wandavision commercials

WandaVision premiered today to plenty of rave reviews but even more questions. Why are Wanda and Vision living in this strange suburban sitcom? Who are those people behind the monitor? And what is up with those creepy commercials? The fake WandaVision commercials that appear at the halfway mark of every episode initially appear to just be a satire of classic ’50s or ’60s ads. Or are they?

Spoilers ahead, of course.

What Are the Fake WandaVision Commercials?

Halfway through the first episode of WandaVision, we suddenly cut to a classic ’50s-style commercial for a toaster. The Stark Toast Mate 2000, to be exact, the latest brand of toaster from Stark Industries. “It’s the go-to for clever housewives,” says the pitchman in the ad, which shows a happy housewife using the ad before it goes on to ominously declare, “Forget the past, this is your future.”

Now this wouldn’t be unusual in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Stark Industries has been around for decades and could likely have pioneered toaster technology before going into weapons of war. But there are a couple of Easter eggs hidden in this innocent-seeming commercial. When the toaster is used, you hear the familiar sound of the Iron Man suit powering up. And, of course, there’s the connection of Wanda’s origin to Tony Stark. In Age of Ultron, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff explain their vendetta against Tony Stark to Ultron, revealing that their parents were killed in a bombing that used Stark weapons. Wanda and Pietro managed to survive the collapse of their building, but were trapped for two days inside the rubble with one undetonated Stark bomb. “Every effort to save us, every shift in the bricks, I think, ‘This will set it off.’ We wait for two days for Tony Stark to kill us,” Wanda had said.

And as the red light on the toaster slowly blinks, the only note of ominous color in this sitcom world, it’s easy to think of that bomb.

The idea that the fake commercials are peeks into Wanda’s psyche and backstory is strengthened with the ’60s-inspired second episode’s commercial for Strücker Watches (“He’ll make time for you”). “They say a man is never fully dressed without two important accessories,” says the disembodied voice of the ad spokesman. “His special lady, and his Strücker.”

On the dial of the Strücker watch is one very familiar symbol: the octopus skull of Hydra, the occult Nazi group led by Red Skull and then Baron von Strücker. You may remember Strücker as the Hydra leader who recruited Pietro and Wanda, and experimented on them with the Mind Stone inside of Loki’s scepter, giving Wanda the powers of telekinesis, energy manipulation, and some form of telepathy, and giving Pietro super-speed. In the post-credits of 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Baron von Strücker (Thomas Kretschmann) reveals the newly empowered Wanda and Pietro in their first onscreen appearance in the MCU.

And just like the ad for the Stark toaster, we hear a series of ominous ticks at the end of the commercial. Could it be ticking down to something? And what could it be ticking down to?

What the Commercials May Hint for the Series

Both fake commercials that we’ve seen so far in WandaVision seem to be tied to Wanda’s origin: Stark Industries with the tragic loss of her parents and the start of her personal vendetta against Tony Stark, and Strücker Watches with the Hydra leader who recruited her and gave her powers. But could it be a hint toward the, for lack of a better word, endgame for the series?

Marvel chief Kevin Feige, in the press conference for WandaVision, teased as much.

“That was that was part of something early on…. How is other truths of the show beginning to leak out? And commercials was an early idea for that. And if this is the very first Marvel MCU thing you’re watching, it’s just a strange. It’s just a strange version of the ’50s commercial or ’60s commercial that you’ll have to keep watching the series and understand. If you have been watching all the movies, you might be able to start connecting what those things mean to the past.”

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