The beginning of WandaVision episode four is eerily calm as Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is blipped back into existence after being snapped by Thanos. There’s a nice Captain Marvel callback where you can hear Carol Danvers call younger Monica, “Lieutenant Trouble,” as adult Monica opens her eyes and takes her first gasp of breath in five years. Monica’s in a hospital chair next to an empty bed.
An empty bed where her mother Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), the Air Force pilot, should be.
Monica leaves the room, frantically searching for her mother. Chaos erupts as other patients are also blipped back into existence. It becomes clear that the start of episode four of WandaVision, “We Interrupt This Program,” is happening during the events of Avengers: Endgame, right after the Hulk snapped fifty percent of the Earth’s population back into existence. Monica finds the doctor who was treating her mother for cancer, completely confused. The doctor shocks her even further.
“Listen to me, Maria died three years ago.”
But Monica just took a twenty minute nap! The doctor told her that she was discharging her mother today! Monica asks, “Don’t you know who my mom is? She’s Maria Rambeau!” In a non-obnoxious way.
Monica’s words are more akin to her asking, “My mother is the toughest person in the world and you’re trying to tell me she’s dead?”
Monica’s reaction stabbed me in the gut and just kept twisting without mercy. I also grew up in the nineties like Monica with a mother in the Air Force.
My mother didn’t fly fighter jets like Monica’s mom Maria did. She did however work with fighter jets and other aircraft as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Her job was to ensure that said aircraft were kept safe and up to standard. She was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, and served for twenty years.
My mother is happily retired now, but you can bet I asked her if she formed any inter-galactic organizations dedicated to keeping Earth safe after I watched this episode.
If someone told me that my mother had died three years ago and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye?
I would be distraught.
What does Monica do? She walks right back into S.W.O.R.D headquarters, ready to get back to work. It turns out Monica’s mother founded S.W.O.R.D.
Can we talk about that for a second?
Maria not only had to deal with her best friend and fellow fighter pilot Carol Danvers disappearing during Captain Marvel and then finding her again and discovering her friend now has superpowers, but years later she also had to endure losing Monica in the Snap that wiped out half the universe?
Did Maria back down from events that would make lesser mortals cower? No. Maria founded S.W.O.R.D and kept working as the organization’s acting director until her death.
I want to believe that Carol (Brie Larson) came back Earth, to be by her best friend’s side when she was dying. That Maria never gave up hope that her daughter would come back, even as she died in the same hospital where Monica disappeared. It was thanks to Maria that Carol remembered her humanity after all.
Please tell me Maria didn’t die alone.
The incredible thing about the Rambeau women is that they keep going, in spite of their own grief. Earth can’t always rely on the Avengers to save the day (especially when one of the Avengers is literally controlling a whole town. More on that later.)
S.W.O.R.D’s new Acting Director, Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg), meets up with Monica and acknowledges she’s the first “snapped” S.W.OR.D agent to return to work. Monica is acknowledged as Captain Rambeau, which might be a nice bit of foreshadowing for her eventually taking up the mantle of Captain Marvel. (For the sake of this article I’m going to keep referring to her as Monica, but respect ranks people!)
Adult Monica still gets grounded by her mother, but not in the way she suspects. Maria set up a protocol before she died that any S.W.O.R.D agent who returned from the Snap would be grounded to Earth missions only.
Maria never gave up hope that the Snap victims would eventually return.
So it’s indirectly thanks to Maria that Monica ends up looking straight Westview with Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and two police officers who have never heard of Westview, even though they’re literally standing right in front of the town.
Agent Woo’s Card Trick
Agent Woo casually introduces himself to Captain Rambeau with a card trick that he apparently find got the hang of from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Twitter user UpToTASK posted Agent Woo’s efforts to learn the trick ever since he saw Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) pull it off.
WandaVision Easter Egg Two: Monica’s S.W.O.R.D Helicopter Drone
Monica attempts to fly a drone into Westview for reconnaissance, and the drone has the same scheme as Captain Marvel’s suit. It was little Monica after all that helped Carol pick out the new color scheme for her suit.
Monica hasn’t even been back on Earth for a month before she vanishes again. She gets sucked into Westview when she inspects the barrier surrounding the town.
Thankfully another WandaVision Marvel Easter Egg is on her way to save the day!
It’s Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) y’all! She’s got her doctorate now. Will someone get the good woman her coffee? She cracked the WandaVision case after all!
It’s Darcy who figures out what’s going on in WandaVision, and it’s Darcy who manages to singlehandedly broadcast what’s going on inside Westview so the rest of the agents can try to figure out what the heck’s going on.
Darcy and company discover that the residents of Westview are actual real life citizens. They’re able to match ID’s to everyone that’s been prominently featured in the town so far, except for Dottie (Emma Caulfield), who’s missing from the board entirely, and Agnes (Kathryn Hahn.)
Does this mean that Agnes really is the witch Agatha Harkness as so many have theorized? The jury’s still out on that question, but we do get to see Wanda go full on Scarlet Witch with her red, glowy magic hands for the first time since she nearly killed Thanos in Avengers: Endgame!
Sadly Wanda’s fury is solely aimed at poor Monica this time. (Seriously, Queen Captain Rambeau can’t catch a break.)
Monica keeps her cool as Wanda completely drops the cheery sitcom facade and her voice becomes increasingly threatening. Wanda has decided Monica must leave because Monica brought Wanda back to reality. We then get Wanda’s point-of-view when Vision (Paul Bettany) walks back in the house, and just when it seems like the show is going to revert back to the groovy 70’s we get this dose of HOLY NIGHTMARE FUEL BATMAN.
So a lot of fans have wondered if Dead Vision’s (eek, I can’t get that image out of my head) appearance means that Wanda is literally playing house with a corpse. I’m more in the, “Monica brought Wanda back to reality, and part of that was remembering and or acknowledging that Vision is actually dead,” camp. Of course things just get creepier when Wanda tells Dead/Not Dead? Vision that she’s got everything under control.
“It’s all Wanda,” a shocked and flustered Monica says, ending the episode. (I for once am amazed at how well Monica has kept her cool, even after being magically thrown out of a town by an angry witch against her will.)
Bonus WandaVision Easter Egg: Photon
Photon was Maria’s Air Force callsign. In the comics Monica uses Photon as one of her superhero callsigns so to speak after she gets her powers (Monica Rambeau was actually the first Black female superhero in the Avengers, and also the first superhero to use the moniker of Captain Marvel.) Another prevailing fan theory is that Wanda’s blast that sent Monica out of Westview will be the reason Monica gets powers.
It would certainly be a lovely tribute to see Monica use the name Photon as a tribute to her mother. Teyonah Parris will be in Captain Marvel 2 after all.
Poor Wanda is obviously not coping with the loss of Vision well, but Monica also never really got a chance to deal with her own trauma of being blipped back into life and losing her mother.
Sure the show is called WandaVision but this is the episode where the Rambeau women shined. I hope we get to see more of that.