Monday, March 8, 2021

Recap: Everything Is Not As It Seems In ‘WandaVision’ Episode 2 “Don’t Touch That Dial”

The second episode of WandaVision continues the hilarity of the first, with Wanda and Vision both attempting to “fit in” in their own ways. But everything is not as it seems as their idyllic life is interrupted by an outside force. What the source of that manipulation is isn’t clear yet, but this episode introduces several interesting clues for viewers as well as introducing a hilarious sitcom plot with some fantastic physical comedy by Paul Bettany.

Image courtesy Disney+.

We open on a familiar sitcom trope: Wanda and Vision in separate beds as Wanda is startled awake by a noise from outside. After banter about Wanda using her powers to turn on the lights as Vision uses his to turn them back off, he gets up to investigate. Vision doesn’t see anything, but the noises continue and frighten them both, with Wanda moving their beds together in terror in a hilarious bit of physical comedy. The source of the noise is revealed to be a tree hitting the window, relieving them both. Wanda makes their separate beds into one, with Vision suggestively saying “Wanda, darling…get the light” before both disappear under the covers. We get a new opening sequence and set that moves the show into a new decade.

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The next day, Vision is doing magic tricks with Wanda as his assistant. It’s revealed they are practicing for a neighborhood talent show. Vision is worried that the neighbors will see through their tricks since they are human and not making use of their powers. Wanda remarks that “in a real magic act, everything is fake,” not worried about how their act will look but more worried about whether their neighbors will accept them. She says this town is their home now, and that she wants to fit in. Vision reassures her that they already do, and that this act will help. Vision heads off to work and to a neighborhood watch meeting. After last night’s incident, he wants to make sure their new home is safe. Wanda wryly tells him to “show those tree branches who’s boss” before kissing him goodbye.

Alone, Wanda hears the strange noise again while tidying the house. Walking outside to investigate, she notices a red toy helicopter in their bushes. It’s the only colorful object we’ve seen so far, and she is puzzled. The music turns ominous as Wanda studies the toy, but the spell is broken by the arrival of Agnes and her pet rabbit. She’s loaning the rabbit to Wanda and Vision for the magic act, and in one of the best lines of the episode tells Wanda that “Senor Scruffy loves the stage, he was baby Jesus in last year’s Christmas pageant!” Wanda vows to take good care of him before dropping him off inside.

Image courtesy Disney+.

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She and Agnes head to a planning committee meeting for the talent show. Agnes warns Wanda that Dottie, who will lead the meeting, is the key to having a social life in Westview. In an effort to impress Dottie, Wanda resorts to copying her every mannerism down to how she stirs her drink. Throughout this scene, Agnes is adding alcohol to her drink in a subtly funny bit as she makes snarky remarks to Wanda and the audience. Dottie immediately notices Wanda talking to another one of the women at the meeting and admonishes her. But Wanda continues to talk to Geraldine, who is as much a fish out of water as she is. “Geraldine” is actually Monica Rambeau, whose last appearance in the MCU was as a child in Captain Marvel. But the characters don’t know this, and it remains to be seen how she fits into Wandvision‘s overall plan. Dottie fixes her glare on the two and notes that she’s “irritated,” stopping the chatter.

Image courtesy Disney+.

Vision is also having a rough go of it at the neighborhood watch meeting. His analytical brain is busy dreaming up the best security protocols, but the other men mostly use the meetings as an excuse to eat Danish pastries and gossip. In a great bit of slapstick, Vision accepts a piece of gum but accidentally swallows it, with the gum getting stuck in his machinery. Back at the country club, Wanda is “honored” with the task of helping Dottie clean up. She tries to apologize, saying that she thinks they’ve gotten off on the wrong foot. But the tone shifts again when Wanda says she doesn’t mean any harm, and Dottie turns deadly serious before saying “I don’t believe you.” A strange, staticky voice appears on the radio before the song returns, and Dottie is scared. She turns to Wanda and asks, “who is that? what are you?” The voice calls out again to Wanda specifically this time, asking her “who is doing this to you?” The radio short circuits as Dottie shatters a glass. The blood on Dottie’s hand is bright red. But as Wanda grabs a napkin to help her, Dottie returns to her chipper, sitcom self, confusing Wanda. We also see a brief fake commercial for a Strucker watch (featuring Hydra’s logo) with the slogan “He’ll make time … for you.”

At the talent show, Wanda is nervously pacing waiting for Vision to arrive. Geraldine tries to relax her, but Wanda’s worried he won’t show up. But it turns out Vision is just having problems moving around due to the gum (Paul Bettany’s ability to use his body to play up the comedy here is brilliant and reminiscent of sitcom legend Dick Van Dyke.) He’s stumbling around with the appearance that he’s drunk, and when Wanda tries to mention what happened with Dottie he doesn’t pay attention. Soon, it’s their time in the spotlight, and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Vision rambles incoherently as Wanda watches, horrified. Even worse, Vision begins to float, exposing his powers. Wanda thinks quickly and uses her own powers to make the audience think Vision is flying due to a rope suspended from a rigging setup. As Vision’s powers go haywire, Wanda must keep using her own to mask the true origin of these magic tricks. It culminates in a trick where Wanda summons Geraldine into a closed box, much to Geraldine’s surprise. The audience cheers, and it seems the act is saved. Backstage, Wanda figures out what’s ailing Vision and removes the gum, restoring him to his normal self. They try to sneak away unnoticed, but Dottie calls them out from the stage. She loved the act, assuming it was meant to be a comedy routine. She declares them the winners, and everyone cheers.

Image courtesy Disney+.

At home, Wanda and Vision are both relieved it’s all over. Wanda goes to get popcorn for their movie night, but when she turns around she’s suddenly pregnant. Wanda is only slightly surprised, and tenderly asks “is this really happening?” Vision kisses her and says it really is, before they are interrupted again by the noise.

Image courtesy Disney+.

The two rush outside to see that a sewer cover is moving. As Wanda and Vision look on, scared, a person in a beekeeper’s suit emerges, covered in bees. The man’s face is obscured as he turns to Wanda. But Wanda simply says “no,” and the tape rewinds to her asking Vision if “this is really happening?” This time, no noise interrupts them, but after Wanda kisses Vision, his face is colorful again. Slowly, the whole room fills with color as Wanda and Vision look on, amazed. We fade out on the couple kissing as the voice from earlier repeats “Wanda? Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”

Episodes 1 and 2 of Wandavision are available on Disney+ now, with episode 3 premiering Friday, January 22.

Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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