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The Avengers become divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials.

Was this division due to Loki? i.e. Loki was present on the Helicarrier and due to his negative vibes the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. were divided and started fighting to each other.

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It seems like the actual division was more due to the Avenger's relationship with each other and SHIELD's deception.

However, Loki's staff was buzzing as they began arguing more and more irrationally. I think that it was giving of some kind of field which was designed to cause tension. Remember that his plan was to release the Hulk and, presumably, let him tear the ship to pieces whilst Hawkeye co-sabotaged the ship and rescued Loki. The staff buzzing an 'irritation field' would have done that, it almost worked as Banner actually picked up the staff without really noticing.

Notice that the characters become quite 'out of character': Thor suddenly laughing and saying "you humans are so petty", Captain America wanting to fist fight with Iron Man etc. Logically something is happening to enhance their negative emotions.

When the Hulk was triggered it proved to be a good plan which, combined with Barton and Loki almost brought down the Helicarrier which would have killed many of SHIELD's operatives and quite possibly some of the Avengers.

If the staff was not designed to cause tension then I am unclear how he planned on triggering the Hulk. He was not really provoking anyone until Black Widow comes to interrogate him and even then he failed to achieve anything other than give his plan away.

As Keen noted below - the staff being the cause of the tension is confirmed in the director's commentary.

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    The staff was acting as a homing beacon for Agent Barton. You'll note that it uses similar technology to the Tesseract, which Barton was guarding for Loki. – James Sheridan Oct 25 '13 at 12:55
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    I am not convinced. As they are arguing more and more irrationally (Thor suddenly accuses humans of being 'so petty' etc.). The buzzing gets louder until it comes to a head when Banner is suddenly holding the staff. How else was Loki going to trigger the Hulk? – Stefan Oct 25 '13 at 13:00
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    The staff causing the argument is backed up by the director's commentary on the DVD/blu-ray. – user1027 Oct 25 '13 at 15:00
  • @Keen, I had not thought of actually listening to the commentary - DOH!!!! – Stefan Oct 25 '13 at 15:14
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    @Stefan I highly recommend it. Joss mentions that all the actors wondered WTF was going on in that scene, until they saw the recorded footage that showed the staff making them go crazy. – user1027 Oct 25 '13 at 15:15
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Loki is responsible for the strife between the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., but not in the way you think. Loki simply employs a 'divide-and-conquer' stratagem; he says things when he knows he is being watched/ listened to, with the intention driving a wedge between his captors.

Dr Banner notices Loki's crack about "a warm light for all mankind," which is directed at Stark, to make him suspicious of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s activities with the Tesseract. Loki likewise hints that he knows his prison was meant for the Hulk rather than himself, which helps unsettle Banner. He insults Black Widow openly, since he controls her unrequited love, Hawkeye. He calmly sits and watches Thor, Captain America and Stark fighting each other.

Loki played them like a flute, all the while having Hawkeye use Loki's staff to track the heli-carrier. But he doesn't use any of his powers to make the argument take place; he simply plants the seeds that cause the argument to break out.

EDIT: In light of the information from the director's commentary, it seems I was wrong. The staff did play a part. It would have been better film-making to highlight it more at the time, but whatever. Makes one wonder how Barton tracked the helicarrier, unless we are to believe the staff is responsible for both.

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    What about his glowing stick, at the same time of conflict? – Steve Harrington Oct 25 '13 at 12:05
  • I'll repeat my comment to Stefan below, with more detail. The staff was acting as a homing beacon for Agent Barton. You'll note that it uses similar technology to the Tesseract, which Barton was guarding for Loki. I did catch the subtle hint that the staff might be doing something, but I believe the quick cut to Barton explained it away. There was simply not enough happening around the staff for it to be doing anything active. It did nothing to make Stark and Banner irritate each other, for example. – James Sheridan Oct 25 '13 at 12:57
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    Sorry, echoing my comment below - how was Loki going to trigger the Hulk if the staff was not an irritant? – Stefan Oct 25 '13 at 13:02
  • I believe Stefan has it. The action of the staff coinsides with the escalated tension. – Ihor Sypko Oct 25 '13 at 15:00
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Loki is a product of Norse mythologi. If you look it up you will see that Loki is described as a trickster God. If the writer drew inspiration from the Norse mythology then Loki or a device he posseses can cause others to behave erratically.

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