The very fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was flipped upside down with the introduction of the Time Variance Authority.
Operating as law enforcement for crimes against the Sacred Timeline, the TVA's introduction felt more like a reveal considering its time-travel abilities indicate it has been around for all time, always.
Running with the idea that the TVA has been polishing the MCU from behind the scenes this entire time, audiences are left with a collection of questions. When have they previously interfered? Who have they intercepted? How hands-on were they throughout the Infinity Saga?
While fans can ponder what moments in MCU past broke time-travel laws, one specific instance sticks out amongst the rest.
Avengers: Endgame concluded with Steve Rogers finally getting his long-lost dance with Peggy Carter sometime in the 20th century. Present-day 'Old Man' Cap revealed he sought out "some of that life Tony was telling [him] to get" after he returned all the Infinity Stones to their rightful timelines, implying that dance was not just a one-off.
If Cap lived a full life with Peggy, how did neither of them get on the TVA's radar? An Easter egg from Loki's premiere episode suggested the happy couple didn't exactly get off scot-free, and the series' director hopes to see that tease get explored further.
PEGGY CARTER: TIME CRIMINAL?
Avengers: Endgame's happily ever after might have an asterisk.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Loki director Kate Herron addressed the long-speculated Peggy Carter Easter Egg from the show's premiere episode, "Glorious Purpose."
While Herron wouldn't specifically detail what was happening in that potential cameo, she does hope to see the speculation continue:
"I would say... No, I think the conversation should continue!"
ACCIDENTAL EASTER EGG OR DELIBERATE CAMEO?
Isn't that the question of the day?
Eagle-eyed Marvel fans didn't take long to notice this potential cameo as conversations about Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter possibly appearing in the Loki pilot first surfaced mere hours after the episode premiered on June 9, 2021. Speculation ran wild for the subsequent week but quickly fizzled out once more pressing theories materialized.
Herron's direct addressing of the Easter egg doesn't quite certify that it will be explored in the future; however, it does imply that it was placed purposefully. Sure, social media speculation is what keeps the MCU thriving, but it's not often that Marvel Studios' creators encourage specific conversations.
POTENTIAL PEGGY CARTER PROJECTS
With that being said, let's speculate.
If that is indeed Peggy Carter in the TVA, it's pretty clear why she would've been taken into custody. Her life within the Sacred Timeline was already mapped out by Jonathan Majors' He Who Remains, and her untimely honeymoon with a time-traveling Steve Rogers breaks just about every law in Miss Minutes' book.
There are a couple of avenues Marvel Studios could take with this cameo.
With What If...? telling tales of altered MCU moments, Peggy's live-action interception could directly lead into her animated adventure as Captain Carter. Fans have long known that one of Hayley Atwell's episodes of the upcoming series will explore a scenario where the agent takes the Super Soldier Serum. With the multiverse now wide open, Peggy could have escaped the TVA's grasps through a time-door to the 1940s, where she would wind up as Dr. Erskine's test subject.
Aside from the animated route, Hayley Atwell could make her live-action return in the fan-fueled Captain America: The Infinity Stones project. A six-episode Disney+ series exploring Cap's final mission of returning each Infinity Stone to its respective timeline has been desired by fans for years now despite the concept never gaining any real rumor traction.
That said, with Chris Evans reportedly inking a new Marvel Studios deal earlier this year, anything is possible. Any project that involves Evans in his younger form likely brings Atwell along with him considering the two were side by side the last they were seen.
Until then, fans can stream all six episodes of Loki now, exclusively on Disney+.