'Splainin to do

WandaVision's latest cliffhanger sets up an explosive twist in Episode 7

Wanda expands her scope of control, but at what cost?

Marvel Studios

In the sixth episode of WandaVision, "All-New Halloween Spooktacular!", a desperate Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) tries to save a troubled Vision (Paul Bettany) in the quickest way possible β€” with possibly dire consequences. While WandaVision isn't yet done with sitcom hijinks, we can only expect Wanda's powers to grow more unstable in Episode 7 and beyond. And we know this because of some very clear evidence provided within the newest episode. (Spoilers for WandaVision Episode 6 ahead!)

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In WandaVision Episode 6, Wanda's brother Pietro (Evan Peters) has finally arrived from whatever dimension he came from and is now crashing at his sister's place. At least he's helping to take care of her twin boys, Tommy and Billy. While the boys bond with ultra-cool "Uncle Pietro," in a Malcolm in the Middle-themed episode, Vision steps out before Halloween to see into some matters: What's really going on elsewhere in Westview.

What Vision finds disturbs him. Like non-playable characters in a video game, most of the citizens of Westview are static, forced to stick to a predetermined script that doesn't last more than a few seconds. When Vision finds Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) at the edge of town, his worries are only exacerbated when he finds out that 1) He was once something called an "Avenger," and 2) he's dead.

Oh, and no one leaves Westview. "Wanda won't ever let us think about it," Agnes says.

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Vision, Pietro, and Wanda get in the Halloween spirit in WandaVision's sixth episode.

Marvel Studios

When Vision tries to cross Wanda's barrier and briefly confronts S.W.O.R.D., he quickly disintegrates. Billy, while wearing a Halloween costume of his Wiccan outfit, alerts Wanda to Vision's distress. In a panic, Wanda expands the scope of her control on Westview, converting more things in its path into her sitcom reality. That includes S.W.O.R.D. personnel (transformed into a circus), and even Darcy (Kat Dennings), whose current fate is now unknown.

In WandaVision Episode 7, Wanda is in trouble

Since Episode 5 and all through Episode 6, WandaVision has made it clear that Wanda may not be alone in this wild predicament, but she's still the one pulling the strings. As Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) pointed out with Darcy, Wanda is using an "insane amount" of power, a level of power she's never demonstrated and probably not used to. Recall in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda got fatigued (from a numbing dart by Hawkeye) and barely controlled a handful of Avengers. She's now in control of an entire town.

Episode 6 emphasizes this point. Wanda is very much in control of Westview, even though she denied so in the previous episode. To use a meme format for a second, here's how it started: "Do you really think I am controlling everything? That I am somehow in control of everybody in Westview? Walking their dogs, mowing their lawns, getting them to their dentist appointments in time?" (Wanda to Vision, in Episode 5.)

Here's how it's going: "I don't know how I did it. I only remember feeling completely alone." (Wanda to Pietro, in Episode 6.)

WandaVision Episode 7 is about to explode

In episode five, Wanda denied her control of Westview to Vision. In episode six, she admits she is in control, but she doesn't know how it all happened.

Marvel Studios

There are limits to Wanda's powers, and she's aware of it. As she told Vision, she doesn't seem capable of scripting every detail to hundreds of people's lives, even though she's trying. Hence, the NPC-ification of the residents. The town exists as mere set dressing, literal extras for the background while Wanda enjoys the life with Vision she wanted but had taken from her by Thanos.

In open-world video games like Grand Theft Auto, Ghost of Tsushima, and heck, Marvel's Spider-Man on PlayStation 4, players traverse a fully-realized place bursting with life. But walk up to any of the pedestrians who surround you and you'll find nothing more than husks going through pre-programmed motions. Their polygon count is lower than yours. They look generic and interchangeable. They might not even have a name. They're there for your benefit as the player, to pretend you're in a living world when it's actually a lifeless fantasy.

That's Wanda. She's made Westview her personal The Sims with Vision, and she's using all the cheat codes to make it happen. And now, by expanding the scope of her control, Wanda has made her situation worse. She's vulnerable to crashing. She can't possibly maintain this kind of control.

(An awkward comparison I can't shake off for some reason: I'm reminded of the end of Akira. Wanda's powers are turning her into Tetsuo. She's not necessarily about to become a large, engulfing mass, but her abilities are swelling and it might be her undoing.)

WandaVision Episode 7, which is likely going to be a 2000s sitcom homage to shows like The Office and Modern Family β€” an era of TV comedy characterized by chaos and disorder β€” will probably be the end of Wanda's sitcom fantasies. Until now, Wanda has taken her cues by the warming glow of the television screen. When it's over, she'll have to accept the cold air of reality.

WandaVision streams new episodes Fridays on Disney+.

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