Loki Episode 3 was a true rollercoaster ride, complete with a falling planet, a mean lady with a gun, and what’s essentially a space Snowpiercer.
In between all those moments, the episode dropped a bombshell: not magically created by the Time Keepers to preserve the Sacred Timeline, agents for the Time Variance Authority are instead variants themselves, brainwashed into believing they’re eternal Time Cops.
This has huge implications for Loki itself — does it mean Agent Mobius once was a freewheelin’ ‘90s dude just hanging out on a jet ski? — but even bigger implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Here’s why the TVA reveal opens up countless doors for cameos in the next three episodes.
It’s no mystery that Marvel loves a cameo. In fact, the only thing the studio loves more is bringing characters from its films into supporting roles within its series. Darcy Lewis? Jimmy Woo? They’re WandaVision’s secret weapons! Sharon Carter, Okoye, and Baron Zemo all, meanwhile, appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Where are the returning characters in Loki?
They could be hiding in plain sight as TVA agents, totally unaware they’re the characters we know them to be.
The breadth of this reveal means literally any person throughout time and space could be a variant. In other words, there’s no limit to the characters who could be brainwashed into a life of Time Policing (and Time Paperwork).
Yes, literally anyone. Tony Stark? He could’ve done some time in the TVA and the Sacred Timeline version of Tony we know wouldn’t have been affected at all. Steve Rogers? Maybe he’s not on the moon but doing his duty for all time, always.
The most likely cameo is Steve’s true love Peggy Carter, who may have been spotted all the way back in Episode 1. If Peggy sought out time travel to be reunited with Steve, she could have been apprehended by the TVA and brought back to headquarters to become a TVA agent.
If Peggy is a TVA agent, that twist would allow for the fan-favorite character to return to the MCU without ruining her own happy ending. Hopefully, the Sacred Timeline involves Peggy and Steve living happily ever after and growing old together, so a variant Peggy can continue to kick ass as a whole new character in the TVA.
This isn’t the only way the TVA could retroactively close plot holes. Remember that Howard the Duck post-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy? Maybe the reason we haven’t seen him since (Endgame cameo aside) was because that version of Howard is actually a variant. Perhaps he’ll appear within Loki, filing some incident reports or grabbing lunch with Casey.
The possibilities are endless, and with a show like Loki, there’s no way to know what to expect. Hold onto your hats: it’s gonna get weird.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.