WandaVision Episode 4 recap: Beyond Westview’s walls

Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In WandaVision Episode 4, “We Interrupt This Program”, we find out what S.W.O.R.D. is and who the residents of Westview really are. Talk about ramping up the suspense!

The Disney Plus show takes us outside the fantasy world of Westview—which we had glimpsed in the previous episode when Geraldine was banished.

Where did Geraldine land up? What even is Westview? What is the life that Wanda and Vision are living?

While we get a lot of answers in this episode of, there are still some major questions that remain. The latter half of this season is going to be a tense watch.

WandaVision Episode 4 – Returned from the Blip

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) were shaken to the core by Thanos’ snap, which killed half of all living beings across space and time. Iron Man undid those deaths in Avengers: Endgame, but brought all those people back five years in their future.

While Spider-Man: Far From Home showed fans the consequences of those returns, we are still understanding the full extent of that.

With that in mind, the opening scene of WandaVision Episode 4 is a tough watch. We see Geraldine, who is actually Monica Rambeau, reform in a hospital room. Outside her room, it is absolute chaos as people all over the hospital are returning from the Blip.

Monica encounters a nurse who knows her, but Monica isn’t ready to hear about the world. Neither are we.

We learn that Maria ‘Photon’ Rambeau, Monica’s mother, who we met in Captain Marvel, was in remission from cancer when the Snap took Monica. During the five years that Monica was missing, Maria’s cancer returned, and she passed away.

Tony Stark’s sacrifice may have saved a lot of people, but his insistence on bringing them into the future meant people like Monica and Maria never got to say goodbye to each other. Yes, you’re going to need two tissue boxes for this episode.

WandaVision Episode 4 – What is S.W.O.R.D.?

Thus far, the S.W.O.R.D. logo has been a cause for fear. What is it and what do they want with Wanda? WandaVision Episode 4 finally gives us those answers.

S.W.O.R.D. stands for Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division, and was founded by Maria, and appears to be adjacent to S.H.I.E.L.D.

In the Marvel Comics, S.W.O.R.D. is the Sentient World Observation and Response Department—it’s stated mission is looking for extra-terrestrial threats.

The version we see in the show has a similar mission, but as Captain Monica Rambeau states, outer space has both threats and allies. She would know—as a child, she faced the villainous Kree and the friendly Skrulls.

With Maria having passed away while Monica was Snapped, Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) has taken over running the place. And he lets Monica know that she is grounded—Maria had set out specific guidelines for people returning from the Snap.

Of course, Maria would have such forethought! She had experience with people returning from the dead—her best friend, Carol Danvers, returned as Captain Marvel, after all.

Being grounded means Monica is stuck looking into a missing person’s case with the FBI. Where did the person go missing? Westview, New Jersey.

WandaVision Episode 4 – Agent Woo and Dr Lewis

We know this isn’t an ordinary case, because it’s WandaVision Episode 4 and Westview is Wanda and Vision’s new hometown.

Monica meets up with FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), who fans met and loved in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Looks like he’s mastered that card trick Scott Lang taught him.

Woo was looking for an FBI informant, but he’s found an even bigger mystery. According to the Sheriff, Westview doesn’t exist, even though the Sheriff is standing next to a giant sign for the town. There’s an Eastview—where the Sheriff is from—but Westview isn’t real. And the habitants of Westview? Are they real? And what’s this energy field surrounding the town?

Before Jimmy and Monica can get those answers, Monica is pulled into Westview through the energy field. Experts will be needed to solve this mystery—including one very familiar and missed MCU character.

Dr Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) hasn’t been seen in the MCU since Thor: The Dark World. Now a full-fledged astrophysicist, and not just Dr Jane Foster’s assistant, Darcy’s expertise is needed to penetrate the forcefield and find Monica.

It doesn’t take long for Darcy to figure out some of what is going on—the energy field is cosmic, which is expected. Wanda’s powers come from the intergalactic Mind stone.

More importantly, Darcy manages to tune into the actual WandaVision TV show via old TV sets stored in the S.W.O.R.D encampment. That person we glimpsed back in the first episode was none other than Darcy taking notes.

As Darcy and Jimmy watch the show, they begin to realise that the characters on the show are the missing people of Westview. They identify them and eventually find Monica. No sign of the FBI informant though.

WandaVision Episode 4 – “Who’s Doing This to You, Wanda?”

Though there isn’t much information to go on, Darcy comes up with a plan to contact Wanda. She thinks they can communicate with Wanda through the radio sets near her. Darcy’s extensive knowledge of old-timey shows is a huge help because she can see patterns others can’t.

We know Wanda heard Jimmy’s message on the radio, but when Jimmy and Darcy contact her in WandaVision Episode 4, that part of the program cuts out. They think the experiment was a failure but viewers know it wasn’t.

But later, when they see Wanda talking to Monica and then the show switches to Wanda and Vision, with nary a sign of Monica, Darcy realises that the show is being censored.

Whoever is broadcasting the WandaVision show doesn’t want anyone on the outside to see Wanda reacting to external elements.

But who is doing this? We go back into the WandaVision world to see Wanda confront Monica. It seems that Wanda is very much aware of the fact that Westview and her life with Vision in it isn’t real, but she doesn’t want to admit it.

WandaVision Episode 4
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Monica mentioning Ultron brings Wanda out of her fantasy and for that, she banishes Monica from her world, so she can go back to living her pretend life. On the outside, Monica is found by S.W.O.R.D., Darcy, and Jimmy. She has only one thing to say: “It’s all Wanda”.

But the encounter leaves its mark on Wanda. When she sees Vision again, he is the dead version from Avengers: Infinity War and it takes Wanda a moment to reimagine him as his living self.

This is moments after Vision’s discomfiting talk with Agnes and Herb. Even as he holds his children and chooses a show to watch with Wanda, Vision looks uncomfortable. Is he looking at us, the audience, or S.W.O.R.D.? Either way, he wants out and someone’s going to have to stop Wanda.

Final Thoughts – WandaVision Episode 4 and the Power of MCU Crossovers

This episode was a delight but also a rollercoaster of emotions. I love the way WandaVision Episode 4 shows us the events of previous episodes from a different perspective. We finally have much-needed context to the events of the show within the show.

There are some interesting moments with the man in the beekeeper suit that I don’t quite understand yet. He undergoes a change as he enters the Westview energy field but what happens to him after Wanda sees him? Is he absorbed into the show or is he banished elsewhere? We’ll have to wait to find out.

We still don’t know the relevance that colour plays in the earlier episodes of the show—nor has anyone mentioned the in-world ads that played. Surely S.W.O.R.D. will notice the references to Stark and Hydra?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most ambitious and expansive stories in live-action cinema. But the breadth of the established narrative still managed to miss some important character beats.

WandaVision Episode 4 shows us how the Disney Plus shows will elucidate those moments—by focusing on characters and events that the films couldn’t spend time on. That is going to be the greatest strength of these expanded universe properties.

The writing on WandaVision Episode 4 is exquisite—the way it ties Monica’s story to what we already know of her life with Maria and Carol enriches the character so much. Despite only having met her as Geraldine in the first half of this show, Teyonah Parris’ Monica is a fully-fleshed out character that we care about.

I’ve loved the first three episodes of the show, but this fourth episode goes beyond expectations. How is the latter half of the show going to top this?

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What did you think of the WandaVision Episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

WandaVision is airing weekly on Disney Plus.