This week’s episode of Loki, entitled “Journey Into Mystery,” kept the momentum of last week going, and introduced a whole new gang of Loki variants into the mix by way of the Void at the end of the universe. A new fan breakdown of the episode over on the Heavy Spoilers YouTube channel includes an “Easter egg hunt” through the Void, which is littered with all kinds of debris from throughout the MCU and beyond.
For example, at an early point in the episode, there is a shot of what definitely appears to be the helmet worn by Yellowjacket, the antagonist from the first Ant-Man movie. Yellowjacket vanished at the end of Ant-Man after being forcibly shrunk to a subatomic size. It’s possible that he somehow ended up in the Void by accident, or that a variant of Yellowjacket was pruned from an alternate timeline. What we do know, thanks to a social media mishap by Wasp actress Evangeline Lilly, is that Corey Stoll is expected to reprise the role of Yellowjacket in the upcoming Quantumania.
Elsewhere in the Void lies the wreckage of a Thanos helicopter. This isn’t just a nod to the (presumably) many timelines in which the Mad Titan has caused trouble, it’s also a reference to an early comic book version of Thanos did actually fly around terrorizing people in a yellow chopper with his name emblazoned on the side.
Later in the episode, Loki spends some time in the underground lair of his alternate selves (climbing down into the bunker past a buried jar containing Throg, an amphibious Thor variant from the comics). And, considering Kid Loki is the one in charge, it’s kitted out pretty much how a teenager might dream of decorating their bedroom: with a popcorn machine and several arcade games—a Polybius among them. This was an online urban legend in the early 2000s concerning a video game machine which was said to have an addictive, psychoactive effect on people who played them—although there is still some uncertainty surrounding whether or not the Polybius machines ever actually existed. Much like the D.B. Cooper reference in episode one, which drew on a real-life unsolved mystery, the presence of the Polybius in the Loki bunker is a neat touch which further illustrates the ways in which various iterations of the God of Mischief have interfered with our timeline.
During the bunker scene, Old Loki, played by Richard E. Grant, makes an accidental (or what it on purpose?) allusion to a popular online fan theory, explaining that he evaded death at the hands of Thanos by creating a lifelike double of himself to be killed instead, then escaped by disguising himself as debris. This is exactly what a lot of fans think happened during the opening of Infinity War. If this is the case, it’s entirely possible that Richard E. Grant was playing the same Loki that we followed for the entire Infinity Saga, and that his sacrifice in the Void (along with him admitting to missing his brother) serves as a fitting end to his long-running arc.
Fans have also pointed out that the Navy vessel being consumed by Alioth is actually the USS Eldridge, a ship involved in the infamous 1943 Philadelphia experiment where the ship was reportedly “cloaked” and rendered completely invisible. The Eldridge has since become a popular topic of conversation among conspiracy theorists, and this episode seemingly provides a definitive answer to the question of what really happened to the vessel: it disappeared, but it wasn’t invisible. It got sent to the Void.
And in the lead-up to the episode’s climax, when Loki and Sylvie are preparing to enchant the monster, an enormous severed sculpted head can be seen in the background. This, according to some fans, looks a lot like a statue of the Living Tribunal, a powerful cosmic entity from the comics whose role was protecting the Multiverse.
Outside of the Void and back at the TVA, we got yet another Wizard of Oz reference (continuing from the many made in WandaVision).After last week’s big reveal that the Timekeepers were in fact just big robots, this week made the allusion even more direct, with Ravonna and Sylvie explicitly referring to the TVA’s unknown creator as “the man behind the curtain.”
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