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‘Loki’ episode four review

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

Wow, what an episode! After taking a mini detour last week, we’re finally back with the main plot and it is everything fans hoped it would be. We all knew this series would go to some unexpected places, but it keeps defying people’s expectations that we can’t help but want to see it from beginning to end.

The episode begins by giving us a good look at Sylvie when we see her as a child being taken away from her home on Asgard in her timeline, which is then eliminated as the T.V.A. takes her away. Though, we don’t see her interact with her family, or get an explanation of why the T.V.A. would do this. But it is assumed that the time travel agency considers a female version of Loki in it of itself as a violation of the sacred timeline. It’s a quick intro that makes you feel for this character as she’s about to be ‘pruned” for simply existing. It makes it easy to understand why she would go off on them in the past episodes.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

We then cut back to Loki and Sylvie who after the events of last week’s episode are left stranded on Lamentis as it is about to be obliterated. Their moment together is a somber scene, to say the least. Both characters are at their lowest point, their plans to escape have gone nowhere, and Sylvie questions whether or not it’s their role as “Lokis” to lose. Loki sympathizes with her, which results in the two of them sharing what can be seen as a romantic moment with each other. I was surprised that the series would go in this direction, as it’s essentially two versions of the same character (albeit different sexes) being attracted to one another. It’s such a different direction that it creates a unique branch in the timeline, allowing Mobius and the T.V.A. to find and apprehend them before the moon is destroyed.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

When they are brought back to the T.V.A., Mobius is understandably less than thrilled about Loki going rogue with Sylvie. He’s even more dumbfounded with how Loki has feelings for her. His reaction to this revelation is realistic, as he sees a relationship like that being “pure chaos.” I can’t help but look at this and see it as toxic fan shipping in a nutshell, with how people react when random characters get intimate with one another. Loki tries to prove himself by telling Mobius about everyone at the T.V.A. being variants, but he believes it’s another one of Loki’s tricks so he sends him to a time loop prison cell.

The scene involving the time loop was a very creative way to show Loki being detained while also being punished for his previous actions. It’s set up as one of his past memories on Asgard after he played a prank on Lady Sif from the first two “Thor” films. They even brought back Jamie Alexander to reprise her role. This isn’t the first time this character has appeared in a Marvel series, as she appeared twice in early seasons of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” So to see her here was a surprise as she hasn’t appeared for a while. Her presence was sorely missed in Thor-related stories like “Thor: Ragnarok,” or even “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

The episode has her play a role in Loki’s punishment by having her come in, physically beat and berate Loki for his actions, then walk off and the moment repeats all over again. It’s very reminiscent of the “Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain” scene from “Doctor Strange.” This happens so much that Loki at one point apologizes for what he did to her in the past, and even acknowledges his deceitful nature. It’s an entertaining scene that’s very clever but also funny to watch.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

Meanwhile, Mobius and Ravonna Renslayer start wrapping up the case as Mobius demands to speak to agent C-20 whose memories were affected by Sylvie from a few episodes ago. To his bewilderment, he isn’t allowed as Renslayer claims that the agent was “unable to speak” after being rescued. His suspicions are later confirmed when he discreetly witches timepads with Renslayer and sees footage of C-20 saying that she remembers her life on earth before the T.V.A with Renslayer present. You really feel for this guy as he discovers that his whole purpose with this organization was based on a lie. He may seem like a blue-collar cop, but in reality, he’s a guy who just wants to have his own life and own a jet ski. 

The suspicions don’t end there as Hunter B-15 has questions of her own about the T.V.A. after Sylvie tampered with memories of her former life. She even takes Sylvie aside who confirms her suspicions that everyone at the T.V.A. was taken from their timelines and had their memories altered to believe they were created by the Time Keepers. The plotline involving the conspiracy inside the T.V.A. creates a good amount of intrigue throughout the episode. It really makes you wonder who and why would someone go to great lengths to control people and maintain the timeline in such a strict manner.

The episode takes a dark turn when Mobius frees Loki from the time loop but is surrounded by Renslayer and several armed minutemen. Mobius’ attempts at reason fall on deaf ears as his wish to return to his former life are met with betrayal when Renslayer has him “pruned” on the spot. Seeing Mobius seemingly disintegrated on-screen caught me by surprise as I didn’t think they would do this to one of the main characters this soon. I really like the guy, and want everything to turn out okay for him.

The episode then takes us to the heart of the T.V.A. when Loki and Sylvie are taken by Renslayer to be “pruned.” It was practically what I expected it to be with the set being a massive throne room, with the three timekeepers in high chairs speaking with loud deep voices. It’s basically the classic big bad guys in high positions of power trope that comic fans are all too familiar with.

The climax turns into a brawl when Hunter B-15 comes in and frees the duo so that they can fight back. The action was handled pretty well with Loki handling the minutemen and Sylvie having her long-awaited duel with Renslayer. When the agents are defeated Sylvie takes one of her swords and throws them at one of the timekeepers, whose robotic head falls to the ground revealing them to be no more than simple androids. After this revelation, it’s safe to assume that the whole timekeeper’s setup was merely a front for someone behind the scenes pulling the strings. I’ve heard plenty of theories online saying who it could be. They range from classic characters such as Kang the Conqueror, or Mephisto, etc. I’m not that big on fan theories as a lot of them can focus on the wrong leads that go nowhere. In my opinion, with the different directions, this series has gone in, anything is possible at this point.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

Before the pair make their next move, Loki takes the time to speak with Sylvie. No doubt to confess his feelings for her. However, the episode shoots down this moment when Renslayer comes back and “prunes” Loki in the back, seemingly disintegrating him in the process. Sylvie reacts by disarming Renslayer and demands she tell her the truth about the T.V.A. 

Before any of you start throwing up arms and raging on social media. No. Loki is not dead again. I think the series is aware of the characters’ constant reappearances and is using this aspect as a way to play with the audience’s expectations. This seems to be the case as in an end credits scene, we see Loki wake up wondering if he landed in “Hel” of all places. His confusion only increases when he sees multiple variants of himself in what appears to be a destroyed version of New York City. The reveal of multiple versions of the titular character was everything fans have been expecting from this series. From what we learned from the episode’s end credits we have DeObia Oparei as “Boastful Loki,” Jack Veal as “Kid Loki” holding what I assume is a reptile version of Loki, and famous actor Richard E. Grant as “Classic Loki.” They were only on screen for a few seconds, but their appearances practically dialed the hype level to an 11. The revelation that anyone who is “pruned” is sent to this landscape, also creates hope that Mobius will appear again. I hope it’s true because let’s be honest, we can’t get enough of Owen Wilson.

Courtesy of David Eckstein-Schoemann.

We have only two episodes left in this series, and the plot keeps getting more chaotic in the right kind of ways. I also like that it raises our expectations for the long-awaited multiverse. The possibilities that come with this are endless, as there are literally tons of characters with multiple versions of themselves throughout the Marvel universe. Let’s hope the series remains strong as it makes its way towards the finish line.

Rating: 5 / 5 Spinnaker Sails.

________

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