WandaVision: Episode 1 & 2 Review

Back in the day, and I say it weirdly like that on purpose even though I mean only a mere three years ago, I used to do weekly reviews of single episodes of certain shows. More accurately Doctor Who, because that was really the only show I did that for (check out the last review here). But, something about WandaVision, along with a little poll on Twitter, has compelled me to take up the weekly reviews again. So, I want to warn you that these posts will not be spoiler-free, but rather my unfiltered thoughts right after the episodes have aired!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Wanda and Vision have moved to the lovely town of WestView. They try their best to fit in and seem as regular as they can, however, it does not take long before they realize that something is off. Strange things keep happening, but are Wanda and Vision prepared to face reality?

My thoughts?

I have waited for this show for what feels like forever. WandaVision was the very reason I got a Disney+ subscription in the first place and I am so very happy that it is out now and that I LOVE it. With Marvel’s entire slate moving to the Disney platform, I was worried about the content a little bit, but with WandaVision they have proven they are not afraid of going into a weird direction.

Modeled after 1950s to 60s sitcoms such as Bewitched, the first two episodes of the new Marvel series take you on a ridiculous ride full of laugh-tracks, tailored theme songs and animated intros. Everything our two leads do is both extremely over the top and very in character for who they are supposed to be. It is fun to watch, but at the same time they keep the viewer wondering what all of this is about. Much as the trailer was confusing, you do not get a lot of insight throughout the first two episodes. They do, however, manage to create a wonderful feeling of dread on top of the silliness and jokes. Something is off and you are very aware of it, it’s just about figuring out what that something is now.

credit: Marvel Studios

Well, here is where it might get really spoiler-y, because these are some of the most important observations I have made (at least I think they are important):

  • Both episodes had short interludes of what looked like old-timey commercials. One was for a Stark Industries produced toaster, which also featured the first time color was shown on the show. Previously, it had all been black and white. The second episode showed a Strücker watch with a clear reference to Hydra. I don’t know if they maybe just want to hint at important parts of Wanda’s life (her home getting blown up by Stark weapons and her powers stemming from experiments done on her by Hydra – even in chronological order) or if it is something different entirely.
  • Another occurrence that was notable in both episodes was a human getting hurt and that being a huge part of Wanda’s awareness that something about her life was off. I found it interesting that these instances mainly involved Wanda and not Vision (although he did save his boss using his abilities in the first episode), because people were turning to her to DO something.
  • We do know that Wanda is in some form of simulation, as it is shown that someone is monitoring her and Vision and the life they are trying to create. There are credits shown for WandaVision’s life within the episode that do not correlate with the actual writing, directing and producing team, although the names didn’t mean anything to me. However, to stay in world, it seems Wanda has more control over her environment. At the end of episode 2, Wanda is confronted with something she does not wish to face, so, she reverses time to change events in her little TV world. Through that color is introduced to the entire scenery as Wanda and Vision learn they are expecting a child (or rather children, I suppose. You know, do it for the children).
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Most notably in all of it though was the symbol/logo shown on both the colored toy helicopter Wanda found in her black and white hedges as well as the beekeeper who came out of the canals. (Edit: also on the folder of the person who was monitoring Wanda and Vision on the screen) While the red and gold coloring may have been a misdirect to Stark again, the logo of a sword can quite simply only mean a connection to the S.W.O.R.D. organisation. In the comics, it was another counterterrorism and intelligence agency along the lines of S.H.I.E.L.D. just with a focus on extraterrestrial threats. Reports suggest though that the Sentient World Observation and Response Department has a new name and purpose on WandaVision, since the acronym now stands for Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division. All of this makes a lot of sense in the context of WandaVision, as they are both basically sentient weapons.
  • In conjuncture with the last point, we need to talk about the magnificent Teyonah Parris. She introduces herself as Geraldine in episode 2 of WandaVision, but we already know that she is slated to play Monica Rambeau (Carol Danver’s friend Maria’s now adult daughter), which leads me to believe she is a S.W.O.R.D. agent and working on the WandaVision case.

I think that is all for now on my part. I am sure there was much more to observe, especially since Agnes will likely play a vital part as well and I haven’t even touched on her yet. I am so looking forward to exploring more decades, styles of television and just plain story with WandaVision! Also, if you noticed in my post that I am referring to Wanda more than both, her and Vision, it is solely because something tells me he is not quite real. I would love for them to be able to be together again, but I am not sure Marvel is that charitable towards my feelings. I think a lot of this is possibly just all done for Wanda.


Have you watched the first two episodes of WandaVision? What are your thoughts on it? Let’s talk!

