Holy cow, what a twist! “Breaking the Fourth Wall” takes WandaVision into the mocumentary sitcom era of the aughts (think The Office and Modern Family), and it lands somewhere completely unexpected. To me, anyway …
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) needs a day off. Halloween was … a lot. All she feels like doing is eating cereal in front of the TV by herself, and ever-present neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is there to help. Vision (Paul Bettany) still hasn’t returned from his Halloween adventures, and Wanda is either taking it in stride or about to have a breakdown. Either way, she’s relieved when Agnes takes Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) off her hands.
The boys said something as Wanda was waking up about their game going crazy, but Wanda didn’t have the energy to deal with it. It turns out that what they meant was that their controllers were glitching, switching haphazardly to different game devices from all the different eras they’d lived through so far and ultimately turning into UNO® cards. Wanda gets a taste of the glitching herself when she prepares her breakfast, watching her milk shift from almond milk to carton milk to glass bottle milk. The phenomenon continues throughout her quiet morning, redecorating the house and swapping out her TV.
Billy and Tommy are happy with Agnes, holding her bunny and eating snacks. Billy comments on how nice it is in Agnes’ quiet house … because Agnes is quiet inside herself.
Elsewhere, Vision awakens on the ground at the circus the Hex created when it absorbed the SWORD base. He’s told that he must be the new clown and that he’ll be working with the escape artist. It’s Darcy (Kat Dennings), chained to the grill on a vehicle with what turn out to be breakaway chains. Vision remembers her having tried to help him, and he uses his power to strip away Wanda’s. Together, they steal a funnel cake truck and make a break for the WandaVision residence.
En route, they encounter a series of obstacles that would be comical if they weren’t so frustrating. First it’s multiple red lights, then road construction, then a parade of school children. This gives Darcy time to fill Vision in on some of his personal history and his history with Wanda, inclusive of his origins and his deaths at the hands of Wanda and Thanos. Eventually, Vision loses patience with the delays he believes Wanda is causing to keep him away from home and floats through the roof of the truck’s cab to fly home alone.
Outside the Hex, Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) has a new base and is ready to launch a full-scale attack against Wanda. Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) have a mini base, too, where Monica’s friends are waiting with the vehicle and suit she requested to help her get back inside the Hex to warn Wanda. Thanks to Darcy, Jimmy and Monica have seen inside Hayward’s files and know now that he’d been trying to bring Vision back online himself for his own purposes. That’s why he’s fixated on Vision in this situation — he wants him back.
Monica gears up and gets in her fancy space car to push through the outer wall of the Hex, but when she reaches it, it matches the density of her vehicle and prevents her from entering. She barely makes it out before the vehicle is partially rewritten and spit out as half-minivan, half-space car. Before Jimmy can stop her, she decides to broach the barrier on foot and plunges through the shimmering red wall.
The Hex wall is thick, and Monica has to work to put one foot in front of the other. As she progresses, different versions of herself from different decades of WandaVision fan out from her, and she wills herself back into one Monica just as she makes it out — without having any of her garments altered to match the current episode.
Monica runs to Wanda’s house, where she rushes in to try to warn Wanda about Hayward’s intentions and imminent attack. Wanda perceives her as an enemy and uses her powers to expel Monica from her house. On the front lawn, they have a showdown, and Wanda throws Monica into the air. Monica lands effortlessly unscathed on the pavement in the classic superhero one-knee stance, her eyes blazing bright blue. Moving through the wall of the Hex three times has changed her in some fundamental way, and both she and Wanda are surprised.
Monica tries to convince Wanda that she is not an enemy, and that in fact they share a commonality in their grief. She might be breaking through, too, when Agnes intervenes and tells Monica she’s overstayed her welcome.
Agnes rushes Wanda into her own home and offers her a cup of tea. As Wanda gets her bearings, she notices the bunny is in its cage and the boys are nowhere to be found. She asks Agnes where the twins are, and Agnes says they’re probably playing in the basement. Wanda goes into the basement to look for them, leaving the sitcom world and entering a lair that feels more like a horror movie. The basement leads into a tunnel that ends in a cavern full of artifacts and doors.
As Wanda peers around the dim room looking for her sons, Agnes follows and chastises her for thinking she was the only magical gal in town. Wanda’s eyes and face flash purple with Agnes’s spell, and she introduces herself to Wanda with her true name as a new credit sequence starts for “Agatha All Along,” starring AGATHA HARKNESS, and showing an alternate perspective of WandaVision so far. It turns out that Agatha is a witch who has manipulated every event we’ve witnessed. “Who’s been messing up everything? It’s been Agatha all along.” (And she killed Sparky, too.)
Marvel comics fans will recognize the character Agatha Harkness as a witch who mentors Wanda in the Mephisto storyline many have theorized informs WandaVision. We now know it was she who recast Pietro (Evan Peters), and it makes sense that she would draw from the X-Men franchise, since she has mutant abilities. We’ll see how literal the interpretation of her relationship with Wanda in this medium turns out to be …
Hey! Did you catch the mid-credits stinger? No? Go back!
- WANDAVISION Recap: (S01E08) Previously On - February 28, 2021
- WANDAVISION Recap: (S01E07) Breaking the Fourth Wall - February 19, 2021
- WANDAVISION Recap: (S01E06) All-New Halloween Spooktacular! - February 12, 2021