Those who were not entirely loving WandaVision levied criticisms that the show was providing only a few minutes of plot amidst a more classic sitcom feel. For those who loved sitcoms growing up, this was not seen as an issue, and most Marvel fans could agree that this show had provided one of the more thought provoking entries in the MCU thus far. Well, the naysayers better get ready for one doozy of an episode this week that changes pretty much everything about what the viewer knew was going on.
This week’s episode in particular saw a very interesting shift in perspective. There’s no goofy sitcom plot here as the focus, instead, we are taken back through events that date all of the way back to Avengers: Endgame and then through the plot points of WandaVision that we have seen thus far. While there’s still plenty for Marvel to answer for here and enough intrigue to keep the viewer rooted to their couch for the episodes to come, the focus on the character Monica Rambeau led to some startling revelations.
Taking things back to the end of Avengers: Endgame, this episode of Wandavision answered the question that everyone had after Bruce Banner snapped the people that Thanos made disappear back into existence: “Wouldn’t people just reappearing freak everyone out?” Why yes, and it does. Whereas Avengers: Endgame politely skipped the panic just moments after everyone reappears in favor of showing heartwarming moments like Ned and Peter back together, WandaVision’s opening to episode 4 doesn’t hold anything back. Monica Rambeau, formerly known as Geraldine who first showed up in episode 2, reappears back into existence.
Monica appears understandably confused and rushes out to ask several orderlies where her mother is who had just come back from a successful surgery- at least from what she remembers. As people continue to rematerialize around the hospital, panic takes hold until Monica runs into the doctor who took care of her mother. She discovers that her mother, Maria Rambeau aka “Proton,” from Captain Marvel, has passed away and that what felt to her like possibly a 20-minute nap actually consisted of 5 years of time. We then cut forward again to S.W.O.R.D. headquarters.
Monica, it turns out, is an operative of S.W.O.R.D., the “Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division.” She has been for quite some time, which now explains why she knew of Ultron and part of why she reacted to the name of Wanda’s brother Pietro in the previous episode. She typically handles missions in space, but is told she must stay on Earth for the time being. This organization was started by her mother and according to the acting director currently in charge, due to special instructions left by Maria Rambeau Monica must look into a reported issue in the town of Westview, New Jersey. Monica hits the road to investigate.
Upon her arrival, Monica is met by FBI Agent Woo who fans will remember from his role in Ant-Man and the Wasp. He was called out to look into a missing person’s case, but the odd thing here is that the local police seem to never have heard of the town of Westview, despite it clearly being right behind them, just down the road in plain view. Rambeau and Woo thank the officers for their time and the local police leave. Woo notes that the town has a “feeling” to it that implies it does not want anyone to enter. Monica attempts to send through a video surveillance drone, which we recognize in color to look quite similar to the color of the helicopter toy that Wanda found earlier in episode 1. The drone seemingly vanishes and when Monica tries to follow it, she encounters an energy field that then sucks her in as well. Woo is left alone and confused.
Later in the episode, Dr. Darcy Lewis is brought in to help investigate the disappearance of Monica as well as the source of the energy field around Westview. She discovers that there are radiation waves coming out from the field, and that an older television set can pick up the broadcast. Dr. Lewis and the members of S.W.O.R.D are able to watch the events of the first few episodes from the television set now, where they see that Monica has been “cast” as Wanda’s neighbor Geraldine.
Monica does not seem to be able to remember who she is within the show. However, her visit to Wanda’s house from the previous episode is expanded upon slightly, showing her trying to talk to Wanda after she mentions Ultron and makes Wanda visibly upset. The fact that Wanda appears able to ignore reality unless something from the outside world reminds her of her true life and breaks this illusion implies what Monica realizes at the end of the episode: the entire town of Westview is a fiction of Wanda’s making. She has taken captive the residents of the town and they are “playing” the neighbors she interacts with.
While there are still plenty of questions to be answered, the world now knows Monica’s true identity, her professional background, and lineage. The audience also knows her reason for being in Wanda’s show and how she ended up there. Now that she has disrupted Wanda’s illusion, even momentarily, she has been ejected from this false reality and back into the regular world so Wanda may maintain the status quo. However, just like with sitcoms of yore, viewers will have to tune in next week to see what happens to Monica.