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So What’s Going on With People Forgetting the Real World in WandaVision?

Monica Rambeau looks upset in Disney+'s WandaVision.

Disney dropped a lot of news on us during their Investor Day last week—so much that, days later, I still haven’t processed it all. To be honest, I’m still stuck on all the Marvel Studios goodies, and after watching the new trailer for Disney+’s WandaVision over and over again, I think it may give us a big clue to the connection between the show’s sitcom shenanigans and its promised MCU action adventure elements.

At a couple different points during the trailer, elements from the outside world are shown trying to communicate with Wanda in her sitcom dream world. The most obvious is the voice emitting from the 1960s-style radio, saying, “Wanda, can you hear me? Who is doing this to you?” which, given the rumors of the intergalactic security organization S.W.O.R.D. from Marvel Comics playing a role in WandaVision, is likely the voice of an agent from the outside world attempting to reach Wanda.

But another instance of crossover between Wanda’s world and the real one is what I find particularly notable. As we’ve known since Comic-Con 2019, an adult Monica Rambeau will be in WandaVision. We got a very brief glimpse of her in the first trailer, but this one gave us a real look at her and some insight into her role in the series. In the new trailer, she’s seen dressed in 1970s garb, paying Wanda a visit.

Based on how she was seen blasting out of the sitcom world and into the real one in the first trailer, it’s likely that she is working with S.W.O.R.D. and was tapped by them to enter Wanda’s alternate reality to investigate and potentially try to pull her out of it. So, it’s no surprise that Wanda doesn’t recognize her. But when Wanda asks Monica who she is, Monica freezes up and claims she doesn’t know.

It’s very possible that this is Monica simply being caught off guard and quickly trying to come up with a cover name, but a clip from the first trailer leads me to believe otherwise. There’s a part in that one during which we see the character of Agnes sitting in a car while dressed as a witch for Halloween. She appears to be in a dreamlike daze until Vision touches her, upon which she seems to snap out of it, suddenly becoming confused by her surroundings. She is particularly surprised—and seemingly frightened—to see Vision, believing he is dead (as he is in the real world) and therefore she is, as well.

Agnes, gasping, dressed as a witch, in a car, on Disney+'s WandaVision.

The Halloween-set portion of WandaVision takes place in the 1990s, but we know Agnes is also present in previous decades with no indication that anything about the situation is a concern to her. It appears as though being touched by Vision makes Agnes “wake up” from a belief that the sitcom world is totally normal with nothing “off” about it. But since the show clearly gets to a point where she discusses events that happened in the real world, it seems like she may be someone who is initially sent in from outside to help deal with Wanda and the situation, but ends up getting caught up in it herself.

That brings us back to Monica, who likely doesn’t enter the sitcom world until the 1970s, given that we haven’t seen her in period clothing from prior to that era, and Wanda doesn’t know her when she shows up at her door. If Agnes does try—and fail—to break Wanda out of her dream world, it makes sense that S.W.O.R.D. would send in someone else to take a crack at it. But this is where a troubling pattern looks like it may be emerging: Monica forgetting who she is indicates that Agnes getting caught up in the whimsy of the alternate reality isn’t a fluke, and that Wanda’s paradise makes anyone who enters it forget their previous lives and give in to the idealism of it all.

The question now is, if Wanda is the one creating this world, is this power a feature or a bug? Is it deliberately included as a mechanism to remove the desire to destroy the fantasy world from anyone from the outside world who enters, or does it occur without Wanda realizing it? And if it’s the latter, does the power over the sitcom world fully lie with Wanda, or is the radio broadcast from outside correct that it’s someone else who’s really pulling the strings?

Knowing whether Wanda is deliberately manipulating outsiders to accept the world she’s created, has gotten trapped by her own fantasies, or if one leads to the other will reveal a lot about the direction of WandaVision, as well as Scarlet Witch’s journey beyond the series, since we know she’ll play a role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

I think the most likely scenario is that Wanda is pulling the strings at first, but starts to lose control as the eras progress and ends up convinced that this world she has created is and always has been her true life. Regardless of how this all shakes out, it’s clear that Wanda—along with fans of Marvel—is in for a quirky, mysterious, and emotional ride with Phase 4’s debut project and the MCU’s first Disney+ series.

We’ll discover the answers to all of our WandaVision questions when its first episode premieres on Disney+ on January 15, 2021.

(images: Disney)

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Julia Delbel (she/her) is a contributing writer at The Mary Sue and has been doing freelance entertainment coverage for five years. She loves diving into film, television, and theater, especially Marvel, DC Disney, and animated content, particularly taking a hard look at their character development, storyline weaving, and place in the pop culture pantheon.