Warning - This article contains spoilers through Episode 2 of Loki.
Ever since Loki premiered, many viewers have called into question the God of Mischief's true agenda as they refused to believe he would truly choose to work with the TVA unless he was playing a game of his own.
While Loki's true master plan wasn't expected to be revealed until later in the series, this week's episode has seemingly revealed the titular variant's true agenda and potentially his motivations behind it.
WHAT IS LOKI'S HIDDEN AGENDA?
In the Loki Variant's face-off with his female counterpart (in the body of a Roxxcart employee) in the final moments of "The Variant," the God of Mischief asks her to join him on his mission to “overthrow the Time-Keepers," noting that he “could use a qualified Leftenant:”
LOKI: "You know gaining their confidence was no mean feat."
LOKI VARIANT: "Oh my god. You went undercover."
LOKI: "If you could possibly sheath your smart for a moment, I have an offer for you. That's why I found you."
LOKI VARIANT: "Go on."
LOKI: "I'm going to overthrow the Time-Keepers, and cards on the table, I could use a qualified leftenant."
The reveal of Loki's villainous intentions is teased throughout the episode as Mobius seemingly deduces his plan to “charm your way in front of the Time-Keepers, hustle them, [and] seize control of the TVA.”
This comes as, in a moment of anger, Loki begins to brag about his genius, revealing he is “ten steps ahead of [him]” and has been “playing a game of [his] own all along:”
LOKI: "It is adorable that you think you could possibly manipulate me. I'm ten steps ahead of you. I've been playing a game of my own all along."
MOBIUS: "What? Charm your way in front of the Time-Keepers, hustle them, seize control of the TVA, am I getting warm?"
Loki's mischievous scheme of attempting to overthrow the Time-Keepers to take control of the TVA strongly resembles his seizing of the throne of Asgard at the tail end of Thor: The Dark World.
While the Thor sequel saw the God of Mischief use his magical abilities to remove Odin from his throne for the four years before his death, Loki is instead relying on his charm to embed himself in the TVA in the Disney+ show.
The God of Mischief has always had a desire for power, but an earlier conversation with Mobius in the TVA cafeteria indicates that may not be his only goal in ruling the TVA.
Loki has always pursued chaos over order, and with the discovery that the Time-Keepers dictated every event in history, he realizes “there's no such thing as free will,” so those at the TVA are the “only ones that are actually free:”
MOBIUS: "Existence is chaos. Nothing makes any sense, so we try to make some sense of it. And I'm just lucky the chaos I emerged into gave me all this. My own glorious purpose. The TVA is my life. And it's real because I believe it's real."
LOKI: "Fair enough, you believe it's real. So everything is written, past, present, future. There's no such thing as free will."
MOBIUS: "Well, I mean, it's an oversimplification."
LOKI: "So, in fact, in a way, you and I, here at the TVA, we're the only ones that are actually free."
As Loki begins to question how time eventually comes to an end, Mobius reveals “that's a work in progress,” but when the Time-Keepers eventually decide, there will be “just order” and “peace at the end of time.” Unsurprisingly, this doesn't seem to thrill the chaos-junkie himself as he thinks it “sounds boring:”
LOKI: "How does it all end?"
MOBIUS: "That's a work in progress."
LOKI: "Oh, those lazy Time-Keepers. What are they waiting for?"
MOBIUS: "No, because while we protect what came before, they're toiling away in their chamber, untangling the epilogue to its infinite branches."
LOKI: "I see, so when they're finished, what happens then?"
MOBIUS: "So are we. No more Nexus events, just order and we meet in peace at the end of time. Nice, right?"
LOKI: "Only order, no chaos? It sounds boring."
However, Loki's conflict with the female Variant of himself certainly calls into question whether his intentions are truly villainous. While he claims to be “working for [himself],” she quickly casts doubt on this, saying “you really believe that, don't you?” This could indicate that Loki may somehow be serving the TVA's agenda more than he thinks, or that he may not in fact follow through on his plan as he chooses to continue the path to redemption:
LOKI: "Enchantment is a clever trick. Cowardly, a bit amateurish. But clever."
LOKI VARIANT: "Almost as cowardly as working with the TVA."
LOKI: "I'm working for me."
LOKI VARIANT: "Oh. You really believe that, don't you?"
SO, LOKI'S NOT A HERO AFTER ALL?
Ever since his first MCU appearance, it's been clear that Loki has a desperate craving to rule and gain power, as he believes is his birthright. After his Thanos-assisted invasion of Earth failed in The Avengers, the original timeline saw the God of Mischief use his magical powers to cast Odin outside to take his place on the throne of Asgard in Thor: The Dark World.
While the events of the Thor sequel will never be experienced by this version of the God of Mischief, having been removed from the timeline one year prior, it's interesting to see Loki repeat such a similar scheme at the same point in his life. Granted it remains unclear whether this coup of the TVA will be successful, however, the four years between The Dark World and Ragnarok was the only time Loki ever truly held power in his life.
It would be an ingenious choice by writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron to mirror that God of Mischief's original MCU character arc with a time-traveling twist. Ultimately, absolute power is what Loki craves at this point in his life, so leaving the mischievous Asgardian with full control over the timeline and the multiverse would certainly be a stream come true for Tom Hiddleston's character.
Given Loki's history in the MCU, it shouldn't exactly come as a surprise to many viewers to discover everything he does is to serve his own agenda. Even after a long redemption arc, the God of Mischief continued to further his own desires just before his death as he took the Tesseract from Asgard minutes before its destruction in Thor: Ragnarok.
The Asgardian has always made clear the enjoyment he has found in chaos, and his clear desire for power makes this Disney+ master plan an unsurprising move for the character. What exactly Loki would do with the TVA after overruling the Time-Keepers is an interesting question to ponder, however, one could assume the consequences would be disastrous.
Having just fled from the TVA's custody in the concluding moments of the second episode, it's unclear where the God of Mischief is going next. As Loki is separated from supervision, it's likely the next episode will see him once again encounter the female Loki Variant while also providing more answers on both of their plans.
The first two episodes of Loki are streaming now on Disney+ with a third set to arrive next Wednesday, June 23.