Episode eight of WandaVision series from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, how does it move the story forward, here’s our review.
Episode eight is all about back stories. Specifically Wanda’s, but it also gives us an insight into the origin of Agatha Harkness.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
The Salem witch trials
I thoroughly enjoy the character of Agatha, and Kathryn Hahn has played her magnificently. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that she has been the star of the show. Agnes has been brimming with humour, cheekiness and fun. But she always given us glimpses into her darker side, and it’s great to see that finally shown in all its purple glory. We see what is seemingly the beginning of her Machiavellian side, back in Salem in 1693. She is taken to task by her coven, which is led by Agatha’s mother, who chastises her for indulging in dark magic ‘above her station’. The coven attempts to kill her, but as a result of the dark magic she’s able to overpower their magic. Then kill them all, stealing their life force at the same time. She also steals her mother’s brooch, which she is always seen wearing.
The mind stone
Back in The Hex Agatha then uses her dark magic to control Wanda, demonstrating her own power. She then takes Wanda on a journey into her past, so that Agatha can try to understand how Wanda’s powers are different, even though they are both witches. Agatha is also the first person in the MCU to refer to Wanda as The Scarlet Witch. We see glimpses of presumably what is to come for Wanda in the MCU during the flashback to Hydra doing experiments on her. We briefly see the silhouette of The Scarlet Witch’s costume through the mind stone before Wanda passes out as she inadvertently absorbs the power of the mind stone.
Agatha admits that she created Fake Pietro (Evan Peters) as she was unable to resurrect the real Pietro on account of him being ‘riddled with holes’. We still don’t know what happened after ‘Fietro’ disturbed Monica Rambeau discovering Agatha’s lair at the end of Episode seven. But this will certainly be paid off in the finale.
It was really interesting to see Wanda being virtually powerless. Particularly after being in almost complete control of everything around her. It showed a side to her that we haven’t seen before. Yes, we’ve seen her feeling vulnerable, but she’s always had her powers to get her out of any situations that she wasn’t comfortable with. In Agatha’s crypt she doesn’t have access to those powers and was at the mercy of her captor. It forced her to retrace her steps and go back through some key moments in her life.
It allowed us to discover the genesis of WandaVision. Namely her Dad bringing DVD’s of classic American sitcoms into their home in Sokovia for Wanda & young Pietro to watch. As this is Marvel there were a lot of callbacks to things that had happened in previous episodes of this show, and a number of MCU movies as well.
It also allowed us to witness more of Wanda’s pain, from the loss of her parents to the experiments on her by Hydra after their death. The jump backs gave us further insight into her genuine love for Vision. And then her genuine grief after he died at Thanos’ hand in Infinity War. It showed us that she had created him in The Hex using the power of the mind stone, hence why when he tried to escape he was almost ripped apart.
Overall, I found this episode to be somewhat perfunctory. If you’re a fan of the MCU then you already know Wanda’s basic backstory. Even if there were parts to fill in they could easily have been done as cutaways, post-credit or pre-credit scenes. To take an entire episode in a nine-part series at this stage to do that just seemed very odd to me. With Marvel there is always a reason behind such production decisions, and I’m sure it will make sense in time.
Part of my disappointment about this episode no doubt stems from how good the previous seven have been. As a result, I’m desperate for more of that level of entertainment. But, I did enjoy the meta aspects of this episode. Especially Wanda actually witnessing herself in a sitcom studio, while Agatha sat in the audience seats testing her. I’m convinced that any disappointment anyone may have had with this episode will be blown out of the water by the series finale.
The post-credit scene was an enormous twist, clearly setting us up for the final battle. That battle looks like being between Wanda, Agatha and S.W.O.R.D. With S.W.O.R.D likely using a new white version of Vision as a weapon to destroy The Hex and Wanda. With magic being the key weapon throughout this series, it gives us a clear route into Doctor Strange 2 as well. Expect a cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch in episode nine.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10
Thank you for reading our review of WandaVision episode eight. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our WandaVision episode seven review HERE.
Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.
