WandaVision aired its sixth episode on Friday, and to this viewer and the members of his household, it was just as solid, entertaining, and engaging as the previous five. It was a perfect send-up of 90's sitcoms like Malcolm in the Middle, which this week's theme paid homage to, and advanced the plot in meaningful ways. At least that is what I thought, until I talked with people in my comic shop about the episode this weekend, and went onto Twitter this morning. Apparently, this is being chalked up to being a "filler episode". Just typing that makes my brain hurt.
WandaVision, Like Other Shows, Needs To Play Out People
Two different sites posted variations of the article "Why WandaVision needs to reveal its BIG bad NOW!" or "Why Friday's WandaVision Was A Step Back". Huh? What happened to patience? This is only a nine-episode series. Are there really people out there who feel like the story is moving slowly? After two weeks of episodes where they doled out tons of info about what is happening and floored us with that big addition to the series, I understand that some might feel like an episode like "All-New Halloween Spooktacular?" may be a bit on the slower side as far as the pace they were moving at, but filler? A Step back? Here are some of the ways the episode advanced the plot forward:
- We got the twins powers fully developed.
- Vision and Wanda are not on the same page and this deepened more than any other episode.
- Vision "woke" up Agnes and was told he was, you know, dead. Their conversation was revelatory.
- Monica's body is changing on a molecular level.
- Vision found out you can't leave West View. The hard way.
- Wanda's powers were on full display at the end. And Darcy is now inside West View.
Some of these points have us asking new questions, and that is good. Since again: this is only episode six of a nine-episode story. There are still three episodes people. That is plenty of time to wrap a bow on this story. Why does everyone need to have all the information right now, can't anyone let a story play out anymore? Netflix ruined us for episodic storytelling, didn't it? A show should unfold at the pace the storyteller decides. We will discover things as they are revealed to us, and that is that.
We need to retire this "filler episode" term. It is lazy-speak for people being sad that not every episode of a program like WandaVision or The Mandalorian is some balls-to-the-wall fangasm. That is not how life unfolds people. That is not how stories are told. Thank god for that.