mcu

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 4

Sigh… I keep thinking about how interesting this show would be if Karli wasn’t a mass murderer and wasn’t going round making threats to children. Sam having to grapple with the actual, geniune good guys thinking he’s not one, that would’ve been so fascinating to explore. But instead… We didn’t get that. The show is still good but..I’m bummed on several levels because a) I like Erin Kellyman as an actress and wanted to like her character and b) “These people have sympathetic motives but are also a bunch of violent a-holes, thus preventing exploration of the points they’re making” is… Not a good trope.

That last shot of John Walker (and what a great shot it was) reminded me of Homelander and The Boys. And Zemo’s speech about how being a super-soldier is a form of supremacy also did, except it reminded me of how much I hate The Boy’s take that being a superhero is inherently fascist because… How many superheroes actually ask for their powers? In the Marvel world pretty much everyone around at the moment was either born with them (Wanda, Star-Lord), got them by accident (Spider-Man) or is an alien (Thor, most of the GOTG). And labelling someone a fascist for something they had no control over makes no sense.

On lighter notes: Daniel Brul is killing it as Zemo and Wyatt Russell is killing it as John Walker, I don’t know how he does it but he just has this dead, violent look in his eyes all the time. Also WHAT he’s Kurt Russell’s son! I didn’t know that! Wow playing MCU villains really runs in the family huh?

It was really good seeing Wakanda again, I hope we get to go back there before the series is over.

Oh, and also RIP Battlestar. Your death was inevitable but you seemed like a good dude.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3

Hmmmm… I’m enjoying a lot of this show but bits of it make no sense to me and honestly leave a bad taste in my mouth. We had one episode of “Maybe the Flag-Smashers have a point” but this episode we see them committing an act of terrorism just to make it clear that nope, they’re supposed to be evvvvvvil despite them having done, uh, pretty much no real evil prior to that IIRC. Sigh. You deserve better, Erin Kellyman.

I’m still very interested in this show’s actual characters (Sam, Bucky, Sharon and more inexplicably Zemo) but the plot and the politics just seem all over the place?

Gah, anyway…

Hooray Wakanda is involved now! Nice to see Ayo again. Wow Bucky that whole country took you in and helped you and you repaid them by freeing the guy who killed their last monarch, geez.

I had literally never heard of Madripoor before but apparently it’s connected with the X-Men? The MCU sure are throwing in a lot of X-Men related stuff without actually showing any X-Men.

I loved the callback to the Civil War “move your seat” moment, heh. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan have such good chemistry and I hope they do many more movies together, not even necessarily MCU ones.

Halfway through this episode I had the stray thought, “I wonder what non-Americans make of this show” before remembering I was, in fact, not American. Make of that what you will I guess.

Wandavision Fan Teaser Trailer – I’ve Got No Strings

Over the past week or two I’ve been working on this!

It’s based on the 2015 “no strings” teaser trailer for Age of Ultron, as you can probably tell. I love that version of the song and how creepy it is, so it just seemed perfect to put together with footage from Wandavision.

The music is by L’Orchestra Cinématique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK-UnZqiFlI&list=LL&t=0s

And the footage is, of course, copyrighted to Disney! This is for fan purposes only.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2

This episode didn’t shy away from showing life as a black superhero in America, oh man. That one scene with the racist cops was agonising, but it’s supposed to be.

I didn’t know anything about the character of Isaiah Bradley so I looked him up after the episode. He was created in part as a comment on the Tuskegee experiments, oh god. I assume we’ll be seeing him again before the end, as a walking talking representative of well, everything mentioned in the previous paragraph and more.

I loved how John Walker’s introduction was a dark mirror of Steve’s experiences when he first became Captain America, right down to the dancing girls.

I was amused by the scene with Bucky and Sam in, as it turned out, literal couples therapy but it’s edging rather close to queerbaiting I think. (Do people still use that term? Is there even another one?) I mean you can’t sort of giggle in a “will they, won’t they” way when we know and have known for years that the answer is “They won’t.”

Oh and I also love how Sam treats Redwing like an actual bird. Also it (sorry, he) whistles and makes bird noises! Awww.

Erin Kellyman is in this one hooray!

My favourite easter eggs/details/etc in Wandavision

I screencapped it over the last week or so and I discovered lots of fun things I missed while watching it first time round.

The Stark toaster light is the only splash of colour in the whole of episode one (until the stinger anyway) but it’s subtle enough that I didn’t actually notice it at first. Red for Scarlet Witch, red for Iron Man, and of course red for danger.

Hayward is almost certainly perving on this woman I think, which is 100% in character for him.

