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Here's Why The CSI Episode Didn't Happen In WandaVision

Contains spoilers for WandaVision

WandaVision delights in messing with perception. The show revolves around Wanda Maximoff (or was it Agatha Harkness?) molding in-universe reality within a bubble, the show's Hex. The show started off black and white, but it eventually adopted colors. WandaVision even changed aspect ratios mid-season, which further messed with viewers.

However, WandaVision's creator Jac Schaeffer originally wanted to play with audiences even more. If you thought changing from 4:3 to 1.81:1 widescreen was confusing, how about a genre shift? During an interview with The New York Times, Schaeffer revealed that she once wanted WandaVision's "rewind" episode to greet audiences with a CSI-like police procedural. Or would it have been a S.W.O.R.D. procedural? That plan obviously never came to pass, so we can only imagine what it would have looked like. Perhaps the theme song could have been a tongue-in-cheek cover of CSI's theme (The Who's "Who Are You"); "Who Am I," perhaps. That would certainly have been in keeping with the spirit of the show.

Regardless, you're probably wondering why Schaeffer abandoned the idea. Did Disney executives on high decide to nix the CSI love letter? The answer is much more mundane, but speaks to the level of polish audiences have come to expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Everyone in Westview is happy, whether they like it or not

WandaVision is all about defying expectations, but there is an art to that defiance. Deliver the unexpected too often, and you inoculate viewers against surprise. A CSI episode would have jumped the gamma-irradiated shark in that regard.

Schaeffer told The Times that aping CSI for one episode was part of her initial pitch. She always wanted to swap genres for 30 minutes, but once she entered the writer's room, she realized WandaVision was better off sticking with sitcoms. More importantly, the show was better off sticking with happy-go-lucky sitcoms because, as Schaeffer put it, "it is a fantasy." More cynical sitcoms such as All in the Family and Roseanne were pushed to the wayside, probably because they wouldn't fit in with Wanda Maximoff's escapism. Even an episode inspired by The Mary Tyler Moore Show that was supposed to demonstrate Wanda's work-life balance was abandoned. However, this genre tunnel-vision ended up helping WandaVision.

"We stayed in the zone of aspirational family sitcoms and that helped us find the focus of the show," explained Schaeffer.

Had Schaeffer gone through with her original plan, would critics have praised the CSI-inspired plot, or would they have criticized it for feeling unfocused and disconnected from the rest of the show? Perhaps the world is better off not knowing.