REVIEW: ‘WandaVision,’ Episode 6 – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”

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WandaVision Episode 6 - But Why Tho?After the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of “On A Very Special Episode,” WandaVision Episode 6 debuts what has probably been the most anticipated episode of the series. “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” leaps forward to the early 2000s, where Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are celebrating Halloween with their family. However, Vision soon breaks off on his own to explore Westview and learns a disturbing truth. Meanwhile, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) run into friction from S.W.O.R.D. director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg).

Ever since teasers and trailers for WandaVision first debuted, fans have been looking forward to the Halloween episode. Not only do Wanda and Vision don costumes that are a match for their comic book counterparts, so do their sons Billy and Tommy. Even Pietro (Evan Peters) gets in on the action, with the same hairstyle and blue/silver costume that he wore in the comics as Quicksilver. I genuinely loved these shoutouts, as too often superheroes wearing their “classic” costumes in comic book-based movies and television is done as a one-off joke. Here, it’s a wink and a nod to the source material that actually makes sense, given the setting.

It wouldn’t be a Halloween episode without scary and/or disturbing elements, and those elements slowly appear over the episode, particularly where Vision is concerned. Bettany has been perfect in the series as a comedic actor, and now he switches his focus to drama with Vision slowly becoming unnerved by what he is uncovering about the Hex and the fact that he died in Avengers: Infinity War. The ending of the episode also fully leans into the Twilight Zone-esque elements that have been a staple of the series, with a cliffhanger that has major implications for its entire cast. It also serves as an acting showcase from Bettany, as the Vision learns the hard way that he can’t peacefully leave Westview.

Another great element of the episode is the chemistry between Olsen and Peters; though Peters technically played a different version of Quicksilver in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men film franchise, viewers will buy the hints at the brother-sister bond. Olsen, who has been turning in great work throughout the series, has a genuinely emotional moment toward the end of the episode that tugged at my heartstrings. I’m glad that the series, and Olsen by virtue of her performance, isn’t trying to place Wanda in one box. Hayward writes her off as a threat, but Monica, Woo, and Darcy, and by extension, the audience, know it’s far more complicated than that.

However, the episode somewhat sidelines its sitcom elements, which I feel is a bit of a downer. Apart from an opening riffing on Malcolm in the Middle (and Billy occasionally breaking the fourth wall in homage to that series), the sitcom part of the show takes a backseat. The series has beautifully used those elements to address Wanda’s trauma and help balance the more unsettling parts of the premise. I feel like this episode could have used more of the former. Also skipping an entire decade with the ’90s was a missed opportunity-I personally would have loved to see the series riffing on Home Improvement or even Boy Meets World. (Given that Billy and Tommy rapidly age due to their superpowers, the latter choice would have been fun.)

WandaVision Episode 6 ends what is essentially Act 2 of the series with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, raising even more questions in the process. Now that the series is in its home stretch and much of its cast is in the same place, the final three episodes look to finally delve into Wanda’s state of mind.

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

WandaVision Episode 6 - "All-New Halloween Spooktacular"
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    Rating - 8/10
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TL;DR

WandaVision Episode 6 ends what is essentially Act 2 of the series with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, raising even more questions in the process. Now that the series is in its home stretch and much of its cast is in the same place, the final three episodes look to finally delve into Wanda’s state of mind.