Episode 5 of Loki has gone down in the history books as perhaps the single most self-referential entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, on either the big or small screens. Lead writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron went all-in on packing almost every minute of last week’s installment with references to the exhaustive comic book catalogue, and fans were loving it.
As well as the multiple Loki variants on offer, who inevitably ended up backstabbing and betraying each other almost immediately, the Thanos-Copter was finally embraced as MCU canon, something James Gunn was hugely enthusiastic about. If that wasn’t enough, there was a nod towards the Living Tribunal and further hints that the TVA could well be operating out of the Quantum Realm as per a popular theory, while Chris Hemsworth recorded brand new dialogue to provide the vocals for Throg’s split second cameo.
It was an absolute buffet of winks and nods, sending viewers into raptures as they picked up on each new little detail. In a new interview, Waldron revealed that he had plenty of leeway from his corporate overlords at Marvel to get away with as much as he wanted, something he evidently took to heart and ran with.
“No. I mean, there was very little ‘no’ in this whole process. I think you can tell. It was just the exchange of ideas: ‘What about this?’. ‘This might be cool’. Anything that I couldn’t get in, I might get in elsewhere down the line. So, I’m hesitant to go into too much detail.”
The MCU has always leaned heavily into fan service and honoring the legacy of the comic books, but not quite to such a blatant extent as Loki‘s Episode 5. Unfortunately, we’ve only got the finale left before Tom Hiddleston’s solo series draws to a close, but fingers crossed those recurring rumors of a second season end up coming to fruition, because the surface of the multiverse has still barely even been scratched at all.