WandaVision Review: “Breaking the Fourth Wall” flips the script

The new episode of WandaVision, “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” dives deeper into Wanda’s psyche, introduces a new hero, and reveals the show’s true villain.

WandaVision shakes things up in a big way in its seventh episode, “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” After expanding the Hex’s border, Wanda decides to take some time for herself while Agnes watches over the twins. Rambeau and Woo plan a way back inside Westview to rescue Darcy, and Vision joins the circus.

While things fly off the rails quickly, we’re at the point where the sitcom aesthetic is recognizable to most people watching, which eases the tension a bit. This episode uses a Modern Family-style format with talking head interviews, cutaway gags, and fourth wall-breaking jokes. There are some hilarious talking head moments with Wanda, Agnes and especially Vision, as he wonders why he’s wasting time talking to the camera. He even gives it some exasperated looks a la Jim Halpert in The Office. Even after so much craziness has happened, the show is still sticking to its sitcom format, and if anything it’s only getting more enjoyable.

Plus, make sure to stay tuned after the end for the show’s first post-credit scene!

The individual interviews also give us some alone time with Wanda as we peer into her mind. Once again, Elizabeth Olsen steals any scene she’s in with her portrayal of Wanda’s inner turmoil. Wanda is starting to let the cracks show as she repeats to herself that she is fine while on the verge of a breakdown. Her genuine confusion about her house morphing wildly is shocking because, presumably, she’s been in control of how it changes up to this point. Olsen is fantastic at selling her bewilderment.

It also makes for some impressive visual effects, as items in the Maximoff household transform from modern to retro and back. It’s the perfect visual accompaniment to Wanda’s deteriorating situation. There is one dodgy scene with Tyler Hayward and his team right outside the Hex where it’s obvious they’re standing in front of a green screen, but it can be forgiven because the scene where Monica reenters the Hex is visually stunning. The television static effect of the Hex, along with the mind-bending Doctor Strange-esque visual where we see different versions of Captain Rambeau, is one of the highlights of the episode.

Plus, we’re introduced to Monica’s superhero alter ego, Spectrum! We get a taste of what Rambeau can do now during a minor altercation with Wanda later in the episode, together with a point-of-view shot that shows her vision has become more colorful.

I hope to see more of Rambeau now that she has powers, because she’s becoming my favorite supporting character on the show. Teyonah Parris really owns her role in this episode as we see Monica’s physical and mental struggles. Monica tries to get through to Wanda by mentioning her mother and how her death affected her. We also get another glimpse into Monica’s relationship with Captain Marvel, as Carol’s words motivate her to push through the Hex’s barrier. I’m interested to see what else Monica gets up to; the show gave her more depth and development than I was expecting.

The real shocker this week was Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, aka Agatha Harkness. She is revealed to be the show’s real villain who was behind everything. Agnes was also responsible for the fake Pietro Maximoff showing up. Hahn does an excellent job with her comedic moments while also showing us a sinister side. Much like Olsen and Bettany, you can tell she’s having fun with the role. The show has been building to this moment, and I’m excited to see Wanda and Vision go toe to toe with Harkness.

WandaVision flips the script setting up a thrilling climax to the show with only two episodes left to go. Fantastic acting, impressive visual effects, and another shocking twist make “Breaking the Fourth Wall” one of the best episodes in the series so far.

Grade: A

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