The third episode of Disney+ super-sitcom WandaVision, “Now in Color,” brought its characters into the 1970, and after teasing viewers with its introductory black-and-white episodes, rapidly accelerated the plot of the series. Like, literally; Wanda Maximoff went through an entire pregnancy and gave birth to twins in the span of 20 minutes.
But in addition to giving us the introduction of little Billy and Tommy, two future Young Avengers in their own right, and the expulsion of Geraldine (a.k.a. Monica Rambeau) from the suburban dreamscape the other characters are living in, “Now in Color” also dropped some pretty big allusions to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe and the vast, complex comic book history that the show is drawing on.
For instance, when Wanda accidentally brings the butterflies in the mobile to life in the nursery, it is not just an Urkel-esque “did I do that?” moment: it is another reference to the famous House of M comic run, not to mention actively illustrating that she has the power to change reality and bring inanimate objects to life at a whim. Which might explain why her husband is currently walking around and not, you know, dead.
Elsewhere in the episode, during her brief appearance on the driveway, Agnes is wearing a cameo pendant which appears to depict three figures. This is feeding the widely held fan theory that Agnes could in fact be comic book witch Agatha Harkness, with the trio of silhouettes potentially representing the feminine triptych frequently represented in witch lore, such as the three Fates, or the three faces of the goddess (maiden, mother, and crone).
By now, WandaVision viewers have come to expect a mid-episode commercial break which injects each installment with some decade-specific verisimilitude and a big nod to Wanda’s backstory in the MCU. This week’s “Hydra Soak” ad is an overt reference to the evil organization that kidnapped Wanda as a child, and to the “time away” she appears to be having within the artificial world of the show. The tagline, “find the goddess within,” could be referring to Wanda’s enormous powers, as well as the role Agnes/Agatha is playing in the series. But the commercial is also a deep cut reference to the “Agents of Hydra” arc on the MCU spinoff series Agents of SHIELD, which transposed its characters to a simulated reality (sound familiar?). In one episode, the alternate Phil Coulson refers to a conspiracy theory in which Hydra are brainwashing Americans through… you guessed it, “blue soap.“
Check out the New Rockstars video below for even more subtle allusions in this week’s episode. For example, the paint Wanda and Viz use to paint the nursery is actually a cute nod to someone from behind the scenes.
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