Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Loki and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Something is rotten in the state of the Time Variance Authority! Now past the halfway mark, this week’s episode of Loki sees alliances formed, betrayals, a Marvel cameo, and a shocking ending that promises an exciting ending to the miniseries.
After a lot of character development last week, this week’s episode focuses on plot development to tie together everything we have learnt over the first three episodes. While the writing still has some wonderful character moments that are dialogue heavy, we get deeper into the mystery of the TVA and get a glimpse into the character of Ravonna Renslayer. While there is still a lot of mystery surrounding her character, Gugu Mbatha-Raw finally gets more than one scene in an episode in which she shares a friendly conversation with Owen Wilson’s Mobius. Renslayer’s story over the episode finally gives us answers about how much she knows about what is happening at the TVA, where her allegiances lie. Mbatha-Raw plays it perfectly, creating lots of suspicion around her character which makes her delightful to watch. Hiddleston, Wilson and Di Martino continue to be excellent with the portrayals of their characters. However it’s the final ten minutes of the episode that are truly shocking, setting in motion events that will not only define the end of the series, but that will very possibly change the course of the MCU.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of Loki, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in this week’s episode…
The episode opens up on a flashback of a young Sylvie on Asgard. We see her be taken captive by a team of TVA agents, led by Renslayer. As the TVA judge begins Sylvie’s trial, Sylvie attacks Renslyaer, steals her TemPadm, and escapes through a time door. We then jump to the present time, with Renslayer at the TVA remembering her capture of a young Sylvie. We see her enter the elevator that Sylvie was looking for in last week’s episode, and ride it to a room surrounded in mist with the Time-Keepers in it. However, we are not privy to their conversation.
After her conversation with the Time-Keepers, Renslayer has a discussion with Mobius. She confides in Mobius that the Time-Keepers blame her for Loki and Sylive escaping the TVA’s capture, whereas Mobius wants to find out what happened to C-20 and what she meant by “it’s real” after being under Sylvie’s enchantment. However, Renslayer tells Mobius that this won’t be possible as C-20 is dead. She tells Mobius that Sylvie’s enchantment scrambled C-20’s mind, and by the time she was returned to the TVA, she could not speak and declined in health quickly. Sylvie further tells Mobius that no one else knows about C-20, to prevent a panic, and asks Mobius not to tell anyone as the TVA’s focus has to be on capturing Loki and Sylvie.
Back on Lamentis-1, Sylvie tells Loki about her childhood and how the TVA captured her as they watch the asteroids from the planet rain down on Lamentis-1. She sees the universe manifesting chaos, like her, when it wants to break through. She tells Loki that once she caused a big enough deviation from the Sacred Timeline, the TVA captured her. But after escaping the TVA using the TemPad, no matter where she went, she caused a Nexus event and was chased down by the TVA. Because of this, she began hiding in times with apocalyptic events to hide herself from the TVA’s detection. As the asteroids increase, Sylive knows their end is coming and asks Loki if he thinks what makes a Loki a Loki is the fact that they are destined to lose. Loki does not share this view, as he sees that they may lose, but that they never die. In fact, they survive. He then praises Sylvie for almost taking down the TVA all by herself. However, the TVA locates Loki and Sylvie before Lamentis-1 is destroyed, captures them and brings them back to the TVA as hostages.
With Loki being captive of the TVA once again, he has a cold reunion with Mobius. The two of them argue, with Mobius calling Loki an asshole and a bad friend. Loki tries to tell Mobius what Sylvie told him, that everyone at the TVA is actually a variant, but Mobius won’t listen to him. Instead, Mobius locks Loki in a Time Cell, forcing him to relive a moment from his past. Loki is back on Asgard, forced to live the same moment over and over again. The moment: Lady Sif entering the room enraged that Loki is responsible for her hair being cut off and knocks him out. Loki tries to reason with Sif, but nothing he does can change the moment.
As an aside, it was great seeing Jamie Alexander return as Sif, having been absent from the MCU since appearing in an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back in 2015. It’s a nice reminder of what a great portrayal of the character she gives, which I cannot wait to see more of in Thor: Love and Thunder.
After capturing Loki and Sylvie, Renslayer congratulates Mobius on his success. However, Mobius wants to continue his work and interrogate Sylvie. Renslayer says that he will not talk to Sylvie under any circumstances as Sylvie is too dangerous. Instead, she wants Mobius to find out what caused the spike in the timeline, and reminds him that the Time-Keepers are always watching. As Mobius leaves Renslayer’s office, he runs into B-15 guarding Sylvie’s cell. Mobius says to B-15 that the TVA has brought in Kree, titans and vampires, but questions why Loki and Sylvie are such a pain in their ass. B-15 asks if Loki has said anything to Mobius, and Mobius tells her that Loki claims the TVA is lying to them, then asking why she asked him that. B-15 says she is just doing her job and walks away.
