This is the first episode of the series that felt a little flat. There are highs in it but tonally it is all over the place and the reveals, which have really paid off in previous episodes, miss the mark here.
The sitcom has now moved to the, as it says in the title, fourth wall breaking style with a focus on ‘Modern Family’. The problem here is that straight away the nostalgia factor is removed. Also, up until now the show hasn’t felt the need to spoon feed us what is going on. Now everything is told directly to us via the fourth wall gimmick.
Inside the Hex, Wanda (Elisabeth Olsen) is starting to lose her grip over the reality. Last episode she expanded the borders of her control and has clearly bitten of more than she can chew. Items in the world around her are flicking between time periods and the twins are witness to this. Fortunately for Wanda, Agnes (..Kathryn Hahn) arrives just as the questions are getting to difficult to deflect.
Meanwhile, Vision (Paul Bettany) has been revived now that he is back inside the Hex. He sees Darcy (Kat Dennings), who he recognises from the outside, and frees her from Wanda’s control. Darcy fills him in on everything and confirms his fears. They team up and set off the confront Wanda. Up until this point the show has been excellent at handling tension and unease while in the sitcom. Here they go for straight comedy with them being constantly delayed. It just feels like a missed opportunity for more tension.
Outside the Hex, Monica (Teyonah Parris) and Jimmy (Randall Park) have discovered that S.W.O.R.D. wants Vision back so they can weaponise him. Monica wants to get back inside the Hex to warn Wanda and for the last couple of episodes she has said she has a friend that can help her do this but not named them. Keeping this friend’s identity a mystery had lead to large amounts of speculation as to who this could be. When the friend is revealed it is just another member of S.W.O.R.D and this just feels cheap. When making a show like this the creators must have been aware they would be creating speculation with how this was set up. To toy with the fans is risky.
After trying and failing to drive a vehicle through the Hex barrier Monica gets back in through sheer will power. Monica had been warned that the barrier had effected her already and it would be dangerous to her. She is now clearly changed as her eyes glow blue and when she confronts Wanda she executes a superhero landing. In the comics she goes by the name ‘Photon’ and it looks like this is her origin.
Things look like they are going to get out of control and Wanda has her powers on display in front of everyone when Agnes arrives just in the nick of time again. Agnes calms the situation and takes Wanda way. While sitting in Agnes’ house Wanda realise that her boys are missing and goes to look for them. She is lured into Agnes’ creepy basement and the tension builds to the big reveal that Agnes is Agatha Hackness but again this is just played for laughs and unnecessarily explained to the audience.
After spending the season posing questions to the viewers and building an American Gothic feel the creators suddenly decide to lean into the comedy. Not a bad episode, just not on par with what has come before.