Rafael Casal as X-5 in Loki

Did X-5 Just Make a Taylor Swift Joke in ‘Loki’?

Sometimes, you hear something in a show and laugh because it cannot possibly be the reference you think it is. Then you think, “well, that’s really specific,” but it’s maybe too good to be true. That’s sort of where I am at with a very specific line in the most recent episode of Loki. In season 2, episode 2 titled “Breaking Bread,” there is a moment when Brad, a.k.a. X-5 (Rafael Casal), is calling out Loki for all the issues he brought upon the TVA. This is, of course, when he’s trying to convince Loki and and Mobius that he’s just a guy on the sacred timeline trying to live his best life.

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What he says next is one simple statement that opens up a world of questions for the world of Loki. “It’s you. You’re the problem.” To the credit of Tom Hiddleston, Loki takes the attack that Brad continues to unleash in stride and doesn’t let it phase him, using it all to his advantage as he is planning. The entire attack is one that Loki and Mobius use to their advantage, but the quote really stuck with me. Why? Not for any real reason that connects with the plot of the show itself, but more because of Tom Hiddleston’s personal life.

Let’s, for a moment, think about what Loki is. He’s an anti-hero. My current favorite song by Taylor Swift? “Anti-Hero” from Midnights. Do you know what X-5 calls Loki in this episode? A villain. (He’s not a villain.) But do you know who Hiddleston dated back in 2016? Taylor Swift.

It’s me … Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me … Loki (Taylor’s Version)

Is this a galaxy brain theory? Yes, absolutely. I don’t think that someone sat behind a computer and thought to themselves that it was time to write down a Taylor Swift lyric and use it against Loki in this scene, but it is pretty funny that it is how it played out. Especially given what is happening with X-5 (or Brad) in this moment. He wants Loki to feel pain. He’s so upset by the state of things, he’s attacking him and doing whatever he has to in order to push back against him. Which means throwing his new “hero” status at him.

So why not throw a little Taylor Swift dig in there for good measure so those of us in the know can have a laugh about it? Honestly, I don’t care if this was just a regular line written by someone who crawled out of a hole and had never heard of Taylor Swift before. I still think it is funny and the timing of it in this scene just really works, “Anti-Hero” reference or not. So whether that was a deliberate “Anti-Hero” callout or not is probably never going to be answered, but we can pretend. In our wildest dreams.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.