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WandaVision Episode 6 – Review

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Marvel Studios

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

Episode six of WandaVision was one of the most brilliant half-hours of TV I have seen in a VERY long time. It had absolutely everything a Marvel fan would want. There was threat, friction between the main characters, suspense and mystery. And at long last, some genuine comedy within the sitcom homage.

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

The 90s

Initially, I was a bit disappointed that they leapt forward from Family Ties to Malcolm in the Middle. This meant they had missed out on almost an entire generation of sitcoms, from Seinfeld to Friends to Married With Children. It also meant that the anticipated meta Full House references didn’t materialise. That show starred Elizabeth Olsen’s real-life twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley. A meta opportunity missed but not damaging to the narrative.

However, the Malcolm in the Middle (MITM) homage was absolutely perfect. More importantly, it fitted the WandaVision narrative brilliantly. Of course, we had the obligatory beautifully constructed MITM-style title sequence. But what made this work was everything else. The cut-aways, Billy and Tommy breaking the fourth wall, and whip-smart jokes. All of which were delivered at the pace we know from every other MCU movie and series we’ve seen. Most importantly, they were delivered without a laughter track.

In the Hex

All of this pace was used to accentuate us feeling the same unease as Wanda. It made sure we knew that the ‘reality’ she has created is all completely false. It is cherry-picking elements from her memory to cocoon her from the reality that exists outside ‘The Hex’. Even Herb asked her, very pointedly, if there was anything about what was happening that she wanted to change.

That became clear in this episode as Vision tried to leave The Hex. He explored WestView and discovered numerous people on the edge of town in a catatonic state. This also resulted in him having his tense conversation with Agnes. She was glitching during the conversation and was continuously feeling for her brooch. The brooch was the same as Agatha Harkness’ from the comics. Agnes was asking Vision whether he could help them and mentioned The Avengers, who Vision had no recollection of. This showed that he has no memory, other than what Wanda has implanted in him. They both became agitated by the conversation before Vision used his powers to calm her.

No escape

When he then tried to leave The Hex, he was having the life physically ripped from his body in front of the S.W.O.R.D. agents. The only way Wanda could save him was to expand The Hex, sucking in everyone other than Tyler Hayward who escaped. All of the law enforcement agents were turned into clowns or circus workers. This referred again to her Sokovian roots, as her mother was a fortune teller in the comics. She had already mentioned this when explaining her Halloween costume, which was The Scarlet Witch’s comic book uniform. Vision also wore his, until he turned into his Avengers self as he tried to see what was outside The Hex.

The recast Pietro

The undoubted star of this episode was Evan Peters. He absolutely thrived playing the naughty uncle in this episode, and his appearance as Quicksilver has added so much to this series. It also meant that the anticipated meta Full House references didn’t materialise. That show starred Elizabeth Olsen’s real-life twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley. A meta opportunity missed but not damaging to her brother Pietro, but not the version that existed in her world. This is demonstrated by the repeated showing of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s death in Age of Ultron, and references by Darcy to his ‘recasting’. When he challenges her reality in the town square, in front of the cinema, she lashes out at him and freezes her reality completely. She does this so she can expand The Hex and drag Vision back in. He also says that he felt she needed him, which is why he came to her. Incidentally, the cinema is showing ‘The Parent Trap’ and ‘The Incredibles’. The latter of those is about a family with special powers. Sound familiar?

We really got to see our first proper demonstration of Tommy and Billy’s powers. That looks very much like a plot point that will develop over the remaining three episodes. We are also now aware that Monica Rambeau’s DNA has been changed as a result of being pushed out of The Hex. It’s a pretty safe bet this is planting the seed for her to develop her photon powers ahead of Captain Marvel 2.

Ad break

The only misstep of this episode was the mid-show advert for Yo-Magic yoghurt, which didn’t seem to make much sense at all. That said, this is Marvel, so there will probably be a call back to it at some point where its hidden meaning will be revealed.

We’re now ⅔ of the way through this series and we’re clearly being primed for an epic final act, just as we are in every Marvel movie. I’m hoping Evan Peters will stay through till the end of the series as he has been a joy to watch and clearly has more to give to the plot. There are strong rumours of a major cameo in the finale, which my guess will be either Captain Marvel, Dr Strange or the true MCU Pietro Maximoff. Or could it be Mephisto?

We have a few days to Wanda about that until Episode seven, which is supposedly a homage to Modern Family. The idea of Vision trying to be Phil Dunphy could be the TV equivalent of Phil’s favourite thing…magic.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 10/10


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


Read our WandaVision episode five review HERE.

Read IMDB information about WandaVision HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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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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