Now that Loki has passed the midway point, the series is barrelling headfirst towards its finale with the most delightfully weird and unexpected plot twists. With Loki and Sylvie still on the lam, the TVA is in a race against time to find them before they do irreparable damage to the sacred timeline.
Oh Where, Oh Where Has Loki Gone?
Have you been picking up really sketch vibes about the TVA? Well, they were not unfounded. Last week’s revelation that all of the TVA’s employees are Variants comes into play this week as Hunter B-15 grapples with the memories that Sylvie pulled to the surface and Mobius learns to trust Loki.
The episode starts out with a flashback to the moment when the TVA first apprehended Sylvie — as a child. The TVA is indiscriminate about which Variants they take into custody, even a child innocently playing with her toys at home on Asgard. Sylvie’s escape is personal for Ravonna Renslayer, as Kid Sylvie (played by Cailey Fleming) stole her TemPad and slipped out of the TVA’s grasp. Later on, after Sylvie and Loki are recaptured, she asks Ravonna about what her Nexus Event was. Ravonna claims she doesn’t remember, but given everything that Ravonna does during the course of the episode — do we really believe her?
The Marvel fandom has been in turmoil over the past week over whether or not there is something more going on between Loki and Sylvie. A recent interview with the show’s head writer over at Marvel confirmed that those “twinges of […] something more” are definitely there. Now that we have confirmation that Sylvie is in fact a Loki Variant and not the Enchantress (who was a creation of Loki’s in the comics) the series seems to have paved the way for the potential of a little self-love.
Jokes about narcissists only loving themselves aside, the way that this plot point was delivered was extremely compelling. Tom Hiddleston conveyed the myriad of emotions that Loki felt, barely clinging to the mask of indifference when Mobius told him that she had been pruned. Clearly, the connection that Loki and Sylvie have is something monumental enough to cause a Nexus Event, unlike anything the TVA has ever seen before.
There’s a lot of great introspection wrapped up in the playful jabs from Mobius as he taunts Loki about what he and Sylvie are or aren’t. While Sylvie is, for all intents and purposes a Loki, this is one of the first times that we have seen Loki genuinely care about someone other than himself. He vacillates from feigned disinterest to downright anger over Mobius lying about Sylvie being pruned.
During Mobius’ interrogation of Loki, Loki tells him that the TVA is lying to him. Mobius, a loyal analyst for the TVA, does not immediately believe this and brushes it off as just a cockroach trying to survive. It isn’t until after the interrogation that Mobius finds himself questioning the validity of what he knows about the TVA, mostly because his “friend” Ravonna seems dishonest about what happened to Hunter C-20. Mobius steals Ravonna’s TemPad and learns, for himself, what really happened to Hunter C-20, all the while Hunter B-15 is having her own soul-searching expedition.
This revelation leads Mobius to break Loki out of the Time Cell where he has been reliving a past moment that involved being repeatedly punched and kneed by Lady Sif. Yet again, Mobius echos what Loki fans everywhere have been saying for years: “You could be whoever, whatever you wanna be, even someone good. I mean, just in case anyone ever told you different.” However, their plan to rescue Sylvie is short-lived. Mere moments after they step through the portal, back into the TVA, Ravonna has Mobius pruned. Loki is devastated. This particular variation of Loki has lost everything up until this point. Given what he saw in the first episode, he may even be under the assumption that Thor is dead too. Now, he’s lost a friend too. It’s tragic stuff.
Ravonna escorts Sylvie and Loki to the Time-Keepers and thus begins one of the best scenes that Marvel has ever delivered. From the staging to the cinematography to the performances — this scene rocked. Collared, defeated, and ready to face their fate before the Time-Keepers, Sylvie and Loki have an unexpected ally on their side. Hunter B-15 shows up, frees them from their collars, and provides Sylvie with the dagger that she needs to defeat the Time-Keepers.
Sylvie and Loki fight back-to-back, fending off Ravonna and the Minutemen, but the Time-Keepers are not as they seem. Sylvie beheads one of the three figures, only to discover that they are not real — they’re androids. In the wake of their apparent defeat, Loki decides that now is the perfect time to tell Sylvie about that something he feels: “This is new for me.” He doesn’t get far before Ravonna drives the pruning stick through him and he fades away into oblivion, leaving Sylvie all alone.
The mid-credit scene revealed that Loki apparently survived his pruning, though now he appears to be wherever pruned Lokis go after the TVA is done with them. Waiting for him on the other side, in the ruins of New York City, are three (or four) Lokis: Classic Loki played by Richard E. Grant, Boastful Loki played by Deobia Oparei, and Kid Loki played by Jack Veal. Comic book fans will recognize all three of these Variants, but most importantly Kid Loki is one of the Young Avengers in the comics — something that both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have hinted at.
Despite the troll-fueled social media backlash surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the film remains a blueprint for so many books, films, and television series — just like Loki. While a casual viewer may only pick up faint hints, Star Wars fans undoubtedly pointed at their screens when Loki not only employed an interrupted hand touch scene, but reinvented the iconic back-to-back throne room scene complete with cutting a creepy creature on a throne in half.
Loki simultaneously mashed together the best scene of The Last Jedi and the worst moment of The Rise of Skywalker and somehow made one of the best sequences in Marvel history to date.
At least this wayward raven-haired prince might have a chance to survive his series.