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Memories That Define: WandaVision Episode 5


R E V I E W S E R I E S


Shudipto Dip


Memories are decisive traits of all life. Our existence is dictated by others’ memory of us. While the concept of memories served as a medium of fascination for paranoid sci-fi enthusiasts; others, with the likes of Blade Runner, elevated the idea to intriguing heights. And now with the Family Ties inspired sitcom intro of episode 5, WandaVision contributes to the movement sneakily.

Life is venerated by the dint of memories, of human or synthezoid. And having seen photos in the intro, of a childhood Vision didn’t get to experience, we are led to feel Wanda’s efforts at making him human — which only added layers to the debacles that followed. Having five number candles on one cake were among the other instances of Marvel‘s subtle detailing.

While we were pondering the idea of a baby Vis drowning in teddy wool; we were greeted with yet another hyper-saturated, supposedly eye candy of a set-up. While we talk of colour grading, they did have a brief couple of seconds of cinematic effects before switching to a typically rushed lightroom job.

Two things Marvel succeeded in with the sitcom this time. Getting rid of puns, for one, undoubtedly gave the Zoomer audience a break. But making the incessant laughter of the live audience integral to the set-up surely takes the cake. With both realities sharing the screen-time in turns, we do get a sudden sensation of stillness as we transit to the Darcyverse (that’s what I am calling it). Unlike Wonder Woman 1984, it was not clogged with dispensable 80s references. And like any other film set in that time, retro tech jokes grabbed a seat. So did twin jokes, with a slight twist of magic. With Agnes casually concurring with the supernaturalism, we see the tease of a reality collapsing upon itself while conforming to another.

The last episode being a hit among the coherent viewers, had a potentially scarring moment as we got to see the grotesque self of Vision. This episode cleared the ambiguity surrounding the moment, only to have the viewers wish that it didn’t. And having nothing else to look forward to, especially after where we left off, it is safe to say that this episode managed to have us clutch on the couch tightly — with more than one shocker. Halfway through the miniseries, the realities have started intertwining, and not just in screen-time, making Wanda possibly the only angsty fourth wall breaker in recent history. To add to the miseries, her Family Ties are steadily getting reconstructed to her Marriage Story. I cannot speak for others but this could be Paul Bettany’s redemption with the arc his character is developing.

Ethical obligations and moral paradoxes are prerequisites of the superhero media, and the prime reason as to why this genre is. Even though we only got a handful to exemplify from a decade of MCU content, this episode treated us with not one but three such confrontations. Creating some comprehensible scientific tidbits finally let us enjoy the originality of the rules of a fictional reality. And the commercial break is back too, catching up with the timeline hastily, much like our new twins.

With this episode, Marvel takes the liberty in allocating some time for future world-building once again. We are now left to contemplate a mystery arc of another alpha — Carol The Avenger Danvers. Considering the fact that it was not in the form of a mere easter egg, we can only imagine its gravity and maybe hope it does not entangle with WandaVision and make it overarching as well.

While we could enjoy a few extra minutes at long last, we do not need to be spoonfed the fact that the runtime is increasing now. But outshining this redundant skit was surely the final act — a face-off, an equivocation, a cameo, and a consequential question that needs immediate answering. However, we have to engage in creating ambitious fanfics in our mind palace for now, for that is the excruciating nature of cliffhangers.

 


Shudipto is a replicant with the emotional range of a labradoodle.

 

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