Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Loki season 2 episode 5
Loki season 2 episode 5 delivers a unique post-credits scene that pokes fun at the audience and references a deep Marvel cut.
This is the second time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that an audio-only post-credits scene has been used instead of a traditional stinger.
The “loser” message in the post-credits scene not only mocks viewers but also ties into Loki’s destiny as a loser, showcasing his resilience and determination to keep trying.
Loki season 2 episode 5 post-credits scene is a near-unique example in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after 32 movies and 9 different TV series. After dropping a post-credits scene at the end of the first episode in season 2, Tom Hiddleston’s flagship Disney+ show randomly dropped in the season’s second stinger, with a twist.
Loki Season 2 Episode 5 Post-Credits Scene Explained
After the credits roll on Loki season 2 episode 5, with Loki’s game-changing new superpower revealed, and his plan to save the Temporal Loom, the TVA, and all existence unveiled, a stinger calls back to one of the show’s deepest Marvel cuts. In an audio only post-credits gag, a voice shouts “you died, insert a coin, LOSER!” Out of context, it means very little, but Loki season 2 episode 5 set up the joke earlier in the episode.
After Loki brings together OB, Casey, Mobius and B-15 to undo the destruction of the Temporal Loom, he tries to recruit Sylvie, who rejects his offer, but takes him to a bar to invite him to explore exactly why he wants to save the TVA. The opening shot in the bar shows a Zaniac! arcade game, clearly adapted from the same movie Brad Wolfe (Rafael Casal) starred in when he returned to the timeline in episode 2. The audio stinger that forms Loki season 2 episode 5’s post-credits scene is the Game Over message from the same arcade machine.
Why Loki Season 2 Episode 5’s Post-Credits Scene Works So Well
Intriguingly, Loki‘s audio-only post-credits scene is the first time there’s ever been a vocal track played in place of a true stinger, but it’s not the first time the MCU has used an audio post-credits scene. The first time, notably, was at the end of Avengers: Endgame, when the sound of Iron Man forging the Mark 1 armor was played as a touching tribute to Robert Downey Jr’s fallen hero.
In place of a tribute to a dead MCU hero, Loki’s newest post-credits scene instead pokes fun at the audience, playing on the concept of Game Over message culture in video games, and the very idea of waiting until the end of the credits (insulting us all as “losers” for doing so. But also, the “loser” message is a loaded one: Loki confirmed – in a mantra repeated in season 2 episode 5 – that Lokis are destined to lose. The hidden meaning here is that despite dying (and almost dying multiple times), Loki didn’t give up: he may be a loser (and embrace the fact), but a Game Over message is just another opportunity to try again.
New episodes of Loki stream every Thursday on Disney+
I t’s a Tuesday night, and I pull up to Tampa’s Amalie Arena. There’s no fanfare — no crowds lining up outside; no bright, flashing signage; nothing. My Uber driver asks if there’s an event in the area. But in just three hours, three-time Grammy-winning country superstar Brad Paisley will share the stage with a former Delta Force operator turned singer-songwriter, a former Green Beret, and a military spouse making a run at country-music glory.
But unless you were told about it, you’d have no idea a top-secret military rock concert series is about to kick off. You’d have no idea the stadium is going to be filled with defense contractors, service members, and even a few generals all dressed in jeans and T-shirts. I’ve covered special operations for two decades, and I’d never heard of these events until earlier this year when a special-operations veteran I know told me about the concerts, which feature national-headline acts performing on the same stage as bands made up of veterans. And the series has raised more than $2 million from tickets and donations for the children of fallen special-operations personnel and CIA officers.
The covert concerts started in 2012 in Washington, D.C. No press. No marketing. The locations and dates are closely guarded. It’s one of those things you need to hear about. Kind of like Fight Club. It started in Washington and has expanded to Tampa, Florida, home of special-operations command. The next show is in early November in the D.C. area.
The concert series is dubbed SOFstock, which gets its name from a mashup of the acronym for special-operations forces (SOF) and Woodstock. In May, a few hours before the show, I meet with Pack, the founder, to talk about the night’s show and the impact it has on the special-operations community. (He asked that his full name not be used for security reasons and, I suspect, to also keep the mystique of the event.)
