This article contains Loki episode 4 spoilers.
Loki episode 4 is, well…we’re just gonna say it…the best episode of the series so far, by far. It rivals even the best chapters of WandaVision in its ambition, scope, and general batshittery. And a good chunk of that comes in the final moments, as well as what comes after.
That’s right, folks. Loki episode 4 engages in that proudest of MCU traditions: a post-credits scene.
Let’s try and make sense of all this, shall we?
Is Mobius Dead?
In what is perhaps the first truly heartbreaking moment on this show, Owen Wilson’s fan favorite Mobius M. Mobius gets himself deleted after confronting Judge Renslayer about the true nature of the TVA, its agents, and the Time-Keepers. Unlike the other Minutemen, notably C-20 and B-15, Mobius hasn’t had a Sylvie-assisted memory reactivation, but he’s savvy enough to realize that some of the interests that keep bubbling up from his subconscious (like his adorable fixation on jet skis) are almost certainly fragments of his former life.
Renslayer doesn’t even bother to give him any confirmation, or to dispute his newfound revelation, and instead deletes him from the timeline. It’s pretty sad, considering what a fun and gentle presence Wilson’s Mobius has been on the show. So is he actually gone?
Well, dramatically, this would be the time to kill a beloved character like this. But given what we learn in the post-credits scene where it turns out Loki awakens…somewhere…after being de-rezzed (go watch the Tron movies, kids…they’re on Disney+ and they rule!), maybe this means there’s hope for Mobius, too.
There’s another possibility, although an admittedly obscure one: in the comics, the TVA is staffed by MANY Mobiuses, essentially clones. This isn’t something we’ve even seen hinted at on the show, but is it possible that another Mobius will appear, one who could have his full memories reawakened by Sylvie? It doesn’t seem likely, but it would feel like malpractice if we didn’t point out this detail from the comics.
The Time-Keepers are Fake
In what we can’t really say is a terribly surprising reveal, the Time-Keepers are revealed as fakes. Wizard of Oz-esque androids/puppets, to be precise. This leads to a couple of possibilities…
The Time-Keepers never really existed at all, and the entire creation myth of the TVA is a fraud.
The Time-Keepers were once real, and were murdered/replaced by an entity with their own agenda. As for who that entity could be (a malevolent and all-powerful Miss Minutes, anyone? Just kidding! Or are we…) there are a few possibilities, but we should start with…
What’s Judge Renslayer’s Deal?
Judge Ravonna Renslayer has long raised the suspicions of fans. She’s too in love with “the system” and her job in general. As the song goes, “don’t ever trust the company man,” or woman as the case may be. There’s some serious “your job will never love you back” energy permeating this episode, most pronounced in Mobius, but also apparent in the otherwise shady Judge Renslayer, too.
Just look at the look she gives the camera during Hunter C-20’s confession/debriefing. That isn’t just fear that the “official story” could be challenged or blown up, it’s fear for her own well being. And then the look she gives Sylvie as she gets defeated is one of, well, at least resignation if not outright relief (Gugu Mbatha-Raw is so great in this role). Is Judge Renslayer being manipulated/coerced by whoever created the Time-Keeper ruse?
It’s worth noting that in the pages of Marvel Comics, Ravonna is romantically involved with Kang the Conqueror, a time-traveling villain whose entire modus operandi is messing with the timeline. Yes, yes…we got burned thinking Mephisto was really behind everything on WandaVision, but in this case, the evidence of Kang being behind some of the shady doings at the TVA is increasing…especially since the character has already been cast and confirmed for Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania.
Loki Isn’t Dead…So Where is He?
Loki has awoken…somewhere. Whatever was supposed to delete him from the timeline has instead sent him to another timeline itself, or a pocket universe of some kind. That certainly appears to be a ruined New York City, and you can see a crumbling Avengers tower there. Perhaps he has ended up in a timeline where he won the Battle of New York?
But the fact that he’s there makes us wonder if all deleted variants are instead sent off somewhere. Do they all end up in the same place? Or is this one Loki-specific? It would seem so, because…
Who are the Variant Lokis?
Loki is greeted by three (or four, depending on how you look at it) variants of himself, in a shot that echoes the moment in Avengers when Loki found himself defeated, with the team looming over him. Here, of course, while defeated, he has found potential allies, looking to help him.
Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei)
A Loki variant wearing more traditional battle armor and holding a Mjolnir-esque hammer, all we have to go on is the name this character goes by in the credits, “Boastful Loki.” We’re looking forward to learning more about him in the coming episodes.
Kid Loki (Jack Veal)
Kid Loki, however, is a very big deal from the comics. For a period of time in the comics, after Loki had been “killed” during the Siege of Asgard, he returned as a child version of himself…essentially when he was still mischievous but not yet “evil.” His whole purpose was to prove to everyone that he wasn’t necessarily evil and could change.
Kid Loki ended up joining the Young Avengers, a team which we’ve begin to see take shape in the MCU with Wanda’s kids (Wiccan and Speed) on WandaVision, Elijah Bradley on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and soon, Kate Bishop on the upcoming Hawkeye series. With Kid Loki here played by The End of the Fucking World’s Jack Veal, it seems that Marvel Studios is getting more and more serious about bringing the Young Avengers to the MCU.
OK, honestly, we don’t have any info on “alligator Loki” or even any indication of where he might fit in from the comics or Norse mythology. But for real, just look at how cute he is with those little gold horns!
Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant)
In a serious power move, Marvel Studios has gone ahead and cast Jack Kirby Loki lookalike Richard E. Grant as a “classic Loki” wearing his signature green-and-yellow spandex from the comics. In his early comics appearances (and really, for MOST of his history), Loki was always depicted as older, more sinister in appearance, and generally more shifty than Tom Hiddleston’s roguishly charming and handsome. Richard E. Grant looks like a Kirby Loki drawing come to life, and his appearance here is a tremendously cool reveal. It’s easy to imagine an alternate MCU where they went with a more traditionally villainous route for ol’ Loki and Grant was the villain powering everything.
So what will this “League of Lokis” get up to in future episodes? We have absolutely no idea, but we can’t wait to find out!