This article contains spoilers for the third episode of Loki.
Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 is all about change. From presenting their stories in a series format to implementing some necessary changes in terms of diversity, Marvel is seriously getting with the times.
With the first two shows, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the MCU took steps to match Marvel Comics, which is years ahead in terms of progression. We saw Wanda becoming the most powerful superhero in the Universe, we also saw Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America. Gone are the days MCU films were marketed for white and male audiences.
With their third series Loki, Marvel is taking this change to the next level. Before the series premiered, a teaser for Loki revealed that the God of Mischief is actually genderfluid. This is not news to Marvel fans, as Loki has been genderfluid in both Norse Mythology and Marvel Comics. However, fans were ecstatic when it was MCU canon too.
Now, there is another reason for fans to rejoice. In the third episode titled ‘Lamentis,’ Loki actually comes out as bisexual. In the episode, we see Loki following the murderous Variant, whose name is revealed to be Sylvie. In episode 2 we saw Sylvie blowing up hundreds of ‘reset charge’ devices to cause the collapse of the sacred timeline.
When Sylvie goes to take over the TVA, Loki can be seen disrupting her plan. By using a device called the ‘Tempad,’ Loki sends himself and Sylvie to a place called Lementis in 2077 which is about to be destroyed as the moon will collide with the planet. When Sylvie realises that she and Loki are trapped in the worst apocalypse ever, she has no choice but to form a truce with him.
Since Loki and Sylvie are two versions of the same soul, they keep trying to backstab and trick each other. Loki hides the ‘Tempad’ from Sylvie, but needs her to recharge it. Hence they decide to hijack the ‘ark,’ a train that is carrying the people to safety. It is the only power-source strong enough to recharge the ‘Tempad.’
In true Snowpiercer fashion, the train is overcrowded and only the wealthy are able to get tickets to get in. Loki then decides to dress as a guard and tricks the others to let him and Sylvie in. Once they settle down, they talk to each other about their lives before becoming a variant. He tells her about his mother Frigga and shows her magic tricks that she taught him. She tells him that she has always known she was adopted.
Loki then asks Sylvie if she has a ‘beau’ waiting for her. She says that she managed to charm a postman while running across apocalypses. She then asks Loki, “How about you? You’re a prince. There must have been would-be princesses, or perhaps another prince." To this, Loki replies, “A bit of both. I suspect the same as you. But nothing ever real." This is an obvious admission of his bisexuality.
Loki is also one of the first superheroes in the MCU to be fall in the LGBTQ spectrum. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) was supposed to be openly Bisexual in Thor: Ragnarok. However, a scene from the film establishing this was cut. Director Taika Waititi had confirmed that Valkyrie will be canonised as bisexual in Thor: Love and Thunder. Hence it is a surprise that MCU chose Loki to be their first formal queer superhero.
Of course, there have been hints before this, fans have also suspected Carol Danvers or Captain Marvel to be a lesbian. While in the comics, she is in love with Colonel James Rhodes or Rhodey, in the films they never interact. In MCU, fans ‘ship’ her with her best friend Maria Rambeau.
On the other hand, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson’s chemistry in The Falcon and the Winter soldier led many fans to suspect homoerotic subtext on the show. Bucky Barnes has been considered to be ‘head-canon bisexual’ by fans even before the show. His friendship with Steve Rogers throughout the MCU depended on many popular rom-com tropes.
Fans suspected Loki to be queer in Thor: Ragnarok as well, as they picked up on ‘hints’ that he was in a relationship with Grandmaster of Sakaar (Jeff Goldblum). However, it was chalked up to Taika Waititi’s weirdness and nothing concrete.
In December last year, Marvel established Peter Quill as bisexual through their Guardians of the Galaxy comics. On the other hand, there is Wanda’s son Wiccan, who is gay and in a relationship with another Young Mutant, Hulkling. Wiccan has appeared in WandaVision but he was still a child in the show.
Hence, Loki’s coming out is monumental for the MCU. It is the start of a series of changes for the billion-dollar franchise. By incorporating stories of people from diverse races, gender identities and sexualities, they are including a much bigger audience then ever before.
While the coming out scene was amazing, it was not even the most interesting part of the show. After this, we see Loki getting drunk and singing and dancing in Asgardian on the train. While most of their fellow passengers seem to enjoy the show, some of them grow suspicious of the two. After a confrontation, Loki is thrown out of the train, which results in the ‘Tempad’ being broken to pieces.
Sylvie and Loki realise that they are stuck in a dying plane with no plan of escape. The two decide to hijack the train again, to launch it to safety. However, they are too late, as a crater hits it and it explodes.
While the episode ends on a cliffhanger, we can guess which direction the fourth episode will take. Since the third episode took place outside the TVA, we are guessing the fourth one will take us back to the location. While Loki and Sylvie’s death seems imminent, they might be saved by Mobius and gang.
Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Wunmi Mosaku and Sasha Lane, is created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron. Loki streams weekly on Disney+ Hotstar Premium.