reached episode 4 on Wednesday, following on from the God of Mischief getting to know his after the pair escaped the clutches of the . It's also the first time this series has included a post-credits scene, so we'll dive into that in gloriously spoilery detail after the warning below.
We left Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie ( ) seemingly trapped on the doomed moon of Lamentis in 2077, with a planet about to crash down and the escape vessel they'd planned to hijack destroyed. Sylvie had also bombed the Sacred Timeline, creating countless branches and forcing the TVA to deal with the chronological chaos she'd unleashed.
Time to hop into apocalyptic SPOILERS, with an episode entitled The Nexus Event.
Beyond the pruning
After discovering that the Time-Keepers are robots, Loki prepares to bare his soul to a distraught Sylvie. However, the moment is cut short by TVA Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who sneaks up and prunes Loki, seemingly wiping him from existence and leaving the show without its protagonist. Guess it'll have to be renamed Sylvie.
Or will it? A post-credits scene sees Loki wake up in a ruined city and wonder aloud if he's dead.
"Not yet," says a mysterious someone in the unmistakable tones of Richard E. Grant. "But you will be, unless you come with us."
He looks up to see a trio of new Loki Variants -- credited as Classic Loki (Grant), Kid Loki (Jack Veal) and Boastful Loki (Deobia Oparei). There's also a alligator with a cute lil Loki crown (awwwww) and a building that sure looks like Avengers Tower in the back right of the shot (so we're likely looking at a ruined New York City).
These three boys are inspired by some of Loki's looks from the comics. Classic Loki is based on the character's early appearances (like the), and Kid Loki is a riff on a version who was after his apparent death.
Boastful Loki isn't quite as clear, but he's wielding a hammer, so he's likely inspired by a version of the character who's worthy of lifting Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. The one he's got looks quite different from Mjolnir, though, so he either customized it heavily or forged a new one. Given his name, he'll probably tell us all about his incredible exploits.
Alligator Loki seems to be an original character, but one that'll definitely be a popular plush toy. I want one, snap-snap.
Before Loki's pruning, he and Sylvie are dragged in front of the Time-Keepers for their apparent execution. They manage to overpower the guards and Ravonna, then Sylvie slices off a Time-Keeper's head and reveals their true nature -- it's a Wizard of Oz-style illusion.
After Loki's pruning, Sylvie prepares to make Ravonna tell her "everything." Between the new Lokis and this, we'll hopefully get a bunch of exposition in next week's episode.
Given her body language, it's unlikely Ravonna is the mastermind here. The most obvious suspect is Kang the Conqueror, a time-traveling baddy from the 31st century and regular villain of the Avengers in the comics. We already know Kang will show up in February 2023 movie, where he'll be played by , so we might see some version (or Variant) of the character in Loki first.
Or maybeis the true villain.
Sylvie of Asgard
The episode opens with a flashback to a young Sylvie, who was living in Asgard when a team of TVA Minutemen led by Ravonna came to arrest her and wiped out her reality. However, the wily youngster managed to swipe Ravonna's TemPad and escape.
Grownup Sylvie tells Loki her suspicion that being born female gradually created a divergence in the timeline. She later asks Ravonna why she was arrested, but the judge says she doesn't remember. However, Ravonna's cruel smile suggests she's lying and she's just being a meanie by refusing to tell Sylvie why her life was destroyed.
After Loki and Sylvie are busted, Mobius (Owen Wilson) has Loki thrown into a Time Cell. This is designed to soften up prisoners for interrogation by having them relive bad memories over and over.
"You conniving, craven, pathetic worm. You did this," she says, holding up a chunk of her hair Loki cut off. "I hope you know you deserve to be alone and you always will be."
Sif then knees him in the groin and punches him in the face. Rinse and repeat.
This moment alludes to a prank played by Loki in the comics and to the Norse mythology that inspired them. Loki cuts off Sif's golden locks as a prank, and a furious Thor demands his brother fix them. Loki convinces dwarven craftsmen to create new hair for Sif, and they create several other magical items for the gods -- including Mjolnir.
We were previously led to believe the Time-Keepers created all the TVA agents, but Sylvie revealed they were actually Variants who'd had their minds wiped and were pressed into service. When she Sasha Lane and Wunmi Mosaku), she unlocked memories of their old lives.(
C-20 was apparently killed by Ravonna to preserve the secret, but B-15 wisely kept her awakening quiet until she could confirm it with Sylvie. Then the hunter keeps low until she can save Sylvie and Loki from the Time-Keepers. She's knocked unconscious in that scene, so she'll presumably team up with Sylvie in the next episode.
Loki also reveals the truth to Mobius during his interrogation, and the TVA agent ultimately agrees to help him take down the Time-Keepers. Unfortunately, this moment of super-best-friend hope is crushed by Ravonna, who has Mobius pruned as he gushes about riding around on his jet-ski. Utterly monstrous.
Hopefully Mobius ended up wherever Loki is. If we don't see him on a jet-ski (preferably in his suit) before the show ends, I will be deeply upset.
Observations, WTF questions and Easter eggs
- Years visited: 2077, 2050 and several unknown eras.
- Why couldn't the TVA just leave Sylvie and Loki to die on Lamentis? If the apocalypse was imminent, it seems like the Nexus Event would have been stopped.
- Kid Sylvie is playing with carved figures of Valkyrie, and a wolf. The latter is likely a reference to Hela's giant canine Fenris, as seen in .
- She's played by Cailey Fleming, previously seen as a young Rey in ).
- Sylvie and Loki sitting calmly by the water as a wave of destruction rolls toward them is a bit like Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor's final moments in Star Wars spinoff .
- Sylvie and Loki going back-to-back to fight the Time-Keepers' goons felt quite like Rey and Kylo Ren fighting Snoke's guards in -- Snoke was also revealed to be . Maybe I just see Star Wars in everything.
- Tom Hiddleston plays lying Loki magnificently. I was almost convinced when he was making up the story about him manipulating Sylvie. Unless he really is?!
- Mobius mentions bringing in Kree, Titans and vampires -- possibly a tease for (though that's a Sony movie) or .
- The scene introducing the Time-Keepers is beautifully framed, but they looked super goofy to the point where it was clear they weren't going to be the ultimate villains.
- Ravonna "stabbing" Loki in the back mirrored Loki doing so to Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers. Both appeared to be dead, but each returned.
Join us for more Easter eggs and observations, when of Loki hits Disney Plus.