(This article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of the first Disney+ Marvel series, “WandaVision”)
One of the big topics we’re inevitably going to focus on when talking about “WandaVision” over the next couple months will be those fake TV commercials. There was one in each of the first three episodes of the Disney+ show, and there’s little doubt we’ll see more of them as the series goes on.
The first of these commercials is for a fancy toaster, the second is for a fancy watch, and the third is for a bath soak. While these asides might seem like just fun gags — they’re references to other parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — they’re definitely more than just that. In fact, they’re actually important to the plot somehow.
“If this is the very first Marvel MCU thing you’re watching, it’s just a strange version of a 50s commercial or 60s commercial that that you’ll have to keep watching series to understand,” Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said at a press event. “If you have been watching all the movies, you might be able to start connecting what those things mean to the past.”
So they’re important. And if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you probably noticed that they also are references to other MCU characters.
The toaster, from Stark Industries, is super obvious, you know, with Tony Stark being Iron Man and his father Howard also being a key figure in the MCU. But also you should recall that the Maximoff twins entered the MCU seeking revenge against Tony Stark because it was a Stark Industries bomb that killed their parents when they were kids.
“Is your husband tired of you burning his toast? Try our new and improved Toast Mate 2000. It’s the go-to for clever housewives,” the man in the Stark ad says.
“Set the dial and get the taste back into your toast. Top and bottom heating elements can handle anything, from meat loaf to cherry pie to open-faced cheese sandwiches. The all-new Toast Mate 2000, by Stark Industries. Forget the past, this is your future!”
The Strucker watch ad is a bit more obscure, but crucial to Wanda’s personal history: Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is the Hydra guy who used the Mind Stone to give Wanda and her brother their superpowers before “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
“They say a man is never fully dressed without two important accessories: his special lady, and his Strucker. Strucker: he’ll make time for you,” the narrator says.
The Hydra bath soak ad is another obvious tied to Wanda’s past, since Strucker was part of the Nazi organization that almost took down S.H.I.E.L.D. The commercial shows a housewife experiencing a number of TV mom mishaps like burning the roast and the kids making a mess by throwing a soccer ball around in the house.
“Do you need a break?” the narrator asks, as the commercial cuts to a shot of the mom soaking in a bubble bath while a man fans her. “Escape to a world all your own, where your problems float away. When you want to get away, but you don’t want to go anywhere: Hydra Soak. Find the goddess within.”
Conspicuously, the same man and woman feature in both of the first two of these fake “WandaVision” ads — they’re played by Victoria Blade and Ithamar Enriquez. There’s not enough to go on here, as far as we can tell, to make real guesses about who those people are, unfortunately, though that hasn’t stopped people from doing so anyway. One particular theory that caught our eye was that they’re Wanda’s parents, but there’s really nothing tangible that actually points to that.
Also, Wanda’s dad in the comics is the mutant Magneto — a reality that is on the table for the MCU now that Disney has acquired Fox — and it seems like a stretch that Marvel would cast a relative unknown actor like Enriquez in a role like that. No disrespect for Enriquez intended, of course — it would be pretty sick to have a Latino Magneto — it just would be an extremely surprising revelation.
The third ad brings back Blade as the mom, with Sydney Thomas and Wesley Kimmel — Jimmy Kimmel’s nephew — as her kids. Neither of the kids have any existing connection to Marvel, so nothing really to glean from that.
So all we really know is that these fake commercials hold some major relevance to the overall plot of “WandaVision.” We suspect that this whole thing is some kind of simulation keyed to Wanda’s mind — not sure there’s anything else we can assume at this point — then we can guess that these things are surfacing because of Wanda’s trauma. But we’ll need to see more of these to connect the dots any further.