Loki: Easter Eggs And Important Moments In Episode 2, 'The Variant'
Double The Loki!
Here we go again! While Loki's first episode, 'Glorious Purpose', was packed with exposition and explanations, the plot kicks up a gear in episode 2. Granted a stay of execution by Mobius, Loki is put to work helping track the Rogue Loki variant that has been killing TVA Agents and stealing reset charges. Unfortunately for Loki, all his usual attempts to turn the situation to his advantage are useless in the face of Mobius's knowledge of his life.
Here are all the Easter Eggs and important moments from Loki episode 2, 'The Variant'.
The Variant has the ability to possess others
In the opening scene of the episode, we learn that The Variant can possess the bodies of others. This is the fate that meets TVA Hunter C-20, who is forced to turn against the rest of her squad. Later, The Variant also possesses Hunter B-15, and a string of survivors from the Roxxcart shelter while battling Loki.
The Variant claims that the possessed victims 'usually' live, though in the case of C-20, there seems to be an ongoing psychological impact.
The TVA has dealt with many Loki variants before
Before taking Loki on his first mission, Mobius reveals that the TVA has dealt with Loki numerous times before, perhaps more than any other variant. While all, at heart, the same person, the Loki variants can differ slightly in appearance and power set.
A few of the Lokis are seen onscreen while Mobius briefs his team, including an ice giant Loki, a monster Loki, a Viking Loki, and a version of Loki as he appears in classic Norse Mythology. This was a fun scene for long time Marvel fans, as both the monster and Viking Warrior Lokis were lifted directly from the comics.
Mobius has never met the Timekeepers
After the first field mission with Loki tagging along proves a little less than successful, Mobius is called in for a meeting with his superior, Ravonna Renslayer. The scene builds on the pair's friendship, revealing that many of the artifacts in Ravonna's office were gifted to her by Mobius. Interestingly, the scene also reveals that while Ravonna has met the TVA's creators, the Timekeepers, Mobius has not.
On the surface, this could be brushed away with the assumption that only the highest ranking TVA members get to see the Timekeepers, but for fans, the scene only serves to raise suspicion of the Timekeepers' true motives. Given Ravonna Renslayer's strong ties to Kang The Conqueror in the comics, some fans believe her closer ties to the Timekeepers add to the theory that they could be in Kang's employ.
Loki discovers that Variant energy cannot be detected during an apocalypse
While reviewing files on his own life at Mobius's request, Loki discovers a file on Ragnarok. Aside from an Easter Egg referencing the Revengers, the team that Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, and The Hulk once formed to battle Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, the file also leads Loki to form the theory that variations in the Sacred Timeline cannot, or at least rarely, occur during an impending apocalypse. Order is gone, everything devolves into chaos, so any changes will not matter. He proves this theory by having Mobius take him to Pompeii moments before the volcano is due to erupt. Therfore, an apocalypse is the most likely point at which The Variant could be hiding.
Aside from aiding the investigation into The Variant, the revelation that variant energy is difficult to detect during apocalypses has wider implications for the sacred timeline, and perhaps the MCU, since, as Mobius claims, it blows a rather large hole in the TVA's security.
The 'End' of the Sacred Timeline is not yet decided
After returning from Pompeii, Loki and Mobius have a rather in-depth discussion about the nature of the Sacred Timeline, and the Time Keepers. During this conversation, Mobius reveals that the end of the Sacred Timeline is not yet decided. The Timekeepers created the TVA to preserve 'What Is', so they can continue to work ahead on 'What Will Be'. The discussion also includes talk of free will, order, and chaos.
The concepts of order and chaos have been discussed previously in the MCU, most recently in WandaVision. Wanda, as the Scarlet Witch, possesses chaos magic, and according to Agatha Harkness, she is destined to end all of creation. With 'The Variant' revealing that the TVA struggles to track variant energy in times of chaos, some fans now theorise that Wanda's chaos magic could cloak any variances she causes from the TVA. If true, we may see some of this play out in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
Roxxcart = Roxxon Corporation
Working together, Loki and Mobius determine that The Variant is most likely hiding at a Roxxcart store being used as a shelter against an oncoming hurricane. Roxxcart is most likely owned by the Roxxon Oil Corporation.
In the comics, the Roxxon Corporation is a thorn in the side of various Marvel superheroes. Most recently, the company was involved with the 'Outlawed' event, in an attempt to ban teenage superheroes. This would have put major characters such as Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales out of action.
After coming face to face with The Variant, Loki tries to strike a deal with his variant self, claiming that they can overthrow the Timekeepers and rule the TVA together. The Variant refuses, and after a battle, reveals herself as a woman, played by Sophia DiMartino.
With Loki now confirmed gender-fluid in both the comics and the MCU, it is highly possible that The Variant is simply Loki taking on female form. However, some fans are beginning to question The Variant's true identity. While the ability to take control of others is not one that Loki regularly possesses, it is a known power of a regular Thor villain, Amora the Enchantress.
Some fans now speculate that The Variant is not Loki, but The Enchantress, posing as Loki for an unknown reason.
The Variant bombs t+he Sacred Timeline, and Loki escapes
In the closing minutes of the episode, The Variant uses the Reset Charges shw has stolen to 'bomb' the Sacred Timeline, causing numerous branches to appear and grow uncontrollably. Many known locations from the history of the MCU are are affected, including New York, Asgard, Ego, Vormir, and Sakarr, among others. To make matters even worse for the TVA, Loki escapes, following The Variant through a portal.
We're definitely in for a wild ride in the coming weeks.