The third episode of Loki sent a chill down viewers' spines with the game-changing reveal about the mysterious Time Variance Authority.
"They're all Variants, just like us."
Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie passingly mentions to Loki that all TVA employees had past lives on Earth, noting the Minuteman she tapped into had memories from "hundreds of years prior." As Loki points out, this throwaway line consequently reveals that the TVA's claim that all their personnel were created by the Time-Keepers is a blatant lie.
While Sylvie herself is not the most trustworthy character, it's safe to assume this is an honest line drop. It would explain why nearly everyone in the time-travel DMV is a human to begin with, while also giving context to her hell-bent motivation for tearing down the system.
With the end result explained, what does the operation in action look like? Another MCU kidnapping plot hints at what the TVA's talent acquisition process looks like.
DRIVEN BY EGO
The Time Variance Authority, led by the "Time-Keepers," could be taking a page out of Ego the Living Planet's playbook.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed the sinister acts behind Kurt Russell's Ego. The living planet had many partners over the years, which led to many children. Unfortunately, Peter Quill was never able to meet a single one of his thousands of siblings, as they had all been murdered at Ego's command.
Ego reveals he has been seeking a child with Celestial DNA in order to realize his goal of universal permeation. Quill's elementary abduction came on orders from Ego, as the Ravagers were hired to abduct any of Ego's children at his command. They would then be brought before him, where he would ultimately decide their fate.
JUDGE, JURY, EXECUTIONER
Loki's pilot episode saw the God of Mischief stand before Ravonna Renslayer as she determined his punishment.
"The court finds you guilty, and I sentence you to be reset."
Lucky for Loki, Owen Wilson's Agent Mobius interferes before the trickster can meet his suspicious sentencing. Knowing that this Loki is a Variant, he would be a perfect candidate to clock in for a 9-5 at the TVA office. All that would've been left to do is to erase his memories of his past life.
In other words, reset him.
If this is what Renslayer was getting on about when she gave Loki his initial sentencing, it lines up with Sylvie's claim that the TVA are all Variants. They veer off their "destined" path, are intercepted by the Minutemen, and are reset to join the Time Variance Authority. If they fail to cooperate, they meet the business end of a TVA Baton.
AN UNFORTUNATE ULTIMATUM
Both Ego the Living Planet and the Time Variance Authority execute their sinister schemes in parallel fashion. They send the muscle to retrieve recruits (Ravagers from Ego, Minutemen from TVA), judge them face-to-face, and finalize their fate by either using them for their own selfish motivations, or kill them without thinking twice.
As for those selfish motivations? Ego planned to take a child with strong enough Celestial DNA to encapsulate the galaxy in his image. The TVA takes cooperating Variants to ensure the "proper flow of time," which sounds fishier and fishier after the third episode's revelation.
It remains to be seen whether the TVA's kidnappings are just a strange coincidence or were actually inspired by Ego. Odds are this is all just a peculiar parallel, but Loki's second episode did reveal the Time Variance Authority is at least aware of Ego's existence. Considering they know all about Loki, the Infinity Stones, and just about every other aspect of MCU lore, there's reason to believe they knew Ego's step-by-step plan and adapted it for themselves.
Fans will (hopefully) get more answers about the TVA's enigmatic history when Loki returns next Wednesday, June 30.