And you thought last week’s episode ended on a cliff-hanger… Critics of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier accused Marvel of moving too slowly, but four chapters into Loki sees the show killing off its two main stars, dethroning God and collapsing the fabric of space and time. And that’s all before the maddest end credit sting in the MCU.
To recap, the last time we saw Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) they were stuck on Lamentis-1 moments before it was about to be destroyed by a colliding planet. Giving up hope entirely, the pair share a nice moment by a purple lake of fire as they watch the apocalypse start to roll in from the sky. It’s about as close to romance as Loki is likely to get, and a slight touch of the wrist between two variants who are essentially the same person causes a spike in the TVA’s anomaly tracker – just enough for Mobius (Owen Wilson) to open a portal to pull them out just in time (or just in space?).
Dragged back in front of Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), the pair are dumped back in separate cells to await their fate. In Loki’s case, that means being locked in “a bad memory prison” – an endless short loop of history back on Asgard where he gets hit in the face by Sif (Jaimie Alexander).
With Loki softened up by a thousand punches, Mobius tries using emotional torture on him instead, telling him that Sylvie has been “pruned” (Loki-speak for being erased from time and space). When Loki starts twitching, betraying his feelings for her, the romance becomes real.
“What an incredible seismic narcissist,” laughs Mobius, saying what we’re all thinking. “You fell for yourself?!” Loki tries to tell Mobius what’s really going on at the TVA – that everyone who works there, including him, has been kidnapped and brainwashed – and he manages to sow enough of a seed of doubt in his mind to buy him some time.
Mobius, now thoroughly confused as he starts half-remembering that he might have been really into jet skis in a different life, visits Renslayer and secretly switches TemPads (a device used to control doors in time) with her to try and find out what happened to Hunter C-20 (Sasha Lane) after she started ranting about her past life in a cocktail bar.
Back in Sylvie’s cell, Hunter B-15 has doubts of her own. Taking Sylvie back to the Roxxcart Mall the night of the storm, she asks her to enchant her again so she can see her own memories. For a brief moment it looks like Loki, Sylvie, Mobius and B-15 are all going to team up to take down the TVA… and then Renslayer shows up and kills Mobius.
Before the shock has time to sink in, Loki and Sylvie are sent for execution with the timekeepers (three crusty old lizard gods floating in a roomful of smoke) and B-15 arrives just in time to throw them a sword. Renslayer goes down, the Lokis win the battle and Sylvie decapitates God without even pausing for a quip.
Picking up the severed lizard head, Sylvie realises that it’s actually just an animatronic – the whole room an elaborate Disneyland setup (by someone?) designed to look convincingly ominous.
“It never stops…” says Loki. “Then who created the TVA?” Picking that weird moment to start telling Sylvie how he really feels about her, leaning in for a kiss that we know might somehow cause a universe resetting quantum implosion, Renslayer picks herself up off the floor and prunes him.
Cut to a Brenda Lee love song. Roll credits. Right before an end credit sting that shows Loki waking up in some kind of odd temporal New York purgatory surrounded by four different versions of other Lokis, one of whom is Richard E. Grant in a leotard, and another of whom is a small crocodile wearing a hat…
Any predictions for next week’s episode? Our best guess is anything and everything.
- One of the other new Lokis we see at the end is played by Deobia Oparei (Areo Hotah in Game Of Thrones) who, crucially, is holding Thor’s hammer. Is this a new alt-reality Avengers?
- “We’ve brought in Kree, vampires and titans… why is it that demigods are such a pain in the ass?” says Mobius, confirming the existence of vampires in the MCU.
- The time loop that shows Sif being angry at Loki for cutting off a bit of her hair is a weirdly specific reference to real Norse mythology, with the event detailed in Snorri Sturluson’s 13th century Prose Edda.