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.
Pick a Loki, any Loki! After getting untimely pruned last week before getting to profess his love for Sylvie, Loki finds himself in uncharted territory with a staggering number of Loki variants on this week’s episode!
Since the first episode, Loki as a series has been a thrilling and engaging watch, with more details emerging and the mystery being furthered each week. But this is by far my favourite episode of the series so far. All of the main characters are given a good amount of screentime, ensuring that no one is sidelined like at least one of them had been in previous episodes. Hiddleston, Wilson, Mbatha-Raw and Di Martino all give wonderful performances. The writing, as with the rest of the series, is stellar, balancing great action and some wonderful character moments. And the addition of all the new Loki variants was an absolute blast, helping the episode find the perfect balance of fun, emotion and deepening of the mystery of what is going on at the TVA.
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…
A great spiralling opening shot that takes viewers from the TVA to where we saw Loki wake up in the post credit scene of last week’s episode opens the episode. The Loki variants inform Loki that he is in a place called the Void. Approaching them is a massive storm that has the head of a dragon, which they refer to as Alioth. They tell Loki that Alioth has come to devour them and they need to run now or else they will be destroyed.
We then cut back to Sylvie and Renslayer at the TVA. Renslayer tells Sylvie that she too was in the dark about the Time-Keepers being androids and what was actually happening at the TVA. She tells Sylvie that even though Loki has been pruned, he is in fact still alive, stuck at the Void at the end of time because pruning does not destroy, but simply moves items throughout the Sacred Timeline. Renslayer wants to know who lied to her about the TVA and tells Sylvie that she can help her find Loki if Sylvie is willing to trust her. Sylive then gives Renslayer back her TemPad, showing that she is willing to work with her to save Loki.
Back in the Void, Loki and the Variants have outrun Alioth. Loki wants to know what is happening, but the Variants tell him he needs to stop making a scene as it’s only calling Alioth to them. They explain to Loki that Alioth devours everything dropped in the Void, completely erasing it from the Sacred Timeline, with the only way to survive is to run. As they take Loki to their underground hideout (which happens to be a destroyed bowling alley), the Classic Loki Variant (portrayed by Richard E. Grant) explains that the Void is the kingdom of Kid Loki Variant, whose Nexus event was when he killed Thor.
Inside their hideout, the Variants discuss what brought them to the Void. The Boastful Loki Variant tells Loki that his Nexus event was when he vanquished both Captain America and Iron Man and took control of the six Infinity Stones, while Alligator Loki Variant’s was when he ate the wrong neighbour’s cat. Alligator Loki Variant also calls out Boastful Loki Variant for lying about his Nexus event. Classic Loki Variant explains he survived Thanos’s attack in Avengers: Infinity War by creating a projection of himself, tricking both Thanos and Thor into thinking he was dead, and then hiding out on a remote planet. However, when he became lonely and desired to leave the planet, the TVA found him and pruned him. Throughout their discussions the Variant Lokis see Loki as different. Loki believes it because none of them have met a female Loki variant like he has. He then tells the Variants of his plan to kill Alioth to escape the Void. The Variants laugh at his plan saying it will never work, but Loki continues with it nonetheless. He leaves the underground base through the hatch, only to find President Loki Variant and his gang of variants waiting for him above ground.
Back at the TVA, Renslayer and Sylvie begin formulating their plan with Miss Minutes to rescue Loki from the Void. They ask Miss Minutes to bring up the restricted files on the beginning of time and the TVA in hopes of finding out who is behind the android Time-Keepers. While also scanning the Sacred Timeline to locate the Void, they cannot find any deviations or nexus energy that would indicate Loki’s presence. Based on this information, Sylvie comes to the conclusion that he must be beyond the end of time, whereas like in a Nexus event, any nexus energy won’t be detected. However, the TemPad is not able to lock on there. Miss Minutes suggests that they take the Void Spacecraft, to which Sylvie thinks is a great idea. Miss Minutes begins searching for the Void Spacecraft files…and keeps searching… until the TVA guards storm into the room. Turns out “Void Spacecraft” was the panic word incase of a hostage situation, and that no such vehicle exists. Instead of allowing herself to be captured by the TVA, Sylvie prunes herself, sending herself to the Void to find Loki.
President Loki Variant and his gang of variants have taken over the destroyed bowling alley, thanks to Boastful Loki Variant making an arrangement with them to turn against Classic Loki Variant, Kid Loki Variant and Alligator Loki Variant. Naturally, with that many Lokis in one room, a fight breaks out and Loki uses projections to help him, Classic Loki Variant, Kid Loki Variant and Alligator Loki Variant escape the underground hideout without injury. Once outside the hideout, they set off towards Alioth but Classic Loki Variant, Kid Loki Variant and Alligator Loki Variant only agree to help Loki get to Alioth, but not fight Alioth.
Sylvie wakes up in the Void and is forced to run immediately from Alioth who is about to devour her. As she is running away, she connects to Alioth through her powers and has a vision of a castle-like structure and a glowing light. She is saved by a pizza delivery car, driven by Mobius who has thankfully survived last week’s pruning as well. As they speed away from Alioth, Sylvie tells Mobius that they have to find Loki and escape to find out who has been controlling the TVA. And after meeting Alioth briefly, she figures the only way out is by getting past Alioth, causing Mobius to turn the vehicle around and speed towards Alioth.