Doctor Who: The Pilot

So, I haven’t done any Whovian review in a very long time. First, there were no episodes of Doctor Who in 2016, except for the Christmas Special (which I honestly just found very boring) and second, my enthusiasm has run on an all time low recently. I adored Clara, but I knew that her time had come to an end and I was glad about the way she left the show … but … Capaldi just really isn’t my particular Doctor. I know there are people who love him and that’s great, but I am not one of them. Without Clara by his side, I was worried … but Bill’s character sounded so promising and this was Capaldi’s final run. I just had to do a review for the Season 10 premiere again. I probably even would have had it up on my usual schedule (which is right after it airs in the UK), but my laptop and wifi weren’t really compliant yesterday. Anyway, beware of Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

The Doctor is under disguise as a professor at some university when Bill Potts, a cafeteria employee, catches his attention. He decides to become her private tutor, not knowing that there is already a space-water-creature following and trying to catch her. A chase through time and space ensues.

My thoughts?

I liked how this episode started out really slow and quiet. Bill is such a strong character from the way she acts to the way she talks, that giving her an action sequence to begin with, would have been too much in my opinion. Instead, we see the Doctor’s office, Nardole (from the 2015 Christmas Special), the TARDIS in the corner and lovely pictures of River and Susan (yes, sometimes even I recognise old Who stuff) on Twelve’s desk. So you get eased into this new setting with a lot of reminders of the past, that’s always a good way to go when you establish the new Doctor/companion dynamic.

With Clara there were hints at her being bisexual, but it was never explicitly said. Now with Bill we have the first openly gay companion (if you discount Captain Jack? I guess he was never a full companion …) and she has two crushes in the first episode. Now this is where things got a little over the top for me. Heather was actual brilliant, stoic, water-creepiness and I get the whole “last conscious thought” thing that kept her tethered to Bill, but since we didn’t get all that much interaction between the two, I wasn’t that emotionally invested in the end. I know that Bill having to let her go was supposed to be really heartbreaking, but  somehow I just didn’t feel that much with them. Even the Doctor remarked, she was “only” a crush. Not to underestimate a crush … but you know, there was no time to actually get attached to anyone yet.

I think it’s funny how different Bill thinks to regular companions. Sometimes she notices things others never did (like why TARDIS was actually English) and then she takes much longer to get other stuff (they got there in the end with the “It’s bigger on the inside”), but she really has a knack for ruining those violin-playing moments sometimes. I hope they don’t play on that too much in the upcoming season. All in all, I really enjoyed her first episode though and I am looking forward to where we are going with her.

There were a couple of moments that really touched me. For one, the moment they started playing Joy Division‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” because it gives me flashbacks to 13 Reasons Why, but on a more serious note, it was so lovely when Bill discovered that the Doctor took photos of her mother so she would have a reminder of her. Bill said that having a picture of someone, even if you don’t remember knowing them, matters and I didn’t realise it in that moment, but I think it reminded the Doctor of Clara and the fact that he doesn’t even know how she looks like. That really got to me. Just like the scene when he was about to wipe Bill’s memory and she scolded him by asking how he would feel if someone did that to him. Oh boy, when they started playing Clara’s theme song in the background, I almost teared up. As you’ve noticed by now, I saw a lot of residual Clara in this episode and I am immensely happy about that. I think I feared that since he couldn’t remember about her, that chapter would just be done with, but it’s those little things that keep her alive still.

Before I wrap this up, I just want to ask my American readers to please, please, please tune in to Class, which airs on BBC America right after Doctor Who. I ADORE this show and I need a second season, but apparently the BBC is still waiting on the American ratings before they decide on the renewal of the show. We deserve another season and I really NEED it. I am going to do a #CurrentlyWatching post for it this upcoming Friday to make sure everyone knows how awesome the show is, so stay on the lookout for that for sure!

How did you like the Season 10 premiere? What are your thoughts on Bill?

Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar

Tonight we got to see the continuation of last week’s Doctor Who episode “The Magician’s Apprentice” which was called “The Witch’s Familiar“. As always, beware of Spoilers from this point onwards!!!

Can I just say one thing up front? I WILL NOT ACCEPT SUNGLASSES INSTEAD OF A SONIC SCREWDRIVER! NOT EVER! Puh, now that that is out of the way, I can continue.

What was it about?

The Doctor may be without friends, without the TARDIS and without his Sonic Screwdriver, but he can still manage to stay alive surrounded by who knows how many Daleks. He has an “honest” heart to heart with Davros, while really they just keep deceiving each other (seriously – who can think that far ahead except for the Doctor?). Meanwhile Clara and Missy of course aren’t dead, neither is the TARDIS lost forever. Everything ends with the Daleks basically destroying themselves. 

