What About the Mephisto of It All? I suppose one last thing to mention is that Wanda has been bedeviled (pun absolutely intended) by the villainous Mephisto in the comics. Her twin boys were manifestations of his soul all along (comics!), and when he reabsorbed them, they were gone. (For a time.) Many comic fans wonder if Mephisto is actually behind everything going on in WandaVision this season. He may be; I have no concrete evidence to the contrary. But I far prefer the notion that Wanda is her own worst enemy here.
What About the Classic-TV-Sitcom Stuff? Some of this is a repeat from our beginner’s guide to WandaVision, but just in case you didn’t read that: Rather than the House of M alternative reality where Wanda has changed the life of every mutant and Avenger, Wanda in this show finds herself trapped in classic episodes of TV. Olsen told Emmy magazine: “Kevin [Feige] told me he wanted to merge two different comic series as inspiration. He explained the series would show how Wanda is originally from an Eastern European country and grew up on American black-market products like television.” So here Wanda is, like the rest of us in 2021, escaping to comfort TV.
The show consists of nine episodes; according to interviews, WandaVision will eventually more closely resemble the Marvel movies it sprang from. Here at the start of the season, though, each episode takes place in a different decade of classic American television. Episode one, which they refer to as “the ’50s episode” is inspired by The Dick Van Dyke Show (which actually ran from 1961–1966). It’s about a TV writer named Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke), his coworkers, his neighbors, and his wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore). You can watch an episode before Friday if you like, but it’s not required. This one is my favorite.