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‘Loki’ episode 3 features a huge revelation that you probably missed

Published Jun 23rd, 2021 9:21PM EDT
Loki Episode 3
Image: Marvel Studios

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Another Wednesday has arrived, and this week, we’re looking at the third installment of Loki, which was released in the early hours of the morning. Without spoiling anything, episode 3 has a different rhythm than the previous ones, and it might appear slower and less exciting than what came before. But that’s hardly the case. Episode 3 delivers a couple of massive revelations, including a key element of the plot that’s easy to miss. Before we dig into it, I’ll remind you to watch episode 3, as plenty of Loki spoilers follow.

The episode starts with a very unusual scene that we immediately deem as fishy. Hunter C-20 (Sasha Lane) and Lady Loki/Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) sit at a restaurant talking menus and brain freezes. It’s all a ruse in C-20’s mind, as Sylvie is digging for information — we’ll call Lady Loki Sylvie because that’s who she is now and because it makes everything less confusing.

The events in C-20’s mind happened just minutes before the TVA attacked Sylvie’s base. That’s how Sylvie got the information about the TVA from her. It just seemed strange that Sylvie came up with such an elaborate scheme to extract data from a TVA operative.

It’s only much later in the episode that Loki and Sylvie discuss the latter’s ability to access other people’s minds and control them. That’s when Sylvie drops the bomb on Loki, telling him that she takes advantage of someone’s memories if they’re resisting her magic. That was the case with C-20, and what we saw early in the episode is based on C-20’s memories from another life.

“That young soldier from the TVA, her mind was messed up. Everything clouded,” Sylvie tells Loki, adding she “had to pull a memory from hundreds of years prior, before [the Hunter] even fought for them.”

The revelation that C-20 was a human on Earth before joining the TVA stuns Loki, who learned at the TVA that everyone working there was created by the Time-Keepers. That’s the kind of information that will make anyone question everything they’ve learned from the TVA. And Loki made it clear earlier in the episode that he thinks you can’t beat the TVA, so there’s no point in trying.

But Sylvie isn’t done with the big revelations. She tells him that all the TVA employees are variants. Some of the early Loki theories suggested that all TVA personnel represents former variants who have been hired to work at the TVA — well, forced is more likely. This explains why Casey (Eugene Cordero) has no memory of fish, despite working at the biggest and most powerful organization in the universe. Or why Mobius (Owen Wilson) loves ski-jets for no apparent reason.

But the most stunning revelation is that C-20 was a human on Earth hundreds of years before joining the TVA. This is the kind of plot detail that you might not immediately realize how important it is for the story.

Loki Spoilers
Quantum Realm city seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp (above), and the TVA city from Loki (below). Image source: Marvel Studios via Reddit

As we saw in those memories that Sylvie recreated, Hunter C-20 lived in what appears to be modern days. From the looks of that restaurant, the clothes, the menu, the brain freeze moment, we learn that she’s been on Earth relatively close to the dawn of the Avengers.

Mobius did say in the first Loki episode that time passes differently at the TVA. That explains how C-20 has been working there for hundreds of years, even though she should be contemporary with the Avengers.

Mobius’s obsession with ski-jets and the ‘90s suggests that might be the time when he became a variant. If he’s been working since then for the TVA, then he must have served for hundreds of years.

This brings us to yesterday’s speculation that the TVA city might be located in the Quantum Realm. That’s the place where Scott Lang spent five hours while the entire world aged by five years. But the opposite might be true as well. You might experience hundreds of years in the Quantum Realm, but it would all be a few years in regular Earth time.

The Quantum Realm connection is yet to be confirmed, but Loki episode 3 gave us another big piece of the puzzle. The TVA isn’t what it seems to be, which is something we’ve been suspecting all along.

Finally, there’s one other important thing to realize about the TVA’s variants. That TVA city is massive, and everyone in it must be working for the TVA in some capacity. We might be looking at millions of beings who initiated Nexus events and then were forced to join the organization. The implication is that the TVA has been erasing a massive number of branches from the Sacred Timeline since its inception. And since the TVA’s instructional videos explain that there’s a limited time to use the Reset Charges, it’s likely that the TVA wasn’t able to prune all alternative realities spawning from the main one. There must be other rogue realities that escaped resets during the TVA’s history. So the Sacred Timeline would be made of various realities all flowing in the same direction and respecting a predetermined set of parameters that the Time-Keepers deem acceptable.

The fourth episode launches on Disney+ next Wednesday, which gives us plenty of time for Loki fan theories and speculation.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.