WandaVision episode 1 and episode 2 Easter eggs and Marvel references
What secrets did you spot in the first two episodes? Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
She's a magical gal in a small-town locale, he's part machine, and they share a love like you've never seen. That's the jaunty intro to WandaVision on
, but what Easter eggs and
references can be spotted in the first two episodes of the new series?
WandaVision episode 1 and episode 2 are streaming now, with new installments of the nine-part Disney Plus show to follow every Friday, starting with episode 3 on Jan. 22. We'll recap each episode as it arrives, peeling back the layers of suspense about how Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her robotic beau Vision (Paul Bettany) arrived in this surreal suburban sitcom...
Here are the Easter eggs we've spotted so far, and we'll add more as we see them. But be warned: Spoilers for both episodes below!
The door number
On their picture-perfect suburban street, Wanda and Vision live at number 2800. In an acclaimed 2015 comic series by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the Vision took up residence on a suburban street, but while that highly recommended comic was very different, it's fun to note Viz lived at No. 616. That was a reference to Earth-616, the version of reality in which most Marvel
stories take place.
WandaVision's pastiche of '50s and '60s sitcoms like Bewitched and I Love Lucy includes a laugh track, stylized sets and farcical situations. It also extends to the fake ads in the middle of each installment. Episode 1 tries to sell us a newfangled toaster from Stark Industries -- a softball of an Easter egg, as most viewers will spot a reference to the company run by Tony Stark (aka
) and his father, Howard Stark, before him.
However, the seemingly innocuous Toast Mate 2000 takes a creepy turn when it beeps ominously just before the bread pops up -- a bit like a bomb. We know from 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron that Wanda's parents were killed by an explosive device, leaving her and her twin brother, Pietro, trapped under rubble. For two days, the Maximoffs stared at an unexploded Stark Industries shell, expecting it to detonate before they were rescued. So beeping Stark tech isn't likely to sit well with Wanda.
The commercial break takes a darker turn in episode 2, however. This second ad advertises a watch branded with the names Strucker and Hydra. Hydra is, of course, the sinister terrorist organization threatening Marvel's world, and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is the evil scientist who developed Wanda's powers and set her against the Avengers in Age of Ultron.
The ad's tagline "He'll make time for you" implies a continued role for Strucker despite his death at Ultron's hands, and it might tie into the show's televisual themes if he was seen again on a TV screen like fellow Hydra scientist Arnim Zola in
: The Winter Soldier.
If these are references to Wanda's origins, then the ads may represent Wanda's memories, even though the toaster ad warns, "Forget your past, this is your future." In which case, it may mean something that the same woman and man show up in both ads. Could they be Wanda's parents?
The supermarket signs
Speaking of ads, look out for the supermarket signs in episode 2's animated opening credits. The store advertises Bova Milk, a reference to the super-evolved cow who served as midwife at Wanda's birth (comics!). Another sign mentions Aunty A's Kitty Litter, which is surely a reference to another member of the comic's supporting cast, the ancient witch Agatha Harkness and her cat-like familiar named Ebony. Which might make you wonder about Kathryn Hahn's fabulous neighbor who happens to be named Agnes...
By singing catchy 1958 rock 'n' roll song Yakety Yak, Vision takes on the role of both parent and child, giving and receiving orders in an enclosing or imprisoning suburban world. ("Don't talk back.") Interestingly, this view of suburban teen life is in its own way a construction: Yakety Yak was written, produced and arranged by Jewish songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller for Black performers The Coasters as a parody of white middle-class society.
This is a reach, but there's another possible significance. In the 1988 comedy Twins, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a naive outsider arriving in America and sings the song. Wanda has/had a twin, her brother Pietro (aka Quicksilver) who in the
was shot dead by Vision's creator in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She also magically gave birth to twins in the comics in the 1980s.
And the significance of Old McDonald? With his moo moos and baa baas, Vision again plays the role of characters who are enclosed against their will. Or it's just funny.
By episode 2 the song we hear in a crucial moment is 1965 hit Help Me, Rhonda by the Beach Boys. Along with hairstyle and costume changes it's one of the subtle signs the show has advanced from the 1950s in episode 1 to a pastiche of the '60s in episode 2. And of course, Rhonda is easily misheard for Wanda. But why is someone asking, "Who's doing this to you, Wanda?"
Oh, and does the line "Get her out of my heart" tie in with the presence of the Harts in episode 1?
The brand of gum that gums up Vision's works is Big Red, which was also the working title of the show when it was filmed in Atlanta in 2019. Whether that's merely a goofy code name or something more important is something for you to chew over.
Speaking of the magic show disrupted by Vision's gum, the couple adopt the names "Glamor and Illusion." In the comics, Vision and Scarlet Witch were friends with a married magic act called Glamor and Illusion who also secretly used superpowers to pull off their tricks.
When Wanda magically saves dinner, the wine she pours is a fine drop of Maison du Mépris. That means house of contempt or scorn, but more importantly harks back to the pivotal House of M comics storyline in which a traumatized Wanda reshaped the whole of reality into a new world ruled by her family.
The Grim Reaper
Blink and you might miss the moment Vision phases through the floor in the opening credits of episode 2. Among the pipes and cobwebs are a couple of bones and a dark shape that looks suspiciously like the helmet worn by Marvel villain Grim Reaper. In the comics, he's the brother of Wonder Man, whose brainwaves were used in Vision's creation. In the 2015 series where Vision lives a suburban life, Grim Reaper showed up at his home and met a sticky end.
At the climax of episode 2, Wanda and Vision are startled by a manhole cover sliding back and a shadowy beekeeper climbing out. Comics fans may see a similarity to the helmeted uniforms worn by underlings of the evil Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), a cabal of rogue scientists and offshoot of Hydra. On screen, AIM was the main threat in Iron Man 3. Or maybe it's not so literal -- the beekeeper could be another reference to being enclosed and observed in a constructed space.
Whatever's happening to Wanda and the Vision, the people observing use a logo depicting a sword in a circle. There's an organization called SWORD in the comics that complements SHIELD's Earthbound activities by taking care of extraterrestrial threats. Given the presence of Geraldine, reported to be a grown-up version of the young Monica Rambeau seen encountering aliens in
, WandaVision could take a turn for the extraterrestrial. Or as Vision puts it, "My wife and her flying saucers!"
However, it's unclear why the downed helicopter in episode 2 is painted in Iron Man's signature red and yellow.
By the end of episode 2, Wanda is suddenly and noticeably pregnant. That echoes a storyline in The Vision and the Scarlet Witch, the '80s run of comics in which she magically gave birth to twins. The kids were sadly revealed to be fragments of the demon Mephisto (comics!). Distraught at the loss of her children, Wanda later remodeled reality in the 2005 House of M comics storyline.
The MCU hasn't seen a lot of supernatural stuff so far. Thor is an alien rather than a god, while Wanda is a super-powered mutant, not technically a witch. But it's possible Mephisto could be involved in the weirdness enclosing Wanda and Viz. The neighborhood queen bee Dottie is Emma Caulfield, who previously played a demon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And what about Agnes and her unseen husband? The devil is in the details, but that isn't the only place he is...
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