Pack speaks in machine-gun bursts as he ping-pongs from our interview to concert prep to excitement over the programs he and his small team have built. Not a vet himself, Pack tells me two decades of war special operations have shouldered the brunt of the load, and this is his way to give back. He got the idea for the concert when he worked for Merrill Lynch in mergers and acquisitions of private government-contracting companies. During a tour of a defense contractor’s office, Pack noticed a jam room with instruments. The company owner told him his coders — during marathon work sessions — blew off steam by jamming. Music was a common language, a way to bond. Pack figured he could use the same idea to bring the defense community together to raise money for children of the fallen. And it sure beat the stuffy gala-circuit foundations usually used to fundraise.
The concerts started as a battle of bands made up of members of the defense community, but now the stage is headlined by professionals. The event is fueled by defense contractors who pay several hundred dollars a ticket for food, booze, and access to special-operations and intelligence-community leaders. The guest list is a closely guarded secret, but Pack confirms it was well-attended by Special Operations Command staff, the Tampa-based headquarters that oversees the SEALs and Green Berets.
The concert’s beneficiaries are the children of fallen special-operators or CIA officers who have had their entire university education paid through ticket sales to the event and donations from the concerts’ auctions. About a dozen recipients took the stage in Tampa before the auction to show where every dollar is going. But with the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of killed or wounded have declined, prompting Pack to shift his attention to not only helping the children of the fallen but also treating special-operations veterans nationwide who suffer from physical and mental wounds, namely “Operator Syndrome,” a combination of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other conditions, which often results in sleep disorders, chronic pain, depression, suicidal ideation, and cognitive deterioration.
“We have a duty to take care of their kids when they’re gone,” Pack says. “We have a duty to help them transition out.”
While we talk, his phone chirps as emails, text messages, and calls come in looking for last-minute tickets based on word of mouth.
A high-ranking official calls asking for tickets for some of the commanders at Special Operations Command. Pack tells the man how to secure tickets, but only after he jokingly asks the generals and admirals to provide a video showing them doing 25 push-ups to unlock the ticket code. Another email arrives begging for tickets for some Air Force special-operations leaders.
“These men and women that do these things in the shadow community,” Pack says, “these are the best we have.”
Plus, when Paisley takes the stage a few hours from now, he wants the arena floor full.
IT’S AN HOUR BEFORE THE SHOW, and the arena is busy as Paisley’s road crew makes final preparations on the stage and lights. The doors open around 6 p.m., and it doesn’t take long for the lobby to fill up.
Backstage, Derek — a former Delta Force operator who served more than a decade in special operations — waits. He’s minutes from taking the same stage as Paisley and his band. He’ll open the show playing songs that he wrote as a young ranger early in his military career. Now retired, this is his next mission.
“I sold all my guns and got guitars,” Derek says.
Derek has Springsteen vibes with a thick chest and biceps under a banded-collar shirt. Sitting in a dressing room, he fidgets with his hands. It’s quiet despite the crowd filling the arena less than 50 feet away. This is Derek’s first gig. His mind drifts to his old job and doing missions in Iraq. Everyone wanted to be the first man through the door during a raid, something he did with no fear, he tells me.
“I believe a thousand percent I’m going to handle whatever’s in there before they do,” he says. “Right? That’s the case onstage. I feel like I can go into that mission place. I am trying not to be scared into making mistakes out there.”
Derek retired from the military in 2017 after 20 years, including 13 years in Delta Force, the Army’s top-tier counterterrorism unit. Doctors at Walter Reed diagnosed him in 2016 with TBI. While scrolling a playlist, it dawns on him how much he uses songs to trigger memories. He bought his first rock record when he was 11 and started playing guitar soon afterward. Playing took a backseat to the war, but he returned to music and in 2020 enrolled at Berklee College of Music.
When it’s time to start, he climbs onstage and straps a guitar across his chest. A few concertgoers stop to watch. He’s the opener, and most focus on getting that first beer or finding a spot to watch Paisely.
But Derek is focused on the cords. By the time he starts to strum, the nerves are lost in the words and music. By the second song, Derek has crawled all the way inside of his set, full of lyric-forward acoustic tunes written from his experience as a soldier and as a veteran making the transition to civilian life. One standout tune — “Boxes and Bows” — written for his wife about a hard time in their marriage, gets the most applause.
Before Paisley takes the stage, there is a short auction hosted by Rob Riggle. After a few jokes, members of the crowd surround the T-shape stage and hold up paddles as auction items flash on the video screens. A professional auctioneer keeps the bids coming, raising $100,000 for a white straw cowboy hat signed by Paisley.
