So at the conclusion of the last episode, there is some ambiguity around Loki’s last look. As Agent Mobius is pleading with him to not leave, is Loki saying “I have to go to stop the Variant!” or is he saying “I am quitting this partnership!” Either way, episode 3 would seem to have to give us a way forward.
Recap of Loki, S1E3: “Lamentis”
We open on the Variant and the captured TVA member from last episode, except instead of being in our world and time, they seem to be somewhere else, drinking frozen drinks. And the Variant slowly explains that “brain freeze” is when memories get stuck right at the tip of the brain, making them easier to access. And she is working her way to get to some very specific information about the Time Keepers from the guard, namely, how many people are guarding the Time Keepers. But back in the “real world” of the storm of last week, we do see the Variant is able to get the information that the Time Keepers’ elevators are gold.
And she quickly takes that information. The jump from last week now has her inside the TVA and after dispensing of some of their soldiers, the Variant is moving forward. But Loki comes back shortly after, retrieving his daggers and following her. The two wind up in a fight in a hallway (Yeah Marvel!) When the Variant finally has the upperhand, soldiers and Ravonna Renslayer appear, ready to take them both. But Loki swipes the time traveling pad from the Variant and sends them both falling through the floor into…
An apocalypse, which is made worse by the flashing warning that the time travel device is out of juice. But in the midst of their fight, a meteor smashes between the two of them. The Variant then chides Loki because he has sent them to Lamentis-1, the worst apocalypse saved on that time travel device. And it is the worst because a planet’s moon is crashing into its surface and, as she declares, “No one makes it off.”
And they both quickly realize they have to work together to make it out and off this planet alive. After trying to scam a settler and both of them failing, they make a truce to make it to the Ark, a large ship that is collecting settlers to get out, but they will need to hitch a train ride first. Using Loki’s powers to disguise and the Variant’s magic to override people, they manage to make it on the train, headed for the Ark.
On the train, they have time for a sit down, and a chance to compare life stories. Loki tells of his mother passing on magic to him, and some of the things she would do to amuse him as a child, while the Variant, who is known as Sylvie, seems to have just hard worked her talents and magics into existence.
And they compare childhood reveals, like that Sylvie knew she was adopted while Loki, as we know, did not. Loki obviously has a fondness about his mother while Sylvie discusses her childhood as just blips in her memories. Sylvie jokingly has a beau waiting for her, at the end of the various apocalypses. While Loki admits to dalliances with other “princes and princesses” but both confessing that nothing was ever really real. When Sylvie declares “Love is mischief”, Loki stalls.
Eventually, they each turn to relax in their own way. While Sylvie eventually sleeps, Loki keeps the drinks coming and it culminates in his leading a bar song, with verses in Asgardian and the chorus of “When she sings, she sings come home…” But Sylvie recognizes that is drawing the wrong kind of attention to them. But Loki,”full” on drink, seems to be focused on more and offers her a response to her “Love is mischief” from earlier with this missive:
“Love is a dagger. It is a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. You can see yourself in it. It is beautiful. Until it makes you bleed. But, ultimately, when you reach for it, it isn’t real.”
The poetry is cut short though when the train security arrives. When Loki winds up thrown out of the train, Sylvie has to follow since he has the time pad. Only, upon inspection on landing outside the train, it is damaged beyond repair. After a bit of despair, they come up with another idea: hijack the Ark ship and get off the moon together.
As they are walking to the city, as a show of good faith, Sylvie is explaining how she is able to take mind control over people. In discussing how she did it on the soldier from the top of the episode, she mentions that her memories are jumbled, hard to read and from before the soldier joined the TVA. This peaks Loki’s interest, as he understood the soldier and workers to have been created for the TVA but Sylvie reveals that instead they are all variants of some kind.
But as they make their desperate attempt to get to the Ark, they arrive just in time to watch it fall apart, seemingly leaving them stuck here and living through the end of this apocalypse.
Thoughts on Loki, S1E3: “Lamentis”
Overall, this episode offers some real challenging things moving forward.
First off, the reveal that all the TVA employees are actually variants but they do not know it is a stunning reveal. It could easily be handwaved later with Mobius confessing that he lied to Loki about it but seems more likely that we are getting an ominous twist on the Time Keepers. And the “what did he do before he was a time cop” episode starring Owen Wilson should be amazing! And how many of the variants workers know the whole truth about who they are?
Second, Sylvie is an intriguing rogue herself. Her statement that she has been running from the Time-Keepers since she was a child challenges what we think about her to some degree. They seem to be borrowing parts of several Marvel Comics to make this character up, so everything could be a push or pull from here out. One thing that they seemed to go out of their way was to show her joy and enthusiasm of combat and, specifically, hurting people. Is she a child who has been running for her life? Has her constant interactions with people at the end of their apocalypse deaden her to violence and harm?
Clearly, Lamentis-1 isn’t the end of their story but it will be interesting to see where they go from here. Will the TVA save them? Or something or someone else? There has been a lot of talk of Kang the time traveling conquerer coming to the MCU. Could it happen as a guest appearance in Loki first?