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Loki Episode 2 Ending Explained

Contains spoilers for "Loki" Episode 2

The premiere episode of "Loki" impressed Marvel fans last week, as the latest offering from Disney+ expanded what the Marvel Cinematic Universe looks like and what might be ahead for the so-called "Sacred Timeline." Directed by Kate Herron, the series has already widened the scope of what the MCU can do by introducing the concept of multiple versions of the same character (hello, multiverse!), and has looked more deeply into what makes Loki (Tom Hiddleston) tick than any of the movies have so far.

But now that the God of Mischief is firmly working with the Time Variance Authority after his "Avengers: Endgame" escape, things are only going to get more complicated for the charming Asgardian. "Loki" Episode 2 deals with the titular Norse god trying to convince the TVA that he's not just a trickster and that he can actually offer them something that isn't nefarious, deceiving, or otherwise hurtful. (Although he wouldn't be opposed to doing any of that kind of stuff either.) The dynamic between Loki and Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) gets a little more complicated in Episode 2, as their hunt for the other Loki variant has the pair looking into various apocalypse events through time. And it's going to get even messier before this is fixed, if it even can be.

The second episode of the series even reveals what Loki's real intentions might be in this whole scenario — and they don't end with him being erased from the timeline, that's for sure. Here's where the episode leaves us, and what it all means.

Tricking a trickster

"Loki" Episode 2 kicks off with yet another cruel, elaborate trick from the hooded Loki variant. This time, he's attacking a squad of hunters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1985 ... at a renaissance fair, of all places. With all the fair-goers dressed in medieval outfits, it's a pretty fun way of including another time period in the show without having to actually visit that era. That said, it's not fun for Hunter C-20 (Sasha Lane), who's brainwashed and forced to dispatch her own squad before the Loki variant knocks her out, kidnaps her, and drags her through a golden time door.

This is just another example of how relentless this other version of Loki is, something that the TVA-allied Loki attempts to explain to Mobius and the other hunters when they try to track down the missing team. Although he might be Team TVA, however, our God of Mischief hasn't quite given up on his trickster ways just yet — evidenced by the fact that he tries to fool the group into thinking that they'll be murdered by the "lesser Loki" variant if they step outside the tent, that he's the only one who should approach the variant without dying, and that the Time Keepers are in grave danger.

This is a big, fat lie, of course. Mobius immediately calls Loki out on it, unraveling Loki's real plan in front of him: He's just trying to weasel his way in front of the Time Keepers in an attempt to "seize control" of the TVA, rather than plead for his life and avoid being erased from the timeline. Once again, the series touches on who Loki really is, with Mobius describing him as "a scared little boy, shivering in the cold" who has a constant need for validation. Is the TVA really called the Therapist Variance Agency? Wow.

Detective Loki

Wait, you thought "Loki" was a science-fiction adventure series? Well, it is, but it's sneakily also a procedural show wrapped up in a fantastic, cosmic setting. In Episode 2, Mobius forces Loki to get his detective hat on (not literally, but Twitter, do your thing!) and figure out how the variant is hiding themself from the TVA. But as Loki quickly finds out, detective work isn't always chasing after bad guys — it's most often done by trawling through paperwork and searching for inconsistencies.

Loki sees this research as an opportunity to find out more about the TVA, as well as the beginning and the end of time. It's just a shame that's all classified material that he's not allowed to access. But it makes sense: Giving the God of Mischief the truth behind life, the universe, and everything would definitely be a mistake. Unfortunately for Loki, the mind-numbing paperwork is where he learns about the destruction of Asgard in "Thor: Ragnarok" at the hands of the fire lord Surtur (Clancy Brown). It's that callback to the 2017 movie that sparks the idea that in an apocalypse event, it doesn't matter what time-travelers do because the end result will always be the same. This leads Loki to theorize that his villainous variant is hiding in moments of devastating destruction.

After Loki makes his argument by destroying Mobius' lunch later on in the episode, the pair travel to Pompeii, Italy in 79 AD to test out Loki's theory. Sounds like a standard Friday night in the town, hanging out at a volcano that's about to erupt, killing thousands of people — why not? It turns out that Loki's theory is accurate: Time-travelers don't create "variance energy" at apocalypse events, which not only changes the game for "Loki" but also sets an intriguing precedent for the impending introduction of the multiverse in the rest of the MCU. It seems there's a good chance that in upcoming Marvel movies, fans will meet variants of their favorite heroes who've been hopping from one devastating moment to the next without being detected — that is, until they slip up and get caught.

