REVIEW: ‘WandaVision,’ Episode 4 – “We Interrupt This Program”

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WandaVision Episode 4 - But Why ThoWith its first three episodes setting up the premise—and mystery—of the series, WandaVision Episode 4 shifts its perspective in order to deliver answers to its audience. “We Interrupt This Program” begins in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, which finds Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) coming back to life after the events of Thanos “snapping” away half the universe. Returning back to her position at S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapons and Observation Response Division) Rambeau is drawn into a mystery surrounding the town of Westview, with CIA agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) also drawn into the fray.

With this episode, director Matt Shakman and writers Bobak Esfarjani and Megan McDonnell shift the format of the series. Apart from a few brief sequences that revisit the events of the first two episodes and “Now In Color,” the entire episode is presented in the widescreen view one would expect from a big-screen Marvel Studios project. In addition to revisiting the events of Endgame, fans will recognize Woo and Darcy from Ant-Man and the Wasp and Thor respectively. Fans will also recognize the name Rambeau from Captain Marvel—and comic book fans will recognize her as future Avengers leader Photon, a development that I’m personally hoping to see.

Parris once again plays a big role in the events of the episode, especially the emotional aspects. The very beginning of the episode revisits the emotional trauma of Endgame, particularly the chaos of people coming back to a world that had five years to deal with the fallout of a universal event. Parris’s Rambeau sells said chaos as she rushes through the hospital, looking for her mother. Park and Dennings also had a solid role in the proceedings, with the latter having some well-placed barbs at other S.W.O.R.D. agents’ expense.

Both Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) only appear briefly in the episode, but it still manages to remain engaging. Olsen continues to slowly peel back the layers of Wanda’s mental state, revealing that she is using Westview as a way to process her trauma. However, the people in Westview and the S.W.O.R.D. agents, particularly Monica, are swept up in the chaos. They soon learn that anyone who tries to upend Wanda’s fantasy will be on the receiving end of her wrath.

Perhaps the best element of the episode is how it provides an explanation for the events of the last three episodes. The sitcom setup, the dome surrounding Westview, and the mysterious voice on the radio: all of it is brought back up and it all fits together. I also appreciate that the series isn’t dragging its feet when it comes to the mystery. Most streaming shows usually wait until the penultimate episode of their run to answer their underlying mysteries, stretching those mysteries—and the audience’s patience—paper-thin. WandaVision, thankfully, is not interested in that song and dance.

WandaVision Episode 4 peels back the layers of the mystery surrounding Westview and shifts the focus to its supporting cast in the progress. I’m not sure if the next episode will return to the sitcom format or continue to explore the real world, but the series is continuing to hook me with its premise and its exploration of grief.

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

WandaVision Episode 4 - "We Interrupt This Program"
9/10

TL;DR

WandaVision Episode 4 peels back the layers of the mystery surrounding Westview and shifts the focus to its supporting cast in the progress. I’m not sure if the next episode will return to the sitcom format or continue to explore the real world, but the series is continuing to hook me with its premise and its exploration of grief.