Warning: This article contains spoilers from the series premiere of Loki.
In the Disney+ series premiere, the version of Loki who escaped with the Tesseract during Avengers: Endgame's time heist was arrested by the TVA for crimes against the sacred timeline and was almost sentenced to death. Luckily for him, Owen Wilson's Mobius, a TVA analyst and Loki expert, saved the time-displaced God of Mischief and offered him a Catch Me If You Can/White Collar-esque arrangement because he needs his unique perspective and help on an important case: Catching another Loki Variant who has both evaded capture and killed many TVA agents while on the run. (Read our full recap here.)
In other words: Loki, this second one, is the show's big bad - or at least initially, because this is Marvel and they love a good villain twist. (Based on past projects, it's likely the celestial and oft-mentioned Time Keepers, who created the TVA and the sacred timeline it protects, could turn out to be the real foes, or just the TVA itself, à la what Captain America: The Winter Soldier did with S.H.I.E.L.D. or WandaVision almost did with S.W.O.R.D. Until that final act twist arrives, though, should we start calling Loki, "Loki v. Loki: Dawn of Chaos"? Or, "Gemini Trickster.")
Marvel Studios Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) in 'Loki.'
This reveal felt both surprising and inevitable, especially once you reconsider what all of the show's executive producers said in interviews leading up to Loki's premiere. As referenced above, for example, Waldron previously said, "Loki is a character that's always reckoning with his own identity, and the TVA, by virtue of what they do, is uniquely suited to hold up a mirror to Loki and make him really confront who he is and who he was supposed to be."
MCU architect Kevin Feige previously teased this reveal even more: "Part of the fun of the multiverse and playing with time is seeing other versions of characters, and other versions of the titular character in particular," said the Marvel Studios president in our Loki digital cover story last month.
That being said, Loki's premiere doesn't disclose who this antagonistic version of Loki is. Will Hiddleston also play this version of the character? Or will it be portrayed by Richard E. Grant or Sophia Di Martino, whose roles on the MCU series have yet to be revealed? Given Loki's ability to shape-shift, his gender-fluidity, and the many versions of him in the pages of Marvel Comics, anything is possible. Only time will tell.
New episodes of Loki launch Wednesdays on Disney+.