Warning: spoilers ahead for Loki episode 1.
What became of Loki after he escaped with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame? Episode 1 of his new Marvel series on Disney Plus explores that question and more, delving into his dealings with Thanos in the past… and in a possibly altered future.
Despite being the MCU’s God of Mischief, capable of weaseling his way out of tricky situations, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) seems to find himself in many tough predicaments.
Just minutes after avoiding a prison sentence on Asgard, agents from the TVA (Time Variance Authority) find Loki in the desert, apprehending him and bringing him back to their headquarters for causing a breach in the timeline, labelling him a ‘variant’.
While TVA judge Ravonna Lexus Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) finds Loki guilty, upbeat TVA agent Mobius M Mobius (Owen Wilson) takes Loki’s capture as an opportunity to use the Asgardian to the ancient organisation’s benefit.
A fugitive variant has been ruthlessly killing TVA agents in the field and stealing their reset charges, gadgets that they use to reset the timeline when Nexus events have occurred.
So can Loki help the TVA catch this rogue variant, considering the variant is, as Mobius reveals… another version of Loki?
The mysteries of the TVA intrigue Loki
When Loki is first brought to the TVA by Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), he learns about the history of the organisation by watching a cartoon narrated by Miss Minutes, the organisation’s clock-shaped mascot.
It’s said that three Time-Keepers are the ones in charge of the TVA, overseeing the timeline to ensure that all events occur as they are supposed to.
However, the fact that it is up to three individuals to decide what should and shouldn’t happen throughout the vast expanse of time confounds Loki – understandably so.
Loki quickly realises that he’s unable to use his magic within the TVA’s building, which also means that when he comes across a drawer full of Infinity Stones, they’re rendered useless.
So could these Infinity Stones come into play further down the line?
Tearful Loki witnesses death at Thanos’ hands
Having been placed in the custody of an organisation that monitors time from beginning to end, there was always the possibility that Loki was going to learn what would have happened to him had his life remained on its proper course.
Mobius decides to show Loki how his story was supposed to play out after the Battle of New York in 2012, if he hadn’t vanished with the Tesseract.
The TVA agent hits Loki with a dagger to the heart, revealing that in Thor: The Dark World, the Dark Elves murder his beloved mother Frigga (Rene Russo) after he unintentionally sends them her way.
Loki later fast-forwards through more moments of his life, witnessing his reconciliation with his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the growth of his bond with Thor in Thor: Ragnarok and the moment that Thanos snapped his neck in Avengers: Infinity War.
Watching your own death play out on screen is enough to leave anyone spooked. Will Loki eventually find himself back on a similar path?
What is a Nexus event?
The term ‘Nexus’ cropped up in WandaVision, when a fake commercial advertised an anti-depressant called Nexus.
In Loki, it’s explained exactly what a Nexus event is and how Loki has inadvertently become wrapped up in one.
When an event occurs that isn’t supposed to happen as part of the Sacred Timeline safeguarded by the Time-Keepers, this causes a Nexus event, which branches away from the correct timeline.
TVA agents fix these moments with reset charges, while any variants involved in the incidents are trialled by the organisation.
In Loki’s case, his decision to pick up the Space Stone and flee from the Avengers caused a Nexus event, as he wasn’t supposed to get away.
At some point in the future, could Loki find himself in the company of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who may be revealed to be a Nexus Being, capable of changing reality and monitoring the multiverse?
Loki returns next Wednesday on Disney Plus.
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