Norm’s real name, Abilash Tandon, is given in one of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it research scenes. And his driver’s licence is dated 2026, the year I’m pretty sure the MCU is at now taking the lost five years into account.

I love how both Wanda and Vision are looking at the camera at the end of episode four, especially since that’s the episode it’s revealed people in-universe are watching them.

Vision’s newspaper says, “More dramatic details about the lights in the sky.” That would’ve been the drones SHIELD were flying in, I think.

Wanda’s bedsheets are, of course, all hexagons…

I’ve pointed this one out before but I love this split-second message in the opening credits of episode 7. It’s a message from Agatha, perhaps, or from Wanda’s own subconcious.

The news screens at SWORD read “celebration for the returned” and “families reunited” i.e. the exact two things Wanda isn’t getting to do.

Vision’s body is being kept in room 101, appropriate seeing as his death and dissection was Wanda’s worst fear. (I put this one on Reddit, we’ll see how that works out.)

[EDIT: Not well. Despite how often it comes up in political discourse, turns out far fewer people than I thought have read 1984.]

I might have mentioned this before as well, but I love the little Wizard of Oz reference here.

“The power of mother earth” seems to sum up Agatha’s witchiness nicely. (Or what little we learned of it, I’m still not exactly sure how her magic works.)

Mr Hart’s choking foreshadows what’s to come, Wanda accidentally choking all the townspeople. Maybe she accidentally did it to Mr Hart too.

An interesting juxaposition here since essentially a “big red” thing “kidnapped” everyone in the town. And another Wizard of Oz reference… which doubles as a meta reference since Sam Raimi directed Oz the Great and Powerful and he’ll be directing the next movie Scarlet Witch appears in!

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 1

This hasn’t grabbed me the same way Wandavision did but it’s pretty interesting so far. I do like that we’ve finally gotten to meet Sam’s family! Let’s get to the end without any of them dying please.

I also really like seeing some more aftermath and consequences of the Blip. (Am I the only one who still calls it “the Snap” in my head?) Really I suppose it’s surprising the world isn’t even more unstable than it is. Still weirded out even three years later that Spider-Man got to go back to school so quickly.

Seeing Sam kill people in exploding helicopters is weird and unsettling. I know he’s a soldier and thus it’s his job but… I dunno. The French guy in that sequence was Batroc the Leaper wasn’t he? One thing I do appreciate (sometimes) about the MCU is that they keep taking these absolutely ridiculous characters and making them translate to real-life settings.

It pains me that Sam now has no money, I suppose it makes sense what with him being dead for five years but still. It’s occured to me how many people would’ve had to be jerks for that to happen. Didn’t Tony leave any of his billions to the people he worked with? (Sigh, of course he didn’t. Sorry. I’m not much of an Iron Man fan these days.) But even aside from that, how on earth is there no money available for people who literally helped save the entire universe?

Go on the convention circuit maybe Sam? Charge people $100 for a selfie with you. That’ll make them change their tune.

Bucky’s friendship with that old guy was touching until I realised where it was going. Oh man. Maybe he should do the opposite and avoid the convention circuit.

I feel like this show is going to get political and that’s great! But after learning the actual US Army funds/oversees a lot of MCU stuff that sort of dampens it a bit. Well, a lot, a hell of a lot, if we’re being honest. Plus the world of the MCU right now is so far away from our one that I’m not sure they’re going to be able to make any I guess new points apart from in subtext? Does that make sense? We’ll see I guess.

Speaking of real-life stuff… sigh, I really feel like Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa should have had a cameo in this, in an ideal world.

Some great Wandavision creations

One of the other good things about Wandavision is that it seems to have unleashed a lot of creativity, so here’s some of my favourite artworks and the like that I’ve seen on Reddit!

Gosh there’s a lot of it! Sorry!

Wandavision episode 9

The last one! I had a lot of fun watching that but I feel it was a little too MCU-by-the-numbers for me. You know… “hero cleverly defeats villain/touching goodbye/sequel hook” bit. Not that the goodbye wasn’t touching, of course. I’m so glad they kept Vision dead (well, more or less) otherwise it negates the whole point of the show, which is that you have to move on past your grief and you can’t bring back the dead.

I’ll miss him though. I loved his weird brand of superhero-mythology philosophising.

There’s a part of me that almost feels like Agatha didn’t need to be in this show. I’m very glad she was (heh, I loved the Wizard of Oz reference, man Katherine Hahn is a shoo-in for the Wicked Witch if they really are remaking that movie isn’t she) but… I dunno, towards the end she felt a bit suplus to requirements, like Marvel realised audiences were expecting a big-budget flying battle and threw a couple of them in. I do like that Wanda did something pretty much… geniunely terrible to defeat her though. That has implications that are really interesting for the character going forward. As does the loss or maybe “loss” of the twins. Losing her children was what triggered the original comics version of House of M if I remember rightly?

