WTF is going on in Marvel’s ‘WandaVision?!’

If you tuned into Disney+ and Marvel’s new weekly show WandaVision for the sweet nostalgia, but had no knowledge of the infinity saga, Episode 4, We Interrupt This Program might have been very confusing.

As much fun as it was to look back on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, and The Brady Bunch, Episode 4 reminded us that we were in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning the much anticipated Phase Four.

We’ve already briefly covered Wanda’s “herstory” and now we’re here to explain what the heck is going on and who these characters are outside of Westview, NJ.

When exactly does WandaVision take place?

When we are shown Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Harris) experiencing “The Blip”, it becomes apparent that she and half the population of the entire universe are rematerializing after Hulk snapped the infinity gauntlet and brought them back five years after they disappeared, which would mean WandaVision takes place in 2023. 

What is “The Blip”?

A titan villain named Thanos had a bright idea that if he collected all of the Infinity Stones (including the Mind Stone which was residing in Vision’s forehead) that had been scattered across the universe, he could end poverty and starvation by removing half of the population of the universe with the snap of his fingers.

At the end of Infinity War he was able to do just that. Apparently Monica was snapped out of existence during that snap. In the movie Avengers: End Game Hulk snapped the Infinity Gauntlet and wished everyone to return, however 5 years had passed. People on Earth refer to that phenomenon as “The Blip”

Who is Monica Rambeau?

We first meet Monica in the movie Captain Marvel as a child. She is Maria Rambeau’s daughter. Captain Maria “ Photon” Rambeau was Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel’s best friend and housemate.

Maria Rambeau was an accomplished pilot and is one of the original founders of S.W.O.R.D. and it is implied that Monica followed in her mother’s footsteps and also was a member of S.W.O.R.D.. Unfortunately, Maria was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and passed away in 2020, before she could be reunited with her daughter who returned during The Blip. 

What is S.W.O.R.D.?

S.W.O.R.D. currently stands for “Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division”. S.W.O.R.D. was founded by Maria Rambeau after 1995 (Marvel’s Captain Marvel). In the early days of the organization, they focused on manned missions and extraterrestrial operations, but after the Snap, they refocused their efforts to robotics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.

Who is Agent Woo?

Agent James E. “Jimmy” Woo (Randall Park) is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, having worked alongside Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), before being recruited into the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2018, in Marvel’s Ant-man and the Wasp, Woo was assigned as Scott Lang’s parole officer, making sure he stayed under house arrest after he escaped from the Raft at the end of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War. 

Lang was able to elude Woo long enough to complete his house arrest sentence while still operating as Ant-Man. 

Who is Darcy Lewis? 

We were first introduced to the snarky, quick witted, and brilliant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings)  in the first two Thor movies as Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) assistant and friend. After her interaction with Thor and some of his “friends” she returned to school and graduated with a doctorate in astrophysics.

We now see that she has been recruited to take part in a government operation headed by S.W.O.R.D. to investigate a mysterious supernatural phenomenon occurring in Westview.  

Who is Ultron?

In Episode 3, before Wanda blasts Monica/Geraldine out of Westview, Monica mentions Ultron (voiced by James Spader). Ultron was an Artificial Intelligence Peacekeeping Program created by Tony Stark (Iron Man) using the decrypted code derived from the Mind Stone encased within Loki’s Scepter, retooled by Stark and Bruce Banner.

Ultron’s objective was to protect Earth from any and all domestic and extraterrestrial threats. Ultron deemed humanity itself as the greatest threat to peace on the Earth and attempted to create his technological singularity by committing genocide against them.

Wanda and her brother Pietro had briefly sided with Ultron in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron against Tony Stark/Iron Man but once he gained sentient consciousness, Wanda/Scarlet Witch was able to use her powers and see how evil he truly was. Sadly, Pietro was killed during battle and Scarlet Witch pulled out Ultron’s mechanical heart as revenge.

Ironically Vision was created by Ultron when the J.A.R.V.I.S program intertwined with the Mind Stone. 

ALSO READ: How Dick Van Dyke added magic to ‘WandaVision’

Is Vision dead?

In Episode 4, We Interrupt This Program, Darcy says, “He’s dead, right? Not Blipped, dead.”

Darcy is correct. In Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos ripped the Mind Stone right out of Vision’s head, instantly killing him, which was especially traumatic for Wanda and could be why WandaVision is happening.

Now that you have a tiny bit more information about the newly introduced characters (and allusions), WandaVision might be a little less confusing and more enjoyable.

The latest midseason trailer teases a Modern Family tribute as well as what looks like a Full House homage, which is a wink to (Wanda) Elizabeth Olsen’s sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley, who spent their early childhood playing Michelle Tanner on that show. 

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Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.