Streaming now on Disney+ is Episode 7 of “WandaVision” entitled “Breaking the Fourth Wall”. A teaser clip (at the end of this post) shows Wanda waking up in a modern bedroom, sans Vision, before cutting to a confessional style interview about “intentionally expanding the borders of the false world we created.” The prior installment, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular,” saw Wanda confronted by her twin brother, Pietro, about her new false reality, before an attempted escape by Vision saw the expansion of the Hex to include the whole of the S.W.O.R.D. camp outside, including Darcy Lewis.
This episode draws its sitcom inspiration from “Modern Family,” and finds Wanda struggling to maintain permanence in her artificial reality, while outside the Hex S.W.O.R.D. prepares to retake Westview. Vision wakes up in the former S.W.O.R.D. base turned circus, and recruits Darcy to return him to Wanda and get some answers. Jimmy Wu and Monica Rambeau discover S.W.O.R.D.’s true intention for Vision, before Monica forces her way back into the Hex, only to discover that one of Wanda’s neighbors may be more than just a puppet. Every episode of “WandaVision” has had conspicuously long credits, but this is the first episode with a mid-credits scene, so be sure to stick with it through the end titles.
The conceit of this episode landed really well. While past installments relied on blending humor and foreshadowing to create tension, this episode uses the confessionals and reality show frame to couch Wanda’s meltdown. After Monica Rambeau contacted an old friend and aerospace engineer in Episode 6, audiences anticipated the introduction of Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic 4). The actual comic cameo in this episode is more obscure, but far more satisfying given the arc of “WandaVision” and the excellent reveal montage made possible by the “Modern Family” frame. Though “WandaVision” had a slow start for me, it has steadily improved every week and may be one of the first shows in the streaming age to have me eagerly anticipating next week’s episode, the show’s penultimate installment.