God I LOVE Wanda’s Scarlet Witch costume. It was just really, really well done. And not sexualised! Look:

As a big fan of superhero costume design WandaVision might have been worth it for that alone?

Moving on… the Pietro reveal was, uh… disappointing. So no X-Men universe after all, unless something’s going to happen in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Which this last episode really felt more like a prequel to, not that that’s neccessarily a bad thing. It’s just… Weird. That was a weird choice. I’ve seen people online expressing A LOT of disappointment about that and I can’t really blame them.

Oooh I have other questions which I guess might be answered in future stories too – Was Monica’s Skrull friend the friend she made in Captain Marvel, all grown up now? And she was the aerospace engineer, right? I’m not quite sure. Is it Nick Fury who wants to see her?

Also WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BEEKEEPER?! We never found out. Justice for the beekeeper.

I might write a few more things later in other posts, but there’s a part of me that thinks, even accepting a few bits of this finale were quite disappointing… I’ve had SO MUCH FUN watching it. Not just the actual watching part either, the bit where everyone goes online afterwards and screams theories at each other and just gets excited like we’re all leaving a movie theater. Seeing as how, you know, no movie theatres and precious little human interaction right now that’s really been quite a big deal to me. So thank you, WandaVision makers.

Wandavision episode 8

Ah we’ve now lost the sitcom format (I miss it already) but are straight into Wandavision: The Movie. Everything you’d come to expect from an MCU is in there now: sad backstories, Tony Stark’s stuff ruining everything, top secret organizations being unbelievably dumb. (Why would you not let Wanda in right away, you know who she is, WHY would you show her her boyfriend’s mangled corpse when she could probably kill everyone in the building just waving her hands.)

This episode was at its best when doing the quiet moments. “What is grief if not love persevering” is a really beautiful line. And seeing the actual scene where Wanda’s parents die was very moving and sad. I guess Magneto really isn’t gonna be showing up here after all, eh I’ll let the comics deal with that.

Still no answers about Pietro, I’ll be really disappointed if he turns out to be nothing important after all. Also no Monica, I hope she’s okay.

Weirdly one of the things I’m most curious about in this episode is why Wanda can drive a car. Not because she can also fly, but because wouldn’t the five-year gap where she was dead have ensured she had no driving license anymore? (Am I the only one dying for a sitcom about the people dealing with all the insane bureaucracy that would’ve had to happen after the Blip?)

There is one thing that really bugs me about this episode though, and that’s the fact that HYDRA are involved and yet… it’s not mentioned whether or not Wanda and Pietro knew they were Nazis when they volunteered. And that’s kind of an important thing to need to know, since Wanda and Pietro are Jewish. Like… REALLY kind of an important thing to know, for obvious reasons. Obviously they were led into a trap but how did they end up there? That’s what I want to know. Let’s not forget the real origins of the X-Men.

Wandavision episode 7

AAAH here it is, the big reveal! I think most people called it but I was NOT expecting the way they did it. Loved that, totally loved it, that song is gonna be stuck in my head for days now. You probably know the spoiler already if you’re reading this right? She’s Agatha Harkness, a character I know very little about but am immediately interested in! (One thing I do know about her, fact fans, Jack Harkness from Doctor Who was named after her.) Kathryn Hahn is AMAZING at playing chaotic evil, incidentally, I hope Agatha sticks around in the MCU and just like, occasionally shows up in other movies/shows just to be a troll.

Man the way they’ve added a new element with every new era of sitcom as we go through the show has been wonderful. This is one of the most inventive uses of the breaking-the-fourth-wall trope I’ve ever seen so far. (Modern Family was another sitcom I watched during lockdown.)

Monica now officially has superpowers! I bet she’ll be the person who fixes all this. I’ve noticed, her color is blue, Wanda’s is red obviously, and Agatha’s is purple ie a combination of the two. That probably means nothing but I figured it was worth pointing out since we’re all throwing theories around.

Today’s commercial was for “Nexus,” perhaps the Nexus of reality?

This episode provided no answers to the questions surrounding Pietro but I hope we’ll get them soon. I also really hope his being Evan Peters wasn’t a misdirect y’know? If you imply you’re colliding two fictional universes due to gaining a monopoly over the entertainment industry then goddammit, you’d better follow through on colliding two fictional universes due to gaining a monopoly over the entertainment industry.

Did anyone else spot this creepy little split-second in the Vision-less opening credits?