This article contains spoilers for Loki episode 1.
Much of the pre-release hype for the new Marvel series Loki has centered around the idea that Loki himself — after using the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame to escape punishment for the events of The Avengers and vaulting himself into a whole new timeline — would skip through history in his new solo show. Presumably he would find himself in different historical periods, perhaps even influencing world events in ways we can’t begin to imagine.
Well, the first episode of the show certainly hints that he already has, pre-Tesseract time jumping. In one sequence, it’s revealed that Loki was none other than D.B. Cooper, the mysterious man who hijacked a flight from Portland to Seattle on November 24, 1971, demanded $200,000 and parachuted out of the plane with the money, never to be seen again. The case remains unsolved.
“I was young, and I lost a bet to Thor,” sighs Loki (Tom Hiddleston) cynically.
“We kind of put our heads together once we realized that the center of our series is going to be about time and reality,” Hiddleston tells Den Of Geek about revealing the mythical Norse god to be behind of one of America’s enduring real-life legends. “Perhaps the linear reality that we understand as the process of time is more complex than it first appears.”
Hiddleston adds that the idea of “bouncing around different points, to perhaps explain some things that we haven’t understood that have happened on Earth” was hatched by head writer Michael Waldron. Hiddleston notes that the enigmatic nature of the Cooper affair made it ripe for Loki’s intervention. “I think I’m right in saying they still have no idea who it was,” says Hiddleston about the case. “They never caught him. I love the idea that it’s Loki, he’s lost a bet to Thor, and he has to somehow pay his forfeit by going down and doing this. It was a really fun way of exploring a bit of mischief.”
Asked if we might see more instances of Loki inserting himself into unexplained events, director Kate Herron invokes the famous Marvel cone of silence. “I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for the show but I would definitely say yeah, I really enjoyed that moment in the first episode,” she says cagily. “I thought it was a really smart and fun way to show something that Loki did and how he’s affected history because we’ve been talking about that…it was just a very cheeky, fun moment. It was also nice just to see Loki have a win there, you know? It’s a fun moment for the character.”
The meme-ready sequence is already a highlight of episode 1, so don’t be surprised if we see Loki getting up to the very same shenanigans as Loki the series unfolds over the next five weeks. And we doubt he’ll have to lose a bet to his brother to roll out his particular brand of mischief.
The first episode of Loki is streaming now on Disney+, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday.