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Chaos reigns at the TVA in Loki’s most bonkers episode yet

By Brian Silliman
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We’ve been spending too much time with Lokis. We don’t know who to trust or what to believe. Every single time that we think we know where Loki is going, nope, we’re wrong. We know how much chaos a single Loki can cause using lies, but we never thought we'd see two Lokis cause even more chaos using the truth. 

Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino) let it drop last week that, contrary to what they were told (and what they believe), everyone at the TVA is a variant. She thinks the Time Keepers are behind it, and so do we. At the end of Episode 4, titled “The Nexus Event”, she is able to question them herself with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) by her side. 

Whatever her desired outcome was, we’re gonna guess that what happened in the Time Keeper chamber was not it. 

***WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Loki episode 4. If you haven’t watched yet, turn away. For all time. Always.***

Fans who wanted more Asgard in their Loki show got their wish this week. We start with a child Sylvie being kidnapped by the TVA because of a Nexus Event that we don’t know about — and Sylvie still doesn’t know what the event was many years later. However, she escapes because she’s able to pull a fast one on Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). If anyone on this show knows what’s really going on (even a little bit) it’s her. She's the most untrustworthy character on a show full of Lokis, and that's certainly something

In the present (or whatever passes for "the present" at the TVA), Ravonna tells Mobius (Owen Wilson) that the formerly enchanted C-20 (Sasha Lane) is dead, which is most convenient. Sylvie and Loki, meanwhile, are still stranded on Lamentis. They share a beautiful moment, with Sylvie asking, “Do you think that what makes a Loki and Loki is the fact that we’re destined to lose?” 

Loki answers, “No. We may lose. Sometimes painfully. But we don’t die. We survive.” He goes on to praise her for surviving the way she has, and if it seems like he’s into her/himself/herself, he is. Suddenly, there's a very sharp branch in the timeline, which lets Mobius and B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) find the duo and get them out of there before the Nexus Event occurs. We’re back to Quip Battle 3000 between Loki and Mobius, with the latter ultimately saying that Loki isn’t really the God of Mischief of anything else, he’s “just kind of an a**hole and a bad friend.” Loki manages to tell him that he’s being lied to right before Mobius shoves him in a time cell. 

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Here’s our second return to Asgard, or at least a memory in a time cell that looks like Asgard. The memory includes the most welcome return of Lady Sif (Jaime Alexander) who, aside from a couple of appearances in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has not been seen since Thor: The Dark World. She’s set to return in Thor: Love and Thunder, but it’s great to see her here, playing out a story from actual Norse mythology. 

She enters holding a handful of her own hair, accusing Loki of cutting it off. In most versions of this myth, Loki has cut all of her hair off because he thought that it would be funny. Loki says as much here to this memory of Sif before she punches him in the face and knees him in the crotch. She walks off as another Sif walks in and the process rinses and repeats. 

Outside the cell, Mobius can’t get past what Loki said to him, and doesn’t get why no one is allowed to talk to Sylvie. In the cell, one of the endless Lady Sifs tells Loki that he is alone and always will be before Mobius interrupts to get some answers. He wants to know what caused the Nexus Event on Lamentis (Loki doesn’t know), and a parade of lies goes marching between the two of them. Mobius does get to a bit of truth at one point, correctly guessing that Loki has the hots for Sylvie: “Do you like her, does she like you?” he asks. It’s two variants of the same being “forming this kind of sick, twisted romantic relationship. That’s pure chaos,” he says, before capping it with, “What an incredible seismic narcissist. You fell for yourself.” 

He’s not wrong! Neither is Loki when he finally blurts out that everyone at the TVA is a variant. They’ve all been kidnapped and have had their memories erased. Why is no one able to talk to Sylvie? She can access their old memories through enchantment. This is precisely what B-15 finds out when she breaks the rules, takes Sylvie back to the Roxxcart parking lot, and gets an enchanted glimpse of her past life. 

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Mobius sends Loki back to his cell and celebrates a closed case with Ravonna, but he’s not buying her bill of goods. When she’s not looking, he swaps their TemPads and uncovers what really happened to C-20. She told everyone the same truth as Loki, and Ravonna heard it. No amount of “I’m trying to protect you” lines from Ravonna will work on Mobius now. Does that line ever work on anyone? Question for another time. 

Somewhat convinced that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, Mobius returns to Loki in his time cell, not liking that he has to “trust the word of two Lokis.” Loki asks him if “the word of a friend” is better, and Mobius takes a moment to tell him that he can be whoever he wants, even someone good… just in case anyone ever told him differently. Time for these two to kick some TVA bottom! 

This excitement lasts a few seconds, because they walk right into the waiting clutches of Ravonna and a gaggle of guards. Mobius gives her the business, wondering where he’s really from, and thinking that he may have had a real jet ski. Ravonna has him pruned, and Mobius vanishes from sight. Is he dead? We hope not, because Owen Wilson utterly nails this role. 

Ravonna ends up bringing both Loki and Sylvie to the Time Keepers, who look and speak like run-down Chuck E. Cheese animatronics. A pissed-off B-15 enters and disengages their control collars, so Loki and Sylvie are now able to beat the filling out of the TVA guards. Sylvie battles Ravonna before she chops the head off of a Time Keeper. 

The head laughs before shutting down, because it actually was an animatronic. “Mindless androids,” Sylvie says, with the question now being if these things didn’t create the TVA, who the heck did? 

Loki chooses this moment, yes, this moment to start telling Sylvie that he loves her/him/them/himself/herself but is stopped when Ravonna prunes him from behind. He looks to be dead, but Sylvie is able to disarm Ravonna and demand answers.

That’s it, that’s the episode. Loki is dead for good, there’s no way he’ll ever return. No way! Tom Hiddleston is gone from the MCU, never to return. Good thing we have Sylvie. So long, Tom Hiddleston. Farewell forever. 

Except not, of course not. To paraphrase the demigod himself, Lokis don’t die, they survive! The episode features a post-credits scene that opens with Hiddleston’s Loki waking up somewhere asking if he is in Hel, and if he’s dead. 

The voice of the great Richard E. Grant answers, “Not yet, but you will be unless you come with us.” That’s when we see several additional versions of Loki. There are all shapes and sizes here, one is played by Grant (wearing the signature horned helmet) and another is a reptile. 

If we thought that we’d been spending too much time with Lokis before, we didn’t know jack. We’ve barely begun to Loki. In the sacred timeline, if you (seemingly) lose an Owen Wilson, you are guaranteed to gain a Richard E. Grant? Maybe that’s the one constant in all of existence. 

Loki streams on Disney+ every Wednesday.