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WandaVision Episode 4 – Review

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Monica Rambeau WandaVision image
Marvel Studios

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

Well, NOW we’re off to the races! The first three episodes of WandaVision have been gradually picking up the pace as we’ve weaved our way through the sitcoms of the 50s, 60s and 70s. But, this episode has brought us screaming up to the present day. It has also answered a number of huge questions from the first third of this nine-episode series.

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

Recap

Episode four essentially replays the entirety of the first three episodes. But it replays them from the other side of an alternate reality that Wanda (aka The Scarlet Witch) has created. It also sets up how crucial Monica Rambeau is going to be in the next phase of the MCU. She is a central part of the hierarchy of S.W.O.R.D. Whose inner workings we get a great look at in this episode. Her mother Maria, Captain Marvel’s best friend, was the Director of this sister organisation to S.H.I.E.L.D.

If the MCU follows the storyline of the comics, then Monica could become the new Captain Marvel. This may even be in Captain Marvel 2, which is scheduled for release in 2022.

S.W.O.R.D

Returning to WandaVision for now though, she is the first person from S.W.O.R.D. to penetrate Wanda’s ‘reality’. She’s also certainly the first person to confront her about the happenings in Age of Ultron and Infinity War. This results in Wanda throwing her through walls and out of her reality back into ours, as we saw at the end of Episode three. Clearly affected by this, Wanda’s control of her reality slips for long enough that we get to see Vision as he was at the end of Infinity War i.e. dead. Quickly though she snaps back. Vision then returns to his ‘normal’ appearance as she chillingly utters “I’ve got everything under control.”

The blip

Monica ‘awakening’ from ‘The Blip’ that occurs in Endgame at the start of this episode, confirms that the entire series takes place after the events of that movie. The whole episode felt much more ‘classic Marvel’ than the opening three episodes of this series. It was certainly a much more enjoyable watch. But, I was excited about which 80’s sitcoms would get the WandaVision treatment. So I was slightly disappointed none were paid homage to in this episode. But hopefully, we’ll continue our trawl through sitcom history in Episode Five. I’m hoping that Cheers and Diff’rent Strokes will be the touchstones for that episode, simply so someone can say “Wha’choo talkin’ about Wanda?”

Darcy

It was great to see Darcy Lewis finally appear on screen after only seeing her arm in the pullback at the end of Episodes One and Two. It’s pretty obvious already that she is almost as crucial to this series as Monica & Wanda. She has already struck up a comic partnership with Jimmy Woo. Both Kat Dennings and Randall Park have got comic chops from starring in 2 Broke Girls and Fresh Off The Boat respectively. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this in upcoming episodes. After I bemoaned the lack of humour in what were supposedly sitcom episodes, this instalment was full of the wit we’ve come to know and love from Darcy in her appearances in the first two Thor movies.

Wanda’s WestView ‘reality’ was systematically dismantled in this episode. It was revealed that all the supporting characters are in fact S.W.O.R.D. agents masquerading as WestView residents and friends of Wanda and Vision. Presumably, this is to keep an eye on them, but a question that hasn’t been answered is how did they all get there? No doubt, all will become clear in the next five episodes. The beekeeper from Episode Two was also revealed to really be a S.W.O.R.D. agent in a Hazmat suit, but Wanda had warped reality to make him appear to be a beekeeper. The helicopter from that same episode was also warped by Wanda to make it appropriate to the 1960s. This was after it was sent in as a drone by Monica and Jimmy to scan WestView in the present.

Hendrix

There was something telling in the use of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile in this episode as well. The Marvel movies are renowned for their brilliant use of music, which is something DC has understandably tried to ape in some of the DCEU movies. Although for DC, things can only get better after the complete mess that was Suicide Squad. That film used great music, but with all the subtlety of Thor tenderizing a steak with his hammer.

The choice of Voodoo Chile is a great choice of song in any instance. But it’s also in keeping with the use of the likes of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC in the likes of Thor, Iron Man and Deadpool. It’s also a clear reference to Wanda controlling the reality around her with her powers. Not only that it’s a teaser about what we can expect from her sons Tommy and Billy as they grow up and become Wiccan and Speed.

What next?

This episode has unquestionably set up the rest of the series and given a number of spin-off points into other upcoming Marvel series and films. Episode Five is now as eagerly anticipated for us as Darcy’s coffee is for her!


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


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


Read our WandaVision episode three review HERE.

Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Cobra Kai Season Four image
Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

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

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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