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It's been just over a month since the first footage from Avengers: Infinity War was released by Marvel. A public release didn't happen, but the privileged few who got to see the footage at the D23 Expo or at SDCC' 2017 know what's in store for the Avengers' cumulative journey. For those who haven't seen it, here's a breakdown of one of the more integral scenes in the unreleased footage:
The footage depicted various scenes from the movie, including several appearances by the Mad Titan himself, but he doesn't just show up. Thanos makes his grand entrance by opening up a portal using one of the Infinity Stones: the Space Stone. He's then seen using the stone to hurl pieces of an orbiting planet at the Avengers just before the clip closes.
Now that we know Thanos has one of the Infinity Stones in his possession, the major question remains of how he obtained it. Thanos has various resources and disciples at his disposable, making it reasonable for any one of them to have retrieved the Tesseract (i.e. the Space Stone). Although, the Infinity War footage might've revealed exactly who brings it to him.
Toward the beginning of the footage, Loki makes a mysterious appearance. At first, it doesn't look like Loki is doing anything mischievous or evil, that is until we see him raise his arm to reveal the Tesseract in hand. Loki's scene cuts shortly after, leaving us without an answer to the question of what Loki intends to do with the Tesseract.
The most logical answer is that Loki's previous deal with Thanos is still intact, despite his defeat. If so, he could have been hiding his true motivations this whole time. After seeing Thanos wield the Infinity Gauntlet with the Space Stone attached, it's fairly safe to assume Loki delivered the Tesseract to him. Although there's no guarantee Loki would willingly give the stone to anyone. For all we know, one of Thanos's Black Order could've taken it from him.
Since there's a possibility that the scene of Loki handing the Tesseract over was taken out of context, the brief glimpse might have actually depicted him returning the Tesseract to Odin's vault rather than taking it. Then again, the malevolent look on Loki's face in the Infinity War footage and his past actions in the MCU all but say he's using it for his own purposes. Plus, the idea of Loki handing over the Tesseract to anyone except Thanos seems preposterous. With those factors being accounted for, the evidence towards Loki joining Thanos's forces is mounting.
Assuming Loki has betrayed Thor and the other Avengers, his decision to help Thanos means he has gone bad for good this time. We've all had our suspicions of Loki, and his latest resurgence, along with the Tesseract in hand, indicate he's on the opposing side of this conflict.
What this means for Loki in the MCU is anyone's guess, but after learning he's taken up arms against the Avengers, mainly Thor, we can probably count on him meeting his end. Thor has been kind enough to spare his half-brother's life on several occasions, but once he finds out Loki gave the Tesseract to Thanos, Thor might not be as merciful. In which case, Thor or another member of the Avengers could wind up killing Loki before the film concludes. Of course, death has never been permanent for Loki, so we can probably count on him wriggling his way out of impending doom yet again.
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 8, 2018.