers: Endgame', 'Thor', 'Ant-Man', 'Captain Marvel' and more.

'WandaVision' was meant to kick off an all-new era in Marvel storytelling — and for the first time, really, since 'Avengers: Endgame', the MCU feels real again. There's no stronger reminder of the fact that 'WandaVision' fits into the wider MCU than with a scene set during the events from 'Endgame' in which Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is reconstituted by the Hulk's (Mark Ruffalo) use of the Infinity Gauntlet to bring half the universe's population back into existence.

From there, it's an episode crammed full of Easter Eggs making up for lost time, as we're introduced to "Geraldine" in her real-life persona — Captain Monica Rambeau, daughter of Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), friend to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and founder of SWORD.

We're given glimpses into what the world's been like after 'Endgame', and how government peacekeeping agencies adjusted to a sudden halving of their personnel after 'Infinity War' — the introduction of "sentient weapons". 

As Monica is sucked into Wanda's suburban sitcom paradise, we see SWORD bring in a number of experts, including familiar faces James Woo (Randall Park) and astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (Darcy Lewis) to try and figure out just what's going on.

While no clear answers are given, the bizarre nature of the show's first three episodes is at least given a lot more context, grounding the surreal sitcom fantasy in the relatively more stable, but still fantastical world of the MCU. 'WandaVision' is no longer just a dream, the show's shifted back into the world of sci-fi superheroics, as SWORD examines the nature of Wanda's "cosmic microwave background radiation". 

Noticeably absent, of course, is the presence of any kind of actual superhero. With Wanda and Vision living suburban lives and Monica Rambeau without an origin story for her Photon/Captain Marvel/Spectrum persona from the comics, all we're left with are human agents.

However, 'WandaVision' has learned from the mistakes of 'Agents of SHIELD' and manage to strike that perfect balance between entertaining and charismatic characters, cinematic stakes and complicated, intricate science fiction that is drawing on over a decade of plot details. Kat Dennings steals the show as Darcy, bringing an irreverent charm to what would otherwise be a more grim military operation, a charm that holds the show together despite its tonal shift.

Though the episode is light on actual Wanda and Vision appearances — largely just recycling footage from earlier episodes — the one new scene at the end of the episode is a powerful one. As the audience becomes more and more aware of the nature of Wanda's reality, Wanda herself appears to acknowledge it more too.

And it's clear that she's going to stop at nothing to defend the home she's created. The last episode was the beginning of the end of the almost perfect paradise Wanda created — now, the threat of Wanda is all too clear.

From the trailers, it's clear that there are still a number of sitcom homages left to go but the battle lines have been made clear. 'WandaVision' has completely crossed over from being a sitcom into a Marvel superhero show and it's a transition that has managed to bring the theatrical level of Marvel gravitas that has been missing for a very long while.  

The next episode of 'WandaVision' airs on February 5 on Disney+.

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