We’re three episodes into Loki, and I’m sorry to say I’m bored. Not with the series, but definitely with the third episode. Despite its 42-minute length, this is the episode where almost nothing happened until the last five minutes. And along the way, the show told us maybe three key secrets.
Warning: This is a review of an ongoing tv series and will contain spoilers
Recap Time Again
Do you remember where we left off? Loki and Mobius discovered that the variant Loki they’re chasing has been hiding in apocalypse events. Places and times where everyone will die, so no action will set off the TVA alarms.
Upon arriving there, they discovered the missing TVA agent, who seemed to have gone insane. Then we learned why the show took so much effort to mask the other Loki—this Loki is a lady. Shortly after, she set dozens of bombs in the timelines, creating new branches, and fled through a time portal. Our Loki followed.
Compared to the first two episodes, this one runs at a much slower and more relaxed pace. Sure, episode two stopped to talk about faith and religion, but episode three just stops. We begin with a sequence that takes place during the second episode’s events. Lady Loki and the missing TV Agent (Hunter C-20, according to the captions) are in a beach-side restaurant drinking margaritas.
Naturally, that’s an illusion, and Lady Loki is trying to learn how to get to the Time Keepers from the agent. Eventually, she asks the right question and gets an answer—-use the gold elevator! Of course! The show jumps back into the present, and we learn that Lady Loki’s portal took her to the TVA, and our Loki followed.
That leads to a fight, which eventually leads to Loki grabbing Lady Loki’s TVA pad and transporting them both to another apocalypse. But this time, he picked the worst apocalypse of all—Lamentis-1. You see, Lamentis-1 is a moon orbiting the planet Lamentis. Or rather, the planet Lamentis is breaking up and crashing into the Laemntis-1 moon. No one is supposed to survive.
And unfortunately, the TemPad (that’s the name of the TVA time jumping pad) picked now to run out of energy. Thus setting off the main plot of the episode to get it recharged. The best place to do that is the ARK, a starship that’s trying to escape the impending apocalypse. According to Lady Loki, the ark won’t escape, so they may as well steal its power to recharge the TemPad. They work together begrudgingly because he’s magically hidden the TemPad, so she needs him. And she knows how it works and how to charge it, so he needs her.
Loki Gets to Know “Loki”
What happens next is about 40 minutes of going nowhere. Sure, Loki and LadyLoki walk to a train, and the train should take them to the ark. But for the most part, we get to see them sitting around and get to know each other—one Loki to another.
Or is she? Last week I postulated that perhaps this LadyLoki isn’t a Loki after all—perhaps she’s the Enchantress. The jury is still out because the show is sending us mixed signals. On the one hand, she says she doesn’t want to be known as Loki anymore. And we learn that she’s adopted. And she fights well enough to keep up with an Asgardian.
On the other hand, her powers are specifically called enchantment and are vastly different than Loki’s. And she wants to be called Sylvie. Why does that matter? Well, that’s the alias for the second version of the Enchantress in the comics.
But the disappointing thing is, we learn very little about Sylvie. From what we can gather is, she’s been on the run from the TVA for a very long time. She also led quite a different childhood than our Loki. She didn’t know her adoptive mother well, and her adoptive parents told her the truth very early.
The rest of the storytelling comes from our Loki. And while I enjoyed his sweet moment describing how his mother taught him magic, it mostly recapped things we already know about him. Other than a quick line confirming that Loki (and perhaps Sylvie) is bisexual. Before long, Sylvie falls asleep on a train, and Loki gets drunk. And again, I enjoyed seeing Loki yell “another!” after a drink followed by throwing his glass to the ground, just like Thor in the first Thor movie. But I found it really hard to believe Sylvie would drop her guard enough to fall asleep surrounded by Loki and strangers.
It was a bit of a thin plot to let Loki get drunk, sing a Viking song (ok, I liked it), draw too much attention to himself and Sylvie, and get them kicked off the train. So they’ll have to walk the rest of the way to the ark. And it appears that in literally getting kicked off the train, the TemPad got smashed and destroyed. I say appears because Loki can’t be trusted to be truthful. He could have illusioned the whole thing.
Finally Some Important Information
For the last part of the episode, things finally start to pick up. Sylvie explains how her enchanting powers work. For most people, a touch is all she needs, and she has complete control. But with stronger minds, she has to work harder. She’s there, but they exist too, so she creates a fantasy from memories to trick them into her bidding.
And that’s where ou Hunter S-20 from the beginning of the episode comes into play. It’s not that she had a strong mind. Sylvie explains her mind was messed up and clouded. She had to pull memories from hundreds of years ago—before S-20 worked for the TVA. And that’s when the penny drops.
Remember, the cartoon about the TVA claimed the Time Keepers created all the people serving in the organization. And Morbius confirmed that fact. But Sylvie says that’s not true—they’re all variants. Variants repurposed to work as TVA agents, and as Loki points out, they don’t even know it. It might explain a weird bit from episode two. Morbius has a magazine about Jet Skis and thinks they’re the best invention ever. He’s obsessed but admits to never riding one. Maybe he has?
Unfortunately (or fortunately!), just as it’s getting good, Loki and Sylvie arrive at the town where the ark is. And that planet? It really starts crashing down onto the moon now. What follows is a classic Marvel “one take” tracking shot. We watch Loki and Sylvie try to fight their way to the Ark. They figure if they can get on it in time, perhaps they can prevent its destruction and get off the planet. It’s that or die.
I’ll admit I thought they would succeed because it sounded like a perfect method to get the TVA involved in the episode, who are otherwise absent in this episode. If Loki and Sylvie saved so many lives in the process of saving themselves, that should set off alarms. I should have remembered the TVA has its own problems thanks to Sylvie’s time bombs.
You see, they’re too late, and a giant chunk of the planet explodes the Ark. No one gets off the planet. And that’s where the episode leaves off. But I have to admit, the special effects and filming during that “one-shot” sequence are superb. Movie film quality even. I went back and watched the whole thing again because it deserves it. It’s not quite the same as the “one-shot” sequences in Daredevil, but it’s still a wonder to behold.
Let’s hope those words describe all of the next episode. Cause the actual content of episode three could have filled about twenty minutes.