Back in Loki’s Time Cell, Loki begs for Sif to stop, admits he’s a horrible person, and that he is starting to recognize his own actions. Loki claims that his actions are because he is afraid to be alone, and this breaks Sif’s loop. Instead of knocking Loki out, she tells Loki that he is alone and will always be, before walking out of the room. Mobius then opens up the door and asks Loki if he is ready to talk.
Mobius asks Loki what he meant by “the TVA is lying”, and Loki promises to tell Mobius what he means if he gets him out of the Time Cell. Mobius then asks Loki how long he has been working with Sylive, but Loki denies working with her. He tells Mobius that she is not his partner, and admits that he is the one pulling Sylvie’s strings. Loki explains to Mobius that Sylvie found him long ago on Asgard and took him to an apocalyptic event, where they hatched their plan to take down the TVA. Smugly, Loki admits that their plan is going along nicely, and that Sylvie has almost served her purpose, after which he will dispose of her. Mobius then lies to Loki, telling him that he won’t have to dispose of Sylvie as B-15 already has, claiming that Sylvie was not superior to Loki. Noting Loki’s reaction to this, Mobius begins laughing as he realizes that Loki has developed feelings for Sylvie, and says this is clearly why Loki does not know what caused the Nexus event on Lamentis-1. Loki then demands to know if Sylvie is alive, and Mobius tells him that she is for now. Flipping it back to questioning Loki, Mobius asks him if infiltrating the TVA was always part of the plan? At this point, Loki tells Mobius about everyone at the TVA being a time variant. Mobius does not believe him though, seeing this as an attempt by Loki not to answer his question, and orders Loki to be placed back in his Time Cell. As his parting word, Loki tells Mobius that Mobius is the biggest liar within the TVA because of the lies Mobius tells himself about his reality, which catches Mobius’ attention.
Outside Sylvie’s cell, B-15 decides she needs to talk to Sylvie. Once inside the cell, B-15 opens a Time Door and Sylvie follows her through it. B-15 has taken Sylvie back to Roxxcorp, and B-15 tells Sylvie that she saw something in her head while under Sylvie’s enchantment. Sylvie tells B-15 how her powers work, about B-15’s past life before the TVA. Knowing that there is truth to it, B-15 asks Sylvie to show her her past memories, which causes B-15 to begin crying as she experiences her memories. Knowing that the TVA is lying to them all, B-15 asks Sylvie what is next…
Having interrogated Loki, Mobius is back in Renslayer’s office being congratulated on closing the case. Mobius again asks why he can’t interrogate Sylvie, and Renslayer says it is because they are concerned that Sylvie will escape. She informs Mobius that the Time-Keepers will be personally overseeing Sylvie’s pruning and that they want him there to experience it. Mobius, still curious about C-20, asks Renslayer when she first noticed C-20’s deterioration after being under Sylvie’s enchantment. However, Renslayer dodges the question, instead asking Mobius what the purpose of all these questions are. Renslayer then tells Mobius that she is trying to protect him as she doesn’t want anything to happen to him, fearing that the same thing may happen to him that happened to C-20. Mobius, sensing that Renslayer is hiding something from him, distracts her by asking where she is going to place her latest trophy. As Renslayer is placing the trophy in her display, Mobius swaps his TemPad for Renslayer’s and leaves Renslayer’s office. However, Renslayer knows that Mobius is up to something…
Hiding in the archives, Mobius pulls up C-20’s file on Renslayer’s TemPad. Within the file, he pulls up footage of C-20’s mission debrief, during which C-20 talks of the memories from her past life. She is told to calm down by a voice off screen, but C-20 won’t because she knows she is a variant. The footage then reveals who is interviewing her: Renslayer.
After learning the truth about Renslayer, Mobius goes back to Loki’s Time Cell. Mobius tells Loki that they need to understand the Nexus event that Loki and Sylvie caused that could destroy the entire TVA. He gets Loki to swear that Sylvie did not plant those memories in C-20’s head, and Loki tells Mobius that he trusts Sylvie and that she did not plant those memories. While Mobius is hesitant on having to trust the words of two Loki’s, Loki suggests he should trust the word of a friend instead. Mobius admits to Loki that he was right about the TVA, and that if he wants to save Sylvie, Loki will have to trust Mobius again. After fixing their fractured friendship, Loki and Mobius exit the Time Cell, only to find Renslayer waiting for them with a bunch of TVA guards. Renslayer tells Mobius that she knows he has something of hers, but instead Mobius answers Renslayer’s question from earlier about where he would go on the Sacred Timeline. He says that he would go wherever he was before the TVA kidnapped him. Renslayer orders that Mobius be pruned, and we see him die right then and there. Now with Loki in custody, Renslayer orders that Loki be taken to the elevator and to wait there for her, while trying to hide from the guards that she is upset about what she just did to Mobius.
