Vision just can’t catch a break. After being killed when Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his forehead in Infinity War, Vision almost died—again. But like nearly everything else in Westview, things only happen if Wanda allows them to—and she’s not ready to let go of her synthezoid husband yet.
After Wanda left Westview in last week’s installment of WandaVision to ensure that no one would invade her home again, the sixth episode, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!,” sees Vision stepping outside of the sitcom bubble in an attempt to end it. But as we all know (and what he’s just beginning to find out), Vision can’t live in a world in which he’s already died. As his body begins to crumble in the real world, Wanda’s solution is simple: expand Westview. With Vision being pulled back within her reach, along with a bunch of new unsuspecting residents and car dealerships, the synthezoid was likely saved just in time. And with only three episodes remaining in the season, Wanda’s power and influence continues to grow. At this rate, soon enough all of New Jersey will just be one massive set of Modern Family.
For this week’s recap, we’re going to focus on everything that’s happening inside and outside of Westview, before taking a closer look at Wanda and the rest of the Maximoff family.
What’s Really Happening?
With the exception of the fourth episode, which interrupted the show’s sitcom pattern by essentially dropping a mini Marvel movie, every episode has paid homage to a successive era of sitcom TV. But after the 1980s Family Ties–style installment of last week, this week’s installment skips the ’90s altogether and goes straight into the new millennium with a tribute to Malcolm in the Middle. (Evan Peters is kind of doing an Uncle Jesse, Full House thing, so maybe Marvel figured it’d sufficiently covered the decade.)
After the Malcolm-esqe intro, Billy begins the episode by going full Malcolm, speaking directly to the camera and the viewers at home. Decked out in a costume he’ll eventually wear a lot more often than just the last day of October once he’s older (more on that later), Billy is getting ready for his first Halloween in Westview. And before long, so is the rest of the Maximoff family. Going against Wanda’s trick-or-treating plans, however, Vision says he’s off to help out with the neighborhood watch for the night, prompting Uncle Pietro to step in for some long overdue family time. With Vision leaving to secretly investigate the mystery behind Westview, the rest of the Maximoff crew hits the town—which conveniently now has dozens of children roaming the streets for the holiday.
As the twins run off to begin their hunt for candy, Wanda has some time to catch up with her own twin. Wanda’s still trying to figure out how Pietro suddenly showed up in Westview—and also why he looks nothing like he used to. (Lingering on Tommy saying “kick ass,” it’s as if Wanda is trying to remember Aaron Taylor-Johnson but just can’t place him.) Before she can figure it out, Uncle Petey—who unsurprisingly turns out to be the greatest trick-or-treater of all time, thanks to his super speed—goes off to help the boys steal all the candy on the block.
Vision, meanwhile, continues his quest to uncover the truth about Westview. He passes a woman who appears to be glitching as she puts up a Halloween decoration, and the farther away he gets from Wanda, the less functional the simulation becomes. All the residents around him at the edge of town are frozen in place, standing lifelessly in the streets. Eventually, Vision comes across a car parked near the edge of Westview. Agnes is at the wheel, sitting completely and eerily still. As he did to Norm in the previous episode, he brings Agnes out of the trance.
“You’re one of the Avengers! You’re Vision!” the real Agnes exclaims. “Are you here to help us?”
Unfortunately this only leads to more confusion for the synthezoid. He still can’t remember his life before he came to Westview. “I do want to help,” he says, “but what’s an Avenger?”
This is, obviously, worrying for everyone involved. Vision’s being reminded of a reality he can’t grasp, while Agnes is realizing that he’s just as helpless as she is. “Am I dead?” she logically asks. And when Vision questions why she’d think that, she finally breaks it to him: He’s dead. (Considering the news, I will say that the guy handles it pretty well.)
After putting an increasingly distressed Agnes back into her trance, Vision charges on, walking right up to the staticky barrier surrounding Westview and willing his way through to the other side. There, he’s met by a group of S.W.O.R.D. agents led by Director Hayward, who all stand by and do nothing as Vision’s body immediately begins to disintegrate.
As Vision slowly falls apart outside of Westview, back at the town square, Billy, who’s beginning to discover his telepathic powers, starts to feel that his father’s in danger. After Billy and Tommy—who, for his part, seems to take after his speedy uncle—alert their mother, Wanda makes a snap decision that is both ruthless and genius. She expands the boundaries of her sitcom world, engulfing the nearby S.W.O.R.D. base and everyone who can’t escape.
Vision’s attempt to save the residents of Westview ultimately backfires. All he wanted to do was alert people to the dire situation inside of the bubble; little did he know that S.W.O.R.D. already knew about the Westview-Maximoff Anomaly. Now, most of S.W.O.R.D.’s finest have been transformed into a bunch of clowns and mimes inside Westview (though perhaps the biggest clown of them all, Hayward, managed to escape unscathed). Vision may still be alive, thanks to Billy, but now he’ll have to face the wrath of Wanda. And at this point, after all that we’ve seen her be capable of, death may have been the better alternative.
Outside of Westview
Though much of this week’s action takes place in Westview, there are still plenty of moving parts outside of it. Most importantly: Hayward has kicked the Big Three of Monica Rambeau, Jimmy Woo, and Darcy Lewis off the base.
Even after Monica was launched out of Westview by Wanda in the third episode, she still believes that Wanda can be saved and, ultimately, turned into the solution to their problem. But Hayward, citing Monica’s affection for superheroes like Captain Marvel, strongly disagrees. As someone who wasn’t blipped away by Thanos’s snap, Hayward remembers how dark life was for a while thanks to the Avengers. (He’s not wrong—remember that five-year stretch after half the planet’s population turned to dust, when Hawkeye apparently took a Rosetta Stone course on Japanese so he could work as a ronin, and Thor got super into beer and playing Fortnite with a rock version of Taika Waititi?) Deeming Monica and Co. as an impediment to S.W.O.R.D.’s mission, Hayward exiles the trio so he can continue with his plan to kill Wanda.
