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WandaVision Episode 3 Recap: "Small Towns, So Hard To Escape"

Tom Nicholson
·3-min read
Photo credit: Marvel
Photo credit: Marvel

From Esquire

Things are getting weirder in Westview. In the Bewitched-via-Twin Peaks second episode, we met Geraldine, who confided that she didn't really know what she was doing in Westview, and Vision's big magic show was a roaring success thanks to some actual reality-bending from Wanda.

Most importantly, we're now in full colour and Wanda's pregnant – though only because she rewound through time at the sight of a very unexpected beekeeper climbing through a manhole cover which wasn't there earlier in the episode.

Meanwhile, Vision seems to be in full The Truman Show mode, aware that something's extremely wrong but not quite able to see the full size of the conspiracy around him. It's Herb's glassy grin while hedge-trimming through a breezeblock wall that sets him off, though the first six months of Wanda's pregnancy happening over 12 hours is a bit of a vibe check.

"It seems the people of Westview are always on the verge of discovering our secret!" Wanda worries. So does Vision – "Something's wrong here, Wanda" – before everything skips back to sitcomsville, and a stork on the loose.

Photo credit: Marvel
Photo credit: Marvel

So that ending then. Geraldine gets fired out of that boxy 4:3 aspect ratio and into glossy widescreen as she flies out of the hermetically sealed stage set and gets picked up by SWORD. Exactly who or what SWORD is – or indeed who Geraldine is, apart from being brand new to town and having no home – isn't really clear as yet, but Geraldine's sword pendant suggests she's in on it in some way. Is she there to break Wanda out? Marvel has already admitted that there's a lot more to Geraldine's identity than we've seen so far. Captain Marvel fans: you've already met her.

Either way this looks like a pivot point for WandaVision. The cold wind of real life looks like it's blowing in through the gaps at the edges of this fantasy. Herb gets as far as telling Vision that Geraldine "came here because we're all..." before being cut off. After Wanda's admission that she can remember Ultron and losing her twin Pietro, it feels more and more like she's constructed this reality herself, and is forcing everyone else to live in it – including her departed robot husband. He knows, though, even if Wanda wants to stop him, and even if he doesn't know he knows.

Of the 835,997 words in all Shakespeare's plays, it doesn't feel like much of a coincidence that Vision picks out that one line from As You Like It – "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players" – especially when Geraldine's picked up by SWORD on the other side of sitcom land's proscenium arch. It's kicking off. Next week: the Eighties.

Some other thoughts:

  • 'Daydream Believer' is a big, big tune.

  • Herb's blank hedge-trimming was extremely Get Out.

  • You might have missed it, but the Westview sign Geraldine gets pinged over says, "Home: It's Where You Make It". Very on-theme.

  • Paul Bettany hair update: after the slightly raffish floppiness of his drunk magician moment, we're onto Three Days of the Condor-era Robert Redford here. And do you know what? It works.

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