This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Loki episode 2.
For the bulk of Marvel’s Loki episode 2, titled “The Variant,” the God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston) teams with the Time Variance Authority’s Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) to chase a timeline variant who, according to Mobius, is an alternate version of Loki himself.
The variant is killing the TVA’s Minutemen and collecting their timeline reset charges, which points to the variant having more on the agenda than just hopping through time murdering people. But when the variant is tracked to a Roxxcart superstore in Alabama, circa 2050, and finally confronts the “original” Loki, the latter gets a shock.
The variant is a woman (played by Sophia di Martino) who — judging by her demeanor and the golden horns on her head — at least appears to be a female version of Loki. She vanishes into a time portal and the original Loki jumps after her, no doubt determined to find out the story behind her existence and escape the TVA at the same time.
Now, while initial scuttlebutt suggested that di Martino would be playing Lady Loki — who is indeed a genderfluid version of the trickster Asgardian from the comics — there are also clues afoot that she could be playing a different character named Sylvie, a.k.a. Enchantress, who also has ties to Lady Loki.
We get into much more detail about that here and the rest of the episode itself here. But in the meantime, whoever the variant is, we did manage to ask Mr. Hiddleston himself what her introduction means for Loki and the show.
“One of the most thrilling new opportunities that this series provided was the idea that Loki would be confronted by his own reflection,” Hiddleston says. “In one sense, that’s metaphorical. And in another sense, that’s literal. I so enjoyed having all these different characteristics that Loki embodies inhabited by somebody else. It just offered so much, so many kinds of seeds for story and drama and comedy.”
Hiddleston adds, “I kept thinking, ‘What would it be like to meet another version of me?’ I think we’d all be so curious about that. We’d want to know if they were the same or if they were different in any way.”
So Hiddleston seems to confirm, at least, that the character revealed at the end of “The Variant” is assuredly a different version of Loki — but whether it’s Lady Loki or some new hybrid or creation is a question that hopefully will be answered next week.
With (it seems) a new Loki in the picture, at least for now, we also wonder out loud if Hiddleston sees a future for his version of Loki beyond this six-episode series, either in a Season 2 or back on the big screen.
“These are questions for those in positions above my station, sir,” he responds, invoking the Marvel Studios brain trust. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know — and the character has died a few times — that anything can happen in the MCU. And I’m just along for the ride, but I’ve loved playing him. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I’m in the same boat as you. We’ll see what happens.”
Loki is streaming now on Disney+, with new episodes premiering on Wednesdays.