Then Paisley — who declined an interview request — finally takes the stage and blows through his set of greatest hits: “Mud on the Tires,” “I’m Going to Miss Her,” “Alcohol.”
Backstage after the show, Derek collects his stuff from a dressing room not far from Paisley’s. He just shared the stage with a country legend for his first gig. Derek’s new mission is to find another audience.
Meanwhile, I find Pack in the seats to the left of the stage. He is happy.
“I thought it was brilliant,” he says.
As volunteers and Paisley’s road crew pack up, Pack is already thinking about how to spend the money. He won’t disclose the amount raised — by my math he raked in about half a million, including $100,000 for the auctioned hat alone — but he knows every dollar raised is going to support either a child whose parent gave the last full measure or an operator searching for some peace after two decades of war.
Nightwing’s ex-girlfriend, Bea (Captain Blud), may pose a threat to his current relationship with Oracle, as their shared history and unresolved feelings resurface.
Bea’s secret past as Captain Blud explains her extraordinary abilities and suggests a deeper connection to Bludhaven’s history.
The reveal of Bea’s superhero identity should earn her newfound respect from Nightwing and fans, in addition to introducing a morally complex love triangle storyline in Nightwing’s latest arc.
Warning: Spoilers for Nightwing #107!
The secret past of Nightwing’s ex-girlfriend may affect the future between him and his present girlfriend, Oracle. The re-introduction of Bea (a.k.a. Captain Blud) has already proven to be Nightwing’s freakiest love triangle yet, but the latest developments surrounding Bea indicate she can be true competition for Barbara moving forward, when Dick’s heart is in question.
Nightwing #107 finds the eponymous hero trying to make sense of how Bea could be the new Captain Blud.
Cover art by
October 17, 2023
The more he thinks about her, the more he dwells on their prior relationship, recontextualizing both his and the readers’ understanding of their romance, and offering the possibility that there could still be more to it.
Bea’s Hero Identity Of “Captain Blud” Explains Her Abilities
Previously, Nightwing spent two years with amnesia, adopting the name Ric Grayson, embodying his new identity. Detached from the Bat-Family, “Ric” dated a bartender named Bea, who occasionally displayed strength and abilities beyond that of a baseline human. In Nightwing #107, Dick recalls that she stood up to the Joker, and the Court of Owls, and even got some hits in on the KGBeast. All this, in addition to owning a bar at a young age, and running homeless shelters at the same time. Dick is finally able to connect it all back to Bea having an upbringing within a secret pirate society, rooted in the history of Bludhaven itself.
As it turns out, Bea was heir to the Captain Blud name, equipped with her own secret history and training, which she kept from Dick Grayson during their time together. With Bea/Blud back in the picture, the opportunity seems ripe for DC to develop its latest, hottest love triangle. Bea’s reappearance in Dick’s life seems as though it will give Barbara Gordon something to worry about. Barbara and Dick have a long history together, much longer than him and Bea – but despite his time with her having been spent without his core memories, there is something about Bea that Nightwing is undeniably attracted to.
Bea Earns Some Much-Needed Respect From Nightwing (And Fans)
Relationships between superheroes and civilians are always complex to navigate, and frequently end in tragedy – while fans have previously expressed skepticism at Bea, and her relationship with Dick Grayson, the reveal of her heroic identity as Captain Blud brings a whole new context to their relationship. While Nightwing likely wouldn’t be openly unfaithful to Barbara, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that he could feel his old feelings for Bea, from his time as Ric Grayson, resurfacing and pulling him away from the woman that so many longtime fans think he is destined to be with, setting up a morally complex romantic plot for Nightwing’s latest arc.
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Pixar has a track record of box-office and critical success, which can be attributed, in part, to their “good luck charm,” actor John Ratzenberger.
John Ratzenberger’s acting career began in the 1970s, but he achieved fame for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers, which led to his involvement with Pixar.
Ratzenberger became intertwined with Pixar, voicing characters in all of their films until Onward in 2020.
It would be fair to say, even without crunching numbers, that Pixar has a far better percentage of box-office and critical wins than losses, with total box-office receipts of $15,407,450,839 and only one film, Cars 2, with a Rotten rating (40% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Cars 3 the second-lowest rated at 69%). Just how have they managed to stay successful? Is it their ground-breaking animation? The imaginative and clever storylines? The deep, emotional core at the center of each film, as noted by Business Insider? Maybe, but perhaps the reason is a little more mystical in nature. Need a clue? A look at the top 10 critically-favored Pixar films on Rotten Tomatoes all have one thing in common. That one thing is Pixar’s own “good luck charm,” actor John Ratzenberger.
