During WandaVision, the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom was unlike anything seen before.
The Disney+ series threw fans for a loop, playing with the entire concept of television while dropping fan theory breadcrumbs left and right. It was a Golden Age of theorizing, from the obvious (maybe Agnes is Agatha Harkness) to the absurd (the entire show is a dream). These theories were only fueled by huge reveals, including Evan Peters as Pietro. But one stood far above them all, and it reveals the corner Loki has painted itself into in its penultimate episode.
WandaVision’s Mephisto Problem
While WandaVision was airing, the idea that Mephisto would be the villain behind Westview seemed all but confirmed. After all, he was behind the creation of her twins in the comics. When Tommy and Billy Maximoff appeared in the show, it felt like only a matter of time before Mephisto would follow behind.
But nine episodes of WandaVision came and went, and there was no sign of Mephisto. The villain of Westview was just Agatha and, to some extent, Wanda herself. This was a huge disappointment, yes, but also a reminder that fan theories can only go so far.
After WandaVision, Mephisto became a sort of catchall for wild MCU speculation. Who is Jimmy Woo’s missing witness? Maybe it’s Mephisto. Who’s the Power Broker? It could be Mephisto. Who is behind the Time Variance Authority? Why not Mephisto?
When fan theories become so firmly believed that it’s a disappointment if they don’t happen, something’s gone wrong. Whether it was WandaVision or the fans who were to blame, there’s no denying that the show ended on a sour note for many after Mephisto failed to materialize.
The Power Broker paradox
After WandaVision came The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and theorizing became a lot more cautious. Nobody wanted to go all-in on what could be the next Mephisto fakeout. Even when the show made it obvious the Power Broker was none other than Sharon Carter, there was hesitation to make the connection. It felt too obvious, too easy.
When the finale revealed Sharon was in fact the Power Broker, it was once again disappointing. Not because it was unexpected, but because it wasn’t a very good twist.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier failed to set up Sharon Carter as an interesting antagonist — despite having multiple episodes to do so. No one was expecting Mephisto to show up, but unlike WandaVision’s Agatha reveal, the Power Broker twist fell flat because it was kind of boring.
That leaves us with Loki, a story with its fair share of both expected and unexpected twists. For example, Episode 4 saw the Time Keepers revealed to be mere figureheads obscuring whoever is really in charge of the TVA — surprising almost no one. However, it also saw the pruning of Loki and Agent Mobius, which was a giant shock to all involved.
Heading into the Loki finale, there’s one big question, and it’s eerily familiar. WandaVision asked, “Who’s behind Westview?” The Falcon and the Winter Soldier questioned, “Who’s the Power Broker?” And now Loki is asking, “Who is behind the TVA?”
Unfortunately, Loki’s predecessors established a tricky needle to thread. Marvel could finally deliver a Mephisto-level twist and reveal that Kang the Conqueror was pulling the strings all along, introducing the time-traveling villain while setting up his appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But this would likely feel abrupt and fail to provide Loki with the closure it deserves.
Alternatively, Loki could resolve by revealing that the villain was someone we’ve suspected all along, like Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes, or even an Evil Loki variant. These would all be fun twists, but they might also feel a little too predictable — especially a surge of Kang-focused fan theories.
It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. But if WandaVision taught MCU fans anything, it’s that expectations should be realistic and you should always theorize responsibly. Hopefully, we learned our lesson.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.