Friends Reunion: The One 17 Years Later
As you probably know by now, today we’re getting a Friends reunion! Exciting right? But much to every superfan’s dismay it’s just the cast getting together. Them reliving the memories, with host James Corden, playing games and looking around the old set. Unfortunately, it’s not a character episode where we get to find out what happened to our favourite group of friends over the last 17 years. Which let’s face it, is what we all want.
As Friends fans ourselves we are dying to find out just what happened to the gang. So much must have happened. Especially as most of the Friends children are now around the same age they were in the very first episode of Friends in 1994.
Below are our thoughts on where the gang and their families are now. So grab an oversized mug of coffee, a chocolate chip muffin and indulge in our Friends Reunion fan fiction alongside the HBO special.
Chandler, Monica, Jack and Erica.
Still living in their dream home in Westchester County, Chandler has continued his career in advertising. But has surpassed his junior title and is now the head of his copywriting team. Monica now works as a private chef and food blogger. She even has a YouTube channel with her daughter Erica. Erica is now 17 and in her senior year of high school. Monica is head of the Parent-Teacher Association, making sure all the students stick to the school rules, much to Jack and Erica’s embarrassment.
Erica follows in her mother’s footsteps as a foodie and has turned her hand to baking. With a huge following on Instagram, YouTube and TicTok, Erica is set to be big in the baking industry. Jack, Erica’s twin brother, on the other hand is a bit of an anomaly to the family as he is a rising American Football star and captain of the school’s team. He has already been offered a scholarship to several colleges across the country. Chandler tries to help him with the sport. But this mainly involves him playing Jack the video of the friends playing football on Thanksgiving in 1996. It’s not even in HD!
Chandler and Monica are still as strong as ever as they work as a team to navigate through their careers and raising their children. Not long after Rachel decided to stay in America, all the other offers on the house next door to Monica and Chandler’s fell through. Meaning the previous owners had to drop the price. Ross and Rachel bought it for a steal, something which Ross never let Monica forget and always brings it up at joint dinner parties… That was until the divorce – spoiler.
Ross, Rachel, Ben, Emma and Jamie
Not long after the pair move next door to the Bings, they decide to go back to the chapel in Vegas where they first got married and tie the knot again. This time they were sober.
After turning down the job for Louis Vuitton in Paris. Rachel got her job back at Ralph Lauren… thanks to Ron (Ross). But, she found it very hard to get back into the swing of things. Before things got too tedious at work Rachel fell pregnant with their second child, a boy called Jamie. She then decided not to go back to work and concentrate on Emma and Jack, alongside Monica and the twins.
Once Jamie was going to school, Ross who is now Director of Science at New York University, managed to call around his contacts and secure Rachel a job as a university lecturer in fashion and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
In true Ross and Rachel fashion though, it’s not always been smooth sailing. During their sixth ‘break’, Rachel bumps into Mark (from Louis Vuitton) on her way to work. After a night of dinner and drinks, they end up in a hotel room together. The morning after as they are leaving the hotel, Jamie and Jack Bing, who are on the way to see Emma at college, catch Rachel and Mark saying goodbye. Jamie and Jack tell Emma who tells Erica who tells Monica who tells Ross – you’ve got to watch out for the trail.
Ross, after years of ‘we were on a break’ jokes, in a fit of jealousy files for divorce. And moved back to his flat in New York which he was renting out. Jamie currently lives between Ross and Rachels house. But, he has to sleep on the couch in his Dad’s apartment as Ben has also moved in with his Dad. Carol and Susan have now moved out to Baltimore. But Ben wanted to stay in New York to pursue his modelling and acting career. Which he has been working on since his childhood starring role in a soup commercial.
Emma, now 19 has also moved into central New York to study Public Affairs at Columbia University. She and her friends regally hang out a trendy smoothie bar called Juiced near Central Park. One with metal tables and plenty of USB ports for their laptops. Emma likes it so much there as it used to be where her Mum and Dad hung out with their friends when it was called Central Perk. Emma also regally meets her Mum there for a catch up when she is in the capital for work. Rachel always reminisces about the time she worked there and the burned orange couch they all sat on. She wished she knew where that was now!
Currently, Ross and Rachel are trying to work on things… they are keeping it a secret for now!
