'Loki': The key talking points from Episode 4, the best episode yet (spoilers)
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Last week’s Loki slowed the plot down so it could spend more time on the connection between Tom Hiddleston’s titular Asgardian and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie.
It pays off dividends in episode 4 — the best instalment of the series so far — which has an excellent blend of plot propulsion, character work, and big twists.
Let’s get into it!
Loki likes Loki!
After a sequence that sees Sylvie being plucked from her timeline as a child by a young Ravonna Renslayer only to steal a TemPad and escape, we return to Loki and Sylvie’s present predicament on Lamentis-1, which is minutes away from destruction. It’s this sequence that gives us the episode’s best exchange:
Sylvie: “Do you think that what makes a Loki a Loki is the fact that we’re destined to lose?”
Loki: “We may lose. Sometimes painfully. But we don’t die. We survive.”
That beautifully written dialogue is followed by Loki and Sylvie recognising that they’re falling for each other – or, put another way, falling for themselves. It’s a moment of genuine connection that is as surprising as it is effective, and it causes a big nexus event that allows the TVA to lock on to the Variant’s positions and take them back into custody just before they’re wiped out.
Seeds of doubt at the TVA
Mobius is back! And he’s not pleased. For reasons that don’t quite add up, Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is not letting him interrogate Sylvie. She also tells him that Hunter C-20 (Sasha Lane), who was captured by Sylvie in episode 2, went crazy and died. And to top it off, his newest friend Loki betrayed him and he has to put him in a Time Cell to relive a bad memory over and over again. (Said memory sees the return of Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), who repeatedly calls Loki a “conniving, craven, pathetic worm” who “deserves to be alone” before giving the trickster a swift slap, knee, and punch to the face. Ouch.)
But when Loki proclaims that the TVA is lying to him and that he too is a Variant, it plants a seed of doubt in Mobius that he can’t quite shake. Similar is true for Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) who got enchanted by Sylvie in episode 2 and got a glimpse of some memories from her life before the TVA that are giving her pause. They both decide to act on their suspicions, which leads to deadly consequences.
In the first of this episode’s many “holy s***!” moments, a newly convinced Mobius liberates Loki from his Time Cell so he can partner up with him and bring the TVA down. But before we get to see them in action, Renslayer – with Hunters in tow – confronts them and prunes Mobius where he stands. Given that Renslayer notes that she and Mobius have an “uncommon friendship” and that she’s likely had to ‘reset’ Mobius a few times — remember those coaster outlines in her office — I’m betting this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Owen Wilson in this role. But the horrified look on Hiddleston’s face says it all.
After rounding up a suspiciously drenched Sylvie, Renslayer gives the Lokis what they’ve both wanted since this series began: an audience with the Time Keepers.
The Time Keepers wanted to hear what the Lokis had to say for themselves before they get pruned, but after a timely intervention by B-15 – who disables the time collars and chucks Sylvie a sword – a fight breaks out. Eventually the Loki’s prevail, but then we get a series of big reveals.
First, Sylvie decapitates one of the Time Keepers… who turn out to be androids. Then, just as Loki is on the verge of verbalising his feelings for Sylvie, Renslayer prunes him. Before we can ask ourselves if they really just killed off Loki, a post-credit scene reveals that he isn’t quite done for yet, as he wakes up to three more Variant versions of himself: a kid Loki (Jack Veal), a Black Loki (DeObia Oparei), and an older Loki (Richard E. Grant), who is decked out in a classic Loki costume.
As is often the case, answers beget more questions that will hopefully be clarified in the final two episodes: who is really controlling the TVA? How much does Renslayer know? Just where the hell is Loki?
The MCU has run into trouble in the past when it comes to dead characters not staying dead. If you pull that trick enough times, those moments become less shocking. With that said, what’s a Loki show without a little resurrection?
More low key observations
This series has many MVP’s, and one of them is composer Natalie Holt. There are fresh, bold variations on multiple cues in this episode that really help to accentuate the big moments. Impressive work.
At first it seemed that Sylvie believed that being born the goddess of mischief rather than a god is what eventually caused the nexus event that ultimately erased her reality. But when she asks Renslayer, the Judge says she doesn’t remember. Intrigued as to what the real answer is here…
Wunmi Mosaku does a lot with a little in this episode. Especially liked the scene in which Sylvie enchants B-15 to show her more memories of her life before the TVA.
We got our first mention of vampires in the MCU! Blade is coming, people…
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Watch: The mid-season Loki trailer