When Loki picked up the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame, it posed a major question about The Russo Brothers’ time travel esthetic. Loki’s sudden disappearance baffled many fans, who were further confused over what Steve Rogers really did while returning the stones. Thankfully, Kevin Feige, the man who monitors all the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 that the particular scene in question was meant to give Loki his own crime thriller. And everything would be answered.
Then, a few months ago, the official trailer of the series Loki was launched, which explicitly confirmed that Loki’s attempt at escaping with the Tesseract had created branch realities (in the same way The Ancient One had warned Bruce Banner before lending him the Time Stone). Now, Loki must assist the Time Variance Authority, the keepers of the sacred timeline, in fixing it. However, that is not what the first episode is indicating. So is Loki not really about the God of Mischief fixing his own mess up? If we judge anything by the end of the second episode, it’s that he’s made things a whole lot worse.
The first episode begins right from the moment in 2012, when Loki escaped with the Tesseract. This was caused due to a bad attempt at stealing the Tesseract by the Scott Lang and Tony Stark from 2023. The sudden escape causes Loki to land somewhere in the middle of the Gobi Desert. And then, the series premiere doesn’t waste time introducing the Time Variance Authority, as Hunter B-15 arrests Loki for sequence violation causing a rift in the sacred timeline.
As the hunters grab Loki and go back to the TVA headquarters through some magical gateways, Hunter B-15 orders her subordinate to reset the timeline. The subordinate then places something resembling a timekeeping device containing some blue element in it. He activates the device, which starts converging towards its rear end like it’s being pressed. The sequence then cuts to Loki who is then pushed through the gateway into TVA headquarters. It’s not really shown on-screen what that reset charge really did. However, shortly after, Miss Minutes partially explains it.
When Loki is sent to the judgment room, he is shown an animated description of what the TVA, as an organization, stands for. The narrator, Miss Minutes, tells how the TVA was formed by Timekeepers to monitor the flow of time and prevent any entity from distorting it. The narration suggests that TVA monitors the minute details such as getting late for work in case there’s any chance that action could branch out a new timeline. She describes it as a Nexus event. As we see at the end of episode 2, multiple Nexus events occur all at once, and it almost looks impossible to fix. And also sets up the idea of a Marvel multiverse, which will be further explored in Doctor Strange 2 and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In episode one, Miss Minutes further explains how TVA agents interfere and take any rifter, which they eventually term, Variants, apprehending them. They are replaced by the original variant by resetting the timeline. The description gives off The Adjustment Bureau vibes, but that animated story shows how reset charges just bring everything else back on track and somehow turn the events to their original, intended chronological order. Since the variant who broke the timeline has no place in his world, he shall be pruned/destroyed. Now what happens after the events in Episode two? Fixing one Nexus event seems like an easy job for the TVA, but what about multiple branches happening all at once?
Coming back to the first sequence, Hunter B-15 made sure that the reset charge was activated before they head back to the TVA. This implies that whatever rift Loki caused by escaping through the portal and stealing the Tesseract is already fixed in the first episode. And it further gets validated when Agent Mobius stops the TVA from pruning him and has Loki watch his previous life.
Loki realizes there’s no way of him getting back in his timeline, because, probably, he’s already been replaced just like Miss Minutes explained. Furthermore, Agent Mobius hires him to not really fix his own mess, but to apprehend a fugitive variant killing TVA’a Minutemen. The trailers indicated that Loki would be about fixing the timeline discrepancy from Avengers: Endgame. It’s clear that there is so much more at stake.
It’s oo early to really reach a conclusion, but the end of episode 2 does raise many questions. Even if Loki’s mess-up fro Avengers: Endgame was fixed by resetting the charge, wouldn’t that cause further change in how events of Endgame turned out? Or who is the fugitive variant? Agent Mobius actually gave a highly questionable and confusing detail concerning that aspect, but there isn’t anything to confirm or even get a hold of what’s next on Loki.
After all, time itself is a mystery for the TVA as it works differently everywhere. Moreover, we never know how powerful the TVA really is because, in the comics, the TVA isn’t really as formidable as Loki thinks. Nevertheless, we have four more episodes to go through and watch what Loki and his upcoming crime thriller experience with Mobius will unravel.
The first two episodes of Loki are currently streaming on Disney+. It will be followed by five more weekly episodes, which will stream every Wednesday. The show stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Sophia Di Martino, Richard E. Grant, and Tara Strong (as Miss Minutes).