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WandaVision Episode 2 Recap: 1960s Magic, for the Children


WandaVision episode 2 is available on the same day as WandaVision episode 1, and it’s only after you watch it that you realise why Disney and Marvel Studios decided to premiere the MCU series with two episodes upfront. While WandaVision episode 1 avoided giving us any clues as to what was really going on — how is Vision (Paul Bettany) back, and why are they inside a black-and-white classic sitcom? — WandaVision episode 2 starts to offer us clues to what’s really happening. To be fair, it is still very little to go on, but we have now some idea of what might be happening. Or at least, we have an outline of what’s potentially happening, if we allow ourselves to speculate.

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The 29-minute WandaVision episode 2 — directed by Matt Shakman and written by Gretchen Enders — features a cold open as Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is woken up by a loud sound. She turns on the light with her mind and then looks away, which turns the light off. After this happens a couple of times, Vision wakes up, turns the light on manually, and peers out of the window. All he sees are his wife’s lovely rose bushes, Vision says. To which Wanda responds: “That’s all, are you using your night vision, Vision?” Vision assures her everything is fine but when the strange sound repeats, he jumps into his bed and draws his blanket to his face.

Vision then remarks that he’s heard people talking about some “ne’er-do-wells” in the neighbourhood. Wanda points out they could be talking about them too. After all, they are far from normal. The sound repeats again and, in her fright, Wanda pulls their separate beds close together. Wanda then decides to take a look herself by waving the curtains apart with her fingers. To their surprise, it turns out to be just some tree branches banging against the window. Both Wanda and Vision heave a sigh of relief. Seeing the beds joined together, Vision’s mind turns to other matters and the two jump under the sheets.

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WandaVision episode 2 cuts to a title sequence, which animates their daily household routine, alongside some practical jokes, and a largely instrumental theme song with the only lyrics being “WandaVision”. The Frozen duo of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are said to be behind all the WandaVision theme songs.

Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision episode 2
Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

In the morning, Wanda and Vision rehearse a magic show. It doesn’t involve the real magic that they can form, but the fake kind we’re used to seeing. As Wanda notes, “In a real magic act, everything is fake.” The pretend magic allows both of them to be theatrical, with Olsen showcasing her best fake impressed faces. Vision isn’t as sold on the idea, but Wanda reminds him that it’s their neighbourly duty to participate in the local fundraiser. Plus, it gives them a chance to appear normal. “This is our home now, I want us to fit in,” Wanda adds, in a way that conveys she’s possibly trying to convince herself as much as she’s telling Vision what she wants.

Vision then leaves for a neighbourhood watch meeting at a public library, with Wanda about to join the planning committee for the fundraiser. But before she leaves, she hears the strange sound again. Startled, she ventures out of the house to locate the source and finds a tiny red toy helicopter in the bushes. The operative word there is “red”. This is the first real splash of colour on WandaVision. As Wanda studies the helicopter, she comes across as a symbol bearing an upside down cross inside a ring. This isn’t something we’ve seen in the MCU previously (not that I know of anyway), but it sure feels like it will have a greater meaning on WandaVision as we go on.

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Just then, Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) turns up, startling Wanda again. On their way to the meeting, Agnes tells Wanda how crucial it is to be on the good side of Dottie (Emma Caulfield Ford), the local queen of the cul-de-sac and the self-appointed leader of the committee. Wanda’s audition doesn’t go very well though. First, as she makes small talk with another woman, she’s told by Dottie to not talk to others while she’s speaking. Later, Dottie says the fundraiser is “for the children”, only for everyone else present to repeat it in unison, as if they are part of a cult. Wanda tries to catch up but in doing so repeats it a few seconds after everyone, which once again seems to annoy Dottie.

At the planning committee, Wanda also meets Geraldine (Teyonah Parris), the aforementioned another woman. For those who’ve been tracking their Marvel news, this will be a clue as to WandaVision’s true nature. Parris officially signed on to play Monica Rambeau, a grown-up version of the 11-year-old girl we met in Captain Marvel, who helped the titular superhero pick her signature red-and-blue costume colours. This likely means that “Geraldine” is a fake name and that Monica is hiding her true identity for reasons unknown.

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Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision episode 2
Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Meanwhile at the Westview Public Library, Vision attends the neighbourhood watch meeting. Turns out, it’s actually more of a place for men to meet and gossip about each other. WandaVision creator Jac Schaeffer has made it a point to poke fun at gender stereotypes and gender roles from the start, and this is another example of that. Vision accepts a piece of gum to seem normal but he ends up swallowing it after someone pats him on the back for a joke of his. An animated sequence reveals that it’s starting to gum up his internals. This might make Vision seem very low-fi when he isn’t, but given that this is taking place in a sitcom universe, you’ve to be a lot more forgiving of the logic involved.

