Recap: Loki, The Variant

Loki has caused a lot of mischief and chaos over the centuries.
He recently convinced a streaming channel to start new episodes on Wednesdays after doing it on Fridays since it started (this won’t include movies).

Yet he is expected to bring order to reality by a group that regulates time. Not only that, he found out last week he started wrecking the timeline but doesn’t remember when.

This week, he’ll learn more, and discovers how difficult his mission has become.

SPOILERS BELOW

Fans have expected Loki wouldn’t meet his alternate version until near the end of the season.
Actually, it happens a lot sooner than that.
First, the episode starts at a Renaissance Fair in 1985. Some poorly dressed Minutemen look for a variant, but one of them take the others out when she is possessed. The hooded Variant from last week shows up, and drags them away…to where?
Remember, this Variant is supposed to be Loki. If that’s the case, is this a Time Loop where 2012 Loki has to stop his future self?
Actually, it’s more convoluted than that.

Back at the TVA, Miss Minutes argues with Loki, who’d rather be on a jet ski. He does know that if a Nexus event goes too far, it’s the end of the end as we know it. He also gets a uniform of sorts…and the shock that there’s a LOT of Lokis running around. He and Mobius will join up on this one.
It’s also revealed they can’t go back to before the Variant Loki started wrecking the timeline because time branches are unstable. Nice loophole.

Loki even thinks the TVA and the Asgard gods are the same: drunk with power but blind to the truth. They can’t leave the tent where the attack occurred because Loki thinks the Variant will convince him to join up and rule reality (followed by the betrayal). He knows himself all too well. Loki just wants to not be deleted, and eventually meet the Time-Keepers.
Mobius doesn’t buy it, and they reset the area. It means they lose a Minuteman, though.

Later, he talks with Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) about the botched mission. He thinks this Loki can get them to the Really Bad Loki, but she thinks it’s not worth it. She implies the Time-Keepers are thisclose to deleting him, but he’ll get another chance.
Mobius also suspects she has another analyst on the side, who went to FDR High School.
Still, Loki is really worried now, and talks too much. He’s also upset he’s not the “superior” version of himself, until he claims he’s just conning everyone. Really?
He looks back at the cases connected to Variant Loki, as well as he can thanks to the crushing bureaucracy. He can’t even find out how the TVA started. He does get a lot from what he does get, like the events from Thor:Ragnarok where Asgard gets destroyed. However, there is no sign of any Variant.
So, he thinks Variant Loki is hiding in apocalypses. He ruins Mobius’ salad to do this, but the thing is if they arrive at a massive apocalypse, they’re bound to find Variant Loki. Mobius still expects the sudden and inevitable betrayal because that’s what Loki does…any of them.
He’ll try it, though.
So, off to Pompeii, where a volcano is about to erupt. Say, what if they find a blue….never mind.
Loki actually tells everyone who he is and what will happen. He still thinks history won’t be changed…and it’s not. He got lucky.

Now, remember the bubble gum the Variant gave a kid in the 16th Century? It’s not sold for another 20 years here, so is that where the Variant is from? Actually, he’s seen at a hurricane near a superstore in 2050 Alabama.
Of course, Renslayer would rather reset or delete Loki. Still, he’s the only one who’s gotten this far.

They get there, and so is Variant Loki, with a trap all set. They come across a customer, but Hunter B-15 knocks him out.
Only Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) is really Variant Loki, or at least possessing her. The Variant eventually becomes a store associate named Randy.
They also find the Minuteman C-20 (Sasha Lane) who was presumed dead, and she keeps saying “It’s real”. She also revealed she told the Variant the Time-Keepers really exist, and where they are.

It looks like Loki will try to talk his Variant self into taking over the TVA. It doesn’t work, because “Randy” plans to blow TVA Loki to pieces, or that’s the thought.
After a long fight, Variant Loki shows…..herself (Sophia DiMartino), saying “this isn’t about you”.


With reset charges scattered all over the Sacred Timeline, lots of Time Branches emerge like weeds. That means bad news for the futurw of reality. Lady Variant escapes through a portal, and Loki follows her. That’ll keep everyone busy for a while.

The comics do feature a Lady Loki, who was created after a massive disaster, but it’s not clear what she wants to do on the show. Maybe the Variant wants want Loki wants, a meeting with the Time-Keepers and absolute destruction. For now, it will quite the chase these two will have for a while.

The best part of the episode is when Mobius and Loki discuss how the TVA exists. Mobius just accepts what is real, but Loki can’t buy that three lizard people determine reality. Mobius says if you think about how all of us were created, it’s ridiculous. He says, “Nothing makes any sense so we try to make sense of it”. That includes the Time-Keepers straightening out how it’s supposed to end. That’s all based on faith, of course. It’s safe to say they’ll show up towards the end….right? The Time-Keepers exist in the comics, but what if they don’t in the MCU? That’ll be a crisis of faith for everyone.
Loki also says something interesting: “No one is ever truly bad, and no one is ever truly good.” Actually, he’s right, as there are lots of examples in the MCU. Does that apply to the Variant, too, and will that help him?

It should be interesting if what just happened will spill over to Dr. Strange’s next movie in March. In any case, expect Mobius’ fate to be deeply threatened by Renslayer, and what will the Time-Keepers say….if they can say anything. Hopefully, the TVA will track down Loki and the Variant, and maybe it can do something as well.
In any case, “pruning” the Sacred Timeline could save reality or create a bigger catastrophe than overhauling the White House Rose Garden.

Loki airs new episodes every Wednesday on Disney Plus.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008

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