I lamented the lack of mystery in the last episode, or at least the explanation dump of the first three episodes. Fortunately episode 5 comes back stronger with all new mysteries for the last half of the season.
We move to the 80s in a Family Ties style episode, complete with painting at the beginning. Boy if these aren’t the smiles of the damned, I don’t know what is.
Yes Wanda is controlling this. But she isn’t. It’s really hard to tell. There’s something else at work here. Kathryn Hahn seems to be in on the whole thing but other people are completely controlled.
By the way, let’s just say Hahn is a national treasure. She effortlessly goes between wacky neighbor, concerned friend, and frightened “actress” from moment to moment. She really is great in this.
The babies won’t stop crying and Hahn wants to help but Vision won’t let her causing the whole “scene” to break for a moment. Vision is mystified by her behavior but Wanda just pretends all is well. Even though his babies just aged up to 4 years old in a matter of moments. (I kinda like the poke at the trope when a new baby would age up 5 years over the summer.)
This is when we start seeing a rift between the two. Vision goes to work and thanks to being such a whiz with computers puts together all the cutting edge Commodore 64 computers on everyone’s desk. That’s when they get on the Internet (wait in the early 80s?) and receive an electronic mail… from S.W.O.R.D. Hmm.
Vision frees his co-worker from the mind control and the guy goes nuts, begging him to get her out of his head. We assume Wanda but I’ve been watching shows long enough to know when the pronoun game is being played. Vision puts him back under for now.
He confronts Wanda at home with his now 10 year old kids. (They had to be that age if they could keep the dog they found.) It gets pretty tense and its clear Wanda may be controlling a lot but isn’t controlling Vision.
In the meantime we find out from the S.W.O.R.D. encampment outside that this has been going on for less than 9 days as that’s when Wanda broke into the facility they had Vision’s body and took it. Against the Sokovia Accords (apparently still in effect?) and Vision’s living will. (But he was dead so that should just be.. a will.)
They try to confront Wanda using technology that would’ve been in the 80’s so it won’t get automatically changed like the earlier drone did. But Captain Dumb decides to “take the shot” at Wanda and she comes storming out of Westview complete with normal outfit and accent. She tells them to leave her alone, tosses the remains of the drone, and goes back.
We go back to the sitcom world where there’s a knock on the door. Pietro shows up, played by Evan Peters.
Ok so the good. As I said, the mysteries are getting ratcheted up here and I appreciate that. It’s a different show now, a little more conventional now that we understand the playing field, and I miss that, but that doesn’t make it less entertaining.
Kathryn Hahn is awesome every time she’s on screen. I also enjoyed the Family Ties vibe to the whole show. One thing it still does well is creepiness factor. An audience canned laughter against something serious. Moments of sitcom cheese during a more dramatic moment is unsettling, in a good way.
The bad? The dopey guy in charge. That’s an 80s trope all its own but it’s not done in irony. There wasn’t anything smart about his decision to “take the shot.” I really hated that moment so much. Also playing the pronoun game. It tips its hat a little too much.
So many questions though. Why the sitcoms? If she wanted a normal life, she could just take a house with Vision and just fix everyone’s mind slightly to accept them there as normal people. She practically made this stand out like a sore thumb. Unless there’s more going on here, which I hope there is. Why does Hahn seem to know what’s going on but others don’t? What’s with the kids? They are hers? Why can’t she control Vision?
Into the 90s we go!