Monica, Jimmy, and Darcy have other plans, though. Monica and Jimmy beat up some S.W.O.R.D. guys and steal their uniforms, and the three try to figure out a way to get into Westview to try to save Wanda from herself. Darcy—who on top of being a world-class astrophysicist, is apparently a phenomenal hacker too?—easily breaks through firewalls in S.W.O.R.D.’s database to pick out some vital information. For one, she discovers Monica’s bloodwork, which reveals that passing through the Westview boundary re-writes your cell structure on a molecular level. (If Monica goes in again, maybe she’ll pick up some superpowers herself?) Darcy also uncovers that Hayward had been tracking Vision inside Westview, information he had withheld from them. With one firewall left for Darcy to get past, she stays behind at the S.W.O.R.D. base as Jimmy and Monica leave to meet up with Monica’s mysterious contact, who has yet to be named after being mentioned last episode.
When Darcy finally gets through Hayward’s last firewall, she uncovers that the S.W.O.R.D. director has some classified weapons intel, which is ominously titled “Cataract.” She sends the file to Jimmy, but before she can leave to meet up with the rest of her squad, she’s subsumed in Wanda’s Westview expansion. Jimmy and Monica, meanwhile, escape.
Next week, Darcy will be one of the many new residents of Westview, and it may now be up to Monica and Jimmy—and whoever Monica’s mystery contact is—to save the day.
Earlier this week, I wrote about the return of Pietro Maximoff and the potential implications that his resurrection could have on the X-Men and the MCU in the years to come. While Uncle Pietro had plenty of screen time in this episode, we still haven’t learned much about the nature of his existence or how he’s alive again. We did, however, learn more about Wanda.
For much of WandaVision, we’ve seen Wanda grieving the losses of her husband and brother. Except whenever someone has approached the subject of her grief to her, Wanda’s response has pretty much been to either frisbee their body through brick walls or summon a scroll of credits across the screen. But with her pesky twin brother now in the picture, Wanda has to face her lingering issues directly.
“I’m just trying to do my part, OK?” Pietro tells Wanda as she continues to question his arrival. “Come to town unexpectedly, create tension with the brother-in-law, stir up trouble with the rug rats, and ultimately give you grief. I mean, that’s what you wanted, isn’t it?”
“What happened to your accent?” she asks in response, noting no trace of their Eastern European roots.
“What happened to yours?” he replies. (Finally, someone asked!) “Details are fuzzy, man. I got shot like a chump on the street for no reason at all, and the next thing I know, I heard you calling me. I knew you needed me.”
Pietro also directly calls out Wanda for what she’s done to Westview, and all of its residents. Though he recalls getting shot in Sokovia, it doesn’t seem like he’s fully aware that he’s dead yet either, and Pietro somehow already knows that she’s in control of the entire town. (He also knows that Vision is dead too. As expected, the mention of that to Wanda sends him flying into a stack of hay.) Like a manifestation of her conscience, Pietro asks Wanda all the right questions, including how she managed to pull everything off.
“I only remember feeling completely alone,” Wanda tells him. “Empty. I just … endless nothingness.” As she turns back to face Pietro, she sees another living corpse before her:
Shaken by the losses of Vision and Pietro, Wanda is beginning to look directly at her trauma. Meanwhile, she’s completely stopped hiding her powers from the other residents in Westview. She’s growing more and more comfortable in her reign of terror as she continues to try to cope with her loss, even expanding the scope of her domain. But she’s also growing more desperate. The experiment is unraveling, and the sudden appearance of someone like Pietro—who could be the result of her subconscious, or something even more sinister—is proof that not even she is fully in control.
A Deeper Dive
The Maximoff Family
This week’s episode of WandaVision properly introduced two superheroes into the MCU, while also paying homage to some old characters from the comics.
Taking full advantage of the Halloween setting, the entire Maximoff family dresses up in their costumes from the comic books—with the only exception being Tommy, who appropriately wears a matching outfit with Uncle P. Wanda dons the true Scarlet Witch costume for the first time on screen in the MCU (apparently at the insistence of Elizabeth Olsen), despite telling her kids she’s dressing up as a Sokovian fortune teller. Likewise, Vision wears his classic green-and-yellow suit from the comics as well, and even Pietro sports his old Quicksilver costume—down to his very pointy white hair.
Billy and Tommy, meanwhile, do more than just dress up as superheroes in this episode—they discover their abilities, too. Billy, known as Wiccan in the comics, uses his telepathic and magic powers to save his father just before he crumbles to pieces outside of Westview. And Tommy, who’s known as Speed, uses his, uh, speed to very efficiently trick-or-treat in town.
Within the span of just two episodes, the number of people with superpowers has more than doubled; Wanda is now outmatched, four to one. And yet, if Vision’s brief getaway is any indication, they all might only exist within the hexagonal confines of Westview. Vision may be able to awaken Westview residents from Wanda’s control, but so far, any attempt he’s made to stop Wanda has been fruitless. Pietro seems to be just another product of Wanda’s grief, and his agenda isn’t clear yet. Billy and Tommy are still just naive children. (Can we also just address that they didn’t even seem to blink over the loss of their dog, Sparky? Like, can they even be trusted?)
There are now only three episodes left in WandaVision, and assuming the series keeps decade-hopping forward, the whole sitcom format could soon be dropped altogether. By then, Westview might be a whole lot bigger.