WandaVision: What’s hidden in plain sight in Episodes 1 and 2

Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+.
Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. /
2 of 3
WandaVision, mastication
Paul Bettany as Vision and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved. /

The Magic Show

The second episode involves Wanda and Vision putting on a magic show “For the Children.” They’ve also taken on the stage names of Glamor and Illusion respectively. Turns out those names are no accident; they’re also the stage names of two obscure Marvel characters.

First appearing in Vision and the Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 #4Glamor and Illusion’s real names are Glynis and Ilya Zarkov, a pair of married stage magicians who used their super powers to perform their illusions. What’s even more interesting is that they have similar powers to Vision and Wanda, too. Like Vision, Glamor could make herself intangible and increase her molecular density. Illusion could manipulate and rearrange matter, just like Wanda does with her “chaos magic.” They also happened to be Vision and Wanda’s neighbors and best friends.

That the creators of WandaVision are able to reference something this obscure, and from a Vision and Scarlet Witch team-up series at that, really makes one appreciate the effort they put into this series all the more. Incidentally, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch comic series is all about Vision and Wanda moving to the suburbs.

Those “Marvelous” Commercials

To further recapture the feel that you were watching a television sitcom from the 1950s and ’60s, WandaVision also had pseudo-commercials, both featuring Victoria Blade and Ithamar Enriquez. They also showcased products with some very obvious MCU references.

Episode 1’s commercial was for Stark Industries’ “ToastMate 2000 Toaster Oven.” As it so happens, “Toaster” was what an angry Wanda called Vision during in Vision #7, written by Tom King and illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (yet another series involving Vision living in the suburbs with his family). In that same issue, Vision, in a flashback, tells a joke about two talking toasters to Wanda, which, of course, relates back to himself. Let’s not also forget that, in MCU canon, it was Tony Stark who created Vision based off of data patterns of his AI butler, Jarvis (also voiced by Paul Bettany) in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). And doesn’t the front of that toaster look very much like a face?

Episode 2’s commercial features the Strücker wristwatch, which seems like WandaVision’s take on Rolex watches. Strücker, of course, refers to Baron von Strücker, who took over as the leader of Hydra after the Red Skull’s disappearance. You can even see the Hydra logo on the watch face. Strücker is also the person who, as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, gave Wanda and her brother, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) their powers.

The Color Red

Not all of WandaVision’s first two episodes are shot in black-and-white. There’s a splash of color that appears, starting with the “ToastMate 2000” commercial – the color red. Before the second episode completely transitions to color, Wanda also spots a red toy helicopter in her hedgerows. The bossy children’s fund organizer Dottie (Emma Caulfield Ford) cuts her hand on broken glass, which becomes red with blood. The first person to regain color is Vision, whose skin is – you guessed it – red.

Red, of course, also refers to Wanda’s superhero moniker, the Scarlet Witch. The color red itself is also universally seen as a sign of danger (no coincidence that the light on the ToastMate 2000 acted like a warning light). Also, considering the timeframe this “sitcom” is placed, one can’t help but also think of the “Red Scare,” McCarthyism, the Cold War, and growing paranoia that America had been infiltrated by Soviet Spies.