WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Loki.
“Your ancestors called it magic, and you call it science. Well, I come from a place where they're one and the same thing.”
Much has changed since a rookie Thor explained the phenomenon of the cosmos to Jane Foster in 2011's Thor. Wanda Maximoff brought magic to the forefront four years later in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Doctor Strange spotlighted the mystical side of the MCU like never before the following year.
While each magic-user in the MCU has their own unique style, parallels can be drawn between sorcerers, witches, and even mystical technology.
The second episode of Loki gave fans a closer glimpse at what the mysterious reset charges actually do to the surrounding environment.
After heading to a 1985 Renaissance Fair in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Time Variance Authority came across scattered bodies left by the show's secret antagonist. In an effort to mop up the mess, Hunter B-15 commanded her Minutemen to "reset the timeline."
From there, a reset charge was placed on the ground and spread a puddle-like wave across the grass, disintegrating all grounded objects before the camera cuts away.
Scarlet Witch's magical barrier around Westview in WandaVision had a similar effect of reality alteration those engulfed by the Hex. Elizabeth Olsen's solo series showcased this in the sixth episode when an enraged Wanda expanded the hex, roping SWORD agents and vehicles into her fantasy land. Upon passing through the chaotic energy, cars turned into carnival food trucks, helicopters became hot air balloons, and agents transformed into clowns.
BOTTLING CHAOS MAGIC?
While the TVA's reset charges simply erase objects in their environment, their execution in doing so is almost a mirror image to Wanda's Hex. The only difference between the two is that the Hex alters objects and people to fit Wanda's desired time period, while the reset charges make nearly everything in the vicinity disappear.
As evidenced by the TVA's trip to 2050 later in the episode, these guys don't really care about getting blood on their hands.
With everything pre-destined by the Timekeepers, many Minutemen operate without remorse knowing that they are only ensuring things play out the way they are supposed to. WandaVision's season finale revealed Wanda never had any intentions of hurting anyone, but rather only wanted to hold them hostage indefinitely so they could play dress-up in her fairy tale like a REAL hero.
Viewers only got a brief glimpse of what these reset charges do to their surrounding environment. Most notably, Loki only showed their effect on objects and has yet to display what the device does to people.
If the TVA's intention is to fully reset the timeline, or erase everything in it, isn't that identical to Wanda's mentality?
After all, Wanda wanted all objects and people inside her Hex to play her game. The TVA wants everything that wasn't supposed to be there erased. There's every possibility that these reset charges use the same chaos magic as Wanda, but they have just been altered to fit the TVA's desired outcome.
If this organization has a desk drawer full of Infinity Stones at its disposal, they have definitely come across a magic-user once or twice. What if Loki isn't the first time the TVA has used a Variant to help them? What if an Agatha Harkness Variant, one that mastered chaos magic when she wasn't supposed to, was intercepted by the TVA and helped them develop these reset charges?
One major aspect fans haven't seen is what reset charges do to people. If they erase them, that ends the discussion, but if they remain in their environment, there are massive implications. Considering the effect Wanda's hex had on Monica Rambeau, these reset charges could be inadvertently creating enhanced individuals.
The inter-connectivity between the TVA and the MCU's magic-users remains to be seen, but with four episodes remaining, who knows where they take fans next.
Loki airs every Wednesday, streaming exclusively on Disney+.