- WandaVision Episode 4 starts explaining the mystery around Wanda’s imaginary world, and the audience gets to understand what’s really happening in Westview.
- The best part of the new episode is the opening sequence, which fixes one of the most annoying things about Endgame.
- WandaVision needs only a few minutes to settle a few key matters that Endgame and Far From Home never really addressed.
Avengers: Endgame is an incredible Marvel movie — the culmination of more than ten years of stories spread over 21 distinct films. But it has some annoying elements that stand out the more you see it. One of them is the scarcity of people compared to other entries in the series. The Avengers are restoring order to the universe by bringing back everybody who was snapped away in Infinity War, but we hardly get a chance to see non-superpowered people in the movie. And yes, Earth lost 3.5 billion humans after Thanos snapped his fingers, and Endgame does a great job to show the desolation of the world in the wake of the disaster.
Even five years later, people aren’t back to anything resembling normal. Most of the action in Endgame happens in the past in alternate timelines. The final battle is set in the Avengers compound. These are good enough explanations for why we don’t get to see many normal people in the film. This brings me to the finale of Endgame, which is dominated by the battle and the immediate aftermath. We don’t even get to see the people appearing back on Earth. Hearing Peter Parker describe how he came back to life isn’t good enough.
The movie ends on a heartbreaking note, as Iron Man died saving billions. It’s a bittersweet end, though it might lean too heavily into the sweet. The film does little to convey to the audience that bringing all those people back hardly fixes everything. This is far from the perfect happy end, and there’s still plenty of bitterness to go around. Spider-Man: Far From Home addresses the blip in a whimsical way, as you might expect from a film meant to lift spirits after Endgame.
Now, nearly two years after Endgame hit theaters and four episodes into WandaVision, Marvel is finally fixing the biggest problem with Endgame. Beware, WandaVision Episode 4 spoilers follow below.
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The fourth installment in the WandaVision series marks a stark departure from the other three. We’re no longer in the sitcom world, as the episode starts with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Paris) is waking up for what appears to be a dream, witnessing a strange phenomenon. Her body seems to be recomposing (image above), as tiny dust-like particles are rearranged in the right places. This is IT! It’s a major scene, not just for WandaVision, but for Endgame.
In case you forgot, the Avengers decided to snap their fingers without planning the whole thing. This is a scientific experiment, so you’d have to have a clear plan in mind to see if it really worked. Something as simple as having Wakanda’s leaders on standby to see if King T’Challa returns from the dead. But no, our sophisticated Avengers “think” it worked when they hear birds. Of course, this leads to an incredibly emotional moment. Clint has been holding on to his phone number and has been paying for his family’s phones for five years, on the off chance that they might return to life. And then that heartbreaking call comes in.
But it’s really WandaVision that delivers the humanity that Endgame needed. We get to see what it meant for regular people to return to life after a five-year absence. What it means to deal with the immediate confusion and the realization that something horrific just happened — and that one might be in for a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Take Monica, a grown adult who knows a lot more things about unusual activities on earth than the average person. She’s stunned to find out that five years had passed since she was in the hospital with her mother. That’s when Thanos snapped his fingers, and Monica and millions of others disappeared. Her mother had to cope with all that and then deal with a final, fatal battle with cancer. All the while, she was convinced her daughter would return, but she never got to see her. She did two years after the snap.
The first scenes in WandaVision Episode 4 only last for a few minutes. That’s all Endgame would have needed to show us how the real world reacted to Hulk bringing back everybody. A few minutes are enough to make it clear this isn’t a happy end. A new beginning, sure, but the world will just have to restart its grief and healing process. Also, WandaVision does it a lot better than Far From Home, bringing another layer of depth to this universe.
What’s also great about the episode is that we learn the action in WandaVision does indeed take place right after Endgame. We’re just three weeks away from the massive battle against Thanos.
Let’s not forget that Wanda was turned to ashes at the end of Endgame as well. She came back to life just as confused as Monica did but packing a lot of anger after what happened to Vision. Just like Monica, after five years of absence, Wanda was alive again on Earth for just three weeks before the Westview nightmare started.
Episode 4’s opening also settles another matter about Endgame. It makes it clear that all those who turned to dust in Infinity War would reappear in the same location they were removed from. This is a potential plot issue. Just think of those people who were flying at the time of the snap or driving their cars. Where would they have appeared?
Finally, Episode 4 also tells us that SWORD was a real thing when the events in Endgame were unfolding. Which begs the question, where was SWORD when Thanos attacked? And if SWORD was an active organization during some of those five years, why weren’t they cooperating with the remaining Avengers? After all, the Avengers were still fighting evil five years later, both on Earth and in the universe at large. You can’t do that without some help from ordinary humans, say an organization like SWORD.
WandaVision Episode 4 is streaming on Disney+ right now.