Mobius’ pruning in Loki Episode 4 was heartbreaking.
After an impassioned speech to Judge Renslayer about wanting to know his true identity, she coldly says “prune him,” and just like that, one half of the strangest buddy cop duo in Time Variance Authority history was relegated to nothingness, leaving Loki and Sylvie to fend for themselves.
But is Mobius really gone? This theory suggest a throwaway line, and Mobius’ name itself, means he’ll be back very soon.
Redditor u/Jakklyn suggests a forgotten line from Episode 2 holds the key to Mobius’ return. In Episode 2, Agent debriefs with Renslayer, and puts his cup of scotch on the table. Renslayer chides him, referring to the rings on the table. “Those rings were already there!” Mobius insists. Renslayer replies, “And they’re all from you.”
It doesn’t seem like a big moment, but it has major implications. We know that all TVA agents are merely variants manipulated into believing they’re creations of the Time Keepers. Maybe that process can be reset, so if an agent gets out of line, they can be be brought back to their original obedient self with the same technique.
Maybe the reason Mobius doesn’t remember making rings on the table is because, while he did in fact make them, the individuals doing so were earlier versions of himself since erased from his memory. In fact, there could be endless Mobiuses who’ve cycled through the TVA, each with a love of jet skis and a hatred of coasters.
The cup ring line may be circumstantial, but there’s still more evidence to back this theory up — Mobius’ name. A Mobius strip is a strip with a half twist and connected ends, making it an infinite loop with only one side.
A time traveling character named Mobius is bound to get stuck in an endless time loop eventually. Maybe this character has been in one all along — he just doesn’t remember his previous loops.
If this is true, then Mobius isn’t gone forever at all. He’s just in need of resetting, meaning Loki will once again have to make him realize he used to be a real person with a life, memories, and most importantly, a penchant for jet skiing.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.