[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Loki, Season 1, Episode 2, “The Variant.”]
After tossing both the audience, and Loki himself, headfirst into the chaos of the sacred timeline, the Time Variance Authority, and all of the details in between with an exposition-heavy, rule-explaining premiere, Episode 2 of Loki saw the God of Mischief actually on the job with the TVA, giving fans a clearly idea of what the series is going to be about.
Similar to Episode 1, though, Episode 2 — titled “The Variant” — was chock fill of hints, nods, and Easter eggs to Loki’s history and the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large.
A Peek at Some Other Loki Variants
When Mobius (Owen Wilson) is debriefing the task force prior to their Roxxcart raid, he illustrates how there are various versions of Loki, each potentially more dangerous than the last, by scrolling through holographic images of a handful of them, including one that looks like a literal troll from a fantasy novel. Coincidentally enough, the episode itself is also titled “The Variant.”
In total, five different Loki variants are shown in the hologram: the original Loki, a soccer-playing Loki, a troll Loki, a Loki that looks vaguely like Ben Kingsley if he sold knockoff incense in Brooklyn, and a medieval, almost Viking-esque Loki.
Similar to the Time Variance Authority, Roxxon — the conglomerate behind the Walmart-esque Roxxcart — is a monolithic Marvel Comics stalwart that serves as a threat that can’t necessarily be defeated by a singular superhero, as they are a multi-faceted corporation rather than an obviously evil-doing villain.
While yet to be properly introduced in the MCU, Roxxon has been floating around the fringes ever since the dawn of the franchise as one of the company’s buildings can be seen in the third act of Iron Man. It also got name-dropped in the Netflix series Daredevil.
“I know why Thor found this so annoying.”
Of Loki’s many M.O.s, shapeshifting and manipulation rank near the top of his favorites. Fittingly so, considering he is the God of Mischief, after all.
As Loki is doing battle with the various hurricane-sheltering civilians under the control of Lady Loki, he becomes frustrated with the fact that this evil, apparently more powerful variant won’t reveal themselves, instead using mind-controlled surrogates. It’s at this moment that Loki realizes how annoying this actually is, now understanding how Thor must’ve felt about his antics throughout all these years, such as posing as their father Odin or mimicking Steve Rogers.
The items on Ravonna’s shelves
Higher up than Mobius but not as quite as powerful as the Timekeepers, Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer finds herself in a cushy enough position at the TVA that she gets her own office. And in that office, there are shelves filled with multiversal knick-knacks.
- A snow globe from San Diego
- A helmet from when she was a TVA “street cop,” labeled A-23.
- An apparently standard issue TVA Baton of Multiversal Death.
- A roller skate.
- A set of encyclopedias.
- A coffee mug.
- A samurai sword.
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School.
Is Mobius a New Yorker? When signing the event report, Mobius uses a pen from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, which is located in Brooklyn. He doesn’t recognize the pen, but it’s not totally clear why he keeps taunting Ravonna about the other agents she says work for her, and this might end up being the key to that.
What brands survived to the year 2050?
As Loki and the rest of the Time Variance Authority stroll through the overwhelmingly massive Roxxcart in search of the evil, soon-to-be-revealed Lady Loki, various brands from our day and age can be seen in the store, despite the fact that this is an alternate timeline roughly 30 years in the future.
Arm & Hammer!
Dove, Vaseline, Axe and Suave.
Hostess, Wise, and General Mills (Mills makes Gushers, which resemble the yellow boxes to the left of the Hostess stand)!
PepsiCo (both Pepsi and Mountain Dew can be seen) and The Coca-Cola Company (the makers of Smartwater, which is seen to the right of the soda)
New episodes of Loki premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.
This decision follows the announcement of ‘Loki’ as the streamer’s most-watched series premiere.
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