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WandaVision Episode Five – Review

Mike Peters

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WandaVision Episode Five image
Marvel Studios

Episode five of WandaVision series from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, how does it move the story forward, here’s our review.

While Episode four really picked up the pace of WandaVision, Episode five is the one that has blown the series wide open in every sense.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It showed a major schism in Wanda’s artificial reality. She’s confronted by people openly telling her that the WestView she lives in isn’t real. This happens to such a degree that she feels forced to leave her reality, temporarily. This is to confront S.W.O.R.D. and the FBI. It’s also blown the MCU wide open as we see actors who are in the Marvel Multiverse enter as plot points rather than a cameo.

We return to using classic sitcoms as a device for moving through the timeline in this episode. We’re now in the 80’s so Family Ties is the sitcom used as a basis for the title homage. Given that this was the show that catapulted Michael J. Fox to stardom, it seems appropriate that we go back to the future constantly in WandaVision. I’ve bemoaned the lack of laughs in the first few episodes, and this episode was no different. Yet, the plot is now moving at such a pace with so much drama, the comedy aspect is almost redundant. That said, it’s lovely to see the attention to detail in recreating these sitcoms. I particularly liked the stained glass windows in Wanda & Vision’s house. The one in the door appeared to be a recreation of Captain Marvel or Iron Man’s suit.

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There was also the return of the mid-episode advert. This one was for the ‘Lagos’ brand of kitchen towel. The name Lagos was an obvious reference to the capital of Nigeria. This was the location for The Scarlet Witch accidentally killing numerous civilians in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

The Hex

Episode four acted as a catch-up for what was happening outside of Wanda’s reality. Or ‘The Hex’ as Darcy is attempting to nickname it. The Hex is a term used to describe The Scarlet Witch’s reality-warping powers in the Marvel comics. It’s fair to say that this series is an appropriate point to bring it into the MCU. This means Episode five is the first one where everything we see happening inside The Hex and outside is taking place in parallel. Presumably, this will be the case for the four remaining episodes. But given the number of twists we’ve seen so far in this series, you wouldn’t rule anything out!

Man’s best friend

Wanda is actively challenged by almost everyone in her orbit in this episode. Her sons Tommy and Billy (aka Wiccan and Speed) want to age themselves even further so they can cope with their grief at losing their dog Sparky. Even though in the comics Sparky is a synthezoid dog, created by Vision, in WandaVision he appears to be a real dog. Sparky apparently dies after eating too many of Agnes’ azalea leaves. But, we never actually see the body, so maybe Sparky is still alive somewhere in WestView? Wanda tells them not to age themselves up & change reality to outrun their pain, and that they must face it. This becomes a prophecy for what happens at the end of the episode.

She is then challenged by S.W.O.R.D. who fly a drone into The Hex, at Monica Rambeau’s suggestion. But she is crossed by S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward. He attempts to kill Wanda with a missile, but she exits her reality to confront those who are trying to destroy her WestView. Her Sokovian accent returns & she is dressed in her Avengers costume. Hayward sees her as a threat after we discover that she stole Vision from S.W.O.R.D. HQ, in contravention of his living, will. But Jimmy Woo, Monica and Darcy Lewis are more sympathetic to her situation.

Wanda’s biggest challenge is saved for the end. Vision angrily presses her on what is happening in their world. She attempts to roll the credits on the episode. But he breaks her concentration and continues the conversation which results in a mid-air stand-off between them.

Recasting Pietro

As things calm down, the doorbell rings, much to Wanda’s surprise as she isn’t controlling this particular happening. She opens the door to be confronted by her brother Pietro aka Quicksilver. But in WandaVision he is played by Evan Peters. Peters played him in the X-Men movies, rather than Aaron Taylor-Johnson who played him in Age of Ultron. He immediately starts cracking jokes and is dressed like Jesse from Full House. Full House was the sitcom which featured Elizabeth Olsen’s twin sisters Mary Kate and Ashley. Don’t be surprised if there are more references to Full House in Episode six. The fact that it’s Evan Peters rather than ATJ is addressed by Darcy Lewis. She amusingly notes that Pietro has been recast.

The multiverse

Does this mean that we’re going to see more crossover between the MCU and the Marvel Multiverse in Phase four and five? With the Fantastic Four joining the MCU in Phase Five and now this, it looks very much like that may be the case.

Every time you wonder whether Marvel can surprise us any more, they come up with some new way of making our jaws drop. This episode was a Wandaful (sorry!) example of that.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 10/10


Thank you for reading our review of WandaVision episode five. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our WandaVision episode four review HERE.

Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.

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What Harry Potter Can Learn From Popular TV Adaptations?

Victoria Newell

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Harry Potter character image
Warner Bros.

