Main cast: Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff), Paul Bettany (Vision), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), Kathryn Hahn (Agnes), Randall Park (Jimmy Woo), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), and Josh Stamberg (Director Hayward)
Director: Matt Shakman
Well, finally the MCU formula kicks in. The last few episodes are pretty much a wash, now that it is finally revealed that the real villain of the whole show is Agnes, whose real name is Agatha Harkness, in the comic setting being one of the last few original witches way back from the Salem witch trial days. Maybe they will change her up a little for the MCU, or else Disney will run the risk of angering Wiccans, and they can’t fire anyone on this show because the people behind this show aren’t open conservatives.
So yes, Agnes is the one behind everything, and I guess, Wanda is an unwitting victim? While this likely leaves Wanda free from accountability for her own actions on the show, it also robs the show of any potential complexity of being, say, an insight into the tortured psyche of Wanda Maximoff.
Indeed, Elizabeth Olsen actually does an excellent job. She channels bitter self-depreciating humor and stoic grief with equal aplomb, transforming Wanda in this episode into the most human and sympathetic as the character could ever be. Wanda is losing control here. Vision is missing, she can’t seem to hold together her make-believe paradise anymore, and she tries so hard to keep herself together even as she is clearly falling apart inside. She is leaving the denial stage of her grief, inching towards acceptance. Beautiful, painful things could happen… until the show transfers the sins of the protagonist onto Agatha.
Teyonah Parris doesn’t have much to do in this episode, but when she is finally striking a pose, she is great. If rumors were true and she would be replacing Brie Larson as the next Captain Marvel, oh yes, I am ready, baby, so please let this be true. That scene where Monica confronts Wanda sees Ms Parris channeling more discernible human emotion in five minutes than Ms Larson did in her entire screen time as Ms Marvel, so she would make a great Captain Marvel. Yes, this is one rumor that I would be happy to see come to fruition.
Any way, the rest of this season looks like it’s going to be Wanda, Monica, and the rest versus Agatha and Director Hayward—back to the good old unsophisticated, black and white MCU formula, so Breaking the Fourth Wall is an excellent example of how to ruin the entire season in the space of five minutes. How silly of me to think that the show would break out of the formula in the first place!