Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

WandaVision Episode 5 Review: A House Full of Growing Pains and Family Ties

WandaVision Episode 5 has arrived and it might possibly be one of the wildest episodes of television encompassing grief, loss, and the formula that people might have expected moving forward. The balance between the real world and the sitcom has been achieved and we get enough notations about just what Wanda is doing and what SWORD is doing to stop her that paints things into a clearer picture just like the show’s Growing Pains opening.  Let’s break down some of the wildest moments of the 80s episode including that unimaginably shocking reveal – and just what it took to make that happen and what it means going forward.

A House Full of Growing Pains

WandaVision’s 80s episode was probably the most at home Elizabeth Olsen felt. Wanda Maximoff’s house is the epitome of the House from Full House just without the taller San Francisco design. She keeps everything firmly to the suburbs including her children, her wardrobe, and Vision’s job (more on that later). The family is going through some growing pains themselves (see what I did there?) and while Agnes might seem to be afraid of the scarlet star of the show, in the beginning, the episode hints that there really might be something more at work here (Agnes is the only one without a New Jersey ID after all). 

Wanda’s boys grow up – aging into children – and Agnes doesn’t seem phased by this at all. Vision is, however, pointing out that Agnes’s behavior is a bit off and her comment of “Let’s take it from the top” doesn’t particularly fit in with a healthy family dynamic. Agnes’s strange presence, the growing up of the twins – it’s all coming to a head for Vision who doesn’t seem comfortable with his technicolor buns of steel lifestyle – something Wanda may have to face.

It’s a Magical Life in the Suburbs (and outside of it) 

Apart from Agnes’s strange behavior who seems to know everything going on in their family, SWORD is also gaining more of a foothold outside. We see Monica namedrop photons (I still think she’s going to get powers by the end of this) and we learn that Wanda is wholly in control of this environment from Geraldine. While Wanda, Jimmy, and Darcy defend Wanda (interestingly Jimmy – which makes me wonder if Jimmy learned more about super-powered and superpower-connected people from Scott Lang). 

There’s something else up with Monica (she can’t be read by X-Rays? And her blood draw is having issues?) but we’re setting that aside to realize that Wanda’s perfect reality is crumbling around her. She may let things slip (like with the boys and the dog) but when she walks out with the drone that Heyward had sent in to destroy her she seems totally in control. 

There’s a lot that’s going on on multiple layers. Agnes seems totally unphased by changing twins, Vision is starting to be phased by everything, and SWORD is poised to make an unauthorized cameo on Wanda’s show. 

The biggest step to Wanda’s show ending however is Vision. Vision takes the time to start talking to the locals and learns that Norm has been trapped in here and that he can lift the fog of his fellow citizens to see just what Monica saw. They are trapped, alone, and scared under Wanda’s control. He’s left to think about just what his wife is capable of with her Hex abilities. 

(It was pointed out to me that Darcy named Wanda’s magic sphere “The hex” and that while fans call Wanda the “Scarlet Witch” she’s never been officially named the “Scarlet Witch.”) 

If Monica is unable to be read on x-rays, is it possible that people enter and leave her hexes…mutated?

It’s a Fuller House Than We Know

Here’s what we do know. Wanda’s abilities are starting to grow out of her control and she has created life – not just in terms of the show but in terms of her children who actually exist. She’s created life and given that she brought back Vision’s body she has clearly gained the ability to raise the dead. The question remains about how much of this is real and how much of this isn’t – when she says that she doesn’t understand a lot of this is she telling the truth? 

How much mystical energy is also to blame here? While it’s probably unintentional, Azaleas are associated with the goddess of the underworld. The dog eats one and dies, provoking a discussion about death and how you can’t run from your problems even though that’s exactly what she’s doing. Her commercials hint at her fear too (Lagos  – the city she accidentally destroyed that started the Sokovia accords?) 

The show is doing a fantastic balance of balancing her fear and trauma with the fact that she’s incredibly dangerous. It’s a tribute to writing a character who hasn’t gotten a lot of screentime, “You said Family is Forever.” takes on an incredibly dark tone. Wanda’s trauma is making her abusive just as she was abused, and the tragedy is heartbreaking on every level. 

Family Ties that Bind Us

It’s time to address that reveal that left the internet quaking – IE a recast of studio proportions. Wanda mentions her brother earlier, the boys mention that she can raise the dead – and the show brought back Quicksilver, her brother, and her twin, but they brought back the Evan Peters version of the character.  She seemingly had no idea that this was possible, which means that her powers are truly growing beyond her control

(And apparently reaching into our world to cause multi-million dollar studio deals to make sure that Deadpool and Spider-Man can have screen time.) 

Clearly, Wanda’s reality is blowing up out of her control – leading to an amazing fight we’re all not prepared for but we can’t wait to watch.

Let’s add some final brush strokes:

  • Agnes is really lying to Vision about what she’s capable of in the teaser footage we’ve seen of her.
  • Is he just playing Pietro? (you know who I mean)
  • Did anybody catch how the mailman and the commercial man are the same person? If the show’s theory about them being her parents holds true things are about to get extremely strange.
  • Everything about the sitcom side of the show could be a dissertation. The slow fade to 80s music, the paintings, the color choices. It’s a masterpiece.

What did you think of tonight’s episode of WandaVision? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!