Sunday, May 9, 2021

What You Didn’t Notice About WandaVision Episode 5’s Runtime

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While WandaVision has thrived on changing its presentation, there have been some basic parameters to keep viewers orientated. For instance, most episodes have clocked in at around 30 minutes, emulating viewers’ expectations for an actual TV show’s broadcast length. However, episode 5 defies some of these standards, right as cracks start to show in Wanda’s universe. Agnes (Katheryn Hahn) breaks character. Newborn twins age to adolescence impossibly fast. Wanda’s Sokovian accent reappears. And as savvy viewers on Reddit noted, the episode cleverly pushes past its regular runtime just as Vision confronts Wanda about the strange unreality that defines Westview.

As Redditor Cognimancer noted, “That was one of the coolest cinematography tricks of the entire show so far IMO. Up until now, episodes have been around 25-30 minutes long. Vision confronted Wanda at the 29 minute mark, so pacing-wise I was expecting some sort of magical edit and cliffhanger.” Instead, however, the episode runs for a full four minutes past the Growing Pains style credits that roll at the 30-minute mark. As Cognimancer further observes, “‘Wrong’ is exactly the correct word for how the next several minutes felt – we knew how these episodes normally go, we saw this one try to go that way, and then the rules were broken.”

Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige has stated before that one of the appeals of airing WandaVision on Disney+ was the opportunity to experiment with runtimes. As Feige said, “[Episodes] can grow or shift or shrink or expand to fit the story you’re telling” (via TV Line).

It appears that just as the rules of Westview are changing for Vision and Wanda, the rules of WandaVision are changing for fans.

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