Warning: This article will contain spoilers for episode 6 of WandaVision
The long-awaited Halloween episode has arrived and it exceeds expectations. As with last week’s episode the format for this week follows both Wanda, Vision, and the citizens of Westview while also showing what S.W.O.R.D. and our other primary cast members are doing outside the Westview boundaries. And sticking true to our theme this episode sees Westview transported to the 90’s as Wanda’s at home life mimics that of a 90’s sitcom.
The series continues to excel at morphing into whatever time period it is trying to capture. It is hugely impressive how seamlessly it has juggled so many different tones over the season thus far. This episode sees Vision leave Wanda, the twins, and Pietro under the guise of being on duty for the neighborhood watch. In actuality Vision is still suspect of what exactly is happening in Westview and to the people here and is going to investigate. We sort of get more answers about Pietro as the episode progresses, as Wanda seems just as confused as we are about why he looks different.
It is interesting that Wanda doesn’t seem to have any idea how or why Pietro is there, and though he plays himself off as being the goofy brother and makes direct remarks about everything in Westview being manipulated by Wanda to be like a TV show, there is an uneasy undertone to his appearance and aura. There have been a ton of fan theories regarding the show, one of which theorizes that Mephisto, who is one of the biggest Marvel villains in the comics, is involved in some capacity (I’m betting on that myself) and then another which builds on that and says that Pietro as we see him here is Mephisto in disguise.
I immediately loved the theory after seeing it last week, though I wasn’t sure it was a realistic option. However, after the way Pietro acts in this episode, his past and memories not lining up with Wanda’s, his almost interrogation of Wanda, his knowledge of the situation, and Wanda’s general lack of knowledge regarding him, make me believe he might be Mephisto. Regardless of whether of not Pietro is in fact Mephisto in disguise there is certainly something off about his appearance. Evan Peter’s delivers a great performance blending in while simultaneously standing out in the MCU landscape.
Elizabeth Olsen and Evan Peter’s both shine, and Olsen continues to deliver incredibly standout emotionally charged and nuanced performances. When asked about how she did all of this (the control of Westview) she again says that she doesn’t know how it all started, and I believe her. Billy and Tommy also get more development this episode as we see their powers begin to manifest. Tommy has super speed and Billy is “weird” to quote Age of Ulton’s description of Wanda Maximoff’s powers. The Maximoff powers run in the family.
The most interesting and unnerving developments this episode come from Vision’s investigation of Westview. He begins traveling further and further away from the town center, and as he journeys the residents appear to be malfunctioning. One couple is seen stuck in a loop putting out Halloween decorations, as their bodies repeat the same brief motion repeatedly, with a tear running down the woman’s cheek. It is a truly haunting sight, and it only gets more eerie as Vison continues traveling, where residents eventually become completely unresponsive, frozen in place.
After a moment’s consideration Vision abandons his Halloween disguise and floats into the sky above Westview, as he looks out you can see how almost lifeless the town looks, aside from the hive of sound and activity coming from Town Square. He then spots a car stopped near the edge of town and finds Agnes sitting motionless at the wheel, eyes staring forward at nothing. Agnes tells Vision that Wanda won’t let anyone even think of leaving. After freeing her mind from Wanda’s control Agnes is shocked to see Vision as she calls him and Avenger and asks if he’s there to help them, then she quickly panics and asks if she’s dead because she knows Vision is. Vision is completely puzzled by the exchange, he doesn’t know who the Avengers are and the last thing he expected was to be told that he’s dead.
Vision promises to find out what’s happening to Westview and reluctantly puts Agnes back under Wanda’s control. The following sequence is one of the best the MCU has put to screen as we see Vision attempting to leave the Westview border to be greeted by S.W.O.R.D. agents. He makes it through, sort of, as the town and it’s force field begin to literally tear him apart and pull him back. It’s heartbreaking and honestly difficult to watch. Vision is just trying to understand, to get help, and no one helps as he is being torn apart. Darcy screams for the agents to help him but she just gets handcuffed to a vehicle for her efforts.
Vision’s saving grace comes from Billy’s powers manifesting as he hears his father in trouble and has visions of the situation. He quickly runs to Wanda and tells her Vision is in trouble. Wanda then showcases another display of immense power as she freezes the entire town and sends a blast of energy out, increasing the radius of the hexagonal field that encompasses Westview. By increasing the border she safely brings Vision back into town and also overtakes the entire S.W.O.R.D. response base, turning it into a circus.
This episode was eventful, to say the least. WandaVision continues to explore the heavy themes of grief, trauma, abusing power, manipulation, and more with both precision and poignance week after week. The mystery continues to deepen, the suspense continues to rise, and you can feel the action on the horizon. The entire cast delivers stellar performances as always and as with every week the technical and production side of things is just top notch. The costume design, which featured actual costumes and our protagonists sporting their classic comic looks, was a major standout this week. Top to bottom, from editing to sound design, set design to VFX, everything on screen remains a wonder to watch.