In this week’s ‘Loki,’ two tricksters get stranded in a sci-fi apocalypse

Tom Hiddleston stars alongside Sophia Di Martino in ‘Loki.’ (Photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios)

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Two Loki “Variants”—and two alien planetoids—collide in this week’s episode of the new live-action Marvel series. As we begin to learn more about the mysterious fugitive from the first two installments, new twists and turns (and existing Marvel Comics lore) continue to complicate matters. We learn that the Variant’s name is Sylvie, not Loki, and even the Loki of 2012 is in awe of her mind-altering abilities, which she claims to have taught herself. (Our Loki, by contrast, learned magic from his adoptive Asgardian mother, Frigga.)

At some point in the next three episodes, actor Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) is expected to make an appearance; one popular fan theory suggests he could be playing an older version of Loki. Could he have trained Sylvie, perhaps? She makes it clear she doesn’t like being called “a Loki.” In any case, she’s got plenty of tea on the Time Variance Authority, and by the end of this episode she starts spilling.

How can you watch ‘Loki’?

Loki finds himself marooned at the end of the world. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

In order to watch Loki, you need to subscribe to Disney+, the platform that serves as the online home for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can watch Disney+ using streaming devices, desktop browsers, a wide range of mobile devices, smart TVs, and video-game consoles.

A subscription to Disney+ costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 for the full year, though you can save by signing up for the Disney Bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu, which gives you access to all three streaming services for just $13.99 a month.

Sign up for Disney+ starting at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year

What happens in this episode of ‘Loki’?

Two mighty tricksters get to know one another on Lamentis-1. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Crucially, maybe understandably, Sylvie doesn’t trust our Loki. This is the guy who just tried to annihilate New York and rule as god-king of Earth, after all, but aren’t they two facets of the same reality-hopping demigod?

The episode opens with the two of them arriving back at the TVA, thanks to Sylvie’s handy “TemPad,” a gizmo that lets her create portals and travel from one time (or Armageddon) to the next. It’s TVA tech, but her plan differs from Loki’s. Where he would seek to control the TVA for his own amusement, she apparently means to destroy it. And she’s got a good reason for that: The TVA is populated entirely by other Variants. So the mythology around the Time-Keepers continues to show cracks. Certainly all the Minutemen are Variants—Mobius and Judge Renslayer probably are, too, along with all the bureaucrats behind their various desks. Could it be that the Time-Keepers themselves are a trio of Lokis? Might someone who fancies himself the one true God of Mischief be imprisoning all opposing versions of himself to maintain power over the multiverse?

In my last recap, I wondered whether the TVA’s sole purpose was to hunt down and destroy Lokis. Maybe I was right, in a sense; maybe the lucky ones are killed, and the rest are made to serve. Mobius, however, seems unaware he’s a Variant himself—if we’re to believe Sylvie, who seems to prefer withholding the truth rather than lying. (The best villains always do that, don’t they? Hannibal Lecter never lies. But he does eat people.) Is Mobius enchanted, then? Are all of the TVA’s underlings enchanted, unaware that they were all once trickster gods with unimaginable power? (Were they? What makes a Loki a Loki?) We all thought Laufeyson died when Thanos choked the life out of him in Infinity War. It seems he’s still got more tricks up his sleeve, across more planes of the multiverse, than even he would have suspected.

For now, though, Loki and Sylvie are content to try working together, two rogues with two slippery agendas.

When Loki first suggests a truce, Sylvie puts a blade to his throat. Then the TemPad device drops them both through a portal to another 21st-century doomsday: a moon called Lamentis-1, whose planet is about to crash straight into it. To get back to the TVA and the Time-Keepers—or anyplace that’s not about to explode—Sylvie needs to recharge her TemPad with a significant amount of energy. The arkship the people of Lamentis-1 intend to use to save their people is doomed anyhow, she reasons, so they’ll simply use that as a power source. So the pair employ the Loki playbook of trickery and deception to get aboard a train that’s headed to where the ark’s being prepped for launch. And, on the ride there, they get a chance to talk and learn a little more about one another.

Once they reach the ark, inspiration strikes. Why not simply fly the ship to safety, saving a civilization for a bit of fun in the process? They agree, the sky begins to fall, and just before they can reach the ark—the starship gets destroyed. When the credits roll, Loki and Sylvie stand amid an apocalypse with no way out.

Watch ‘Loki’ on Disney+

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