Television

The Casual Marvel Fan’s Guide to WandaVision Episode 3

What’s going on with the neighbors? Who’s Pietro, again? And can I touch Vision’s hair?

Hahn winks while Payton smiles. They're clothed in big ’70s collars and surrounded by crudely drawn question marks.
Kathryn Hahn and David Payton in WandaVision. Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Disney+.

This article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of WandaVision.

So in this episode they’re definitely doing The Brady Bunch, right?

They are! If the opening credits—again featuring that familiar hexagon shape—weren’t enough to clue you in, that riff on the show’s iconic staircase is a dead giveaway.

Do we have any idea how Wanda got pregnant or why the babies grew so quickly?

It’s a good bet that Wanda used her reality-warping powers to make procreation by a human and a synthezoid possible, which is what happened in a similar storyline in the Marvel comic books. But we don’t know how those powers, or the rules of the “town” where Wanda and Vision are apparently trapped, affected the gestations of their children. Good thing they decorated the nursery ASAP!

Who is Pietro, again?

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When we first met Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron (or, if you want to get technical, the midcredits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier), she was accompanied by her superspeedy twin brother, Pietro, aka Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Unfortunately, Pietro’s first real outing was also his last, as he sacrificed his life to save Hawkeye and a civilian child from Ultron’s gunfire.

So then is it just a coincidence that she has twins? Do the comics shed any light on Wanda’s kids?

The version of this story from the comics might offer a clue, but we have to warn you that it’s ridiculous. In short: After Wanda and Vision marry and have children, their twin sons, Thomas and William, are revealed to be shards of the soul of a demon, into which demon they are absorbed, as his tiny baby hands (yes, really)—a tragedy that eventually leads to Wanda’s descent into insanity (and grief-fueled rewriting of reality). HOWEVER, years after that tragedy, it turns out that two characters from the Young Avengers, Billy (aka Wiccan, who has powers reminiscent of his mother, the Scarlet Witch) and Tommy (aka Speed, who has powers reminiscent of his late uncle, Quicksilver) are in fact Wanda’s reincarnated children. They are reunited. It all works out!

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You said last time that the commercial seemed pretty important. What’s with this week’s?

In the second episode, you had to squint to see the tiny “Hydra” etched on the watch’s face. This week it’s right in the product name, a bubble bath called Hydra Soak. Riffing on the famous “Calgon, take me away” spot, the voice-over invites you (or, probably more pointedly, Wanda) to “Escape to a world all your own where your problems just float away, when you want to get away but don’t want to go anywhere.” The commercial ends by suggesting that Hydra Soak can “Find the goddess within,” which seems like an invitation for Wanda to remember that her near-infinite powers are good for more than mending broken crockery and getting her husband out of a tight spot.

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What was with that moment when the picture and sound seemed to skip on Vision? That seemed different from Wanda’s “rewind” in Episode 2.

The “rewind” in Episode 2 was preceded by a very clear “No” from Wanda, which strongly implied that she was the one urging reality to replay itself. This one is more of a jump, like an external hand has reached into their lives and snipped something out. What external force? We don’t know, yet.

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What’s going on with the neighbors? Why are they sawing through Wanda and Vision’s wall?

That was really weird! We’ve got nothing.

What is that symbol on Geraldine’s necklace?

The necklace Geraldine (Teyonah Parris) wears is of a sword inside a circle. It’s the same logo (of S.W.O.R.D.) that we saw on the monitor in the first episode, and the helicopter and beekeeper’s outfit in the second episode, which makes it seem likely—especially given that we know that she’s supposed to be Monica Rambeau—that she’s been planted into, or has broken into, whatever hallucination or dreamworld Wanda is experiencing.

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Do we have any idea what happens to Geraldine at the end of the episode? Where … are they?

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Based on the scarlet energy surrounding Geraldine as she’s ejected from the town, it looks like Wanda used her powers to very forcefully remove her.

As for where they are, we definitely know a little more than we did last episode. This same scene establishes that the WandaVision universe is a real place, physical enough for Monica Rambeau to be ejected from it, and the shot of the trucks pulling up sure looks like Earth, which seems to put an end to the idea this is taking place in space. I realize that doesn’t narrow it down much.

Any more ideas about what’s going on here?

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Reddit had a field day with last week’s episodes, ginning up theories on how the date of Mr. Hart’s dinner and the hands on the Strucker watch are, supposedly, references to specific Avengers issues that portend the arrival of the Beyonder, Annihilus, Mephisto, and a slew of other characters who haven’t made appearances in the MCU yet. Others spotted something beneath Wanda and Vision’s floorboards, in Episode 2’s Bewitched-esque credits sequence, that appears to resemble the helmet of the Marvel villain the Grim Reaper. However, some of these details, like the apparent helmet, might just be Easter eggs, and other theories seem to be stretches. For example, one article suggests that the fact that Vision gets drunk on Big Red gum might be a hint at the villain Mephisto because Mephisto is … big and red.

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Anything more concrete?

Sure. Thanks to the conversation between Wanda’s neighbors Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) and Herb (David Payton), we know that at least some of the characters in the shows-within-a-show know that they’re playing a part, but they’re terrified of being caught breaking character—presumably by the “who” in Episode 2’s “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?” Thus far, pretty much the only character we know who’s powerful enough to warp reality to this extent is Wanda herself, which would be a more clever answer to the question than “random villain only comics nerds have heard of.” It seems as if Wanda has created this reality in response to her grief over Vision’s death—and her guilt over having been the one to kill him the first time he died—and given the way Monica’s mention of Ultron sets her off, probably her brother’s death as well. (You’re right that it’s probably not a coincidence that a woman who lost her twin brother has somehow knocked herself up with magical twins.) But the forcefield Monica gets thrown through looks more electrical than chaos-magical. What if S.W.O.R.D. isn’t just keeping tabs on Wandaworld but containing it, so that Wanda’s metaphysical do-over doesn’t wreck reality itself? As they say in TV land, stay tuned.

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Last question. You claim that Vision is hot, but I’m not a fan of his ’70s hair. Why does human-version Vision have hair at all? Why isn’t he bald? How does he actually make himself look human? Is it an illusion? If I touched his hair would my hand pass right through it? What do you think human-version Vision smells like? I’m thinking he smells like Old Spice, but maybe with a metallic tinge. 

While the synthetic body of Vision was created by Ultron, his human form seems to be a kind of hologram cast by Vision himself. Thus, his skin tone, the clothes he wears, and the length and styling of his hair are completely up to him; however, it is not apparent that the hologram has mass, so if you, say, touched human Vision’s besuited torso while he was at work, it seems likely you would feel not the scratch of wool but Vision’s sculpted, perfect chest.

It is unclear at this time why Vision, an advanced being with the brain of a supercomputer, thinks that haircut is a smart idea.

In the comics, Vision’s body has moved from being composed of synthetic yet humanoid “Horton cells” to being made up entirely of nanobots. Those nanobots could, it seems, manifest as floppy, stringy hair, if someone wanted them to for some insane reason.

Sadly, we will never know what Vision smells like, unless Marvel releases a future project in Smell-O-Vision.

Read more in Slate about WandaVision.

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