One of the most fun aspects of Loki, that they frankly have not done enough of, is when the writers use time travel aspects to explain away historical mysteries. In season one, we learned Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was actually the infamous D.B. Cooper, who robbed an airplane in the ’70s, popped out with a parachute, and vanished for all time. Now, in the second season’s penultimate episode, “Science/Fiction,” the show solved yet another historical mystery, MCU style. One involving the most infamous (and mythologized) prison in American history—Alcatraz.
At the end of episode four of this season, the Temporal Loom exploded, and we learned the different TVA employees who were in the control room, as well as Sylvie, were sent back to their lives before the TVA took them and wiped their memories. Mobius was a single dad named Don who sold jet skis (of course). O.B. was a scientist and an aspiring sci-fi author. Hunter B-15 was a doctor. Sylvie just went back to work at McDonald’s in 1982. But the most interesting true identity of a TVA employee had to be Casey. Turns out, the mild-mannered “guy at the desk” was once a notorious criminal, Alcatraz escaped convict Frank Morris.
When Loki starts time slipping again, Casey appears in 1962, escaping from Alcatraz. We even see the crude dummies the inmates made to appear as if they were sleeping during bedcheck. It’s something that really happened. Casey even says “If they catch us, they’re going to gut us like a fish!” That was a fun callback to season one, when Loki threatened to do the same to him but he had no idea what a fish even was. As they’re trying to escape, a time-slipping Loki appears on the shores of Alcatraz island in San Francisco. He finds Casey, now called Frank, who doesn’t recognize him, along with two other men getting ready to escape in a makeshift raft.
In reality, the two other men were Clarence and John Anglin. They were portrayed by the episode’s directors, Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson. The real Frank Morris was a lifelong criminal who spent much of his life in correctional facilities. Authorities arrested Morris for armed robbery, car theft, and finally, the crime that put him in Alcatraz, bank robbery. However, he had a genius I.Q., and was likely the real mastermind behind the whole escape. Being so smart, it’s no wonder the TVA wanted him as an employee.
Later in the episode, Loki appears to Frank Morris on a beach along with the other two escaped convicts, who made it to dry land. In reality, no one really knows what happened to the three men. Official reports suggest they drowned in the waters of San Francisco Bay, or hypothermia got them. But they never discovered any bodies. Over the past 60 years, some anecdotal evidence points to at least one of the men surviving. We have since mythologized the only successful escape from Alcatraz in pop culture. It was even the subject of the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood playing Frank Morris.
Frank accepts Loki’s offer to help restore the TVA, even though he doesn’t understand what’s going on. Once he realizes that O.B.’s temp pad can take anyone to anywhen, he even asks if it could take him into a bank vault. Even after doing time in the world’s most infamous prison, Frank still can’t get rid of the urge to rob banks. When one of the TemPads vanishes due to reality coming undone everyone thinks Frank stole it. Hey, when you’re famous for robbery, it’s hard to shake that reputation.
While we saw Frank/Casey unravel at the end of the episode, we have a strong feeling it’s not the last we’ve seen of him. If Loki has taught us anything, it’s that there’s always another branched timeline somewhere.