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WandaVision Episode Four – Review

Mike Peters

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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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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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