Who Is John Ratzenberger?
John Ratzenberger was born in 1947 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1971, Ratzenberger ventured to London, England, for a vacation. What was supposed to be a sojourn turned into a 10-year stay in the country. During this time, Ratzenberger initiated his acting career and formed a traveling comedy troupe, “Sal’s Meat Market,” with Ray Hassett. His feature film debut occurred in the 1976 film The Ritz as “Patron.” Over the next six years, Ratzenberger toiled away in supporting roles in movies and on television, including “Controller No. 1” in both Superman and Superman II, a policeman in Ragtime, and perhaps his biggest “blink, and you’ll miss it” film appearance as Major Bren Derlin in a small, artsy film known as Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
Pixar’s good-luck charm would score some good luck of his own when he auditioned for Cheersin 1982. Ratzenberger had actually auditioned for the role of Norm Peterson, a role which fell to George Wendt. According to the book Toasting Cheers, the audition did not go well, but instead of walking out the door with his tail between his legs, Ratzenberger asked the producers if Cheers had a know-it-all bar patron character, explaining how all bars have at least one. The producers found the moment quite funny and considered the need to have a know-it-all in the show. A few days later, Ratzenberger got the call: he would play Cliff Clavin, mail carrier. In essence, Ratzenberger created his own role, the biggest of his career, for Cheers. The sitcom was a critical success with high viewership, a testament to just how well the entire cast complemented one another within the context of cleverly written scripts. Cliff and Norm would become one of the most popular pairings on the show, and Ratzenberger’s unique delivery of Cliff’s unending diatribe of trivia could not have been more perfect.
John Ratzenberger Starts With Pixar After ‘Cheers’ Ends
After Cheers ended in 1992, Ratzenberger laid low, making appearances in TV shows like Moon Over Miami and The Simpsons. Then came 1995, and yet another fortuitous event in Ratzenberger’s career: meeting with Pixar. Ratzenberger had never heard of Pixar when they approached him to voice Hamm, the piggy bank, in Toy Story but was impressed by the upstart company and their strong work ethic, commitment to quality, and how control was placed in the hands of the artists, not executives. The film was a huge hit, a home run out of the gate for Pixar, and Ratzenberger’s distinct voice-over work played into that success. Pixar followed up Toy Story with 1998’s A Bug’s Life, and again approached Ratzenberger for a role, this time as P.T. Flea, the circus ringmaster (it is also Ratzenberger’s favorite Pixar role, “because everything in his life is a crisis — he always makes me laugh.”). Monsters Inc., 2001, featured Ratzenberger in a smaller, but memorable, role as Yeti the Abominable Snowman.
By now, the public perception was that Pixar could do no wrong, and Ratzenberger, as the only common thread between the films, became intertwined with the studio. Ratzenberger and Pixar were inseparable, with each subsequent Pixar release featuring the actor in roles big and small, becoming an Easter egg of sorts with audiences waiting to hear that familiar delivery. The school of moonfish in Finding Nemo, the Underminer in The Incredibles, Mustafa the waiter in Ratatouille, Fritz in Inside Out, and many more are all voiced by Ratzenberger. Pixar and Ratzenberger even poked fun at the recurring presence of the actor in the Pixar films, when Mack the Truck is watching Ratzenberger’s appearances at the drive-in in the closing credit sequence of Cars. “They’re using the same character over and over,” Mack says as he watches the parade of automobile-ified performances, “What kind of cut-rate production is this?”
John Ratzenberger’s Last Pixar Movie Is (Unofficially) ‘Onward’
Nothing lasts forever, as they say, even a partnership as iconic as John Ratzenberger and Pixar. The 2020 film Onward was the last Pixar release to feature Ratzenberger’s voice, playing the Cyclops construction worker Fennwick. Soul, in late 2020, featured Ratzenberger’s likeness, but not his voice. Reportedly, director Pete Docter wanted to try something different, with a cameo of a character that looks like a younger, Cheers-era Ratzenberger. Apart from voicing Yeti once again for the Disney+ series Monsters at Work, it appears that the Ratzenberger/Pixar age is indeed over. There have been no comments from either as to why, with Ratzenberger’s exit seeming to have just happened, the same way his continued presence in the Pixar films “just happened.” That said, Ratzenberger has made one last Pixar-related voice-over, as Rootie in Skydance Animation’s 2022 film Luck, produced by former chief creative officer of Pixar John Lasseter.