The Time Keepers

Before we get to the climactic ending of "Loki" Episode 2 and its dramatic reveal, we have to talk about the Time Keepers. When Loki and Mobius hit a wall with their apocalyptic research and begin narrowing down places the variant could be, they start discussing the very nature of the TVA and the Time Keepers. Though these "three magic lizards," as Loki calls them, haven't appeared in the first two episodes of "Loki," their presence is kept up by huge statues around the offices, depicting them in their robes. They were even seen in the animated video narrated by Miss Minutes. But where are they? Why aren't they at the forefront of protecting the past, present, and future alongside the rest of the TVA?

Well, according to Mobius, they're "untangling" the Sacred Timeline in their chamber to make sure that time ends in the right way. Hmm. They're dictating the lives of countless beings throughout the universe, and Marvel doesn't want to show them off? That sounds fishy. But the question still remains: What happens when time runs out? It would be the end of the TVA, because there would be no more nexus events or time branches to mop up. As Loki himself puts it, "Only order? No chaos? That sounds boring."

Interestingly, "Loki" writer Michael Waldron confirmed that "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will clean up the mess left by the Disney+ series. When talking about how to set up complicated storylines, Waldron told Vanity Fair, "Yeah, we'll leave that for the next writer. But then you do that on 'Loki' and you find yourself writing 'Doctor Strange [2]' and you have to clean up your own mess." 

Our guess? The Sacred Timeline — along with the TVA — will be left in tatters by the end of "Loki."

Hello, Lady Loki?

After Loki and Mobius pore over various apocalyptic events looking for the specific brand of gum given to the kid in 1549 France in "Loki" Episode 1, the time-traveling twosome track it down to a hurricane in Haven Hills, Alabama in 2050. It's a corporate town run by RoxxCart, an offshoot of the sinister Roxxon Corporation that often pops up in the MCU and is a recurring force in the Marvel comics. When Loki and Mobius arrive in Haven Hills, they find the town's citizens sheltering inside RoxxCart. Some of them are being controlled by the Loki variant, much like C-20 was at the renaissance fair in 1985.

Though Loki "reveals" that he's plotting to overthrow the TVA and wants the villainous variant at his side, it's not clear if he's playing up to the well-known fact that he's a trickster. He does seem to genuinely be interested in turning over a new leaf, so it could be a double-bluff, and that's what we're betting is happening here. As it turns out, this is the moment when the hooded Loki variant's identity is revealed, likely sooner than anyone expected: She's Lady Loki (Sophia Di Martino), complete with her own gold-horned crown. 

In the comics, a female version of Loki is first introduced in 2008's "Thor Vol. 3" #5, when Thor's hammer Mjolnir damages the Destroyer and the Asgardian Balder "the Brave" Odinson pops out. After his initial death post-Ragnarok, Balder spent time in the Destroyer gathering up other Asgardians and waiting until the day that Thor set him free. Thor is confused as to why Balder is out of the Destroyer but the other Asgardians aren't. It turns out that most of them left, but one stuck around: a dark-haired woman who knows Thor. It's not Lady Sif, as Thor believes, but a female version of Loki who's a Frost Giants creation.

Since then, female Loki — aka Lady Loki — has appeared in various Marvel comics and books, most notably playing a large part in the "Dark Reign" storyline from 2008 to 2009. That grapples with the fallout from the "Secret Invasion" event, which Marvel is already adapting into a Disney+ series.

But hang on — is this Lady Loki? If you happened to watch this episode in Spanish, you probably know the answer already. In the English credits, actress Sophia Di Martino is listed as playing "the Variant." However, if you look at the Spanish credits, Elisa Beuter is credited as playing Sylvie. Does that name ring a bell? Well, of course it does if you're an old-school Marvel fan. First appearing in "Journey into Mystery" Vol. 1 #103, Sylvie is better known as Enchantress.

Is this Sylvie the Enchantress for sure? Well, probably. They both do have blonde hair, whereas Lady Loki sports darker locks. Lady Loki's probably going to show up eventually in the series, but for now, it seems that the Variant is actually Enchantress.

Enchanting our Loki

That's not the only mystery that the end of "Loki" Episode 2 solves. It's revealed that the Variant has been stealing technology from TVA Hunters so she can bomb the Sacred Timeline using a horde of reset devices. As for the reason she kidnapped C-20? She's trying to find the Time Keepers' location, presumably to reshape the timeline in her favor — or to kill them. 

Unsurprisingly, Loki chooses to chase the Variant through one of the golden time-doors used by the TVA, making it seem to Mobius like he's genuinely siding with the variant. This will undoubtedly cause additional tension between Loki and Mobius (nothing like fights spurred on by miscommunication, huh?) and the rest of the TVA going forward, and might even prevent Loki from committing to a new good-guy lifestyle for some time to come. It's early days, though, so anything can happen.

If nothing else, "Loki" Episode 3 will likely unravel the Variant's story whenever — and wherever — she and Loki end up. And that will clear up exactly who this enchanting new character is.