Loki Season 2, Episode 5 Easter Eggs and Clues: 6 Things To Know From "Science/Fiction"
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This week on Loki, it turns out what really mattered actually were the friends he made along the way. After last week's disaster with the Temporal Loom, everything is falling apart, and there's nobody to deal with it. Yet, anyway.
Warning: This article is full of spoilers for Loki Season 2, Episode 5, "Science/Fiction."
Last week, after Victor Timely was unable to do anything to fix the Temporal Loom, it exploded and everything turned white. When Loki opened his eyes, he was still there in the TVA--but he was all alone. And I mean all alone. The entire TVA seems to be completely empty.
And on top of that, Loki is time-slipping again, and the TVA itself is falling apart because of a failsafe mode of some kind. So Loki doesn't stay there. Instead, his time slipping takes him to Earth, to times and places where TVA people are.
The TVA's failsafe mode, apparently, involving resetting everything at the TVA back to where they came from--Casey was a bank robber and prison escape artist, Hunter B-15 is a doctor, Ouroboros is a sci-fi author, and Mobius, of course, sells jet skis.
Loki works with the normal OB to figure out what's going on--he's still pretty smart, it turns out--Loki gives him a copy of the TVA manual, and OB manages to make a temp pad so they can go to wherever they want on purpose instead of just going to wherever Loki slips to on accident. And then they gather up all of Loki's friends from the TVA and tell them what's going on. Since they don't remember anything from the TVA, it's taking a minute for them to get it.
There's one last piece of the puzzle, too: Sylvie. Loki tries to get her from her McDonald's, but she's not into it. She makes him realize that he's on his quest to save the TVA not because he cares about the timelines, but because he just wants to be around his friends again. But then Loki leaves, and her universe collapses just like the TVA did. So she rejoins the others. But things aren't great there, either. The world is breaking down there, and the temp pad disappeared into thin air so they can't escape.
And it's at this moment, after he watches all his friends get torn to shreds as the timeline collapses around him, that he manages to send himself back in time through the sheer power of emotion. After a small amount of experimenting, Loki has figured out the key to controlling his time slipping, and he goes back to before the Temporal Loom collapsed to do something about it.
Among all of this week's time shenanigans are a number of interesting Easter eggs--and one big hint about just how powerful Loki has become.
1. No pie at the automat
In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the start of the episode, when Loki wanders through the TVA and enters the automat, there isn't any pie there this time. This is both a literary device demonstrating Loki's total inability to have peace without his TVA pals, and a sign that when the Temporal Loom exploded, it seems to have changed things so that nobody had ever actually been at the TVA.
2. The Escape from Alcatraz
While Acatraz prison officials claimed no inmates ever escaped the facility before it closed in 1962, that was almost certainly not true--they would label escapees presumed drowned if they couldn't find them. The final example of this is Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers in 1962--and this is the escape we see in this episode of Loki. It turns out that Casey from the TVA was actually Frank Morris.
3. The Anglin brothers
Along with Frank were these two brothers, played here by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, who directed this and three other Season 2 episodes of Loki.
4. New York, 2012
It turns out that Hunter B-15 is a doctor in New York, and Loki visits her in her office in 2012. The year and location didn't end up mattering in the least for this episode--there's nothing indicating any time or place in the scene itself beyond the title card. But 2012 was when Loki invaded New York with the Chitauri. It's honestly pretty weird to specify this time and this place and have it be completely irrelevant. Did they delete, say, the part of this scene where B-15 recognizes Loki not as her TVA pal but as the most hated person in New York? Or will it come up again in next week's season finale?
5. Zaniac arcade game
At Sylvie's McDonald's, they have an arcade game called Zaniac, which is a reference both to Hunter X-05/Brad Wolfe's movie from a few episodes ago, as well as the obscure Marvel villain that that joke was based on. If you stick around to the very end of the credits on this episode, you'll be treated to a compressed old video game version of Brad's voice declaring: "You died. Insert your coin, loser."
6. Loki, God of Stories
By the end of the episode, Loki has seemingly gained the ability to travel through time and space at will, and he says he's going to rewrite his own story a little bit to save the TVA. It seems very much like Loki has swapped the mantle of God of Mischief for a new one: God of Stories. A relatively recent new iteration of Loki in the comics, the God of Stories has the power to sort of rewrite reality. What exactly that will mean for next week's finale is extremely unclear, but I'm guessing it'll be pretty complicated.