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Loki Episode 2: Branded A Variant, Always A Trickster

Loki‘s second episode is here! Titled “The Variant”, we finally get to see the second Loki that’s been running around the timeline. But we also get to see how Loki adjusts to working in the TVA. Let me tell you, he looks fantastic in a suit. Spoilers ahead for the episode! Give it a watch if you haven’t already.

The episode begins with another scheme, courtesy of Variant Loki. They take down a couple more TVA agents and kidnap one of them before leaving the scene of the crime. Loki and Mobius are sent to the crime scene, during a renaissance fair in 1985. It’s a time for Loki to prove himself, but instead, he uses the little time they have to stall. He almost convinces Mobius and the TVA agents that the Variant Loki is just outside the tent where the crime happened, but Mobius sees right through him. He calls Loki’s bluff and the team returns to the agency, and they reset the timeline before any more damage is done.

With the mission a bust, Mobius gets chewed out for trusting Loki. He’s insistent that Loki’s an asset, and with a little more convincing, he’ll be cooperative. It’s almost like a switch flips at this point, because from that moment onward, Mobius isn’t nearly as warm with Loki. He says it himself: he’s running low on compassion. Either Loki gets in line and helps, or he gets reset. Begrudgingly, and with a deflated ego, Loki chooses the first option. So Mobius sets him up with the case files detailing Variant Loki’s various crimes, and Loki gets to work. In digging around, he comes across something of a loophole within the system, and he goes to Mobius with his findings.

Now this is where things get weird. Essentially, Loki discovers that Variants’ existence have no impact on apocalyptic disasters. He uses the destruction of Asgard to explain this and says that, no matter what a Variant does during the apocalyptic situation, no Redlines will be formed. If the disaster is imminent and there are no survivors, then Variants could do literally anything without consequence in that moment in time. To me, that seems like a huge oversight on the TVA’s part. How didn’t Mobius know any of this? Isn’t that a major loophole in the system?

Loki demonstrates his theory during the destruction of Pompeii. He taunts the villagers, frees some goats, and tells them about the TVA. Real timeline-fracturing stuff, and yet Mobius doesn’t detect any Variant activity during Loki’s escapade. With this in mind, Loki determines that their Variant Loki must be hiding within an apocalyptic event. The question is, which one? Well, it doesn’t take long to figure out. In the first episode, Mobius took some evidence from a crime scene: a specific brand of bubblegum. This bubblegum only exists from the years 2048 to 2051. So Loki and Mobius do some digging, and Loki finds a likely candidate. A storm wipes out an entire town in Alabama in the year 2050. No survivors, no one to remember a rogue god of mischief stealing a candy bar.

Mobius, once again, has to pull some strings to get Loki to come on this mission. Even then, Hunter B-15 (the scary TVA agent that initially arrested Loki and has already had enough of Loki’s bullshit) is on edge. She accompanies them on the mission alongside a squad of TVA agents, and she forces Loki to stay with her. So together, they proceed through the convenience store, looking for the Variant Loki. However, things quickly go south between the two as they run into a rogue refugee. Except this refugee isn’t a refugee at all: it’s Variant Loki who is using their powers to switch between bodies and tease Loki. Variant Loki then possesses Hunter B-15, creating a distraction from the ticking bomb they’ve set up inside the convenience store.

Loki and Variant Loki get into a fight, and Loki promptly gets his butt kicked. But at the end of their fight, Variant Loki sheds the disguise, and they’re revealed to be…Lady Loki! She’s played by Sophia Di Martino, and let me be the first to say it. She’s beautiful! What a great casting choice! I’m excited to see more of her, and if this episode’s ending is any indication, we’ll see and hear more about her very soon. The bomb goes off, and instead of blowing up the store, it sends reset devices through their own little time portals. She then opens her own portal and goes through it. Mobius and Hunter B-15 start running towards the portal, intent on stopping Loki from going through it. But Loki looks between the portal and his coworker, and he decides to chase Lady Loki. The portal closes, and the episode ends.

So what does this mean for next episode? It’s hard to tell what’ll happen next. Loki chasing after Lady Loki doesn’t exactly mean that he switched sides. It might have fractured any remaining trust Mobius had in him, though. I wonder how that will play out, should Loki return to the TVA. After all, he’s playing his own game, and he’ll do anything to win. If Lady Loki has the key to winning, then so be it! And perhaps the two have similar goals that they can unite against. Or maybe, Lady Loki has they key to reaching the Time Keepers. It’s all up in the air!

All this being said, I’m incredibly excited for the next episode. Lady Loki’s got some explaining to do, and Mobius might have to make a choice. Loki planted the seeds of doubt, and Mobius might realize that the Time Keepers aren’t as omnipotent as he thought they were…

What did you think of Loki‘s second episode? Is Loki pulling a long con, or did he switch sides? What’s Mobius’s next move? Let us know in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

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Kayleigh Clark

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