With the announcement of a Harry Potter universe TV show, fans are alive with excitement and a little bit of concern. Will it live up to the hype? There are already concerns about TV adaptations, with all information about the Avatar: The Last Airbender have been extremely disappointing. People are worried that this show could be underwhelming out there. But there are several examples of shows that exist within a massive fandom that have seen large-scale success. Some of these big budget, large fan-base tv shows over the past decade include Game of Thrones, WandaVision, and The Mandalorian. So what can the Harry Potter series learn from the successes and failures of other popular TV adaptations?

Game of Thrones

For a decade, Game of Thrones ruled the silver screen. One of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful shows of all time, it had a massive following. But Game of Thrones had an overwhelmingly disappointing finale; and that’s what Harry Potter can learn from them. The writing in Game of Thrones was phenomenal in the early seasons because they pulled from the book. Even though Game of Thrones did not always stay true to the book’s plot, they stayed true to the character’s adaptations and development. Furthermore, they were staying on the basic plot line and end goal. When they ran out of books to adapt, the show began to take a decline. A great example is Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion, who’s character’s intelligent and witty writing plummeted after the writers couldn’t pull from the books anymore.

Author G.R.R Martin told the showrunners that they would need several more seasons to end the show the way the books will eventually end. But the showrunners were ready to only give it one more season. As a result, the last season was rushed and half-baked, throwing out all of the character development of the last ten years.

Where Harry Potter can learn from this is that they need to have a clear vision. Even if they don’t pull from books directly, if any characters from the books are making an appearance in the show, they need to be consistent with their portrayal in the books. For the story to be successful, they need to have a vision for the ending and work towards that ending for a good final pay-off. Where Game of Thrones was just adapting as they went without an end in mind, Harry Potter has the opportunity to start preparing for a great pay-off now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a perfect example of preparing for a great pay off early, laying down the ground-work for a finale a decade later in Iron Man. Today they are starting a new arc, kicking off the next Marvel run with a tv show;WandaVision.

WandaVision

*SPOILERS*

The current phenomenon WandaVision is still entertaining Marvel fans, and is set to end in two weeks. The first Marvel TV show to blatantly connect to the MCU, WandaVision is an amazing example of a show that expands on a fictional universe. The show follows Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) as she creates an alternate universe for her to live out her sit-com suburban fantasies with the dead corpse of Vision. It’s a darker turn for the MCU, and is sparking an entire online discourse full of fan-theories and speculation. While the ending to WandaVision is still a mystery, it’s becoming clear that it will set up the Multiverse, and perhaps the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Young Avengers. It has serious and exciting implications for the future of the MCU.

This Harry Potter series has potential to do the same thing. It could expand upon the Harry Potter universe and add new content to the greater world. What makes WandaVision so exciting is how it is enlarging the MCU for the next decade. The Harry Potter show is perfectly poised to do the same thing. It’s important to note that this seems to be what Fantastic Beasts is attempting to do. But where Fantastic Beasts fails is where WandaVision succeeds. WandaVision has familiar (previously minor) characters with established emotional weight at its center (Wanda and Vision). Fantastic Beasts has mostly strangers at its core. If Harry Potter wants to seriously expand the universe, it would be in it’s benefit to have some familiarity at its center (such as the Marauders or the Blacks).

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian does somewhat the opposite of WandaVision, and is another direction for Harry Potter. Star Wars spin off The Mandalorian places new characters in a fairly familiar setting. Star Wars has a lot of lore, and Mandalorian is an episodic show that just explores that lore. It doesn’t introduce a lot of new content, and has a lot of familiar faces in and out, such as Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett. However, it centres on new characters with different roles.

Harry Potter too has a lot of lore attached to it, just hang out on Pottermore for a few hours, and the series could take a Mandalorian approach. Give us new characters in a familiar world with a new role. Such as a person who works in the Ministry of Magic, or Hogwarts from the perspective of the professors. While Mandalorian provides more depth to the events after Return of the Jedi, it doesn’t add a lot new to the story. Almost everything has been introduced somewhere else. Harry Potter doesn’t have to put a lot of pressure on it’s tv show to introduce a lot of new things, but can simply exist within the universe in an episodic fashion.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of directions that this Harry Potter show could take, and that’s what makes it exciting. Learning from these three very successful TV shows that exist within a large fandom, Harry Potter has a lot to take away from them. A clear story arc is the most important thing this show can learn from all three of these examples. Whether it adds more to the universe, or exists within the pre-existing Harry Potter sandbox has yet to be seen. Whatever they do, it is sure to bring a little more magic into our lives.


Thank you for reading our article on what the Harry Potter TV series can learn from other popular shows. What would you like to see in it? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about what the Harry Potter TV series could be about HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone HERE.

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