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Why WandaVision Only Uses Red & Yellow In First Two Episodes

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What's the significance of WandaVision's use of the colors red and yellow in its opening episodes? Drawing inspiration from classic American sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Bewitched, WandaVision's black and white palate is occasionally interrupted with pops of color, adding to the eerie mystery at the heart of the Disney+ show.

Color is first seen in WandaVision episode 1 during a commercial break, which shows a flashing red light on the advertised Toastmate 2000 (invented by Stark Industries). The following episode introduces a bit more color, manifesting as a mysterious red and yellow toy helicopter and Dottie's blood after she cuts her hand. The color red, of course, is the Scarlet Witch's signature color. Indicative of both romance and violence, red seems thematically appropriate for a series that hinges on a fake reality for a couple that was quite literally ripped apart by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Yellow, on the other hand, could have been included as a nod to Vision's gold gloves and cape from the comics. The color is often associated with caution (like in street signs), perhaps hinting that this revived Vision may not be all he appears.

The yellow color could be a nod to the Mind Stone. The Mind Stone plays an enormous part in the both Wanda and Vision's MCU incarnations and connection to each other. The Mind Stone is used to create Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which the two characters first meet. The stone, located on his forehead, becomes a part of Vision; in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos kills Vision by ripping the Mind Stone out of him. Interestingly, Vision still adorns the Mind Stone in WandaVision episodes 1 and 2, despite it having been destroyed twice - once by a tearful Wanda (who Vision claims is one of the few people powerful enough to destroy it) and once by Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. It's possible that the design on "The Cabinet of Mystery" in episode 2 - which bears a suspicious resemblance to the Mind Stone - is another allusion to the gem's importance to the show's larger mystery.

Marvel fans also associate the red/yellow color combination with Iron Man who, though dead as of Avengers: Endgame, is incredibly important to Wanda's origins. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda blames Stark for killing her parents after his weaponry destroyed their Sokovian home. She notes that while she and her brother were trapped beneath the wreckage, they were forced to stare at an unexploded shell from Stark Industries. Therefore, it makes sense that WandaVision's first commercial break features that very same company (whose product ticks ominously like a bomb and makes Iron Man's signature repulsor sound) that played such an impactful role in her young life, essentially setting her on the path to volunteering for Hydra's experiments and becoming the Scarlet Witch.

Incorporating flashes of color into stories told in black and white is hardly a new concept, and the technique is effective for highlighting important objects, themes or ideas, drawing the audiences attention while creating an interesting visual. WandaVision episodes 1 and 2 appear to be implementing this tradition to show the fracturing of Wanda's Westview reality. Because, so far, Wanda has been the only one to notice the intrusions of color into the black and white sitcom universe, it is likely that she has an awareness to the cracks in the facade that those around her do not. While a majority of the show so far has worked to lull the audience into a dreamy sitcom wonderland, the invasion of such bright colors is ultimately bizarre and a little disquieting, hinting that something is amiss in Westview.

While WandaVision episode 2 ends with Westview magically and mysteriously lighting up in technicolor, this may be the last audiences see of this color-popping technique. However, considering the deliberate use of red and yellow in the early episodes - and what they could symbolize for the larger narrative - it may be worth tracking when and where they show up as the story progresses.
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