This week’s Loki took viewers back to Sylvie’s childhood to witness the start of her enmity with the TVA. It skillfully skirted past the Nexus Event that made her a Variant worth pruning, which calls the Time Keepers’ whole operation further to into question. It also opened the literal door to the next level of TVA authority. Altogether, it packed quite the punch.
There were several twists throughout the hour, which is to be expected of a Marvel show after witnessing WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But the real power this week lies in the emotional beats between characters. After just a few short episodes, they have definitely worked their way into our hearts.
The Universe Wants To Break Free
At the start of “The Nexus Event,” a flashback takes us back to Sylvie’s youth on Asgard. Ravonna, who was a Minuteman at that time, promptly detains her and prunes her world before bringing her before the TVA. We do not know what young Sylvie did or why the Time Keepers consider her a threat, but isn’t that the whole point? A child can’t be a criminal.
In the present, Judge Renslayer is called before the Time Keepers. They are none too happy that both Loki Variants have escaped their alien clutches. Of course, Mobius would be more than happy to help get her out of hot water. But first he wants to understand what Hunter C-20 meant when she said, “It’s real.” Too bad that, according to Ravonna, she died after falling ill and going mad.
Mobius is right to be suspicious, because the last time he saw C-20, she seemed perfectly fine if shaken. His doubts only grow when Loki tells him the employees are all Variants. Coupled with Ravonna refusing to answer any questions or let him question Sylvie, it’s no wonder he turns traitor and sides with Loki.
Which makes it all the more unsettling and heartbreaking when Mobius is pruned right before Loki’s eyes. Of course, this is Marvel and no death lasts forever, but he still feels gone to soon. Perhaps the fact that he’s a Variant means we’ll see him next week?
Is A Loki Destined To Lose?
Back on the apocalyptic purple moon that is Lamentis-1, Loki apologizes to Sylvie, who recalls to him the little she remembers of Asgard. Together, they watch the world end – which is what triggers a Nexus event large enough that the TVA locate and extract them right back to headquarters.
Their time together appears to have awakened something never before felt in at least one of them. It’s something Mobius catches onto as soon as he’s done putting Loki through his paces courtesy of a time loop. To be fair, it’s pretty fun to watch Lady Sif repeatedly punch the God of Mischief and say he’s forever alone.
But when that’s done, it’s time for an interview. After denying that he and Sylvie are partners, or that he knows what caused the Nexus event, Loki engages in a battle of lies with Mobius. He fails to convince his frienemy that he’s the mastermind of Sylvie’s scheme but then almost falls for the fib that she’s dead. His reaction apparently gives away that he loves… himself.
Granted, I totally support the reading of Loki as the multiverse’s biggest narcissist – so I have no problems with the MCU introducing selfcest on that front. But I can’t help feeling like Disney would never have okayed this plot point if Sylvie were a male-presenting Loki, and that smarts on this final day of Pride Month.
But Mobius isn’t the only one questioning their existence: B-15 received some of her old memories from Sylvie’s enchantment. Unlike C-20, she keeps the information away from the TVA and seeks the Variant out for confirmation. We weren’t shown her visions, which makes me question the Marvel show budget. But my heart still hurt when B-15 quietly exclaimed, “I looked happy.”
Eventually, Sylvie and Loki are taken before the Time Keeper, who look like generic green aliens. B-15 throws them weapons like the queen she is, and a fabulous fight versus Ravonna and the minutemen ensues. One of the big surprises? Sylvie cuts off a Time Keeper head, and it’s just a mechanical puppet. We’re one step closer to knowing who created the TVA, but where do we go from here?
For a second, it looked like we were following Loki to purgatory. Ravonna “kills” him just as he was confessing something (his feelings?) to Sylvie, but never fear! Instead of being pruned, he woke up to see several other Variants: including the Young Avenger Kid Loki.
- Since Loki didn’t die, are we to assume no one who is pruned does? Perhaps they just go to a melting pot that houses all their Variants.
- Did anyone else’s heart break for Mobius when Ravonna told him, “Friendship like ours is uncommon and worth fighting for?” She finally says what he wants to hear once he knows it’s a lie. Although, she did look pained when she ordered him pruned.
- Sif punching Loki and cursing him because he cut her hair? I laughed.
New episodes of Loki drop Wednesdays on Disney+.