Aug 10, 2021
The ‘Bot Couple: WandaVision “Now in Color”
Previously on WandaVision: Despite a few hiccups, the Visions are doing a bang-up job fitting into their anachronistic hometown filled with kooky characters and saccharine life lessons. And to boot, they’re expecting! A single instance of not sleeping in separate twin beds has left Wanda knocked up with an adorable little—something! If only those toy helicopters and menacing beekeepers would stop pestering her, Wanda’s life would be just about perfect.
It’s the 1970s now, and the Visions have a house nearly identical to that of the Brady Bunch. There’s a title sequence set to Partridge Family-like up-tempo rock-tinged theme music, showing the Visions in their eye-searing ‘70s outfits shopping and planning for their baby robot.
Next, a doctor shows up at the house to examine Wanda. (I’m pretty sure the joke that doctors only made house calls on TV was old even in the ’70s.) He discovers that after its conception sometime the previous night, the li’l biological anomaly has already progressed to the equivalent of a four-month gestation, by Dr. Nielson’s estimation.
Dr. Nielson then takes off to his planned Bermuda vacation. Vision’s neighbor Herb is outside while Vision sees the doctor off, and he’s acting very strange, having cut at least a foot into the concrete divider while trying to trim his hedges. Vision goes back inside, and in the short time he was out of the house, Wanda’s pregnancy has ramped forward several months.
They try to put the baby’s room together, but having a magic baby is making things difficult: one kick, and the butterfly mobile they’ve strung up in the room turns into a bunch of real butterflies. They argue over names for the baby, which they both seem to assume is a boy. Based on Wanda’s highly abbreviated gestation, Wanda estimates they should have a Billy and/or Tommy by the end of the week. She’s in the third trimester already and having false contractions. One such pang makes Wanda gasp, and a moment later all the kitchen appliances are running by themselves. The lights shine blindingly bright, and the couple have to abandon the kitchen before all the fuses blow out. The studio audience loves it.
Power is out all over the town, and Wanda wonders whether the neighbors suspect she’s to blame. She notes that the neighbors seem always to be on the verge of discovering their secret. “Yes, I know what you mean,” says Vision somberly. “But it’s more than that, isn’t it? Mr. and Mrs. Hart, at dinner… outside, with Herb… I think something’s wrong here, Wanda.”
What could be wrong will have to wait until later, because Wanda rewinds time again (minus the VHS effect this time around) and Vision begins his sentence again, but this time he confesses that he’s anxious about their baby too. As far as anyone knows, a vibranium android powered by an Infinity Stone has never had a baby with a human. What is it going to look like? What powers will it have? “If he’s anything like his mother,” Vision consoles, “Billy will be perfect.”
Suddenly, Wanda gasps, because her real labor has begun. Her water breaking causes a rainstorm to occur inside the house.
Now it’s time for another fake commercial, and this week the ad features a harried mother with magnificently feathered hair as she weathers all manner of domestic inconveniences. “Do you need a break?” asks an announcer. The mother then appears in a luxurious bathtub, fanned by attendants, and chastely covered up by bubbles thanks to her “HydraSoak” bath powder. The joke here is that Hydra apparently funded its bid for world domination by selling bath products. Personally, I think it would’ve been funnier if the product was something evil that they used to sell in the ’70s, like lawn darts. Or leaded gasoline.
Wanda blow-dries the house with a conjured windstorm. Since the phones are down, Vision risks using his super-speed to go get the doctor, whose car has luckily broken down before he can drive [??] to Bermuda. Wanda tries to stifle her magic, but she can’t stop the stork she painted on the wall of the baby’s room from turning into a CGI animated stork.
Someone knocks at the door, and Wanda fetches a heavy coat to conceal her pregnant belly. It’s her friend Geraldine, here to borrow a bucket to bail out her burst pipes. Wanda looks for one, but her contractions are making the coat she’s wearing turn into a series of different coats. She hands Geraldine a bucket, at which point Geraldine decides to sit down and tell Wanda a long boring story about her new job. The CGI stork wanders around and Wanda can’t make it disappear.
The stork finally, after several close calls, decides to wander back into the room and get back on the wall, and it looks like Wanda’s in the clear, but wouldn’t you know it, Geraldine wanders into the baby’s room on an unrelated errand and sees everything. Wanda can’t hold in her contractions anymore, dropping her disguise, and shouting, “The baby’s coming!”
Now Geraldine has to help Wanda deliver. What with Wanda not being pregnant yesterday, plus the fact that her contractions are making appliances smoke and pictures spin on the wall, you have to wonder what’s going through Geraldine’s head, but she’s between Wanda’s legs checking her dilation like a pro. Wanda pushes and screeches and in quite a short time, her son Tommy arrives. Vision is close behind, having carried Dr. Nielson on his shoulders, and to hell with secret identities!
But in case you were feeling bad that Vision missed Tommy’s birth, it turns out Wanda has another baby in there! After the second baby (Billy) is born, Vision accompanies the doctor outside and wishes him a happy vacation. “I don’t think we’ll get away after all,” says Dr. Nielson cryptically. “Small towns, you know. So hard to… escape.” There’s an ironic smattering of laughter from the studio audience.
Vision looks over and sees Agnes talking conspiratorially with Herb. They quit their conversation when Vision walks over and they exchange some neighborly pleasantries. When the slightly suspicious Vision turns to go back inside, Agnes stops him to ask if Geraldine is still inside with Wanda.
Wanda is gazing at her new twins. She mentions to Geraldine that she, herself, is a twin. She had a brother who got killed for being the breakout star of another franchise. “Pietro was killed by Ultron, wasn’t he?” asks Geraldine.
This startles Wanda, not in the least because that’s not supposed to happen for 40 years or so. Meanwhile, outside, Agnes and Herb are telling Vision to be wary of Geraldine. She has no family here. No job. No home. Herb begins to say, “She came here because we’re all…” but Agnes stops him from finishing his sentence. After she leaves, Herb pretends they weren’t having any heavy conversations and goes back to trimming the divider.
Wanda sees a pendant around Geraldine’s neck. It bears the same SWORD symbol that Wanda found on the side of the helicopter last episode. Geraldine attempts to walk back her earlier misstep where she mentioned Ultron, but Wanda forcefully tells her she needs to leave. She’s already gone by the time Vision gets back in the house. Wanda gestures with her hands and the show’s aspect ratio widens.
It keeps widening during a shot of the outskirts of the city of “Westview” at night. There’s a blob of static in the sky and Geraldine comes careening out of it, landing on the grass, with the telltale red residue that means Wanda used her magic on her. She shakes her head in a daze and is soon surrounded by military trucks and men with guns, as a helicopter shines its spotlight on her. This all happens to the strains of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer”, which doesn’t fit the ’70s theme (released in 1967), but the lyrics are so appropriate they just had to fudge it.
Next time on WandaVision: All the costumers and production designers go on vacation as we explore a slightly less twentieth-century plotline about “Geraldine”.