Spoilers for Episode 6 of WandaVision follow!
Week six of WandaVision is here, and much like every episode so far, things get continuously more twisted as we reach the finish line of this suburban sci-fi mystery. Even though we are given very few answers as the finale gets closer and closer, that doesn’t mean we aren’t learning anything. S.W.O.R.D. is getting restless, Vision wants out, the twins are still growing up faster than Wanda can handle, and Pietro is back? Things continue to feel bleaker and more haunting just as the narrative developments get even bigger, making us wonder if anyone is gonna be saved by the end; especially Wanda.
After an intro and opening scene reminiscent of Malcolm in the Middle, the Maximoffs take Billy and Tommy out on the streets of Westview to celebrate their first Halloween as a family. And by Maximoffs, we do mean Wanda and Pietro, seeing as Vision decides to take a breather from the sitcom side of the ‘Hex’ to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. But that doesn’t mean Wanda isn’t immune to questioning, as we get a glimpse inside the recast Pietro.
On the other side of the Hex, the S.W.O.R.D. operation begins to crumble after the desperate actions taken by Director Hayward in the previous episode. After taking heat from Hayward, Monica Rambeau, Jimmy Woo, and Darcy Lewis grow suspicious of the director and go rogue in an attempt to uncover more of what they don’t know, paralleling Vision’s journey inside the Hex. Though major turning points are teased, they seem to be on the back burner for the next episode as things go from bad to worse for everyone.
We got a taste of Vision’s growing self-awareness in the last couple episodes, and it reaches its peak here, channeling the biggest turning turning point in the series thus far. Interestingly enough, while Vision clearly wants to leave, Pietro doesn’t really seem to despite being in seemingly almost the exact same position. This version of the character feels very much like a new face with the same memories as Age of Ultron’s Quicksilver, yet his presence in Wanda’s life feels uneasy, since he is aware of what she is doing to Westview, but approves of it in contrast to Vision. This divide is one of the few things that make the Pietro development, along with the rest of the show, even more disturbing.
As the sitcoms advance closer to modern years, the transitions between Westview and S.W.O.R.D. become more seamless. While it should be jarring, the plots inside and out of the Hex have become so intertwined that it’s not a problem at all. It actually enhances two sides of the mystery, especially for Wanda, who in her grief from losing Vision and Pietro doesn’t seem to know what is going on anymore than the audience does. The greater puzzle is not one-sided at all, seeing as there are secrets everywhere for everyone.
Though things are getting more intense, the performances feel more grounded for the most of the episode. Elizabeth Olsen and Evan Peters share some great moments that bring both more emotion and eeriness to what was already heartbreaking and unsettling. Paul Bettany, of course, who has frequently been the standout of WandaVision, continues to prove just how well he suits the role of the vibranium synthezoid. As we get his best work in the MCU since his first on-screen appearance in Age of Ultron, we also see just how human his character has become since his relationship with Wanda began. Despite them sharing little screen time here, we see just how both characters affect each other, for better or worse in the context of the show.
WandaVision’s sixth entry is a very well done balance of fan service, emotional depth, and story advancement. It gives us campy looks at Halloween costume versions of the Maximoff family and Vision, while using this setting to retroactively improve on threads set up in previous films. Combining these things and adding a mysteriously bleak ending make for the best and and most intriguing episode yet, further proving that WandaVision could very much dominate the MCU with its quality on every level by the end. As the mystery deepens, the conclusion of the Disney+ original becomes all the more anticipated, and that much more unpredictable.