Renslayer then pays a visit to Sylvie’s cell, and asks the guards who has been in it. The guards tell her that only B-15 has been inside. Renslayer then orders an alert for B-15, claiming that B-15 has been compromised by Sylvie. With the guards, Renslayer escorts Sylvie to the elevator where Loki is waiting for them. Renslayer orders that the guards stand down, and she takes Loki and Sylvie onto the elevator to meet the Time-Keepers. During the elevator ride, Sylvie asks Renslayer if she remembers her and what the Nexus event was that caused her to be captured. While Renslayer admits to remembering Sylvie, she does not remember what the Nexus event was.
Now with the Time-Keepers, they ask Loki and Sylvie what they have to say for themselves before they meet their end. Loki says to go ahead and do their worst, but the Time-Keepers dismiss Loki as a threat and tell Sylvie that she is nothing more than a cosmic disappointment. The Time-Keepers then order that Loki and Sylvie are to be deleted, but B-15 shows up and a fight begins between Loki, Sylvie and B-15 against Renslayer and the TVA guards.
After defeating the TVA guards and Renslayer, Sylvies decapitates one of the Time-Keepers, revealing, much to their surprise, that the Time-Keepers are in fact machines and not human. The two remaining Time-Keepers then power down. Loki tells Sylvie that they will figure out why the Time-Keepers are nothing more than mindless androids, but Sylvie asks him how he knows they will figure it out. Loki begins to confess his feelings for Sylvie and as he attempts to kiss her, he is pruned by Renslayer! Sylvie, in rage, over powers Renslayer and is about to prune Renslayer, which Renslayer taunts Sylvie to prune her. But Sylvie tells Renslayer that she won’t do it. Instead, she tells Renslayer that she will tell her everything she knows about what is happening at the TVA.
And the episode ends…or does it?! We get our first credit scene after the initial credits. We see Loki wake up, asking if this is hell. A voice answers by saying not yet, and as Loki sits up, Loki is told he will be dead unless he comes with them. We then see three Loki variants standing in front of Loki, portrayed by Richard E. Grant, Jack Veal and Deobia Oparei.
Well, things are starting to get wild to say the least. Including Loki and Sylvie, we now have five different versions of Loki in the show. Mobius is presumed dead, but given the mid credit scene showing there is a chance for Loki to survive, I would not classify Mobius dead quite yet. While the show is still dancing around whether Sylvie is a Loki variant or something else, as this episode seemed to feed the narrative that she is a Loki unlike the previous episode where she denied being a Loki. Jamie Alexander’s cameo as Sif was a great surprise, one that had not been previously spoiled. With the reveal of the Time-Keepers being androids, which was in line with my theory that the Time-Keepers were villains, who has been controlling the TVA all this time? Based on Resnlayer’s involvement, I think we are seeing the groundwork laid for Kang the Conqueror to be introduced by the end of the series before appearing as the main villain in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantmania. And with the introduction of more Loki’s in the mid credit scene, I wonder what Marvel has up their sleeves for the final two episodes. But more importantly, there is one line hinting at something bigger coming to the MCU.
Outside Sylvie’s cell while talking to B-15, Mobius refers to other races of individuals that the TVA has dealt with. And one of them is vampires. There are two potential Marvel characters that could be hinted at here. The first is Michael Morbius, set to be portrayed by Jared Leto in Sony Pictures upcoming film Morbius. We know that Sony has a way to connect Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to other Sony Marvel films such as Venom and Morbius, with more information on this will play out to be revealed in Spider-Man: No Way Home later this year. From the first trailer we got for Morbius in January 2020, we know that Michael Keaton is appearing in the film, however it is not confirmed if he is reprising his role from Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set with the MCU. While Morbius star Tyreese Gibson claims Morbius is set within the MCU, Sony has openly denied this, but this could be Sony trying to keep a secret that Gibson failed to do. Honestly, they need to script their actors better for press tours, because this is the second Marvel Sony star to potentially drop a massive MCU spoiler. Given that Loki is playing towards the multiverse with the Scared Timeline potentially being destroyed, this could be used to bring Morbius into the MCU continuity, which would explain why Sony is currently denying Morbius is set in the MCU, as it could spoil the end of Loki.
But, there is a second and more likely Marvel character that could be referenced by this mention of vampires. And that character is Blade. We know that Marvel is developing a Blade film within the MCU, with Mahershala Ali set to portray Eric Brooks/Blade. By no means do I expect Ali to appear in Loki, even though his casting was announced around the same time as this series. We know that the new Blade film will not debut until Phase 5 of the MCU, and with that being at least two years away, it is very unlikely we will have Blade or any vampires appearing in Loki. This line could just be simply setting the stage to let audiences know early on that vampires exist in the MCU, long before we get a film devoted to Ali hunting down vampires. Regardless of whether this line from Mobius goes anywhere, or if it is about Blade or Morbius, it’s a nice piece of world building in the MCU to help expand this wonderful universe that Marvel Studios has created over the past decade.
So what is Renslayer’s role in the deception at the TVA? Where is Loki exactly? And is Mobius actually dead? Check back in next week for my next recap of Loki to find out.