CAST: Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris, Kathryn Hahn, Emma Caulfield Ford, David Lengel, Randy Oglesby, David Payton
RUNNING TIME: 33 mins
PREVIOUSLY, ON WANDAVISION (MILD SPOILERS): Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) and Vision (Bettany) have moved into the suburbs of Westview, which appears to be a black-and-white sitcom world. After some zany attempts to fit in, some suspicious occurrences (including the appearance of fully-covered objects, a strange voice over the radio, a sudden pregnancy, and a mysterious beekeeper), it’s evident that something isn’t right about this place.
IN THIS EPISODE: As Wanda’s pregnancy accelerates, she and Vision – with the help of friendly neighbour Geraldine (Parris) – must deal with becoming first-time parents…
NOW FOR THE REVIEW…
The plot thickens in the third episode of WandaVision, as does Wanda’s uterus in an episode which, in keeping with the show’s delightful tribute to past sitcom eras, is about as silly as you can probably imagine. However, while the miniseries seems to have comfortably settled into its part-homage, part-sci-fi/mystery identity, there are some interesting new developments that may just turn everything on its head, although perhaps they are not quite as subtle here as they were in the first two episodes.
Episode 3 – which appears to also be titled Now In Colour, going along with how these episodes now appear to have actual titles, with the first episode being called Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience, and the second called Don’t Touch That Dial – takes heavy inspiration from the sitcoms of the 1970s, including The Brady Bunch and All In The Family, and continues the WandaVision narrative where it left off, when everything suddenly turned from black-and-white into colour, and when Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) discovered that she was already rather pregnant. The pregnancy, it appears, is going by extremely fast, leaving neither her nor Vision (Paul Bettany) much time to prepare everything from the baby’s room to what name they want to call it (he wants Billy; she wants Tommy). Soon enough, Wanda’s contractions kick in, which causes her powers to go into overdrive, and while Vision is out to get the local doctor before he can go off on holiday, Wanda must deal with a sudden visit from her neighbour Geraldine (Teyonah Parris) while hiding her ever-expanding baby bump.
This episode doesn’t offer many explanations for some of the surreal things we encountered previously – no word on who that beekeeper guy is, nor why things seem to suddenly be shifting from one era to another within seconds – but then again, it’s still too early in the series to get into any of that. Even still, there is one major revelation surrounding “Geraldine”, previously introduced as a supporting character in Don’t Touch That Dial; her real identity shouldn’t be much of a surprise to those who know what her role already is going forward, but in the way that things unfold here, it leads into a couple of solid answers as to what the nature of this suspicious town appears to be, and who – if anyone at all – is in control of it all. Some of the hints here, though, are far less subtle than they had been before, with the commercial in-between acts all but giving the game away as to who might be involved, but the episode concludes with a definitive statement as to the nature of this mysterious sitcom land, which again raises a lot of questions we’ll undoubtedly uncover before the series is over.
As before, the attention to detail surrounding the particular sitcom aesthetic (in this case, the 70s) continues to impress, and these actors really nail some of the straight-laced performances and lame humour you’d find in shows like The Brady Bunch (or at least, I’m assuming the humour here is intentionally lame). The first two episodes were perhaps a bit more aesthetically impressive for how they were able to more accurately resemble sitcoms from a much further time in the past, although the focus on this episode is a little more on the eerie nature of this environment and its people rather than just being a cut-and-paste sitcom episode from a bygone era. In that sense, the episode has some strong moments, a few funny ones, and the odd dramatic reveal that’ll leave casual viewers curious about what happens next, and hardcore comics fans ecstatic about who – or what – is introduced here.
After two stellar opening episodes, WandaVision has settled into something a bit more standard, but still somewhat thrilling.
SO, TO SUM UP…
WandaVision: Episode 3 – Now In Colour continues to impress with its aesthetic tribute to past sitcom eras, in this case the shows of the 70s, and offers some major revelations surrounding the central mystery, although it isn’t quite as subtle or even as enjoyable as the previous two episodes were.