Episode 8 of WandaVision touches upon Wanda’s love of classic sitcoms, but what episodes is she watching in particular? From the beginning of the series, Wanda has crafted a cookie-cutter version of Westview in the aesthetic of television shows spanning from the 1950s all the way up to the early 2000s. The episodes of the sitcoms she’s modeled her artificial life after have impacted her in various ways, especially since some of them mirror her current conflict.
WandaVision‘s penultimate episode “Previously On” has Agatha and Wanda exploring the traumas of Wanda’s past, beginning with the night her parents died and ending with the day she created her fake reality. On the night Stark’s bomb threatens to detonate feet away from Wanda and Pietro, they’re happily watching The Dick Van Dyke Show with their parents. This is the only respite they have in a world on fire.
Wanda’s sitcoms serve as an escape and a reminder of happier times when her family was whole. This is why WandaVision episode 8 features a handful of scenes showing Wanda tuning in to her DVD collection of sitcoms. During the most stressful of times, she has classics like The Brady Bunch and Malcolm In The Middle to disappear into. Let’s take a look at all the sitcom episodes Wanda watches in episode 8.
As a child, Wanda loves season 2, episode 21 of The Dick Van Dyke Show entitled “It May Look Like a Walnut.” Rob (Dick Van Dyke) watches a movie about aliens from the planet Twilo. The Twiloates try to stop human involvement in space by producing special walnuts that’ll remove an individual’s imagination and thumbs. The next morning Rob starts questioning his reality when he finds walnuts all over the house and his family and coworkers exhibit strange behavior. It turns out it’s all a bad dream, just as Wanda reiterates when the twins are facing down the bomb in the apartment. For Wanda, the Hex‘s fantasy will likely be just a lovely dream in the end. This episode also parallels Vision’s suspicions about Westview and Wanda’s insistence that everything is normal in their world.
Wanda watches The Brady Bunch‘s “Kitty Karry-All Is Missing” later on in the HYDRA facility as a young adult. Youngest step-siblings Bobby and Cindy are pitted against each other when Bobby complains that Cindy’s toy doll is annoying him and he can’t play his kazoo. Shortly after, Cindy’s doll vanishes as does Bobby’s instrument. The two bicker and blame each other until they discover that the family dog is the thief. This resembles the conflict between Wanda and SWORD director Tyler Hayward. Hayward blames Wanda for wreaking havoc and stealing Vision’s body, even though it’s revealed in WandaVision episode 8 that she did nothing of the sort.
Finally, Wanda and Vision bond at the Avengers Compound while watching Malcolm In The Middle‘s “Health Insurance” episode. Hal (Bryan Cranston) fails to pay the family’s health insurance on time, so he rushes around the house fixing and hiding potentially dangerous items. He also locks the boys up in their rooms so they won’t hurt themselves, yet he ends up being crushed by the patio roof. Not only does this give Vision a chance to learn and understand the humor, but it also loosely parallels Wanda’s struggle to protect her children and Vision from the outside world. As much as she tries to keep the Hex indestructible, she may be only hurting herself in the end.
These specific episodes are so important to Wanda’s growth, since they fuel her fantasy and provide solace in uncertainty. More significantly, they memorialize the family she lost. With only one episode left in WandaVision, will Wanda be able to sustain her sitcom-style life?