Cautious: spoilers for ‘Loki’ episode four ahead. You’ve been warned.
If you’re reading this review, you’re aware of the tempo these Marvel shows go. Something big almost always happens at the end of episode four, and this season of Loki is no exception. I didn’t have the temporal loom exploding on my bingo card (I did have Victor Timely and O.B. being friends on it last week). I had two trains of thought regarding how everything ended up. At first, it was shock and amazement at that cliffhanger – mainly because the MCU needed something big to happen with this multiverse story with Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars down the road.
We got it in Loki season one with the death of He Who Remains and the branching timelines. Now, the loom has exploded, and we have no idea what that means for time in this universe. Are Loki, Mobius, and co dead now? Does this mean all other timelines are in play because nothing keeps it in place? Is Loki going to be in a time loop that will come back around to solve this somehow? These are some of the many questions that have me intrigued for the remaining two episodes.
On the other hand, you almost wonder what the entire four-episode arc dealing with free will, and this mad dash to go back to get Victor to bring him to the TVA was for if it was all for naught anyway. The thorny provisions writers Eric Martin and Katharyn Blair tackle don’t have a simple answer because many roads we were going down weren’t easy. You have to trust a variant of the person who could be dangerous with the task of saving the world. That’s a difficult decision. Then, there are competing views of the TVA between factions of characters mixed in.
Sylvie’s arguments are still the same; you could argue even stronger in this episode (although he was a little hard on Mobius). It’s this constant tug-of-war between her and Loki. She asks him what if it fails, and Timely becomes He Who Remains anyway despite his intentions and her mercy. Loki fully believes in the construct of the TVA to hold everything together by changing its internal mission.
The dialogue from Loki is interesting because his belief in the TVA has taken complete control of him. He brings up the Thor story to show that his mischievous intentions have changed. He has friends, a love interest, and a noble mission. Just the fact that Loki says you can’t give free will to people and walk away and then follow it up with “we are gods” hearkens back to He Who Remains offer. Does he see himself in a position of power with a newly reformed TVA with Sylvie on this side? It sure seems so. Then, even the best intentions are still ordering the steps of others – something Sylvie hates.
It’s the same sentiment B-15 holds in her “no prune” methods. She’s a woman of integrity; that’s why General Lox listens to her, and ultimately, she and her platoon don’t join up with Ravonna when she returns. With Ravonna, it’s purely just a power play to run the TVA. Given the recorded message in the first episode, the previous relationship between He Who Remains and Ravonna was there. There was the extra tidbit of knowing he was the one who had Miss Minutes wipe everybody’s memory.
So, from that standpoint, Ravonna’s anger is somewhat justified. She was running the TVA while he sat at the end of time. The horrifying cubing was shot well from hearing it and seeing the expression from B-15. That’s Ravonna’s pride coming into play because despite her being a leader in the previous world, everybody has their intentions now. With Brad, it’s like Cypher in The Matrix. He wants to go back to his movie star life. I’m more or less okay with Victor sacrificing himself because his character has that good naivety within him and mainly because the thing he was supposed to solve is gone.
We have no order, and the sacred timeline is scattered. That means there is room for war and many bad people who would love to seize control. I don’t think Loki is dead (or anybody), but I feel the remaining two episodes have a lot of work to do to get this gang back together.