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Loki Episode One’s Plane Scene Explained, by Angela Rairden

disney+ Loki spoiler alert Tom Hiddleston

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR LOKI. ALTHOUGH READING THIS BEFORE VIEWING EPISODE ONE WON’T RUIN THE ENTIRE EPISODE FOR YOU, IT WILL GIVE AWAY ONE CLEVER LITTLE SCENE. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

It has come to my attention that a lot of people were confused by the plane scene in episode one of Disney +’s Loki, so I thought I’d write up a quick post explaining it because it’s a bit of brilliance that shouldn’t be overlooked.

In the episode, titled “Glorious Purpose”, Owen Wilson as Agent Mobius of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and Tom Hiddleston as our notorious title character Loki are reviewing a few of Loki’s “greatest hits”. That is, since the TVA (which first appeared in Thor vol. 1 #372) is an organization that was created by the Time Keepers to monitor various timelines throughout the Marvel Multiverse and keep them in check, they have access to every moment of everyone’s lives ever and can review any moment of said lives at any time. Basically, if you wanted to see how Julius Caesar died or watch your great grandparents’ wedding, the TVA could pull it up on a screen and view it like a snippet of a movie. Any moment, ever.

Hiddleston as Loki and Wilson as Agent Mobius

In the specific “flashback” scene that Loki and Mobius are viewing, we see Loki seated on an airplane, hair cut shorter than we normally see it and wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. He charmingly passes a note to the flight attendant, then insists that she “might want to take a look at that note” right away, adding “I have a bomb”.

The next scene shows him leaping out of the airplane wearing a parachute and holding a briefcase full of money as he’s then whisked away to Asgard via the Bifrost. After the clip ends, Mobius whoops “I can’t believe you were D.B. Cooper!”, to which Loki replies modestly “I was bored and a lost a bet to Thor” as an explanation for his actions.

So who exactly is D.B. Cooper, and why is this scene even important at all?

D.B. Cooper remains the only person to successfully hijack a plane and not get caught. On November 24th, 1971, a man wearing a business suit boarded a Boeing 727 flying from Portland to Seattle. He gave the name Dan Cooper, which later got twisted into D.B. Cooper in the retelling of the tale. Both names turned out to be false, however, and his real identity still isn’t known to this day.

Loki beside artist sketch of D.B. Cooper

Shortly after takeoff, the man passed a note to the flight attendant and claimed to have a bomb in his briefcase. In the note, he demanded four parachutes and $200,000 in $20 bills (worth about $1.2 million in the early 21st century). The plane landed in Seattle and the man let the passengers disembark, but instructed that the pilots fly the plane to Mexico City at under 10,000 feet and at a speed slower than 200 knots. At 8pm, when the plane was believed to be above Ariel, WA, Cooper lowered the rear steps and jumped from the plane.

Despite an extensive manhunt by the FBI, no real leads surfaced, and the man known as D.B. Cooper was never found. The heist remains one of the country’s most peculiar unsolved mysteries and, even decades later, people have obsessed with trying to discover the truth about what happened.

Well, now we apparently know the “truth” behind this tale. Loki was D.B. Cooper.

What makes this so scene so phenomenal is the fact that it shows the true mischievous nature of Loki who, of course, is the god of mischief. Although the character has tried several times throughout the MCU to become a supreme ruler (of Asgard and/or of Earth), Loki has actually been a bit lacking in the overall “mischief for the sake of mischief” category. It’s fun to see him causing a bit of (mostly) harmless chaos, and seems true to the character’s original mythological roots, in which he’s referred to as the trickster god.

Furthermore, Loki’s showrunners have officially confirmed that Loki is genderfluid, another aspect of the character that harkens back to both Norse mythology and his role in comic books. He is a shapeshifter, after all. In an interview with Inverse, Hiddleston himself said “It’s always been there in the comics for some time and in the history of the character for hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

Loki's sex listed as "fluid" on his TVA paperwork

Given that June is Pride month, the timing of having a major Marvel character identify as genderfluid couldn’t be better. In the same Inverse piece, Loki’s head writer Michael Waldron credits director Kate Herron for Loki’s “coming out”, saying “That was so important to Kate, that we did that justice. Everyone will have to watch and see.”

Comic book fans always prefer when an on-screen character most closely reflects the comic version of the character, which means that mischievous, trickster, genderfluid Loki is set to be the best Loki that we’ve seen yet.

 

Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.



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