Loki Episode 2: The MCU Show Has Revealed Its Villain
Loki, the show, is already full of Loki, the character, and now we've got one more to worry about.
Loki, the latest MCU TV show streaming on Disney+, has finally arrived, and brought with it no shortage of time traveling weirdness. The show brings Tom Hiddleston back to the MCU alongside newcomers like Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
The premise is pretty odd, but on par with Marvel's trickster god: Loki, after escaping his pre-determined timeline with the Tesseract back in Endgame, has been recruited by an extradimensional bureaucracy known as the TVA, or Time Variance Authority. The TVA's job is to maintain the timeline based on the whims of the mysterious and secretive Time-Keepers. One TVA agent, Mobius (Wilson), decides that rather than punish Loki with removal from the timeline altogether, he wants to team up and use Loki's expertise to help track down a criminal who is hopping through time and besting the TVA at every turn.
That criminal, unfortunately, just so happens to be a version of Loki--a different time traveling variant who is cooking up a potentially dangerous scheme.
This week's episode saw Loki and Mobius buckling down to solve the mystery, buddy cop style. And, just as they're beginning to really close in on the variant, Mobius reveals that there are an abundance of Lokis across the timeline. He even shows some projections of what they might look like--everything from a hulking full-blooded frost giant version to other monstrous variations. But by the end of Episode 2, the Loki responsible for the chaos is revealed--in the form of a woman.
Fans of the comics will already be extremely familiar with Loki's shapeshifting abilities and the trickster's many alter-egos, including the popular "Lady Loki," a female version who became the primary incarnation for a time back in the early '00s. The Lady Loki form wasn't a conscious choice on Loki's part at the time, but rather a botched reincarnation where Loki was able to take over a body intended for Sif. For several years, Lady Loki used this unexpected form to manipulate and trick her way into positions of power, such as Norman Osborn's villainous cabal during the Dark Reign storyline, before she eventually reverted back to her male form.
This idea was, of course, informed by the actual Norse mythology that Marvel's Asgardians draw from. In many myths, Loki shapeshifts into everything from an old woman to various animals.
In the comics, though Loki had inhabited other forms before, the popularity of Lady Loki opened the door for Marvel to begin experimenting with new Loki forms--including a kid version and a young adult version nicknamed lkol. Usually these versions were brought about by various deaths and reincarnations--after all, Loki is technically immortal, so even outside the wacky rules of death for comic book heroes, he can do things like that.
In the show, however, it seems that these alternate Lokis are taking a slightly different route. Rather than being reincarnations, they're "variants" in the timeline--meaning that the Lady Loki we see at the very end of Episode 2 is acting autonomously and independently from the Loki we've known in the MCU. This doesn't necessarily rule out her origin as a reincarnation from whatever timeline she escaped, but it does mean it's unlikely we're going to see a one-to-one translation of any of Lady Loki's comic book stories.
This is made more obvious by the fact that her design is completely different from the comic book version, with short blond hair and a costume that more closely resembles the one the kid and teenage versions of Loki have worn in the past. In addition, it's similarly worth noting that she has displayed considerable power in possessing people and hopping from body to body, so the version we saw in this episode may or may not be her "final form".
The episode concludes with Lady Loki "bombing" the sacred timeline with reset charges that create branches--the multiverse Ms. Minutes warned us about back in Episode 1.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions to tackle, given how early we are in the series. Where did this Loki come from, how did she get here, and why create a multiverse? How and why is she targeting the TVA and traveling through time to begin with? Whatever the answers, it all likely spells bad news for everyone but her.
Loki will continue on Disney+ with new episodes every Wednesday.