So a few weeks ago I mentioned that my wife had been watching the Disney+ superhero series WandaVision with me. Sadly, this only lasted for the first three-and-a-half episodes; in episode four, the action shifted to what was going on outside of the retro, sometimes black-and-white world of Westview, starting off with … Oh, wait, hang on. For those who haven’t seen Infinity War and Endgame or, for that matter, all of WandaVision:
Anyway, episode four of WandaVision kicked off with the mass reappearance of people who had been snapped out of existence by Thanos at the end of Infinity War. My wife, not having seen Infinity War or Endgame, had no idea why all these people were materializing out of nowhere. I paused it to recap the events of the previous films, but still, she was pretty annoyed that it all happened without explanation:
Wife: “So they just assume everyone watching this show has seen these other movies?”
Me: “Well, it’s probably a safe assumption for most of them except for you.”
My wife was further annoyed by the fact that this episode focused on a bunch of people she had never seen or heard of before, such as Monica Rambeau, Darcy Lewis, and Jimmy Woo*. Surely it didn’t help that the episode suddenly looked a little more like a superhero show, too, with computers and weapons and armored vehicles, and people talking about Wanda—a character my wife liked—as if she were some kind of villain; and so about halfway through she pretty much tuned it out and started playing with her phone. In a last-ditch effort to retain my wife’s interest, I offered to divulge some spoilers:
Me: “Do you want me to tell you what’s going on? I didn’t read the specific comics this is based on, but I’m familiar with them.”
Me: “All right. So, see, Wanda’s brother was killed by Ultron a while back, and then her boyfriend Vision was killed by Thanos in Infinity War, and Wanda’s a reality warper but can’t fully control her powers, so what happened is she used them to turn Westview into a town where she could live, and she created a fake version of Vision to be her husband and fake children to be her kids, and she’s making everyone in Westview play the parts of her friends and neighbors, all so that she wouldn’t be alone.”
Wife (beat): “Does she know she’s doing all that?”
Me: “Not really.”
Wife: “Does that make her a villain? Because I kind of feel sorry for her.”
Me: “You’re supposed to feel sorry for her.”
Wife: “Good, because I do.” (goes back to playing with phone)
So that didn’t work for getting my wife’s attention back. After that she didn’t really watch any more episodes, except for a few scenes here and there; for instance, she saw one where Vision attempted to escape from Westview and speak with the soldiers outside, which resulted in his near-disintegration, as a result of having exceeded the range of Wanda’s hex effect:
Wife: “Why is he trying to get out of there if it’s making him fall apart?”
Me: “It’s because Vision suffers from Chronic Hero Syndrome.”
Wife: “What’s Chronic Hero Syndrome?”
Me: “Oh basically he always tries to do the right thing and will help people even if it’s to his own detriment. That’s why for instance he was the only one who could lift Thor’s hammer—well, until Captain America picked it up in Endgame—because you have to be worthy to lift the hammer, and …” (trails off because wife’s eyes seem to be glazing over)
Wife (after a moment): “So … Vision is you?”
Me: “What? No, I—”
Wife: “Yeah, you’re Vision. Okay. Got it.”
So apparently I have some sort of reputation. Or at least my wife thinks I do.
My wife was also around for part of the last episode, which I was watching while she happened to also be on the sofa in the living room**. In the final episode, villains are revealed, and superhero slugfest hijinks ensue, including one where Wanda sucker-punches a flying enemy by telekinetically slamming said enemy with a car.
Me: “They did that better with a bus in Chronicle.”
Vehicles get wrecked. Buildings get demolished. Property damage abounds.
Me: “Now it looks like a superhero show, doesn’t it?”
Wife (getting foot rub): “Do the arches.”
Vision gets slammed around. <SPOILER CHARACTER> gets slammed around. Wanda gets slammed around and makes a few hard landings. My wife took note of this.
Wife: “There’s a lot of falling down in this episode, isn’t there?”
Wife: “I hope Wanda*** is wearing kneepads. And you can quote me on that.”
But long before the episode was over, my wife went to bed****. The next day, assuming she remained interested enough in the show—or at least, in the Wanda Maximoff character—to want to know how it had ended, I summarized it for her. And in case you forgot the warning from before:
Me: “So do you want to know how WandaVision ended?”
Me: “Well the fight between Vision and <OTHER SPOILER CHARACTER> ended when the two of them had a lengthy philosophical discussion about Theseus’s boat, so that was kind of unusual for superheroes. And Wanda released the town and everyone in it, then retreated to a remote cabin to use <SPOILER CHARACTER>’s book of magic to try to learn to control her powers.”
Wife: “So <SPOILER CHARACTER> wasn’t evil after all?”
Me: “Oh, no, <SPOILER CHARACTER> was definitely evil.”
Wife: “Then why did [they] let Wanda borrow [their] book?”
Me: “[They] didn’t let her borrow it.”
Wife (beat): “Ohhh.”
So there you have it—my wife watched a little over 33% of a superhero show, and (possibly) has a new superhero character she sorta kinda cares about (see ***), or, at least, will recognize in the future. Surely the only one who could have done it better would have been
James Bond Tony Stark.
* Do you know any of these people? No? Congratulations, you are in the same boat as my wife. And just so you can experience the same annoyance she did, I’m not going to tell you who they are or where they came from.
** Because she wanted a foot rub.
*** I originally remembered my wife as having said “I hope they’re wearing kneepads”, but upon presenting the post for review, she corrected me: “I said I hoped Wanda was wearing kneepads. I don’t care about the rest of them.”
**** Must have been the relaxing foot rub.