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WandaVision is reaching its endgame as it releases its seventh and antepenultimate episode. And what an episode! Funny, spooky and utterly game-changing, there’s a lot to talk about in Breaking the Fourth Wall. So, without further ado, on with the review!
Last week’s episode, All-New Halloween Spooktacular, closed with the shocking moment of Wanda expanding the barrier around Westview, causing SWORD to flee the scene and leading to Darcy’s absorption into the Hex. Breaking the Fourth Wall picks up a day later, with Wanda waking up in bed and feeling ashamed of what she did the previous night.
Things are a little different now, too. Vision is out and about, Pietro is nowhere to be seen, and Westview is now completely modern. Due to this, the sitcom aspect of the show now mirrors Modern Family, complete with shaky camera and fourth wall-breaking confessionals. Simply due to its familiarity, I thought this was the best sitcom pastiche yet, perfectly emulating the style of a modern comedy show without veering too far into parody. It also gives director Matt Shakman the chance to try out yet another style of direction, which he carries off with aplomb.
The episode really gets going when Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) pops over to the Maximoff household and offers to take care of young Tommy and Billy while Wanda recuperates. After the kids head off, Wanda begins to notice some very strange things happening. Parts of her home seem to be jumping forwards and backwards in time, with her TV, furniture and wallpaper shifting from modern to 1950s-esque in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, we catch up with Vision (Paul Bettany), who meets up with Darcy (Kat Dennings) and learns a little more about the situation he’s in. Stealing an ice cream truck, the two attempt to get to Wanda, but find themselves thwarted at every turn. The two have some brilliant scenes together and make a fine pairing, once again proving the showrunners’ decision to include less-developed characters like Darcy in the show absolutely right.
We also see what’s going on outside of Westview, as Monica (Teyonah Parris) and Jimmy (Randall Park) once again attempt to gain access to the Hex. Jimmy doesn’t appear all that much this week, but Monica gets some pretty heavy focus, managing to regain entry to Westview and gaining some very peculiar abilities in the process. There’s a great scene for her as she passes through the barrier once again: perfectly acted and executed, and with some thrillingly major ramifications for the character. Brilliant stuff.
As the episode hurtles towards its conclusion, we have yet another explosive encounter between Wanda and Monica, before heading into Agnes’s house for the first time. After a short but spooky sequence of Wanda descending into the basement, we get a pretty major reveal that recontextualises everything we’ve seen thus far. This scene could have been some very dull exposition, or a simple flashback, but writer Cameron Squires relays it to the watcher in a sequence so utterly hilarious, silly and fourth-wall breaking that it might just be my favourite part of the series so far.
And then, just like that, it’s over! It’ll definitely be a long wait for next week’s episode, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Oh, and stick around after the credits for another little surprise…
Overall, this is definitely one of the best episodes of the series thus far, making perfect use of both the sitcom format, and the more grounded scenes set outside of Westview. Once again, Elizabeth Olsen gets a little more screentime than Paul Bettany, but when her scenes and acting are so compelling, that’s no big problem. Meanwhile, Kathryn Hahn and Teyonah Parris get to show of even more sides to their characters, further cementing themselves as fantastic additions to the MCU. Brilliant stuff.
WandaVision continues next Friday on Disney+