Loki – Season 1, Episode 4: The Nexus Event

After last week’s Loki meets Loki episode Owen Wilson’s Mobius returns and all is right with the world again as  this week mainly returns to the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius show format that excelled in the first two episodes. 

We start with a brief flashback to the young female Loki, now going by the name Sylvie, on Asgard.  She seems a happy child, acting out stories of Valkyrie with her toys, but then the TVA lead by Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) bursts in and arrests her for crimes against the timeline.  This seems to contradict what we have been know about how the TVA works.  Loki was told that as soon as someone deviates from what the Time-Keepers want to happen the TVA will step in and reset the timeline to prevent a Multiverse.  Sylvie appears to have been living out her childhood, unaware that she is a variant, so whatever the event that created her would have been years ago and thus this variant timeline must have been running for years.  If this is the case then there are clearly more timelines than the sacred one.  Back at the TVA Sylie escapes just as Revonna is putting her on trail giving us a reason why Revonna is taking everything personally, a variant being on the loose is her failure.

Back in the present Revonna and Mobius are on the hunt for the Lokis after their escape.  Mobius wants to talk to Hunter C-20, who Sylvie had enchanted before she escaped, but Revonna is having none of it and eventually says that C-20 died as a result of her memories being played with.  You see Mobius’ belief in the TVA start to crack and the idea there is something bigger at play in the moment.

Last week we were left with a cliffhanger of the two Lokis trapped on a planet with an apocalyptic event about to happen with no sign of escape but like the serial of old this is now quickly wrapped up.  The bonding of the Lokis creates the biggest branch ever on the sacred timeline signalling to Mobius where he needs to carry out the rescue.  With the two variants back in TVA custody the interrogations can begin.  They are separated, Loki is back with Mobius and Sylvie is taken by Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku).

This show is built around the chemistry between Hiddleston and Wilson and it comes to the forefront again as they bicker.  Even though they are on either side of the argument you do feel that there is a bond forming between them but Mobius has had enough of the lying and throws Loki into a TVA prison cell.  It turns out that their form of imprisonment is to trap the criminal in a ‘Groundhog Day’ environment and Loki finds himself in a cycle of being berated by Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander returning to the MCU for the first time since ‘Thor: The Dark World‘) and taking a knee to the nuts.  This a torture that seem up there with waterboarding as Loki soon admits he craves attention because he’s a narcissist who fears isolation.

It’s at this point that everyone has started to get into each other’s head. Loki starts lying to Mobius as he believes giving what he wants is his way out. Modius lies to Loki, telling him that Sylvie is dead to get back at him. Revonna and Mobius clearly loose faith in each other and Mobius steals here pad away from her which she has been lying to him. Sylvie gains an unlikely ally in B-1 who, shaken by her enchantment, wants to know what has been going on.

With just two episodes left after this one the pace of the storytelling is really starting to pick up. Loki and Mobius decide to team up and rescue Sylvie but everything falls apart straight away as Revonna and her men intervene. As Mobius dreams of his jetski he is erased from history and Loki and Sylvie are taken to an audience with the Time-Keepers.

The Time-Keepers are three Kirby-esque characters, giant humanoid gods who stand judgment over the Loki variants and sentence them to death. This is the moment that B-15 makes her move and all hell breaks lose. The Lokis fight off Revonna and her people and B-15 gets knocked unconscious. Sylvie turns on the Time-Keepers and as one begs for his life she throws a sword and cuts off its head. As the head rolls on the floor it is revealed that the Time-Keepers are robots, just puppets for someone else. Whether the puppet master is Revonna or a greater evil has yet to be revealed.

The bond between the Lokis is growing and Loki promises Sylvie that they will get to the bottom of what is going on and find a way out. Just as to looks like they are going to have a romantic embrace, which would definitely fuck the timeline, an unseen Revonna jabs Loki with her pokey stick and deletes him from reality. Sylie then restrains Revonna and demands to know what’s happening. The episode then cuts to credit but we get our first mid credit scene of the series. Loki wakes up in what looks like a devastated New York and is great by four other Lokis. There is a Thor looking Loki, Kid Loki, crocodile Loki, and Richard E. Grant as old man Loki in comic book accurate costume.

After last week’s misstep the show has found it’s feet again with some thrilling twists and turns. But with not much time left there still seems like a lot of story still to be told and some of the concepts are still not sitting right for me. If variants are being deleted as soon as they happen how is Sylie a pre-teen by the time the TVA decide to do something about her? Hopefully the answer will be revealed.

My biggest fear for the series is that it is mirroring aspects of ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. Loki is swept up and dumped in a strange land. He has to follow a metaphorical path to meet the Time-Keepers as they are the only ones who can grant his wish to return home. The people who help him learn something about themselves along the way. And finally, when he reaches the Time-Keepers they turn out to be a lie. I’m hoping the creators aren’t going to hit us with the “it was all a dream” trope and reveal the Loki is under Sylvie’s enchantment all along.

If ‘Loki’ can stick the landing it will be the best Marvel show so far. Fingers crossed for what’s to come and that Mobius is alive and well on a Jetski.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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