June 14, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

‘WandaVision’ episode 4: Who are Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis?

This story contains spoilers from the fourth episode of “WandaVision.”

A couple of familiar faces have made their “WandaVision” debut.

The fourth episode of Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series brings FBI agent Jimmy Woo, played by Randall Park, and Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis into the fold. And both characters are involved in efforts to crack the mysteries around Wanda and Vision’s life in the town of Westview.

The latest installment of “WandaVision” finally offers a glimpse of what is happening in the world beyond the series’ sitcom bubble. Jimmy, it turns out, was the first to notice that something is not quite right in the New Jersey suburb, and he was the one who called in S.W.O.R.D. for assistance.

Darcy is among the various scientific experts brought in by S.W.O.R.D. to investigate the mysterious energy field surrounding Westview. She’s the one who notices the signal being broadcast out of the area and discovers Wanda and Vision are living in a sitcom.

According to “WandaVision” head writer Jac Schaeffer, both Jimmy and Darcy were characters suggested by Marvel, and she jumped at the chance to incorporate them into the show.

“It wasn’t hard to to make it work,” said Schaeffer. “In fact, the potential of their involvement just sort of birthed a lot of ideas and enhanced the development of the show.”

Schaeffer remained mum on any specifics prior to the latest episode, but she did say that “Jimmy Woo continues to be very good at his job, which is one of his defining characteristics” and that “Darcy just shows up — right place, right time. She’s just good that way.”

Darcy

First appearing in “Thor” (2011), Darcy was an intern for astrophysicists Jane Foster and Erik Selvig, who were investigating atmospheric occurrences and their link to spatial anomalies. It was during a research excursion chasing a storm that the trio ran into Thor, who had just been exiled from Asgard.

One of the central concepts in “Thor” is how the universe is comprised of the Nine Realms — distinct but interconnected worlds that include Asgard and Midgard (a.k.a. Earth). Asgardians have the ability to travel between the realms with a bridge known as the Bifrost.

In “Thor: The Dark World” (2013), Darcy continued her work with Jane studying the bridges and portals that allow travel among these realms. While searching for a way to reconnect with Thor, they stumble upon an area that doesn’t seem to be bound by the routine laws of physics, allowing objects and people to pass between worlds.

Darcy’s adventures in “Thor” and “The Dark World” both involved run-ins with S.H.I.E.L.D. — the covert government agency tasked with protecting the Earth and responsible for the formation of the Avengers, of which S.W.O.R.D. is an offshoot — so she’s long been on its radar. “WandaVision” is her first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance since “The Dark World,” and it reveals that she has since earned her own doctorate in astrophysics.

Jimmy

The MCU’s Jimmy made his debut in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018) as the FBI agent tasked with keeping tabs on Scott Lang after the superhero’s role in the big battle from “Captain America: Civil War” (2016). Though the youth pastor with an interest in close-up magic seemed more suited for office work than field duty, Jimmy was also tasked with tracking down Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne — scientists and the original Ant-Man and Wasp.

Unlike Darcy, Jimmy has a long comic book history. The character first appeared in the 1956 comic “Yellow Claw” No. 1 as an FBI agent working to take down the book’s titular villain. As can be inferred from the title, the series was steeped in dated racist tropes, particularly around the Asian villain, but Jimmy was one of comics’ rare Chinese American heroes.

In 1958, Jimmy assembled a secret superhero team called the G-Men, which included Marvel Boy, Venus, the Human Robot and Gorilla Man. The team was disbanded and Jimmy eventually joined S.H.I.E.L.D.

In more recent comics, Jimmy is associated with the Agents of Atlas, which was born from a secret society formerly led by the villain Yellow Claw. Jimmy took over the group and turned it into a superhero team that fights for the good (see the 2006 “Agent of Atlas” series). The team’s most recent iteration, as seen in “The New Agents of Atlas” (2019), features a lineup of Asian and Asian American heroes including Amadeus Cho (Brawn), Cindy Moon (Silk) and Shang-Chi.

S.W.O.R.D.

The organization leading the charge to recover the missing Captain Monica Rambeau and get to the bottom of what’s happening in Westview is S.W.O.R.D. In the comics, S.W.O.R.D. stands for “Sentient World Observation and Response Department” and is basically a space-based offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D. that monitors threats from outside of Earth. The organization first appeared in a 2004 issue of “Astonishing X-Men.”

The existence of an MCU version of S.W.O.R.D. was hinted at during the post-credits scene in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which revealed a space station populated with familiar Skrulls (the shape-shifting aliens that played a role in “Captain Marvel”).

As seen in “WandaVision,” however, S.W.O.R.D. stands for “Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division” and was built by Monica’s mother, Maria Rambeau. Introduced in “Captain Marvel” (2019), Maria was a pilot and Carol Danvers’ best friend who helped her in her big space battle.

“WandaVision’s” fourth episode confirms that, as suspected, Wanda’s powers are behind Westview’s altered reality — but much else remains unknown. Hopefully Monica, Jimmy and Darcy will piece more of the puzzle together soon.