Superhero films sometimes have a defining moment. These become cult and are often repeated in popular culture. Here we take as an example the “snapshot” of Thanos, which decimated 50% of life in the universe. A scene that has been parodied many times and from which the series creator, Jac Schaeffer, wanted to be inspired for a scene from the first episode of Wandavision.
Wandavision: Episode one is the most important
The scriptwriter Jac Schaeffer spoke in detail in an interview with THR about the creation and development of the WandaVision series. A little reminder, towards the end of the first episode, Wanda and Vision have the latter’s boss for dinner. But when Vision’s bland head asks her for details about her past, how they met, he inexorably suffocates while the two protagonists fail to make their memories work. His wife, Mrs. Hart, hurts and often yells violently at her husband, then Wanda: “Stop it”
That choking I remember the day it occurred to me. The idea was so yummy: in a Marvel artwork, can you horribly suffocate a person in a macabre and meaningful way? And what is at stake? Do you feel as intense as when Thanos tears off half the universe?
The scriptwriter explains that this moment really had to cause a break in the viewer’s point of view:
The goal has always been to rock the audience on the sitcom. We shot it the same day with the live audience, it was so satisfying because they were kind of lulled into the sitcom thing, the sitcom model, and when that moment came you could hear a pen drop.
Wandavision: Breaking the 4th wall of action
This scene is a real tour de force. She manages to bring a particularly depressing atmosphere into a sitcom, breaking with the humor of the episode and reminding of the “disturbing strangeness” theorized by Sigmund Freud.
The first two episodes of WandaVision are very specific to the 60s and sitcoms. And the interesting thing about these first two episodes is that you feel like something is missing, something is wrong. Many characters take note. The characters can’t remember things, they can’t tell what’s going on.
Jac Schaeffer will end his interview by stating that it was a real achievement to watch everything unfold, put things into it, and find them again later on in the series.
While you’ve been waiting for the next few episodes to be released, you may have overlooked these details in Episode 3, which has lots of references to the MCU.