Marvel’s God of Mischief returned to screens this week, with the first episode of brand-new Disney+ series Loki. Many viewers were left just as bamboozled as Tom Hiddleston’s title character at the hour-long premiere, which served as quite the infodump, introducing the seemingly all-powerful Time Variance Authority while also catching us up on where we last left Loki in Endgame, and even weaving in a real-life unsolved mystery.
And of course, because this is a Marvel Studios production, “Glorious Purpose” also featured a whole bunch of callbacks and references to previous movies as well as the source material of the comic books. In the video above, Michael Roman from the Everything Always YouTube channel offers a detailed run-down of all the Easter eggs he spotted in the episode.
One of the most glaringly obvious “this feels important” lines of dialogue in the episode comes from animated clock Miss Minutes, who narrates the history of the TVA and explains that the one “sacred timeline” actually originated as multiple “unique timelines battling for supremacy”. Otherwise known as… a multiverse, which will be explored more fully in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Miss Minutes also refers to a Nexus event; the hugely significant Nexus lore was previously nodded to in one of WandaVision‘s fictitious commercials.
Later on, in the scene in the French church, a frightened child points to a stained glass image of the Devil. But don’t worry: after all of those Mephisto fan theories which proliferated the WandaVision fandom, Loki director Kate Herron said it’s just a coincidence. In fact, Roman speculates that this moment is actually setting up the ending of the episode, in which Mobius reveals that the evil variant they’re hunting is none other than Loki himself—which would explain why the little girl pointed to a figure with horns.
He also points to Loki’s TVA file as a potentially very meaningful Easter egg: Loki’s “sector” is labeled as being from the years 1900 to 2099. “2099 in Marvel Comics is a very well-known run for X-Men and Spider-Man,” he says. “That’s Earth-928, and the fact that they put that on there is definitely on purpose.”
When Loki attempts his escape from the TVA and goes to retrieve the Tesseract, he stumbles across an office drawer full of discarded Infinity Stones. After a decade’s worth of films setting the Stones up as the most powerful McGuffins of all time, it’s both a kick in the teeth to Loki and a great gag on the part of the writers to show them as being so disposable and unremarkable in this new setting. If it weren’t clear to Loki before, it certainly is now: the game has just changed.
“Is this the greatest power in the universe?” He asks of the TVA shortly after. Fans will have to keep watching to find out.
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