The three very best things about WandaVision‘s fourth episode are as follows, in ascending order: First is ending the episode with a damn “Voodoo Child” needle-drop like WCW-era Hulk Hogan was about to come out and drop the big leg, brother. The second is the inclusion of Kat Dennings‘ Darcy Lewis and Randall Park‘s Jimmy Woo, who would, without exaggeration, improve every single MCU movie both past and future. And third is the fact that it accurately represented the experience of watching the three previous episodes of WandaVision.
On its surface, “We Interrupt This Program” seems to the episodes the impatient corner of the audience was waiting for, one that took us outside the simulation and answered a few key questions about what the heck is going on. In reality, it was mostly just highly-trained forensics organizations watching the same three episodes we did and writing down, like, “why sitcoms??” and circling it in Sharpie. There is quite literally no difference between Jimmy Woo’s Investigation Board and what I do here every week at Collider dot com, except instead of being backed by the full force of the Sentient Weapons Observation and Response Division I am simply fueled by anxiety and getting beat up a whole lot as a kid.
Okay, there is one major revelation, but one we can’t fully trust quite yet: Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is, in fact, the person behind this, using her increasingly worrisome powers to craft an idyllic reality over a small town in southern New Jersey. This revelation is guiding WandaVision down some truly dark paths, ones peppered with grief and loss and the corpses of handsome British robots, and folks, I’ve got a few questions. Such as:
Is That Vision’s Actual Dead-Ass Corpse Walking Around Westview?
One of the more interesting explanations in “We Interrupt This Program” is the way anything that passes from reality through the Westview barrier is transformed to fit the old-school happy funtimes vibe. The tether tied to the back of a S.W.O.R.D. agent becomes a multi-colored jump-rope, his radiation suit a beekeeper’s outfit, just another colorful career for this wacky sitcom world. S.W.O.R.D. drones revert into vintage toy helicopters. Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) transforms from an ass-kicking outer-space agent into someone who uses the phrase “peachy keen” unironically. The point being, whatever we’re actually seeing at any given moment within Westview may not be what that particular thing looks like. Deeply horrifying case in point: It appears that the happy-go-lucky proud-papaya Vision we’ve been yucking it up with for three episodes is actually the grey, lifeless dried-out husk that Thanos left for dead in Avengers: Infinity War.
That is a shockingly dark twist that Paul Bettany actually pretty much confirmed two weeks ago. According to the actor, Avengers: Endgame almost included a credits scene in which Wanda committed the superpowered version of grave robbing. “At one point there was going to be a tag, where [Wanda] opened a sort of body bag drawer and there was the Vision,” Bettany said. “[Marvel Studios boss] Kevin [Feige] kind of talked to me and said, ‘I’ve got to pull the shots.’”
I mean, I get why they backed off the idea; you wanted people leaving Endgame weepily reminiscing on ten years of storytelling, not wondering if the Scarlet Witch just defiled a corpse. But woof, this is taking WandaVision to some legitimately upsetting places. The future of this show is less of a mystery and more of a tragedy, one where Wanda Maximoff has constructed an alternate reality—essentially lying to herself, firmly in the “denial” stage of grief—to keep her husband alive. But he’s not alive, not really; he’s just existing in a grotesque state of animation, a Pet Sematary–ass puppet show where his wife is pulling the strings for reasons you can both empathize with and be supremely grossed out by. Inside of Westview, Vision occasionally feels weirdy, but outside of it, he wouldn’t feel anything at all.
What Was This Moment of Sketchiness from Darcy?
“We Interrupt This Program” showed us the flip side of the Episode 2 scene in which Wanda hears Jimmy Woo’s voice through a radio, asking “who is doing this to you, Wanda?” On S.W.O.R.D.’s end, the footage fritzes out; Darcy doesn’t see the radio explode or Dottie cutting her hand, which would be an on-brand bit of weirdness not worth mentioning if weren’t for what can only be described as a Moment of Sketchiness from Darcy. It just feels weird! I don’t like it! Go back and tell me the sudden stutter-stepping over words and downward eye movements aren’t an intentional choice by Kat Dennings when she says “nothing, it’s over, mission failure” without reporting any of the strangeness that just happened.
In-universe, it’s been a full ten years since we saw Darcy during the events of Thor: The Dark World, and the time since has been nothing but a well-deserved glow-up. She was a political science major in both Thor movies, but something about seeing a literal sky god crash to Earth with a magic hammer twice made her switch over to astrophysics, and now it’s Doctor Darcy Lewis to these S.W.O.R.D. goons who can’t tell their Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation from their Classic 1950s Sitcom. Just total freaking amateur hour over there at S.W.O.R.D.
It’s absolutely worth noting that what seems to trigger the aforementioned Moment of Sketchiness is the in-episode commercial for Strucker watches, a not-so-subtle shoutout to Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the villainous HYDRA leader responsible for Wanda’s powers. Am I suggesting that in the decade since we last saw her, Darcy Lewis got tangled up with HYDRA? I daren’t. I shan’t. But it is true that the only thing more constant in Marvel history than glowing orbs is someone secretly be a HYDRA agent. The institutions of the Marvel Universe are so comically easy to infiltrate even the Gotham City Police Department is like “get better security.”
So Why Was Everyone in Westview Identified…Except for Agnes?
After last week’s sneak preview I asked the question, “Why is everyone from New Jersey?” Reader, I cannot emphasize how overjoyed I am that the answer is just “because WandaVision is just set in New Jersey.” As you probably guessed from my name alone and the fact some stereotypes are true, I am from New Jersey, and I would’ve looked every Avenger in the face and warned them weird shit is gonna’ happen if they travel that far south down the Turnpike.
Anyway, this is all to say that it makes sense why every Westview resident is identified by S.W.O.R.D. with a New Jersey license…except for Agnes, who gets no license at all. I’ve got three possible theories for this, and they’re…slightly different from each other:
Agnes is in the witness protection program: The investigation into the “Westview Anomaly” started as a missing person’s case, and Jimmy Woo notes that the missing person in question is in the witness protection program. As we know, being in the WPP means two things: 1) Eating egg noodles with ketchup, and 2) Changing your entire identity. It’d be a lot harder to ID Agnes if “Agnes” wasn’t Agnes, ya know? It could also be a case of Woo protecting his witness. (Note, he identified the person as a “he.”) If that’s true, who is Agnes, really, and what forced her into hiding in the first place?
Agnes is an ancient, powerful witch with deep ties to Wanda’s past: Slightly different! The prevailing theory over Agnes’ true identity is one Agatha Harkness, a Marvel character that’s been around since 1970, first introduced by none other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #94. In the Marvel Universe, Harkness is a lot older than that. Like, remembers what Atlantis looked like, was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials old. The key thing is, she has a key connection to Wanda; it was Agatha who returned decades after her own death to tell the Scarlet Witch that her twin sons, William and Thomas—introduced in WandaVision last week—were actually two pieces of Mephisto’s soul. Speaking of:
Agnes is the literal devil: Lotta chatter out there about Mephisto — the Marvel Universe’s equivalent to Satan — showing up in WandaVision, mostly because of that Thomas and William connection. I haven’t seen a ton of evidence that Agnes herself is secretly the character…except for this piece of dialogue from Episode 2 that keeps playing on a loop in my head. I’ll leave you with it, until next week.
WandaVision Episodes 1 through 4 are now available to stream on Disney+. New episodes of WandaVision premiere every Friday. For more, see all the MCU Easter eggs hidden throughout Episode 4.
Joe Barton, who serves as showrunner on HBO Max’s ‘Gotham P.D.’ series, will write the script.
About The Author