My thoughts?

Sorry for keeping the summary a bit short, but I am guessing you watched it already anyway and I wanted it to be more succinct than last week.

I thought we would jump in right where we left of, but instead that particular scene with young Davros is kept for the very end. I liked the Witch’s Familiar a bit better than the Magician’s Apprentice. It felt more focused and had some really nice surprises in there. The thing is, Moffat had to come up with some freaking good reasons as to how things could revert from the dire state of last episode and I am glad he took some time to explain. I thought the Clara and Missy teleporting-story was quite alright and the TARDIS was always capable of relocating itself I guess, so it made sense.

What I probably liked most about the episode was a more vulnerable and partially funny Davros. Even if it was only fake, it was still interesting to see him pose all those questions. In fact very similar questions to the ones the Doctor asked himself last season aka “Am I a good man?”. Also, pushing him about why he left Gallifrey in the first place and the constant references to the Doctor being the one constantly on the run made me curious.

I personally didn’t enjoy the Clara-Missy team-up very much; they have terrible chemistry – which could have something to do with the fact that Missy keeps trying to kill Clara. However, I did like the translation from human to Dalek. It was so interesting to see how their brains work and made me wonder if sometimes they have to say things they don’t actually mean. As for the end and the whole mercy-business though, I thought that was strange. Why was the Doctor so surprised that the Dalek knew the word “mercy”? They’ve used it before (watch proof by clicking here), maybe not in the same context but they have used it.

It felt like this time around the focus was more balanced between showing the Doctor and his companion(s). The story could have used some more depth every now and then (e.g. I was a bit confused about the Colony of Sarff’s role), but I think it was a satisfying conclusion. Now, if only we could keep exploring Twelve’s motives some more in the future. On a completely different note, I am assuming that the titles of the two episodes were referring to the Doctor being seen as a magician or witch, but beyond that I have no idea what their connection was to the actual content of the episodes. If you do have more insight on that than me, please enlighten me!

When it comes to the rest of this season, I am looking forward to finding out what’s in the confession dial. What about you? Thoughts on any of this?

Doctor Who: The Magician’s Apprentice

Season 9 of Doctor Who has finally started with the first episode of a 2-arc story titled “The Magicians’ Apprentice“. Doctor Who is one of the few shows where I review and recap each single episode. So SPOILERS!!! If you haven’t watched the episode yet, proceed with caution!

dws9

So, after finishing the episode, my first thought was “What the heck did I just watch?”. As a fair warning here, I don’t give myself a lot of processing time after an episode, I just jump right into writing the review. Sometimes I’ll even have changed my opinion a little by the time I get up the next morning. However, this way you definitely get my uncensored and unfiltered first thoughts.

What was the episode about?

War wherever you look, in the middle of it a child. Creepy handmines (mines made out of hands with eyes that grab you and suck you into the earth) have trapped said child in the middle of nowhere. He is crying for help and lo and behold who shows up: The Doctor. He asks the child for his name, who is the boy that won’t die today? Davros. (Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either)
Meanwhile in the presence: The Doctor is in hiding, no one knows where to find him. There is a mysterious guy made of snakes looking for him. Clara is off teaching when suddenly every plane on the planet is frozen in the air and she rushes off to help UNIT solve the mystery. Turns out Missy isn’t dead but needed Clara’s attention because she received the Doctor’s confession dial (a sort of last will that gets delivered to his best friend shortly before his death, but doesn’t open until he is dead). Missy and Clara team up to find the Doctor partying in the 12th century and all of him is invited. But he can no longer escape snake-guy, who’s employer is Davros.
“Davros knows, Davros remembers.”
They head off to meet with him, but it turns out it was all a trap so that the Daleks could get to the TARDIS. The Doctor, Clara and Missy are all brought to Skaro where Twelve finally has to face Davros. Meanwhile Clara and Missy go exploring and find out about the Daleks having the TARDIS. They exterminate Clara and Missy.
The Doctor travels back in time to young and deserted Davros to kill him in order to save his friends.
TO BE CONTINUED … 

My thoughts?

Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. In fact, I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, some of the dialogue was really great and funny. I am definitely going to try and use the “Pardon my sci fi.”-remark sometime soon in the future. Also, it had a handful of references, which I probably didn’t catch in their entirety, because I am still not as familiar with the original episodes as I should be, but that were still awesome. It was fast-paced and definitely not a soft opener. They did have my attention the moment the kid said his name was Davros.

