Friday, March 5, 2021

Recap: The Broadcast Is Compromised in ‘WandaVision’ Season 2, Episode 4 “We Interrupt This Program”

This week, WandaVision leaves Westview for the first time as we learn the truth behind the show we have been watching so far. Some beloved Marvel characters return as the forces outside Westview begin to collide with the residents inside with far-reaching consequences. Until now, Westview has seemed like its own little world, but with the real world closing in on the sitcom reality, WandaVision is morphing into a new hybrid show — and there’s no going back.

The episode opens on a harrowing scene. Monica comes back from what appears to be Thanos’ snap in a hospital, sitting next to a now empty bed. It’s pandemonium in the halls as everyone else comes back too, causing a shortage of beds as past patients find themselves where they were five years ago. Monica thinks it’s only a been a few minutes and is stunned to discover from her mother’s doctor that Maria Rambeau died … three years ago and two years after Monica vanished. Monica absorbs the shock that she’s been gone for so long and that her mother is dead, not believing the doctor at first. But she can’t deny the scene unfolding around her.

We next see the headquarters of S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division) as Monica walks in. It’s just after the snap, and her I.D. doesn’t work. Thankfully, she sees the man she’s looking for: General Tyler Hayward. Hayward reveals that it’s been three weeks since everyone came back, and Monica is the first of those who vanished to report back to work. He describes the many changes the agency has undergone in the wake of “The Blip” and Monica is intrigued by the fact that the agency is not creating weapons, but observing them. Monica wants to get back to her flight missions, but Hayward tells her the agency is grounding anyone who vanished in The Blip, since they’re still not entirely sure what happened. He also reveals that it was Maria who implemented the protocol before she died, ever hopeful that those who vanished would return. She’s unhappy, but eager to prove she can still do her job, she agrees to help with a missing persons case in New Jersey. As she drives to her new case we see the sign for the exit: it’s Westview.

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Monica meets with James Woo, the FBI agent running the case (and memorable to Marvel fans from Ant-Man and The Wasp.) He explains that the missing man was in the Witness Protection Program, but when they began asking his known associates where he could be, all of them denied even knowing who he was. This intrigues Monica, who was expecting a run-of-the-mill case. Even stranger, the local sheriff claims Westview doesn’t exist even as they stand in front of a giant “Welcome to Westview” sign. Woo tells her that he can’t get through to anyone whose phone numbers are listed as being in Westview, and everyone in the surrounding towns appear to have completely forgotten that the town ever existed. When Monica asks why no one has gone into the town, he remarks that he can feel that it doesn’t want them to. Monica’s uneasy face shows she agrees.

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As an experiment, Monica tries to fly a drone over the town line (like the toy helicopter Wanda saw in Westview) while talking with Woo. She wonders why they aren’t affected by the amnesia, and then they both notice the drone has vanished before their eyes. They get closer, and Monica sees there’s a force field holding them back. Monica reaches out to touch it, and it sucks her inside. A day later, astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (of Thor and Thor: The Dark World) is in the back of a government van with four other scientists heading to Westview. The area around the town has been transformed into a battle camp, with scientists and agents mingling. Darcy is taken inside one of the buildings, where she tries to guess at data points as the agents refuse to tell her anything. Not one to be deterred, she sets up her equipment and is amazed at what she sees. The agent monitoring her is impatient, but Darcy is too busy to notice, lost in the readings. Suddenly, she has an epiphany — the wavelengths make a transmission that can be seen. She hooks up the equipment, and suddenly she sees Wanda from the 1950s sitcom on her screen.

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Meanwhile, S.W.O.R.D. sends in a man in a hazmat suit to sneak through the sewers into town. Hayward is there to monitor the response, and when he gets to headquarters he sees everyone huddled around Darcy’s television. They’re watching Wanda and Vision, and Darcy remarks that Vision is “not Blipped, dead.” She, and the rest of the agents, don’t understand how he can be there, but Darcy notes the radiation is off the charts. Woo remarks, “so you’re saying the universe created a sitcom starring two Avengers?” As the team scrambles to analyze the data, Woo decides to take a more classic approach. He wants to identify everyone else inside the sitcom footage — could they be the other missing people he was searching for? The board slowly fills as they are able to identify the real people playing the characters within the sitcom. That includes Monica, who appears to be playing along.

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Darcy realizes that they may be able to speak to Wanda using the radio in her kitchen within the show. They still aren’t sure if Wanda is the one causing this event, or being manipulated by it. As the show progresses to the party at the club where Wanda first meets “Geraldine”, Woo and Darcy are able to talk through the radio (which is what Wanda heard during that episode.) She appears to be hearing them, but suddenly the transmission skips right over what we saw happen — the glass breaking and Wanda being scared. Darcy notices something is off, but isn’t sure what and declares the mission a failure. Meanwhile, the agent in the sewers makes it into Westview — he’s the beekeeper Wanda saw coming out of the sewer grate. Wanda sees him, and like before, she simply says “no.”

As the rest of the agents are engrossed in the narrative, Woo and Darcy realize Monica just said “Ultron” in character as Geraldine. Wanda steps towards Monica, but the broadcast cuts forward again like the last time something contradicting the script of the show occurred. Darcy realizes that someone or something is censoring the broadcast. Suddenly, alarms start blaring. Within the show, we see the scene play out as intended. Wanda asks Monica who she is, and at first Monica tries to stay in character. But Wanda says she is a trespasser, and she sends her out of the boundary using her powers. It’s now clear that Wanda is responsible for what’s happening in Westview, and she’s in full control.

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Wanda fixes the damage, and her heartbroken and confused face turns towards the twins, who are crying. We hear Vision enter and ask “where is Geraldine?” as Monica wakes up in a field outside the perimeter, surrounded by agents. Wanda tries to put herself back in the fantasy, but when she sees Vision he’s an android and clearly dead, with damage on his head from when Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his head in Avengers: Infinity War. She breathes in and out, and when she looks again, he is the Vision we know. He tells her they don’t have to stay in Westview, but Wanda sadly tells him they can’t leave before smiling and saying “this is our home now.” Back in the field, Darcy and Woo rush up to a stunned Monica, who just tells them that “it’s all Wanda” as she is examined by medical professionals. We return to Westview one more time as Wanda brightly discusses what to watch on television. Intriguingly, Vision looks sad, and it begs the question — is this version of Vision aware of what’s happened to him? And if so — is some part of the original Vision alive?

WandaVision premieres each Friday on Disney+, with the first four episodes available now.

Jules
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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