Loki Season 1 Episode 2 ” The Variant” Review

Loki figures out where he alter ego Variant has been hiding.

Spoilers Below

In Loki Season One Episode Two, “The Variant,” directed by Kate Herron, Loki teams up with Agent Mobius to track down another Variant version of himself before a “nexus event” leads to the end of all things. Ravonna Renslayer allows Mobius to take Loki (the God of Mischief) and a unit of Minutemen led by Hunter B-15 to apprehend another Loki Variant at a Renaissance Fair in 1985 Wisconsin. Unfortunately, all the God of Mischief does is take up all their time distracting Mobius, so Hunter B-15 is forced to reset the timeline before catching the Variant. Loki redeems himself by figuring out that the Variant has been hiding from the TVA right before apocalyptic events. Unfortunately, when Mobius and Loki finally find this Variant Female Loki during a hurricane in 2050 Alabama, she creates nexus points meaning various timelines. Thus, female Loki fractures the Sacred Timeline.

“The Variant” contains a series of MCU Easter Eggs, including some from WandaVision. The second episode references Thor: Ragnarok since Loki reads a file about the apocalyptic events on Asgard. He becomes emotional when he learns that Asgard is gone and most of the planet’s population is dead. When talking to Mobius, Loki references Surtur from the Thor movie.  

The other Easter Egg is the phrase “nexus points,” originally from WandaVision commercials. In “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” there is an early 2000’s style commercial for Nexus anti-depressants that are supposed to anchor the patient to their reality. This Easter Egg is interesting since in Loki Season 1, “nexus points” create new timelines. So in a way, they do the opposite of tying somebody to their reality. Perhaps this was an early reference to the Time-Keepers who maintain the sacred timeline or how Wanda’s powers created an alternative timeline for her and Vision to live happily ever after.

Loki’s theory about the other Variant version of himself hiding out in apocalyptic moments helps cement his partnership with Mobius. After Loki ate up a lot of time trying to trade some face-to-face with the Time-Keepers in exchange for revealing the location of another variant version of himself, Ravonna is ready to order his disintegration. Loki’s role in the Sacred Timeline is to be a lying, manipulative villain. They can’t trust him. Mobius argues that people can change. He has sympathy for the baby Ice Giant orphan inside Loki, left out in the cold. Mobius knows that Loki plans to double-cross the TVA in the hope of overthrowing the Time-Keepers but thinks that the God of Mischief can help him.  He convinces Ravonna to give the god one more chance. Mobius assigns Loki the task of reading all the files about the Evil Variant version of himself. Mobius wants his partner to give him” the unique Loki” perspective on the files. If he doesn’t take this task seriously, then it’s the end. Mobius runs short of patience with Loki’s blatant deception. He already knows everything about Loki’s life on the sacred timeline.

The God of Mischief quickly grows bored of reading about his alter ego stealing time reset charges, ambushing, and killing all these minutemen. He asks the clerk for files about the creation of the TVA, the start or end of the universe, but it’s all classified. The clerk hands over the file about Ragnarok. While reading the file, Loki spots something about no variant energy readings during the end of Asgard. He tracks down Mobius. Loki explains that “nexus events” happen when somebody creates havoc in the sacred timeline. Then the Minutemen are called in to reset the timeline. If somebody like Loki went down to an apocalyptic event like Ragnarok, they could do whatever they want for example “throw the Hulk off the rainbow bridge.” Since the whole planet, country or town is about to be destroyed; no crazy action can push the sacred timeline off track. No alternative realities will pop up. Evil Variant Loki hides in any number of apocalypses since the TVA can’t track “him.” The Evil Variant can reset the timeline over and over again in order to remain there.

Loki wants to test the theory, but Mobius refuses, worrying about being stabbed in the back. Loki finally convinces Mobius after pointing out that he can trust his desire to be correct. The pair travel back in time to right before Ancient Pompeii’s Mount Vesuvius erupts. Mobius stresses out about possibly changing history since technically, them even being there could form a variance. He wants to make bird noises to see if it creates variance energy. Loki rolls his eye, then frees some goat yelling in Latin about the town’s people’s imminent death. He points out that he and Mobius are from the future. Loki dances around when Mount Vesuvius finally erupts, yelling that nothing they do matters. Mobius is shocked to learn that nothing Loki did disturbs the sacred timeline. After the other Loki Variant has been ambushing TVA agents, “he” hides out in apocalypses without fear of being tracked. Mobius may barely trust Loki, but his out-of-the-box thinking helps track down time’s most current threat. TVA Agents were created by the Time-Keepers and think linearly since their whole life is about maintaining the status quo. Mobius would never consider skirting the lines by visiting apocalyptic events to create some fun havoc.

Loki Season One Episode Two “Variant” finally dives into the middle of the action. Mobius and Loki have formed this fun, wacky detective partnership. Mobius is the strait-laced detective with a trace of rebel inside him who follows all the rules, while Loki’s the partner with the loose morals whose unique mind is vital to solve the case. The appearance of Female Loki entices viewers to come back to learn more about her evil plans. Plus, why is Female Loki blonde?

Post Author: Paloma Bennett

Paloma Bennett is a film and television reviewer based out of Los Angeles. As a member of the LGBTQ+ Community, a feminist, a voracious reader, and a super fan, she’s tapped into today’s mercurial identity-based culture. She brings this engaged understanding of contemporary culture to her film and television reviews. Her work can be found on Whedonopolis, Fandomopolis, Women at Warp, FanBolt, and her blog Decoding the Daemoverse. Paloma has also produced and co-hosted the monthly film podcast “Jump Start Cinema” sponsored by New Filmmakers Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz and a Masters in Cinema Critical Studies from San Francisco State University. Paloma has a passion for everything pop culture, including TV shows, movies, comic books, and podcasts. The first significant fandom she was geeky about was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s a proud member of the Star Trek LA Away Team.

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