The following post contains spoilers for Loki‘s series premiere. Proceed with caution!
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki can take the form of just about anyone — including, apparently, one of America’s most elusive real-life criminals.
In the first episode of Disney+’s latest Marvel Studios series (released on Wednesday; read our full recap here), a circa-2012 Loki was apprehended by the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic organization tasked with preserving the “sacred timeline,” a preordained version of life’s events intended to prevent the creation of a multiverse. While in the TVA’s custody, Loki reluctantly screened a highlight reel of his life, and there was an unexpected reveal in there: The mysterious 1970s plane hijacker who became known as D.B. Cooper? That was actually the God of Mischief himself.
For those unfamiliar with D.B. Cooper — a name given to him by the media — the unidentified man hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in 1971, then collected a substantial ransom (and four parachutes) and jumped out of the plane. To this day, Cooper’s identity and fate remain unknown, nor is it certain if he successfully deployed one of the parachutes he had received. But in Loki‘s version of events, it was indeed Hiddleston’s character who suavely pulled off that scheme upon losing a bet to Thor, and after jumping out of the plane, he was swiftly transported back to Asgard via the Bifrost bridge.
“We were trying to think of ways [for] how Loki, as an incarnation of mischief, might have previously come down to Earth and done various mischievous things and then disappeared,” Hiddleston tells TVLine in the video above, when asked how the Cooper sequence came to be. “Perhaps for the human race, these were our unexplained stories.”
As head writer Michael Waldron explains, “I needed an example of a time the TVA hadn’t interfered in Loki’s life when perhaps Loki would think, ‘Maybe you guys should have,’ and that felt like a particularly chaotic moment from history… And now we know: Loki’s D.B. Cooper. The mystery’s solved!”
But upon watching that sizzle reel of his own existence, Loki also became privy to events that hadn’t happened yet, including the deaths of Frigga and Odin and, later, his own demise in Thanos’ mighty grasp. Hiddleston calls it “a destabilizing moment” for Loki to realize his life’s path is seemingly already chosen for him, which will continue to affect him in future episodes.
“To realize that he had no agency and no choice, and so many of his struggles… have been preordained in some way, it’s a shock to the system,” he continues. “It creates such a moment of drama for us as storytellers. Loki’s got to rethink [and] realign himself with who he is, or who he thinks he is.”
Press PLAY above to watch our full conversation with Hiddleston and Waldron, then hit the comments with your thoughts on Episode 1!