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WandaVision Episode 9 – Review

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Marvel Studios

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

And so, we’re finally here. After nine weeks of watching, re-watching, theorising, discussing and anticipating the next episode, it’s The Season Finale of WandaVision. Literally, that was the name of the episode.

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

Chaos magic

In previous episodes we’ve flipped back and forth through the timeline to fill in backstories. But This episode picked up where we left off at the end of episode eight with a showdown between Agatha and Wanda.

We see Wanda struggle to understand the power that she has. She almost loses the power completely, but ultimately uses what Agatha has taught her to overpower her and trap her permanently in The Hex as Agnes.

We’ve seen Wanda grow exponentially in this series, literally transforming her character into The Scarlet Witch in front of our eyes.

The battle between Wanda’s Vision and White Vision was fascinating. I‘m hopeful its conclusion allows Paul Bettany to stay in the MCU and ‘humanise’ Vision further. The character of Vision has always seemed to set the moral compass for the rest of The Avengers and been an anchor point for the group. It would have been a great shame if that had been lost. The scenes between Wanda and her incarnation of Vision at the end of the show were beautiful and tender. I’m sure there were many watching who shed a tear as she said goodbye to him.

Nick Fury?

We also got our first proper glimpse into Monica Rambeau’s future. She used her powers to save Billy and Tommy from Tyler Hayward and freed Ralph Bohner (Evan Peters) from the spell put on him by Agnes. She was then invited to meet Nick Fury by a Skrull masquerading as an FBI agent, clearly setting her up to be Photon in Captain Marvel 2.

Post-credits

In the post-credit scene we find her in the mountains learning about Chaos Magic as an astral projection. This is now a character almost unrecognisable to the Wanda we first encountered in Age of Ultron. That scene was more reminiscent of something you’d see in a Bond or Bourne movie. The scene where the hero hides away and regroups before returning to seek vengeance on someone. It’s pretty clear that’s what will happen to Wanda in Doctor Strange 2, possibly with some involvement from her children?

Sadly, there was no big cameo to get excited about. We had all been anticipating an appearance by Dr Strange, Spider-Man or Captain Marvel, but our hopes were dashed. I’m hopeful that in Captain Marvel 2 and Spider-Man 3 there is a bigger part for Jimmy Woo, and a new head of S.W.O.R.D. to replace the incredibly dull Tyler Hayward.

The fact that Marvel have managed to produce WandaVision at all given the restrictions caused by COVID is, pardon the pun, a Marvel in itself. But to have produced it to such a high standard, indistinguishable from a big-screen MCU movie. That is a remarkable achievement under the circumstances. The performances from the lead actors – Olsen, Bettany, Hahn, Parris and Dennings – have been outstanding. Especially Kathryn Hahn, who stole every scene she was in, and played Agatha Harkness as a comic book villain wonderfully well.

Wrapping up

Overall, I found WandaVision a bit of a mixed bag, unsure as to whether it wanted to be a standalone series or a bridge into the next phase of the MCU. There were some fantastic moments and the Halloween episode in particular was superb. The series was good and undeniably entertaining but I’m not sure it quite hit the heights Marvel superfans might have wanted. Maybe we’ve been spoilt by the epic finales of Marvel films and were expecting too much from this. I felt that it lacked real tension and threat.

It ultimately suffered from us already knowing how the paths of a number of the characters are mapped out in upcoming films. It’s great we know that new characters are being introduced and favourites are staying. But it does take away from fully investing in this finale as an entertainment experience. It’s like watching the highlights of a football match – you enjoy watching the goals and talking points, but you know the final score already. Whereas watching it live gives you a completely different experience as you have no idea what will happen or how many twists and turns there may be. The good thing about Marvel is that there is no end to the twists they can throw our way. They will always have the ability to surprise us in another show or movie when we’re least expecting it.

So, PLEASE STAND BY…


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 8/10


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


Read our WandaVision episode eight review HERE.

Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.

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Friends Reunion: The One 17 Years Later

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HBO

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.

Janice

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’.

Gunther

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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