This article contains spoilers for Loki season 2.
Phases 4 and 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had some pretty intimidating villains thus far. From Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and his plans to take over the Earth for all Skrulls to Wenwu (Tony Leung) and his ancient rings of power to He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) and the threat of his variants, the stakes of the Multiverse Saga have been just as formidable to overcome as Thanos and those who came before. But there’s one Loki villain who might just have them all beat – the sentient A.I. clock we all know as Miss Minutes (Tara Strong).
Now stay with me here. I’m not saying that Miss Minutes is necessarily the strongest or most powerful villain. What I’m saying is that she is by far the most ruthless, sadistic, and terrifying villain we’ve seen thus far in the Multiverse Saga, and maybe even the entire MCU.
It doesn’t help that a lot of villains in this era of the MCU have had somewhat reasonable motivations for their actions. Gorr the God Killer (Christian Bale) was heartbroken after losing his daughter and sought revenge on the Gods for her fate. Namor (Tenoch Huerta) wants to protect his people. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) has lost everything and everyone she cares about and just wants to find a world where her children exist. The Flag Smashers are fighting for the rights of refugees displaced by the Blip. Even though we may not agree with their actions, it’s hard not to still have some empathy for the things that villains like these are fighting for.
The other villains of the Multiverse Saga thus far are more nefarious in their intentions, with many simply being hell-bent on taking over Earth or other planets in the galaxy for their own selfish purposes. For a lot of them, their goals are pretty straight-forward. The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) wants to create a “perfect” society, no matter how many beings he kills in the process. Ikaris (Richard Madden) was willing to sacrifice the Earth and his friends so that a Celestial could be born in the wake of the planet’s destruction. Kang and his variants, who are poised to be the big-bads of the Saga, want to dominate the entire multiverse.
Miss Minutes, on the other hand, is not sympathetic nor do we really know what her motivations or intentions are yet. In season 2 alone, her allegiances have flip-flopped so much that it’s hard to assess what she really wants. At the beginning of the season, she helps Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) carry out He Who Remains’ plan to give a TVA handbook to the Kang variant Victor Timely. Once that’s accomplished, Miss Minutes becomes jealous of Ravonna and Timely’s impending partnership and convinces him to leave her behind. She then reveals that she has romantic feelings for He Who Remains and hopes that Timely will give her the attention – and body – that he never did.
After Timely rejects her and she’s sent back to the end of time with Ravonna, she changes her tune and convinces Ravonna to work with her again to gain control of the TVA for themselves. Miss Minutes shows Ravonna the truth of her relationship with He Who Remains and they connect over the fact that they’ve both been betrayed by a Kang variant before. This is understandable, and good for them for realizing that they shouldn’t let jealousy over a man who never truly appreciated either of them get in the way of a potentially fruitful partnership. However, in their quest to take over one of the most powerful organizations in the Multiverse, Miss Minutes proves that she’s just as ruthless as her creator is rumored to be.
When they return to the TVA, they try to convince General Dox (Kate Dickie) and her loyal Time-Keepers to join their team in exchange for a life on the timeline. Other than Brad (Rafael Casal), Dox and the other Time-Keepers remain steadfast in their morals. They may not see eye-to-eye with Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), but Dox knows that they both care about the TVA and the future of the people on the timeline.
Rather than just leaving Dox and the others in their cell, Miss Minutes takes over the Gizmo that sits menacingly in the cell with them and activates it. Dox and her crew are slowly crushed to death by the machine in a manner so gruesome that we don’t even see what happens. All we hear are the screams and crushing noises as the walls created by the Gizmo close in on them. All we see are the grimaces of Ravonna and Brad as they try to look away from the horrors while Miss Minutes watches the entire thing with a chilling smile on her face as she revels in the pain she’s caused.
While a lot of the other villains in the Multiverse Saga may be strong and powerful, the vast majority are still human, or at least humanoid. Even if it takes a lot to do so, they can still be killed. Miss Minutes is a sentient A.I. clock created by the variant of one of the most feared beings in the Multiverse with the ability to write her own code. She may have been deactivated by Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan) when he rebooted the TVA’s systems to kick her out, but that doesn’t mean that she’s gone for good.
As she briefly glitches out of existence, her last words to Timely are “You’ll never be him,” said with the fervor of both a lover scorned and someone we haven’t seen the last of. Disney has even released a poster of Miss Minutes leading up to the release of the next episode of Loki season 2 that simply says “I’m working on myself.”
There’s no reasoning with Miss Minutes, empathizing with Miss Minutes, or possibly even destroying Miss Minutes. She has no regard for the lives of others, and seems to only want power for herself. To what end she wants this power for has yet to be revealed, but it’s clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to become more than He Who Remains created her to be. What she’s working on and why is still unknown, but what I do know is that her sadistic smile will live on in my nightmares for all time and always.