The Big Picture
- Dox and X-5 have a mysterious history that is left unexplained in Loki Season 2, leaving audiences to speculate about their relationship and dynamic.
- General Dox has a change of heart and chooses to stand with the TVA despite her reprehensible actions, which is an unexpected twist in her character arc.
- X-5, on the other hand, prioritizes his own life on the Sacred Timeline over the TVA and watches his TVA family die, showcasing his selfish motives and lack of empathy.
Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Loki Season 2, Episode 4.
Loki Season 2 has greatly expanded its cast of characters, adding more to its repertoire as well as fleshing out the pre-existing cast. And with great characters come great interactions — most notably Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson), an unexpected combo that’s proven to have some of the best chemistry in the entirety of the MCU, but it extends beyond them. There’s also the delightful interaction from Episode 4 between O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) and Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors), who both happen to be each other’s biggest fans and are absolutely giddy to meet each other despite the impending doom. But the pair that deserved more screen time is none other than resident TVA menaces General Dox (Kate Dickie) and X-5 (Rafael Casal).
After meeting them in the Season 2 premiere, it isn’t until this episode that they reappear together, and it’s unfortunately short-lived (especially for Dox, RIP). Regardless of the screen time, their dynamic together was an intriguing one, and it would have been great to see more interaction between the two.
Loki, the God of Mischief, steps out of his brother’s shadow to embark on an adventure that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
- Release Date
- June 9, 2021
- Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Richard E. Grant
- Main Genre
Dox and X-5 Have a History We May Never Know About
Not having appeared in the first season of Loki, Dox and X-5 are new characters to us but, like everyone else who works at the Time Variance Authority, have been in servitude at the TVA for eons. X-5 is a Hunter similar to B-15, and Dox is a General of the TVA. Both are driven towards their goals perhaps in a way that is more detrimental than beneficial, but they’re dedicated nonetheless. When we first meet them, they are engaged in conversation around the morality of pruning branches, we learn through her words (and later, her actions) that Dox wants to keep things as they were, pruning all branches regardless of the harm it causes. X-5 doesn’t appear to have as firm a stance, but it is clear he will side with Dox on the matter. When the meeting doesn’t go Dox’s way, she sends X-5 off to find Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) (an event that becomes the catalyst for his whole Brad era), and the two share an odd embrace. It’s just as uncomfortable for B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) as it is for us at home — we see her perplexed expression reflect ours, trying to piece together what the relationship is.
The two put their foreheads together and embrace before X-5 departs. It feels more maternal than romantic, but doesn’t make the moment any less absurd. With no follow-up or explanation of their relationship, we’re left to speculate. The most obvious explanation is that Dox has established a rapport with her soldiers and this is a reflection of that. While it isn’t touched upon in any capacity, it does add some heartbreaking context to their most recent interaction in Episode 4.
General Dox Has a Change of Heart in ‘Loki’ Season 2, Episode 4
Trapped in the holding cell together, X-5 and Dox are reunited for the first time since the premiere. Dox and her TVA minutemen are all facing punishment for their rogue mission to prune branches, and X-5 is still in detainment for his escapades on the Sacred Timeline. X-5 tries to rally the group to get back to their lives on the timeline, but after he tries to quote Galileo, Dox calls him on his BS and reveals that she knows he abandoned their mission and sold them out to pursue his life as Brad on the Sacred Timeline.
This catches X-5 off guard and shuts him up, but we see he still has respect for Dox when B-15 enters. Standing behind his general with his hands on his collar, the same way he did before he broke Brad, he watches as B-15 extends a proposition. Dox’s actions against the branched timelines are reprehensible and one of the most horrific things to happen in the MCU, but B-15 acknowledges that beneath the genocidal tactics, Dox genuinely cares about the TVA and only wants to protect it. As B-15 points out, they obviously have different views on TVA politics, but they’re united in their love of the place. B-15’s leap of faith in extending trust out to Dox is enough to convince her to realign her perspective, and she has a change of heart. When Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) appears through a Time Door to break them out, Dox and her minutemen stay put in solidarity with the TVA. Despite absolutely loathing Dox for her genocidal actions, it’s heartwarming to see her stand against Ravonna. The same, however, can’t be said about X-5.
Brad Wolfe Chooses His Life on the Sacred Timeline Over the TVA
Given the same option by Ravonna, X-5 makes the decision to help her and Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) in exchange for reclaiming his life on the timeline. He still hasn’t been able to shake the feeling of being a movie star and will do anything to get a chance to feel that sense of glory again. Finally enlightened by the bigger picture, Dox tries her hardest to convince X-5 to stand by the TVA, she even calls him “Bradley” to acknowledge his preferred title. And though there is conflict in his eyes, X-5 stands by Ravonna and watches his TVA family die a gruesome box death.
Though their deaths aren’t shown on screen (we do hear a bit of a squish), it is rather heavy subject matter for the MCU and makes for quite an intense scene. All the rage felt towards Dox for her actions is suddenly expelled on X-5. As mentioned earlier, we may not have much context on their relationship, but the moment of the two embracing during the season premiere is just enough to make this scene hurt. Brad doesn’t want to see his friends die — but the allure of his life is just too potent to resist. X-5 knows the horrors of the smush-cube considering he spent some time there himself, but instead of even trying to reach a truce with Ravonna, he simply watches in silence as his entire family is crushed in front of him.
Dox and X-5 are both complex characters, which is what makes them such a great pair. They have a similar confused sense of morality that ultimately leads them down different paths. Dox took no issue committing mass genocide to protect everyone at the TVA, while X-5 is willing to watch his TVA cohorts die in order to save himself and his place on the timeline. It’s easy to view Dox’s actions pruning branched timelines as selfish, and maybe that’s part of it, but she believed it was the right thing to do for her community. X-5’s motives, on the other hand, may cause fewer casualties but come from a darker place fueled by ego and self-absorption. Neither of them is necessarily in the right, but somehow we feel more sympathy for the timeline-killing general than the washed-up soldier trying to reclaim his sense of freedom. Even if X-5 wasn’t a selfish person beforehand, he was irreparably tainted by his time as Brad. Let’s just hope the same thing doesn’t happen to Mobius when he inevitably learns about his life on the Sacred Timeline.
Loki is available for streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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