Phoebe, Mike and Valerie
Now living just a few streets away from Monica, Chandler, and Rachel. Phoebe and Mike also have a daughter Valerie, who is now 15.
Phoebe is still a Masseuse and Mike’s piano playing has reached new heights. He is now a session pianist, who plays all over New York and North America alongside big named artists. One year he was booked on a world tour with Sting. But he had to turn it down when he found out Phoebe wouldn’t be able to tag along at any time, due to the restraining order.
To make sure they always had family time Phoebe, Mike and Valerie also have a family band where they perform at weddings, birthdays, and coffee shops. They also have a new rendition of Smelly Cat which they often perform. Valarie also has a huge crush on Jamie Geller and always tries to sit next to him when they have family gatherings. Jamie doesn’t realise she has the crush though, as he is too busy trying to talk to Valerie’s older cousin Frank Jr. Jr. Whose now 23 and a very successful Drag queen rumoured to be on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Phoebes niece, Leslie (also one of the triplets), now lives with Phoebe and Mike. After a couple of spats in rehab, following a loss in the family Leslie lost her way a little but was helped back on the right path by Phoebe who got her into massage therapy and even got her a job at the same Massage parlour.
Unknown to Phoebe, Mike and Ross, Leslie is currently dating Ben in secret and is also pregnant with his child.
Joey and Alex
Luckily for Monica and Chandler, Joey never really needed to make full-time use of his room in the Bing house. As he now lives in LA with his hot-shot lawyer wife, Alex (whom he met in ‘Joey’). Joey’s a movie star now. His most recent movie, a biographical movie where he played a young Al Pacino, got him an Academy Award nomination for the part but he lost out to the actual Al Pacino for his portrayal of in Godfather Part 4.
He does make use of ‘The Joey’ room when he comes back to visit. He often meets up with Ben to help him with his acting classes. Ben has already how the ‘Smell the Fart’ technique down.
Joey and Alex have also spent a lot of times with the Bings, as they are also going through the adoption process and need Chandler and Monica’s reference. They have said they will do it for them… but, they will not write it in crayon as they don’t think that method would work twice.
And the Friends of the Friends reunion?
Frank Jr, Alice, Frank Jr. Jr., Chandler and Leslie
Frank Jr and Alice had a long and successful relationship all the way up to 2 years ago. That’s when Alice sadly died whilst they were on the way to the Coachella festival with the triplets.
Not long after the loss of Alice, Frank Jr. sold their house and is now travelling America in a VW camper and studies yoga. Chandler enrolled at the University of Missouri to study veterinary medicine. Frank Jr. Jr. moved to Central New York where he found his love of Drag and fashion. Leslie as we know after a bit of a rocky patch is living with Pheobe.
After her second divorce to Sid Goralnik, both of her children in college and after realising Chandler is still in a committed relationship, Janice decides to take a trip to the Bahamas for a little downtime. There she meets a retired ophthalmologist.
The next time she see’s Monica and Chandler is at a family get together when she is introduced to them as the new Mrs Burk. ‘Oh My God’.
Not long after we last saw the friends, Gunther decided that if he wasn’t going to see Rachel every day there was no point in him still working at the coffee shop.
The coffee shop was taken on by a Karaoke company, then a few years after that is was bought out again and made into Juiced. For several years after leaving the coffee shop Gunther went from job to job not really knowing what he wanted to do. He was just about to lose all hope in finding his perfect career when one night he won the Lotto!
Gunther quickly invested in stocks and shares. Something he knew a lot about after listening in to people’s conversations in the coffee shop. This has since tripled his winnings. He now lives with his supermodel girlfriend, which he met whilst he was the subject of MTV’s the Batcheler, in a $2billion mansion. He managed to kit out his whole house just how he wanted, everything brand spanking new. All except one item. A burnt orange sofa that takes pride of place in his very own in-house coffee house.
So, there you have it. This is where we think our favourite Friends characters are now. Do you agree or disagree with our reunion thoughts? If you have any other ideas of what could have happened to them leave a comment below.
Find out about how Phoebe changed across the Friends series HERE.
Read IMDb information on Friends: The Reunion HERE.
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