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WandaVision Episode 3 – Review

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Bewitching or bewildering?

WandaVision episode 3 image
Marvel Studios

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

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

In color

The first 2 episodes took us through the classic sitcoms of the black and white TV era. In doing so, it established that S.W.O.R.D. is trying to break through the ‘reality’ that Wanda and Vision are existing in. For what reason they’re trying to do this, we don’t yet know.

Episode 3 sees us ‘IN COLOR’, as the reimagined Brady Bunch titles tell us with Wanda and Vision living in The Brady’s house. The coloured windows in the house are the same colours as the Infinity Stones. We discovered at the end of Episode 2 that Wanda is pregnant. And that her pregnancy is the central plot of the episode.

As WandaVision is set in a warped alternate reality, by the end of the episode, not one but two babies have arrived. This comes as a shock to Vision and Wanda, but not to us. As we knew that she would give birth to both Tommy and Billy. The twins will grow up to be Wiccan and Speed, but for now, their birth settled the argument Wanda and Vision were having over names for the baby.

Fetch the doctor

The Doctor who features in the episode is played by Randy Oglesby, who played a friend of Randy Quaid’s character Russell in Independence Day. In that film, he didn’t believe Russell’s assertions that aliens existed. But now, having been transported on Vision’s back at warp speed to assist with the birth, he’s seen alien life for himself! The Doctor was about to go on holiday with his wife as Vision came to tell him that Wanda had gone into labour. But ultimately he decides not to. As he does so, he tells Vision, “Small towns are so hard to escape”. The way he said it, and the way he looked at Vision as he said it, was a clear clue that the world they’re existing in, isn’t real.

After some oblique references to the alternate reality in the first two episodes, the plot is really moving forward now. Wanda and Vision’s neighbours, Agnes and Herb, effectively tell him that what he’s seeing isn’t real. Herb is attempting to cut hedges during the episode but is also seemingly cutting through the brick wall as well. In actual fact, this is someone outside their reality, quite probably from S.W.O.R.D., trying to break in. Vision also says to Wanda that he doesn’t think that their world is real. But like after the appearance of the beekeeper in Episode 2, we rewind. Or jump cut in this case. And ‘normality’ resumes.

Monica Rambeau

One person who has broken in is Geraldine (aka Monica Rambeau). She is a S.W.O.R.D. agent, and is wearing a necklace with their logo on while she helps Wanda give birth. Wanda notices this and asks what it is, after ‘Geraldine’ has mentioned her brother Pietro dying at the hands of Ultron. This happens after Wanda sings the twins what sounds like a Sokovian lullaby, and telling ‘Geraldine’ that she is a twin. Wanda’s demeanour changes completely after she mentions Ultron and she throws her out of the house, and the alternate reality. Vision returns from his conversation with Agnes & Herb, where they warn him to be vigilant around ‘Geraldine’ as she doesn’t have a home there. He asks where ‘Geraldine’ is, and Wanda coldly tells him that she had to leave.

At this point, we return to reality, as the aspect ratio changes from 4:3 to 16:9, and Monica is confronted by a raft of SUV’s, presumably from S.W.O.R.D.

There is another reference to Hydra in the ‘advert’, as the harassed Mum has a relaxing bath using ‘Hydra Soak’. Its strapline is ‘Find the goddess within.’ Does this reference mean The Goddess will appear in the near future in the MCU? Watch this space I guess?!

Picking up the pace

There was no pullback to Darcy Lewis ‘watching the episode’ at the end of this instalment, which was intriguing. But this was a really fast-paced episode and truly set the tone for the rest of the series. Again, it was brilliantly made and with great reverence to the sitcoms of the early 1970s. But I’m not sure if this whistle-stop tour of sitcom history works for a younger audience. I know some younger MCU fans have found the black and white episodes boring. This is simply because they have no knowledge of the sitcoms being used as plot devices to build WandaVision around.

The laughter track has now gone from mildly irritating to downright annoying and completely unnecessary. It’s like having someone laugh hysterically while reading the iTunes terms and conditions.

As Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy proved, Marvel can do funny. So why has a show based on sitcoms missed out the comedy? It could have been set in the sitcom world as a mystery drama. But this seems to have fallen between two stools.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 7/10


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


Read our WandaVision episode two 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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