The legacy left behind by the Ratzenberger/Pixar relationship is impressive. Pixar went from six people to become an animation powerhouse that still has the power to draw in audiences with its quality fare. The word-of-mouth success of this year’s Elemental is proof-positive of that, while 2024’s Inside Out 2 promises to be another win. As for Ratzenberger, his work on Pixar films has been lucrative, with the previously-cited The Independentindicating that he was as high as number six on the list of highest-grossing actors. And thanks to his work, it’s more than just the patrons of Cheers that know his name.
Pixar films are available for streaming exclusively on Disney+ in the U.S.
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Hosted in London, and accordingly titled LDN Calling, Chase & Status and DJ Bou have tasked fans with three missions to complete before October 31.
Every completed mission increases an entrant’s likelihood of winning a ticket, and they will be able to invite a plus one along with them.
All three missions will be released through the mission hub and announced through the band’s and Bou’s social channels.
As well as the opportunity to attend an exclusive concert in a secret location somewhere in London, the event will offer fans the ability to play Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ahead of everyone else. There will also be “multiple surprises linked to Modern Warfare 3 and the Modern Warfare series”.
The Chase & Status gig is scheduled for November 9 and winners will be contacted one week before.
However, these have been upgraded for a more modern audience with “the latest visuals, audio, and effects” and the ability to access new areas for a twist on original tactical approaches.
“There’s just something about the audio, the hit markers, the guitar riffs that go off, so that’s all stuff we’ve looked at and brought a modern version to Modern Warfare 3,” said multiplayer creative director Greg Reisdorf in an interview with NMEearlier this month.
Tracks by Paul McCartney, Aurora, The Chemical Brothers and more will feature on ‘War Child Presents Secret 7”’ – a collection seven of tracks by seven musicians on 700 records with each featuring unique artwork.
The concept of the charity initiative, which initially ran from 2012-2021, takes seven tracks by seven musicians, pressing each one to seven inch vinyl 100 times, creating 700 records.
The sleeves for each are then designed by 700 creatives, ranging from renowned artists to newcomers. All sleeves will the be available to purchase via auction after the exhibition. However, the designer’s identity is only revealed after the record is sold.
Previous sleeve designers include the likes of Ai Weiwei, Sir Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, David Shrigley, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Parr and more.
Check out the ‘War Child Presents Secret 7”’ tracklist below.
1. Aurora – Track TBA 2. Celeste – ‘Stop This Flame’ 3. Hozier – ‘Swan Upon Leda’ 4. Siouxsie & The Banshees – ‘Lullaby’ 5. Paul McCartney – ‘Pipes of Peace’ 6. The Chemical Brothers feat. Beck – ‘Skipping Like A Stone’ 7. The Specials – ‘We Sell Hope’
“We are delighted to announce the return of the iconic Secret 7” project, which will help raise funds to support War Child’s crucial work in conflict zones around the world,” Head of War Child Records, Rich Clarke, said in a press statement.
“War Child operates in some of the most challenging, hard-to-reach places to help children and families who are most severely affected by war. Sadly, demand for our work is growing. Our goal is to reach children as quickly as possible when conflict breaks out and to provide ongoing support long after the cameras have gone to support them through their recovery.
“We believe no child should be part of war. Ever. This is why projects like Secret 7” are so important. We are grateful to all the musicians, artists and partners who are involved in Secret 7”. Together, we will be able to protect and educate many more children, supporting their healing and learning for a safer, brighter future. Thank you.”
NOW Gallery and Greenwich Peninsula Senior Cultural Projects Manager, Kaia Charles, added: “We are looking forward to supporting War Child through the creative synergy of art and music. NOW Gallery is thrilled that Secret 7” is returning to Greenwich Peninsula in 2024 – which marks the gallery’s 10th year anniversary.”
Sleeve designers are also invited to submit their work for consideration in this year’s Secret 7″ project, which can be done here from Tuesday, October 24 until January 9, 2024.
Vera and the Pleasure of Others – R-rated Trailer – Spanish w subtitles – 17-year-old Vera divides her days between volleyball, school, and a secret hobby: she rents out an empty apartment to teenagers looking for a place to have sex.
Mom & Dad’s Nipple Factory – Documentary Trailer – When Randi is diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband Brian, an introverted serial entrepreneur and tinkerer, transforms their modest Midwest home into a secret prosthetic nipple laboratory