REVIEW: ‘WandaVision,’ Episode 3 – “Now In Color”

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WandaVision Episode 3 - But Why Tho?After its super-sized premiereWandaVision Episode 3 moves to the 70s for “Now In Color.” Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) deals with a surprise pregnancy that leaves her powers behaving in unexpected ways, leading to a fateful encounter with her friend Geraldine (Teyonah Parris). Meanwhile, Vision (Paul Bettany) witnesses odd behavior from the neighbors that makes him question life in Westview.

With the transition to the 70s comes a change in aesthetics. The opening titles now pay homage to The Brady Bunch (as does the new theme by songwriters Robert Anderson-Lopez and Kristen Lopez). The set design is also an homage to The Brady Bunch‘s living room, and the fashion is ripped right from the 70s, including Vision’s feathered haircut and sideburns and Geraldine’s Afro and bell-bottomed pants. Keeping in line with the television element of the series, the doctor who checks up on Wanda is even named Doctor Nielsen (yes, really).

Standout in this episode is Parris, who perfectly nails the balance of sitcom hijinks and underlying terror that was set up in the first two episodes. One minute she’s relating a hilarious work-based anecdote, the next minute she’s uneasily confronted by Wanda. That same balance of humor and horror extends to the principal players, particularly Olsen.

Olsen exhibits a wide range of emotions in this episode: fear of her powers being found out, joy at the birth of her children, and a tranquil yet sinister fury when Geraldine references the events of her past. Bettany also has some well-timed reactions, including a growing sense of unease when the neighbors exhibit an odd reaction to a simple question. It’s been hinted before that Wanda may have had a hand in the events of Westview due to the nature of her powers, and Vision may be catching on. And the truth might not be all that pleasant, even to a hyperintelligent synthezoid.

Perhaps my favorite element was how the show wonderfully weaves in elements from Marvel Comics, as well as references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As many fans know, Scarlet Witch’s twins Billy and Tommy are known as the Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed, respectively. With Hailee Steinfeld portraying Kate Bishop in the upcoming Hawkeye series, the Young Avengers could very well be a future project in MCU canon. The events of Avengers: Age of Ultron have also been referenced via the show’s “commercial breaks” and even more directly toward the end of the episode, which may hint at the trauma Wanda is trying to suppress. While still only speculation, she’s lost her family and the love of her life, it only makes sense that with her immense powers she would want to construct the perfect life for herself. The cost for that life remains to be seen.

WandaVision Episode 3 continues to balance its sitcom homages with a sense of existential dread, as well as greater references to the Marvel Universe. It also marks the end of the “first act” of the series, as the ending feels more like the ending of a Marvel Studios movie than a television episode. Hopefully, this forward momentum continues in future episodes.

New episodes of WandaVision will be available to stream on Fridays on Disney+.

WandaVision Episode 3 - "Now in Color"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

WandaVision Episode 3 continues to balance its sitcom homages with a sense of existential dread, as well as greater references to the Marvel Universe. It also marks the end of the “first act” of the series, as the ending feels more like the ending of a Marvel Studios movie than a television episode. Hopefully, this forward momentum continues in future episodes.