In the previous episode, our dear Loki followed the other Loki (which we now learn has named herself Sylvie) back to the TVA (Time Variance Agency). This muddles things for Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), who had a plan to decimate the Time Keepers, and now because of this man’s intrusive ways, finds herself in the midst of an apocalypse – Lamentis 1 – which Loki discovers is an event that no one survives. The problem now is that the TemPad, which allows Minutemen and agents of the TVA to teleport through time, is out of juice. The two are stranded unless they can find a strong enough power source to get the TemPad working again.
As Loki the series progresses, it truly seems to be finding its glorious purpose, with each episode a good mesh of conversation and action. Loki and Sylvie are the best pairing of the series so far. No offense to Mobius, but I could watch Loki and Sylvie share snippets of their lives for an entire episode and be immensely satisfied. The two charm (I mean magical charm here, not Hiddleston’s debonair ways) and deceive their way onto the ark, which contains the power needed to work the TemPad. As they wait to make their move, they find themselves with a little bit of downtime, which organically leads to conversation. Just so you know, the scene in question is staged so much like a first date.
They share details about their past, how they got into magic, and their romantic history, or the lack thereof to be exact. Loki is the first to ask the question, which could be out of curiosity, but as viewers who are privy to their spark and chemistry (I would watch the hell out of a series where Loki just goes on blind dates), there seems to be interest on his part. And she returns the question – could this be the start of something new?
The show is careful to leave things up in the air, so I’m not sure if this pairing will ever head down a romantic route. What it does give us insight into is Loki’s loneliness – there are very few people he has loved in his life, and the fact that most of them are dead fleshes out his sense of dislocation. Both Loki and Sylvie desire connection, but because of the mischief and the double-crossing that permeates their entire being, they find it difficult to trust anyone except themselves. They are in this predicament precisely because both didn’t trust the other, and they might just pay for that with their lives.
You can’t help but notice how some of Loki’s careless and hedonistic behaviour parallels Thor’s from the first film – he even utters the same line of dialogue at one point. This could be a sign of grief, since he learned about Ragnarok and Asgard’s destruction in the previous episode, and this partaking of song and dance could be an attempt to relive those past moments of camaraderie. Hiddleston does great work in showing us all these facets and sides to Loki, where all this levity and tomfoolery is used as a means to mask his pain.
After my quips about the TV budget in the last episode’s review, I feel kind of silly now looking at the extensive world building that went into imagining Lamentis-1 in 2077. It has the feel of Mad Max coupled with Total Recall, hell, let’s throw some Blade Runner 2049 into the mix. It looks futuristic and also on the verge of collapse, which perfectly fits the context for Lamentis-1. While scenes in the TVA feel slower, almost as if time has paused, things in the real world feel infinitely faster, and the constant action scenes add to that sense of momentum. It’s satisfying to watch the two Lokis go at it, doing nifty magic as well as hand-to-hand combat when necessary.
We end the episode on a cliffhanger, similar to how the previous episodes concluded, employing the same structure as WandaVision, where the suspense propels viewers to tune in week after week. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was more of a character study, a look into what makes a hero, and while interesting, you watched it more for the banter between Sam and Bucky, or to hate on the new Captain America, rather than a fascination of how things would turn out with the Flag Smashers.
I also just realised that each series explores different aspects of time. WandaVision is very much about Wanda’s past, while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier examines the present fallout. And then we have Loki, which has the look and feel of a sci-fi, and multiple storylines that deal with travels to the future. Truly a job well done, Marvel.
Things should move back to the TVA for next week’s episode, especially since we discover that there is more to the agency than the simplistic account offered by Miss Minutes. I look forward to more revelations, and of course, more Tom Hiddleston.
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The visuals of Loki continue to astound, and Hiddleston proves once again that he has chemistry with everyone - his scenes with newcomer Sophia Di Martino have been the highlight of the series so far.
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