(WARNING: Massive spoilers for Loki will be found below, so get the heck outta here if you haven’t caught up on Episode 3.)
Loki delivered a highly emotional episode (with Tom Hiddleston really drawing from his theatrical background) during “The Nexus Event,” which follows up on last week’s fan-pleaser of an installment that made the God of Mischief’s bisexuality canon. Not only that, but had Loki found himself romantically compromised by a Loki Variant named Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), and we didn’t know if she could be trusted, yet this week, the show dispenses with suggestions of ulterior Enchantress motives on her behalf towards Loki. Instead, we learn that, yes, Sylvie can “enchant” people, but she’s definitely a Loki Variant as claimed. Further, we’re shown how Sylvie was tragically ripped away from her Asgardian childhood (as portrayed by Cailey Fleming from The Walking Dead), and no one in the TVA can even remember what she did to deserve this fate. We also receive confirmation that, yes, Mobius is a jet-ski-obsessed Variant, and everyone else who works at the TVA is a Variant, too.
As if that wasn’t enough of a gut punch (that’s a lot of ruined lives), the audience is dealt more blows. We learn that, yes, Loki has deep feelings for Sylvie, but the two are separated when TVA agents fetch them away from the Lamentis apocalypse. After their fates hang on the line during interrogation, Sylvie lives, but Ravonna “prunes”/vaporizes Mobius and then she kills Hiddleston’s Loki as well. Granted, Loki also reminded the audience (during this episode) that he’s died many times already, but it still stings to see it happen. And then comes the post-credits scene, which we must discuss.
First, we must note that Disney+’s MCU series use post-credits scenes sparingly, which makes sense. Yes, the MCU audience is trained to expect them with movies, but they’re tough to deliver with series, no doubt, since they generally suggest where the MCU is going. Since Loki introduced the multiverse, we can expect any post-credits scene from the show to carry extra significance, and that’s precisely what’s happening here:
This shot takes place immediately after Loki gets vaporized, and fortunately, that gold dust doesn’t stick, as Thanos’ dusting did. He’s not sure if he’s dead and in “Hel,” which is a sort-of purgatory for Asgardians. However, it’s probably safe to assume that Disney+ won’t whack the title character of this show with multiple episodes to go before season’s end (also, MCU producer Nate Moore has gone on record to state that Loki “lends itself to multiple seasons,” more than any other Disney+ MCU show). We don’t receive a definitive answer on Loki’s alive-or-dead status, but we do see what he sees:
We’ve got four more Loki Variants. Ladies and gentlemen, Richard E. Grant has entered the MCU as a Golden-Age, “Classic Loki” (who people will probably refer to as “Old Loki”) as named in the credits. A “Boastful Loki” (DeObia Oparei) is wielding a hammer. And there’s a character that the credits refer to as “Kid Loki” (Jack Veal), along with an Alligator Loki, who I’m betting will win this whole thing because this show is nuts.
What we’re left with here is the realization of one concrete fact: “Pruning” doesn’t kill Variants, although Classic Loki (in a very Kyle Reese-from-The Terminator manner) warns that Loki will be dead soon if he doesn’t follow them. And it seems that every Loki who gets pruned ends up in this post-apocalyptic wasteland, although we’re not sure where the other Variants go after pruning. Could Mobius be lurking around this joint, too? Fingers crossed.
Surely, next week’s episode will fill us in on more truths, but we must assume that Classic Loki is telling the truth, and time is of the essence. There’s part of me that suspects that this wasteland is a place that’s set up by Sylvie during her 1000-apocalypse life, so that the Lokis may gather to finally hatch a plan for disbanding the villainous TVA. However, we must also consider that this is the first we’re seeing of Loki‘s contribution to The Young Avengers gang that will replace the likes of departed Avengers — including Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, and so on — following Avengers: Endgame. Speculation has swirled that Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova will join that gathering after Black Widow (the same goes for Hailey Steinfeld’s Hawkeye character in an upcoming Disney+ series), but for the moment, we’re looking dead-on at Kid Loki.
Kid Loki, in the comics, is part of that gathering of young replacement heroes. He was a reborn version of Loki, and there’s no telling how far this series will go with him, particularly because there appears to be little chance that Hiddleston’s Loki will ever truly die. Also, we can clearly have a zillion Lokis running around at any given time, should Kevin Feige choose to go there. Heck, the trailer even showed us Hiddleston’s Loki apparently being elected president, so we can assume that this is in the cards in the coming weeks.
From there, we can only hope that this gang of Lokis will help crush the TVA for good, so that the so-called “Sacred Timeline” goes away, and free will can exist, along with the multiverse. That appears to be where this post-credits scene is going, which would line up with the end of WandaVision and Scarlet Witch speed-studying to join Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Phase 4 is definitely giving fans their money’s worth so far.
The biggest takeaway here: Disney+ is assembling The Young Avengers through these Disney+ shows (the WandaVision twins might even be part of the crew).
Here’s the biggest question left right now, though: Who created the TVA? Hopefully, we’ll find out more next week.
Disney+’s ‘Loki’ streams new episodes on Wednesdays.