“All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” dives into the creepy, disturbing side of Westview while introducing more mystery and tension.
If you thought last week’s WandaVision got wild, wait ‘til you see what’s in store for this one. “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” picks up where the last entry left off: Vision continues his quest to find out what is happening in Westview, tensions are rising outside the Hex, and Pietro Maximoff is back from the dead…and from another franchise! The homage to ‘90s sitcoms and the Halloween setting is a charming background for one of the most thrilling and disturbing episodes yet!
First things first: Evan Peters is a blast on screen. Having him around and acting like a fun, easy-going uncle for the twins (serious Full House vibes here) while also providing some tense and disturbing scenes was spectacular. His Pietro Maximoff was a fan-favorite in Fox’s X-Men movies, so it’s no surprise he’s a highlight here. Peters also works well with Elizabeth Olsen and the two child actors, Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne. He seamlessly fits into the weird and chaotic world of Westview. He’s a fantastic addition to the cast late in the show’s run.
Speaking of, the show is still adding more mystery and intrigue in its sixth installment. We learn that Wanda has no recollection of starting the Westview incident, and she has no intention of stopping even though she knows it’s wrong. Shockingly, she doesn’t know how Pietro is alive or why he looks different. We suspected that she had something to do with it, but apparently not.
The biggest question this week involves Director Hayward. Why is he tracking Vision? What is he really up to, and what are his goals?
Things are only getting crazier inside the Hex as Vision notices many glitches with the residents of Westview. A woman appears to be stuck in a loop while she is hanging laundry to dry. A single tear rolls down her cheek as she cannot escape the spell she is under. When Vision investigates the edge of the town, the people seem to be stuck in stasis and are unresponsive to his questions. Maybe Wanda keeps them inactive if they aren’t “on-screen,” which is a horrible thought.
The most disturbing scenes come from Vision’s interaction with Agnes and the claymation commercial break. We learn from Agnes that Wanda doesn’t let the Westview residents think about leaving the town, which is bone-chilling. This Vision sub-plot has been an interesting addition to the story as we get to see some detective work from inside the town and learn more about the ramifications of Wanda’s mind control.
And the commercial is absolutely haunting: it depicts a young, starving boy trapped on an island trying to open a pack of yogurt before succumbing to hunger. The advertisement’s juvenile claymation style made it a hundred times creepier, which is probably what they were going for. Bravo to whoever worked on that animation. I’ll be seeing that in my nightmares.
The episode addresses some continuity issues in a meta, tongue-in-cheek way, like when Wanda and Pietro both ask each other what happened to their Sokovian accents. It isn’t explained, but it is a nod to us at home who’ve been asking the same question. Now Westview has a ton of children running around after Vision noticed the neighborhood’s lack of kids last week. Even Pietro comments on this and asks Wanda where she was “hiding them.” That certainly piqued my interest.
Speaking of children, the child actors did grow on me. They felt more like real people in this episode rather than the stereotypical rascally sitcom kid always getting into trouble. It helped a lot that most of the Westview stuff was framed through the twins’ perspective, as they kept breaking the fourth wall to let us know what was happening in the plot and how they were feeling.
This episode was entertaining from start to finish, with great performances, lots of tension, and a narrative that has me glued to the screen. Six episodes in, and WandaVision is finding new ways to keep its story fresh and intriguing. The cliffhanger will be on my mind until next week’s episode, but until we’ll have to standby.