When we last left our heroes in EPISODE 3, a planet was bounding towards them on the doomed moon Lamentis.
We pick up this week with a look in at Asgard. We see a young Sylvie playing, not a bit of mischief in sight, as the TVA hunters burst through their portals and take Sylvie away, resetting her branch in the timeline. Being a Loki at heart, Sylvie does not go gentle into that good night; biting and kicking her way away from a younger Judge Renslayer, before she came to power. Sylvie’s able to grab Renslayer’s TemPad and begins her life on the run.
Next we cut to the present, if cutting to the present is a thing in a show built around time travel, with Renslayer having to go to the Time Keepers to explain the Sylvie and Loki situation. We get our first look at the Time Keepers here, three looming, ominous beings with glowing eyes up high on their thrones looking down at their minions.
Then we get a look at Loki and Sylvie, spending what they think will be their final minutes together on Lamentis. Loki apologizes to Sylvie, they again have some tender moments as they lament on the lives they’ve lived and how this looks like the end.
While this is happening, we cut back to Mobius at the TVA headquarters, asking Renslayer what happened and trying to find Loki and Sylvie. Mobius asks to talk to TVA agent C-20, the one Sylvie kidnapped in EPISODE 2. Renslayer tells Mobius C-20 is dead, having her brain scrambled by Sylvie.
Back to scanning the timeline looking for variant activity and don’t have any at first. Finally, in a moment where Loki and Sylvie become especially close, the time meter registers their location and just as Loki and Sylvie are about to meet their end, the TVA portals open up and they are taken into custody.
Mobius takes Loki away and Renslayer makes sure to lock Sylvie up. Loki plants a seed in Mobius’s head about what Sylvie told him last episode, that all TVA agents are actually variants and their story and possibly purpose are lies. Mobius doesn’t believe it at first and locks Loki away in a Time Cell. In his time cell, Loki is locked in a time loop with Lady Sif! Having just cut her hair, Sif is pissed and is looking for revenge. Loki isn’t impressed by the concept until Sif punches and knees Loki repeatedly.
While Loki is in his time cell, Mobius tries to talk to Sylvie but is cut off by Renslayer, with her telling Mobius Sylvie is too dangerous to confront. You can slowly see the wheels turning for Mobius in this episode as he realizes all may not be how it appears. After being shut down by Renslayer to talk to Sylvie, the Hunter B-15, the agent that took in Loki and was taken control of by Sylvie asks Mobius what Loki told him. Mobius tells her Loki said the TVA is lying to them all and B-15 looks on worriedly.
Mobius pulls Loki out of his time cell and we get both characters bluffing each other. Loki is trying to take credit for Sylvie’s plans to lessen her trouble. Mobius tells Loki that Sylvie is dead to test his feelings for her.
Mobius, still not sure what to make of the new information, sends Loki back to the time cell and tries to test the waters with Renslayer. Mobius doesn’t like her answers and steals her TemPad when her back is turned. With her TemPad he finds video of C-20’s interrogation, where she hadn’t lost her mind but was lucidly confirming Sylvie’s story, that all TVA agents are variants and their world was a lie. The interrogation ends with Renslayer leaning into the camera, shutting it down, and implying she’ll be killing C-20 herself.
We also get a shaken B-15 going into Sylvie’s cell, confronting her over the memories B-15 had when Sylvie went into her head. They go back to the hurricane hitting Haven Hills, Alabama from EPISODE 2 to buy time as B-15 wants to know the truth. Sylvie says all those memories are real, she can not create memories but only bring them back out.
Mobius, having his suspicions confirmed with Renslayer’s TemPad, frees Loki, only to be confronted by Renslayer in his interrogation room. Mobius begins a monologue on how Loki was right and all of the TVA is built on lies only for Renslayer to order his pruning. Wow. Bye Mobius!
Renslayer sends Loki ahead and gathers Sylvie, realizing Sylvie has been out of her cell because of her wet hurricane hair and has agents go look for B-15.
Our episode ends with Renslayer bringing Loki and Sylvie before the Time Keepers. They ask for any last words and B-15 shows up to free Loki and Sylvie. In the ensuing fight, Loki and Sylvie are able to take out several TVA agents, knock Renslayer momentarily unconscious and behead a Time Keeper! Before they bother to take out the other two Time Keepers, Loki and Sylvie learn the Time Keepers are androids, throwing them for a loop, leaving them no closer to the answer they’ve sought on who is ultimately after them, and who is controlling the TVA.
Just as they were deciding what to do next, and Loki was on the verge of admitting his feelings for Sylvie, a revived Renslayer prunes Loki. Renslayer is quickly subdued by Sylvie who is demanding answers!
Our episode has the first credit stinger of the series as well! Loki wakes up in a destroyed city landscape, looking up to see a variety of Lokis telling him to follow them if he wants to live.
What I Liked
Another week with lots of progress! Loki and Sylvie moved past begrudging partners and frenemies to a working tandem ready to use their skills to work together.
Mobius went out doing what was right, backing Loki and trying to get to the bottom of the TVA and if he does reappear, we can expect him fully on Loki’s side at this point.
Lady Sif! With this cameo Sif becomes the first character to have been in MCU movies, MCU TV with her Agents of Shield cameo, and now the Disney+ appearance!
With 2 episodes left, I like how the decks have been cleared. There are still many ways the show can go and they got the initial Time Keeper fake out done with. Now we get to focus on who exactly is pulling the strings and what our multiple multiverse Lokis can do!
What I Didn’t Like
This isn’t exclusive to Loki but shows in general that insist on taking a Mjolnir-worthy hammer to upcoming plot points with the “Previously On” segments. Game of Thrones was particularly guilty of this as they’d often hit a minor character that had a big show upcoming or a re-told line that will play an important part in the show to come. This week’s previously on went overboard setting the stage for Mobius realizing Sylvie was right about TVA agents being variants. It’s hard enough as is to avoid spoilers in this day and age and it bugs me starting the episode being given plot points to come. At least for longer season shows or call backs spanning seasons, I can understand it. Here? We’re in week 4, come on!
Minor nitpick, but you’d think the TVA would have some kind of time lo-jack on their TemPads to make finding variants easier. A young Sylvie steals one and is able to live decades on the run? At least the Lamentis TemPad was broken giving reason they’d be hard to find.
Major nitpick: after doing a nice job explaining the cover apocalyptic events provide for the variants to hide, it seems against their own internal logic that Loki and Sylvie getting feelings for each other would cause a time ripple. Lamentis was moments away from destruction, there’d be no reason this development would cause a ripple based on the logic the show has established. Yes, it’s nitpicky but I hope they revisit why in episodes to come or it does remain a plot hole for me.
I liked the Sif appearance, some good plot progression while also shaking things up to build excitement for the final 2 episodes, and stakes have been raised with both Mobius and Loki being pruned! Nitpicks aside, I’m looking forward to seeing how multiple Lokis bring the series home!