WandaVision Episode 8 made the subtext text. While we saw Agatha Harkness explicitly show Wanda the extent of her trauma and grief, we also got confirmation on which classic TV shows Wanda grew up with, the shows that would later provide inspiration for Westview — and, in turn, WandaVision itself.
But in this flashback, Wanda's favorite box set is the massive complete series collection of The Dick Van Dyke Show ... and favorite episode, Season 2 Episode 21 "It May Look Like A Walnut," secretly contains a huge tease for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Here's what you need to know.
Debuting in 1961, The Dick Van Dyke Show was normally just a run-of-the-mill sitcom following Rob Petrie, a comedy writer for a variety show, and his life with his wife Laura. However, in the infamous "Walnut episode," as Wanda's dad calls it, the show takes a left turn straight into the Twilight Zone.
It begins with Rob staying up late watching a sci-fi movie on TV about a race of aliens called Twiloites who use devices that look like walnuts to convert humans into Twiloites, all at the behest of their leader, Kolak. Rob spooks Laura from his separate bed about the Twiloites: their four eyes, their strategy of removing people's thumbs, and so on.
When Rob wakes up the next morning, there are walnuts all over the floor. He goes to work, and not only are his coworkers also eating walnuts, but they recall Kolak as being a famous political figure and a Twiloite. Rob realizes the movie appears to be coming true, and sure enough, he goes on to lose his thumbs and realize his wife has been a secret Twiloite the entire time.
Thankfully, it's all a bad dream ... just as Wanda assures for herself.
The "walnuts" storyline was out of character for The Dick Van Dyke Show, but it feels like it's ripped straight from a Marvel movie. In fact, the Twiloite invasion bears a remarkable resemblance to the Secret Invasion teased in the after-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home, in which Maria Hill and Nick Fury were revealed as secret Skrulls Soren and Talos.
Though it may seem like just a memorable episode that's applicable to Wanda's situation, the use of this specific episode seems too coincidental to ignore. Of all 158 episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Wanda's favorite just happens to be the one that mirrors a reveal in a past MCU film. Is this a nod that some of the characters we've grown to love over the past 8 episodes are secretly Skrulls? Major Goodner would like to have a word.
Alternatively, this could be teasing a reveal of Dick Van Dyke himself. The 95-year-old actor consulted with the WandaVision creative team while the show was in development, so there's a possibility this sci-fi episode of his show could be teasing his appearance on the show. After all, Wanda was watching him on TV during the most formative moment of her life. A villain taking the form of her childhood icon would be incredibly metaphorical, not to mention awesome for TV fans.
Whether it's just an iconic TV moment, a tease of a cameo, or a huge foreshadowing Easter egg, picking the most MCU-like episode of a classic TV series such as The Dick Van Dyke Show only helps to highlight the medium's genre-bending qualities. In Dick Van Dyke, it was a sitcom going sci-fi; in WandaVision, a sci-fi going sitcom. Both work in completely different ways, but still showcase the strengths of each genre, whether it's highlighting the seriousness of sitcoms, or the absurdity of sci-fi. If it amounts to nothing else at all, then at the least, the connective tissue deserves a thumbs up ... if you'll forgive the phrasing.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+.