(L-R): Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

Who Is H. H. Holmes and Why Did Mobius Mention Him in ‘Loki’ Episode 3?

Being a fan of Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston) means that we love a man who has killed in the past. What I wasn’t expecting was for his new bestie, maybe love, but definitely partner in crime to bring up America’s very first serial killer to Loki himself in the latest episode of Disney+’s Loki.

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During Loki season 2 episode 3, “1893,” Loki and Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) are trying to figure out what is going on with Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Following her TemPad isn’t an exact science for them, and it leads them both to Chicago.

When and where in Chicago is what gets interesting. Eventually, the two end up at the 1893 World’s Fair, a staple of American history for a number of reasons—one of which is the use of Nikola Tesla’s electrical technology to light the event. But a more sinister moment in time came from the dark corners of Chicago and who was lurking there in the shadows, with a notable connection to the Chicago World’s Fair.

During the time of the World’s Fair, famed murderer H. H. Holmes had already built his infamous “murder castle,” where reports claimed he had crafted torture rooms to kill victims in different ways and lured in World’s Fair visitors—though it’s unlikely those reports were true. So the minute that Loki and Mobius figure out where they are, Mobius excitedly says, “The White City, Edison, H. H. Holmes,” all in the same breath. This is a branched timeline thanks to Renslayer’s dealings with Victor Timely but it still is fascinating to me that Mobius jumps to Holmes first of all.

It does make me wonder if Mobius M. Mobius is a true crime girlie in another life because Holmes is not exactly the kind of serial killer that many instantly know a lot about, so let’s break down who exactly he is.

If only Loki got to see that murder castle

Loki and Mobius in 'Loki'
(Disney+)

H. H. Holmes is a man who many deem America’s first serial killer. Accounts of how many people he killed vary, and many are unclear on how true the stories of his castle/hotel/dungeon really are because the documents and Holmes’ confessions vary given his plea of insanity in the end to try to save his own life.

In the end, Holmes was only charged with one murder, that of his business partner Benjamin Pitezel, who helped to Holmes build the murder castle itself. Some rumors state the killings up to nearly 200 and others put it at around 27 (because of his confession, in which he claimed to have killed some people who were actually still alive). What I wish we could have seen but was not the point of the episode was Loki seeing the murder castle.

For all his villainous misdeeds and the times that people call Loki a villain, having him see a man like Holmes and a murder castle? That would have been interesting because maybe it would have been Loki realizing that he wasn’t that bad. “At least I didn’t trap someone in an airless room” or something of that nature, right? Because if we’re talking about villains and monsters, H. H. Holmes > Loki Laufeyson. Still, the one-off Holmes callout from Mobius is so fascinating to me.

Mobius is me

Loki and Mobius talking through Chicago at the World's Fair
(Disney+)

When most people think of Chicago, they think of the food, the sights, the history. I think of H. H. Holmes and so, clearly, does Mobius M. Mobius. Call it my morbid curiosity, but it comes with being a woman. You know how everyone was asking what a woman’s Roman Empire was a while back? A lot of people online also pointed out that women think about murder a lot, probably because we’re often the victims of it, but we are obsessed with true crime cases, particularly serial killers, in a way that typically boils down to how to avoid being a statistic.

I am just really obsessed with Mobius M. Mobius time-traveling, showing up at one of the biggest scientific fairs in history that helped change the world as we know it, and one of the first things he thought about was H. H. Holmes.

(featured image: Gareth Gatrell/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 work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.