After their brief trip through the Void, Loki and the variants come upon Alioth. While Loki has no plan to kill Alioth, a ship is dropped into the Void, catching Alioth’s attention. Loki quickly formulates a plan by which they will sneak around behind Alioth and attack from behind as Alioth devours the ship. But Alioth finishes off the ship and its crew within seconds, causing Loki to rethink his plan as they are going to need a very large distraction. At that exact moment, Loki spots a car speeding towards them, and while the Variants want to run, Loki recognizes Mobius and Sylvie behind the wheel and runs to greet them. Loki quickly tells Mobius and Sylvie his plan to kill Alioth, which Sylive thinks is stupid. She tells Loki she believes that Alioth is protecting the entrance to the place beyond the Void and her desire to enchant Alioth to gain entry.
While Loki and Sylvie are formulating their plan in the Void, Renslayer is working at a furious pace at the TVA to discover who has been running the TVA and where they might be. While she has Miss Minutes pulling the restricted files for real that she requested with Sylvie, she interrogates B-15. Renslayer tells B-15 that the TVA needs stability after the revelation about the Time-Keepers and that no one can know about it. Renslayer, though, is focused on finding out what drives Sylvie, and learns that she will be gunning for whoever created the android Time-Keepers. After interrogating B-15, Renslayer embarks on her new mission: warning the individual who has been running the TVA that Sylvie is coming to kill them.
Hiding out from Alioth, Mobius tells the Variants of his desire to tell everyone at the TVA that they are enslaved variants after escaping the Void. Loki and Sylvie continue their conversation that they were having as Loki was pruned, and Loki backtracks and does not confess his feelings for Sylvie. Sylvie confides in Loki that she does not know how to act as she does not have friends or anyone she can count on. Loki assures her that she is doing far more important things by trying to bring down the TVA, as Loki conjures up a blanket around the two of them to protect them from the cold. Sylvie then asks Loki how she knows she can trust him not to betray her. In response, Loki tells her he is not the person he used to be. He knows why he betrayed everyone in his past, and that he has changed and won’t let her down. They then move the conversation to what they will do after all of this is over, and while they both have ideas of what may be waiting for them, they decide they will figure it out together. It’s a beautiful moment between Loki and Sylvie, once again highlighting the series’s excellent screenplay.
However, Alioth has found them and is quickly approaching. Mobius uses Loki’s TemPad to go back to the TVA, while the Variants stay in the Void and run away, leaving Loki and Sylvie to face Alioth. Loki and Mobius embrace as Mobius leaves, and Mobius thanks Loki as a friend for all he’s done and tells him that he is his favourite Loki variant.
Loki attempts to distract Alioth by challenging the storm to a fight while Sylvie begins casting her enchantment. However, Alioth detects Sylvie’s magic and turns towards Sylvie. Coming to their rescue, Classic Loki Variant casts a projection of Asgard and catches Alioths’ attention. As Alioth attempts to devour the conjured Asgard, Loki and Sylive begin enchanting Alioth. While Classic Loki Variants’s magic fails and Alioth kills him, Loki and Sylvie are successful in enchanting Alioth, calming the storm and revealing a portal. The portal leads to the castle-like structure that Sylvie saw earlier in the episode, with the glowing light at the top of one of the towers.
And the episode ends on that cliffhanger! No post credit tease of who is in the castle, so we will have to spin our own theories for the next week before everything is hopefully revealed in the finale next week.
This week’s episode is littered with Marvel easter eggs in the Void, discarded from pruned timelines. None of them have any influence on the show’s story, but it’s fun to play I Spy while watching the episode. As noted by many in the final scene of last week’s episode, there is a destroyed version of Avenger’s Tower at the beginning of the episode behind the Loki variants. There are also Infinity Stones scattered throughout the Variants’ underground hideout, a copy of Mjinor buried in the dirt, a crashed helicopter that reads “Thanos” on the tail, a crashed aircraft carrier similar to the aircraft carriers from The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and massive stone sculptures that are similarly shaped to the heads of the Time-Keepers.
After this week’s episode, I think I can put to bed the debate as to who Sylvie actually is. Her reluctance to call herself a Loki the past few episodes seems to be driven by conflict within her, but she has come to terms with it this week. She just seems to be a female version of God of Tricks. But just because she is a variant of Loki, I strongly believe that the MCU has big plans for her going forward because her character is just wonderful.
The big reveal this week is that Renslayer was more in the dark than previously thought by the fans. She had no clue the Time-Keepers were androids and being controlled by someone, and she is just as driven to find the individual behind the charade as Loki and Sylvie are. Knowing that, maybe it’s not as likely that the individual is Kang the Conqueror, assuming the MCU follows the comics and Renslayer and Kang do in fact have a romantic relationship. Unless this is the story to the beginning of their twisted love and she has her meet cute with Kang in the finale.
With the castle-like structure revealed, and it seeming to be the location where the individual behind the Time-Keeper androids is hiding, it’s fueling one theory that Mephisto could be behind it. Granted, there were no devil references this episode, but the castle looked ancient from the brief glimpse of it we saw. With the age of the castle, it seems possible that an ancient being and villain like Mephisto may be in such a structure. But it could easily be Kang, another Loki variant, Agatha (well actually not, but I love to bring up that it was Agatha All Along), or some other Marvel character that no one is talking about. Regardless of what theory you subscribe to, we are on the verge of the answers.
So who has been running the TVA from the shadows? Will Mobius bring down the TVA by revealing the truth about everyone there being a variant? Will Renslayer beat Loki and Sylvie to the individual behind the android Time-Keepers? And what will the finale do for the future of the MCU? Check back in next week for my recap of the final episode of Loki to find out.