Back at the planning committee, Wanda helps Dottie clean up as she attempts to get on her good side. Dottie says she’s heard things about Wanda and her husband. “I don’t know what you’ve heard,” Wanda replies, “but I don’t mean anyone any harm.” Dottie says she doesn’t believe her, only for their voices to fade and a song to break out on a radio next to them. (It’s “Help Me Rhonda” by The Beach Boys, the first sign we’ve moved into the ‘60s.) That seems to completely rattle Dottie. She not only wonders who that is, but even asks Wanda, “Who are you?”

WandaVision episode 2 also includes a fake commercial. This one is about a watch made by a company called Strucker. A voiceover claims that a man is not complete without two things: his special lady and a Strucker watch. It then adds “He’ll make time for you” as a slogan, while we hear an ominous ticking that gets quicker by the second before the ad ends. The watch dial also features the word “Hydra”, the evil organisation that Cap went up against. And if you’ll remember, Wolfgang von Strucker was one of Hydra’s leaders and his experimentations created Wanda as we know her.

A strange voice cuts through the song and says, “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?” and keeps on repeating Wanda’s name. As it builds to a crescendo, the camera goes dutch in WandaVision episode 2, with Wanda’s face etched with a mix of confusion and horror. Dottie breaks the glass she’s holding and cuts herself, with the red blood oozing out standing out against the series’ black-and-white look. Wanda hands her a white napkin to wipe the blood off, and even as she covers her hand, Dottie seems to have already moved on from what just happened.

At the talent show, Vision turns up seeming drunk — the gum seems to be really affecting his capabilities — and a concerned Wanda wonders what’s going on. Except they have no time to figure it out, as it’s time for their performance. Predictably, it goes entirely off the rails. The gummed-up Vision forgets himself and starts to do actual magic. He hovers in the air, he lifts a heavy piano with one hand, and he pulls a hat through himself. Wanda is forced to cover for him as the astonished audience looks on, making it look like he’s doing fake magic, by either tying him to a rope and pulley, turning the piano into a sheet of cardboard, and using a hall of mirrors (this doesn’t work but people believe it anyway).

Backstage, Wanda wonders why Vision is acting so weird. She scans his body, discovers the gum has essentially choked his internals, and then pulls it out. They decide to slink away while no one is looking, but Dottie spots them. To their shock and surprise, she congratulates them for delivering the most hilarious act Westview has ever seen and then hands them the award for the best comedic performance.

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Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision episode 2
Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Wanda and Vision enter home happy and relieved, just like with the dinner party in WandaVision episode 1. Vision notes they managed to fit in while being themselves, but Wanda adds they needed a few modifications. And it was all “for the children,” Wanda and Vision repeat in unison. Wanda gets up to make popcorn, but Vision stops her and points at her stomach. Wanda is visibly pregnant. What? How? Did she just will a pregnancy by saying “for the children”? Is that why the words have been repeated as a sermon throughout WandaVision episode 2? Wanda then wonders, “Is this really happening?”

Just then, the ominous sound from the beginning repeats. Wanda and Vision go outside as a beekeeper (Zac Henry) emerges out of a manhole. Vision is baffled, as are we, but Wanda seems to recognise what’s happening. In a deep voice, she says “no”, as if it were a command. WandaVision episode 2 then rewinds like one of those old VHS tapes before stopping at the moment where Wanda said, “Is this really happening?” This time, there’s no ominous sound, and the couple kiss. As Wanda pulls away, Vision’s face gets its colour back. And soon, the entire scene transitions from black-and-white to colour, just like many sitcoms did in the 1960s.

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The last few minutes of WandaVision episode 2 are the biggest clue we’ve had yet. Set aside the fact that Wanda can somehow get pregnant with Vision — maybe she did actually will it into existence — the old sitcom-y world we’ve seen in the first two episodes now feels like a refuge she’s built to protect herself and her potential children. Maybe Wanda is/ was pregnant in the real world. On the other hand, the voice on the radio (“Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”) suggests otherwise, signalling that Wanda is trapped in this make-believe world. Their lack of memories would also fit that narrative.

As we pull away from Wanda and Vision’s kiss, the voice from the radio repeats: “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”

WandaVision episode 2 is now streaming on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. New episodes release every Friday around 1:30pm IST / 12am PT.



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