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Loki episode 2 recap, Easter eggs: God of Mischief hunts himself in multiple eras

Thor's occasionally dishonest brother teams up with the Time Variance Authority and drags new buddy Mobius into some apocalyptic tomfoolery in the Disney Plus Marvel show.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
5 min read

Loki has a tense teamup with Hunter B-15.

Marvel Studios

Episode 2 of Loki's self-titled solo adventure on Disney Plus picks up with everybody's favorite God of Mischief after his introduction to the truly awesome power of the Time Variance Authority. The Marvel Cinematic Universe show follows the beloved villain's 2012 self in the wake of his sneaky escape in Avengers: Endgame.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) discovered that another version of him is wreaking havoc across the Sacred Timeline by slaughtering teams of TVA agents and gathering the reset charges they use to maintain the proper flow of time. Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) recruits him to hunt the variant, reasoning that he can give them insight into the other Loki's devious plan.

Time to hunt a timeline fugitive in SPOILER territory, in an episode titled The Variant.

Marvel Studios

Lady Loki

After much teasing as the other Loki variant took over one body after another, the episode ends with the revelation that the fugitive is female (Sophia Di Martino). That'll certainly make it easier to tell the Lokis apart, even though the male one seems to be irrelevant to the female one's plans.

MCU Lady Loki

The Loki variant waves goodbye to her counterpart.

Marvel Studios

"This isn't about you," she tells him.

Lady Loki vanishes into a time portal -- presumably finding a different apocalypse to hide in -- and her male counterpart follows after a moment of indecision, much to the chagrin of Mobius and the other TVA agents. The portal remained open just long enough for Loki to jump in, suggesting Lady Loki wants to continue their chat (the prospect of them having a full scene together is super exciting).

She also knows the location of the Time-Keepers, according to the captive TVA agent, so she might be planning a direct attack on them.


The Mistress of Mischief has a comic book precedent.

Marvel Comics

In the comics, the Asgardians were reborn on Earth after Ragnarok, and Loki took on a female form due to his Frost Giant heritage. She claimed to have reformed, but was really up to no good because Loki gonna Loki no matter what their gender.

Loki's gender is also marked as "fluid" in his TVA file, suggesting he can change at will. So Lady Loki probably doesn't have a totally different history from the male one.

MCU Lady Loki is kinda presented as the baddy, but the Time-Keepers are pretty much ruling reality with an iron fist by maintaining the Sacred Timeline and deciding the fates of every being in existence. Maybe she's decided to fight back? The use of Bonnie Tyler's 1984 classic Holding Out for a Hero as she takes down the TVA agents seems like a major clue.

And now you have a killer tune to listen to as you read. Oddly, this is the second time this song has been used in Marvel -- it was in the E3 reveal of the Square Enix Guardians of the Galaxy game on Sunday. Outside Marvel, it also played during Kevin Smith's Masters of the Universe trailer last week.

It's also possible that the lady isn't really a Loki variant -- the episode's foreign market credits say Di Martino plays "Sylvie," not "The Variant." The name and blonde hair have led some fans to suspect we might actually be looking at the MCU version of Sylvie Lushton, aka Enchantress. For simplicity's sake, I'll keep calling her Lady Loki for now. 

Sacred Timeline branches in Loki

MCU fans will no doubt be intrigued by the 2301 Vormir and 2004 Asgard branches.

Marvel Studios

Multiverse reborn

Lady Loki "bombs the Sacred Timeline" by sending countless stolen reset charges back to various points, apparently creating loads of branches or restoring branches the TVA previously reset. This shattered timeline seems like it'll tie directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and set up other elements of the MCU's Phase 4, since it creates limitless storytelling potential. Reports suggest it'll play into Spider-Man: No Way Home as well.

I wonder which ones are the various What If realities, the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Spider-Man universes or the Fox X-Men worlds?

Learning of Ragnarok

Going through the files on his Sacred Timeline self, Loki learns of Asgard's destruction in Thor: Ragnarok. A total of 9,719 Asgardians were killed, but the file doesn't note that a bunch of them escaped to Earth (even though half of those survivors were slain by Thanos and his goons). 

Even though it prompts Loki's realization that his counterpart is "hiding in apocalypses," he seems genuinely saddened to see that his home was destroyed. Between discovering that, his adoptive parents' deaths, his reconciliation with Thor and his heroic death at Thanos' hands, it seems like he's developing into the character his Sacred Timeline self became. Or he'll reject that and go his own way.

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Either way, it probably also made him even more determined to overthrow the tyranny of the Time-Keepers and change his destiny.

The only nice TVA agent

We learn that Mobius has never met the Time-Keepers, so he's spent his life doing the bidding of unseen beings. It seems likely they aren't what he thinks they are, and that he'll end up joining the Lokis in rebelling against them.

His fascination with jet skis is telling -- he's able to jump around the timeline, but hasn't been able to hop on one of the recreational watercraft. For all the power he wields, he's still bound by the Time-Keepers' rules.

"I think a TVA agent showing up on a jet ski on the Sacred Timeline, that would create a branch for sure," he says, but he acknowledges sadly that it'd be "really fun" to try one out (can confirm).

Sad Mobius and Loki

Mobius speaks wistfully about jet skis.

Marvel Studios

This guy had better get to ride a jet ski before the series is done, or there's no justice in the MCU.

Once again, he's the only TVA agent who shows any compassion for the doomed people the agents encounter on the timeline -- his co-workers seem like rough, dismissive jerks (possibly reflecting the Time-Keepers' attitudes). Mobius' decency also seems to have rubbed off on Loki, who checks to see if the people enchanted by his counterpart are still alive.

Observations, WTF questions and Easter eggs

  • Years visited: 1985, 79 AD, 2050.
  • We see a bunch of Loki variants in Mobius' hologram, including a Tour de France-winning cyclist, a Hellboy-style version (or is he gamma radiation-infused?), a Baphomet-looking guy and one in armor a bit like that worn by Kurgan in Highlander.
  • The Roxxcart store is presumably an offshoot of Roxxon, the ruthless oil corporation often seen in the background of the MCU movies and more prominently in shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter and Cloak & Dagger.
  • Given Loki's detailed explanations of illusion projection and duplication casting, he's probably going to use at least one during the show's run.
  • The pen Mobius uses to sign the paperwork in Ravona's office says "Franklin D Roosevelt High School," but it's unclear what this means. The other trophies he mentions are a roller skate and a snow globe.
  • It's possible the TVA agents will be able to reset some of the timeline branches and restore the Sacred Timeline to some degree, but it sure looks like there were too many to deal with.
  • Some of the most intriguing branches happen in 0051 Hala (the Kree homeworld), 1001 Xander (headquarters of the Nova Corps), 1382 Ego (Star Lord's Celestial dad), 1982 Titan (Thanos' homeworld), 1984 Sakaar (from Thor: Ragnarok), 2004 Asgard (you know this one) and 2301 Vormir (resting place of the Soul Stone), but it's unlikely we'll visit any of these places.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, June 23, when episode 3 of Loki hits Disney Plus.

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