On the other hand, this felt like a very lengthy prequel. (Which I know, it kind of was with being the first part of a 2-episode storyline …) Still, it felt strange. Twelve was basically missing the first half of the episode, even though I was hoping he’d be more front and center this time around. Clara clearly had no lingering grief for Danny and was just living her life as a teacher and UNIT agent (and apparently she’s bi now?). Missy isn’t dead, even though it is not explained how she survived. Yet everyone was basically dead and the TARDIS destroyed by the end of the episode. And the Doctor was about to do something that would change history forever. But Davros is in the next episode, so he couldn’t have killed him … I mean, he wouldn’t shoot a child in the face, would he? This was just confusing to no end.

So, as I said, I didn’t like it that much. I didn’t hate it either though. I think it much depends on how they’re going to round it all up in “The Witch’s Familiar” next week. There better be a VERY GOOD explanation as to how everyone survives and the TARDIS gets restored. Maybe Davros wants the Doctor to take over his place and become leader of the Daleks? Nah, probably not. He maybe wants to turn him into a Dalek as well though. I don’t know, that’s just sort of what I gathered from the promo below. What was your impression of the start of Series 9?

Deep Breath(s): The Doctor Is Back!

Okay, first off, imagine me doing my best River Song impression: Spoilers! I will not be held responsible if you read on and get spoiled for Doctor Who‘s first episode “Deep Breath” of Series 8!

I went into this episode feeling a lot like Clara. I conciously knew that the Doctor had regenerated, but he also changed (meaning not just his face) and I didn’t know what that meant for me. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith was my first Doctor, and therefore always had a special place in my heart, but now there was this new man. A man who is the Doctor, although he doesn’t yet look like it because I still had this very different image of him in my head. After watching the Time of the Doctor, I knew that Matt, my beloved Eleven, was gone, but somehow it didn’t actually hit me until Deep Breath what that meant. I can’t believe it still fazes me so much when the Doctor regenerates and I will embarrassingly admit that I cried multiple times during Deep Breath. By the end of the episode though, it was settled – Capaldi is the Doctor. He is still the great man/alien we all know and he’s going to take us on some mindblowing and brilliant adventures in space and time. All of this isn’t just new for us, it’s new for him too. I cannot wait for the rest of Series 8 and the everything that follows!

But let’s get more specific concerning Deep Breath! Here are my thoughts about the episode:

  • Amongst my friends, I am the only one who likes Clara. I don’t have to have the same opinion as everyone else, so that is totally fine with me, but I think she is a brilliant companion and I loved her in this episode. I just think that it is so easy to relate to her. Just like I was heartbroken when the Doctor left her behind in the Time of the Doctor, I could totally understand her reservations towards his new appearance and character.
  • The Paternoster Gang is back! You just have to love Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny. I think they were a great addition to the show and I always like the dynamic they bring to the episodes. Sometimes they bring great comic relief and other times they ground us and remind us who the Doctor really is.
  • The droids/humanoids/robots from The Girl in the Fireplace were back. I didn’t care so much about the robots or whatever they are, but the Girl in the Fireplace was one of my all time favourite episodes. Just the reference to it made me happy.
  • I know it’s silly, but I tried holding my breath whenever the characters did during the episode. That was insanely long! I couldn’t stand doing it even for half of the time they did. Maybe I should practice holding my breath, just in case I run into some crazy humanoids who want my body parts.
  • Who is Missy (played by Michelle Gomez)? And why on earth does she call the Doctor her boyfriend? Colour me surprised and definitely intrigued!
  • The girl from the shop, who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number, was mentioned again. Is she behind the advert in the newspaper that brought Clara and the Doctor back together? Is the girl the mysterious Missy from the point above? I’m glad they are diving into that matter! Who wants the Doctor and Clara to stick together? I so want to know!
  • The Doctor-Clara dynamic is of course different than it was between Eleven and Clara, but I think it is still great. Their bickering and teasing each other is hilarious to watch. I am looking forward to them getting to know each other all over again.
  • One of my favourite parts of the episode was Matt’s/Eleven’s phone call! What a fantastic idea to give Clara closure and at the same time give her reason to stick with the Doctor. It was heartbreaking to see Twelve struggle with Clara’s attitude. Wanting her back as his friend and his companion and her finally realising that Twelve is still her Doctor – I loved that scene from start to finish!
  • So, this is the last point and it’s about Twelve’s new face. Apparently, there is a reason he chose to go with that face. He still can’t remember where he knows it from, but I hope there will be more hints as to why he got the face he has now throughout the season.

What did you think of the first episode of Series 8? Do you like Capaldi as the new Doctor? I sure do!