Warning: SPOILERS for WandaVision episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall”.
Darcy Lewis’ (Kat Dennings) role in WandaVision‘s circus plays a subtle dig at her previous role in the Thor movies and reminds fans just how far she’s come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Darcy was restrained by S.W.O.R.D. in the previous WandaVision episode, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular”, and she was swept up in Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) widening the Hex to absorb much of S.W.O.R.D., turning them into a literal circus.
Prior to WandaVision, Darcy’s introduction to the MCU was in the first two Thor movies. Darcy was a political science student at Culver University who became Dr. Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) intern (because she was the only applicant). Working with Jane and her mentor, Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) in New Mexico, the trio discovered an Einstein-Rosen bridge which was actually the gateway to Asgard that brought Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to Earth. Darcy was a wisecracking sidekick in Thor and she returned in Thor: The Dark World; although, even though Darcy had an intern of her own this time, somehow Darcy had even less to do in the sequel. Darcy sat out all of the MCU’s Phase 3 before she returned in WandaVision, which takes place just a few weeks after Avengers: Endgame.
In WandaVision episode 7, “Breaking the Fourth Wall”, Darcy was recast within the Hex as an escape artist in the circus. Cleverly, Darcy as an escape artist reads like a meta-commentary on how Darcy escaped the dead-end she found herself in as part of the Thor movies. Darcy’s services weren’t required in Thor: Ragnarok, but the astrophysicist has a newfound prominence in WandaVision, which revealed that she is now Doctor Darcy Lewis, making her the equal of her mentors Jane and Erik. Amusingly, Darcy retained her sharp, self-deprecating wit in the Hex even before Vision (Paul Bettany) restored her memories and enlisted her aid. This speaks to how WandaVision gave Darcy more agency than Thor. It also proved Darcy was an “escape artist” in a different way since she somehow escaped succumbing to Wanda’s mind control and remained her effervescent self.
Darcy has been invaluable in WandaVision working alongside FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and S.W.O.R.D. Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in figuring out what’s happening in Westview from outside the Hex. Darcy not only figured out how to watch the WandaVision TV show at S.W.O.R.D.’s base and she ingeniously named the magic barrier that enclosed Westview “the Hex”. Darcy also hacked into S.W.O.R.D. Acting Director Tyler Hayward’s (Josh Stamberg) encrypted files and she learned that Hayward planned to make sentient weapons from Vision’s technology and that he’s monitoring Rambeau’s transformation into a superhuman.
Darcy’s welcome leap from Thor to WandaVision also showcases her evolution into a potential lead character in the MCU; although Dr. Lewis is still a supporting character in WandaVision, her incredibly entertaining Marvel team-up with Jimmy and Monica is a proof-of-concept that the trio could headline their own MCU series. In “Breaking the Fourth Wall”, Darcy formed an offbeat duo with Vision and she didn’t miss a beat in being funny and endearing as they tried to reunite the Synthezoid with Wanda, only to face a series of frustrating literal roadblocks. Darcy, who wasn’t Snapped by Thanos (Josh Brolin), also gave Vision the vital download of his life story as an Avenger missing from his memories.
As WandaVision‘s escape artist, Darcy is proving her versatility in every episode, and the bespeckled astrophysicist is no longer playing second fiddle or is regarded as a disposable ancillary character. It remains to be seen what crucial role Darcy will play in WandaVision‘s endgame, but the runaway success of Darcy’s character reinvention means this can’t be the last we’ll see of her in the MCU. Darcy escaping the Thor movies was exactly what she needed to paint a bright new MCU future for herself, thanks to WandaVision.