The Real McTeag

est 2012

Episode 3 of Loki brings us to the halfway point of the season. Last weeks final thought was it was high time we slowed down and got some information about how all this works.

The show did slow down to a degree and some new information got dispensed, like exactly how we’re supposed to adress Loki 2 and a few kernels about the nature of the TVA and hints about their tech. Though the episode was shorter and had a simple, linear story, there were about as many conflicts and implications as last week, so lets dive in!

Story Synopsis

Last week ended with Loki jumping into a transporter beam to follow Loki 2 to some unknown point after Loki 2 “Bombed the Timeline” with TVA tech.

The episode opens with song Demons by Hailey Kiyoko playing.

The Transporter beam opens up at TVA HQ where Loki 2 and then Loki himself step through.

Loki 2 is engaged on a seeming assassination mission at the TVA. She easily beats some guards and vaporizes a few before running into the woman who seems to run the show for the Lizards at the TVA and 2 more guards. A transporter beam is initiated and the two Lokis beam away together. In the next instant they’re on Lamentis 1 – a doomed moon about to be destroyed by colliding with the planet it orbits. The two Loki’s fight for the TVA tech Loki Prime has that allows them to beam around.

Its revealed it was Loki Prime who beamed them to one of the Apocalypses that were on the list of places Loki 2 may hide. Apparently he chose at random and went to “the WORST Apocalypse on that TemPad!” (more on the TemPad in a moment). Its pretty clear this place is too far into its destruction for anyone to want to hide in. After leaving the darkened tent they dodge meteors and seek refuge from the falling chunks of the planet visible in the sky

The planet is a nightmare and looks like it was never all that nice. In an on and off fight/run/ fight/run episode we go back and forth in a series of reveals and teases as well as a bit of info on the TVA

The escape from the tent ends in a shelter- which seemed to be a mere metal cargo container of some sort, There they try to talk and sort of fight. Neither seems overly committed to doing more than trading verbal barbs. In this scene we find out one of the devices TVA Timecops carry is called a TemPad.

A TemPad looks like a smartphone strapped to an old school pager and only has just so much power in its batteries- enough for a few trips through time and space. While it currently lacks enough power to do more than tell them “Im out of Juice” there’s some good news. There’s a non specific way to recharge it on Lamentis- which has about a day left before it ends. Loki 2 reveals she likes to be called Sylvie, but refers to it an alias. She says she merely doesn’t like being called Loki. So Loki 2 is now Sylvie.

Lamentis is a desert-ish futurized old west kind of planet where prospecting or mining seems the way of life. At this point, with hours left, the planets a mess. Meteorite storms and other problems are pretty ongoing

Loki and Sylvie make their way to a settlement that is mostly abandoned and after a couple of attempts to trick each other they both get stun blasted in turn by an old time-y sounding woman. So Loki and Sylvie are about equally smart and equally tough. Neither had the best plan, but they get some key info. The old timey sounding woman reveals theres a train station where they can get a train to the Ark- a spaceship off the planet- if they can get a ticket, but she scoffs at their chances.

Loki and Sylvie make their way onto the train through some trickery and a humane approach Loki advocates for. There they finally have a talk. They discuss who the real Loki even is since to the TVA they are 2 variants of the same person. Sylvie doesnt let on much. Loki asks about her ability to enchant people- something she tried on him earlier only to find out his “mind was too strong” We saw some Zombie-fied Voodoo Proxies animated and controlled by Sylvie last week, so we now know what that was all about. She says she has to touch people to do it. Then Loki shows off a couple of tricks and they talk about their families.

Things settle down on the train long enough for most of the progress to the Ark to be covered before the trains security decides to check peoples tickets. A fight ensues and…..what appears to be random human security guards beat up Loki and Sylvie. They end up ejected in dramatic style from the train. They now must walk to the distant city where the Ark is.

When theyre thrown off the moving train they take no damage but the TemPad gets broken. Plan B is now – get on the Ark (rather than use it to jumpstart their TemPad) and help it to escape- Sylvie reveals the ark is destroyed before it could leave. Loki suggests between the two of them they probably can change that outcome and escape.

When they reach the Ark its in an urbanized, Blade Runner-like area and theres a lot of security. Clearly getting on the ark will be a tough gig. At this point the Apocalypse accelerates a bit and Loki stops a falling building with his telekinesis and allows them to escape- he simply shoves it away with his powers and it just is gone.

After a pretty chaotic fight through total mayhem of doomed, screaming randos they nearly reach what we assume must be the Ark. At that moment a meteorite hits it, doing massive damage. Loki stares in disbelief as Sylvie turns and walks away. The song Dark Moon by Bonnie Guitar plays. With that we end.

Conflicts and Implications

In probably the shortest episode yet we finally get some info on the TVA. For one thing, Sylvie seems to have an idea of just where in the TVA the Lizard People aka The Time Keepers are and is seemingly ready to kill them. Shes unafraid so she seems to think killing them is within her power. So the Lizard People seem to be located at the TVA HQ and at least Sylvie thinks theyre mortal enough.

The TemPad finally has a name and some limitations- it requires recharging and Loki only knows just so much about how it works. Its also said to need a tremendous amount of power to charge. They do not consider using the train to charge it- they seem to need the ark.

The conflict here is the first person to beam away in episode 2 is Sylvie – so she had a TemPad. Whether I lost track of this or the writers did it should be as useful as the one Loki has- but we seem to have forgotten this detail.

Loki and Sylvie never speak of the planets leaders or its society except when she mentions its society is collapsing (which is as obvious as could be). However by the time we get to the Train to the Ark Loki has some inside info on the planet and knows who is in charge of the Ark at the least. He seems to just pick it up out of thin air.

The conversation between Loki and Sylvie about Loki’s mother is poorly written or a hint. Its possible Sylvie knows more about Loki but isn’t the most practiced liar – which seems strange for a Loki variant – or the dialogue is as awkward as it came off. Sylvie speaks first of Loki’s mother in past tense, seeming to know she’s dead. Then she asks if Loki’s Mother is still alive. It may be a set up but it felt like a mistake. We’ll see if it gets addressed.

The discussion between Loki and Sylvie about their mother(s?) is thought provoking. The Game Knights over on YouTube had a hunch she could be Loki’s mother. Im not so sure about this but we need to remember- Loki has TWO mothers- an ice giant mother we never see and his adopted Asgardian mother. So if this Variant Loki/ Sylvie is another loki and raised on Asgard. Or she may be his Ice Giant Mother. Its even possible shes his Ice Giant sister I guess as well. They seem kinda flirty though, so we’ll have to see how this one plays out. She says that she was told she was adopted from the start by her parents, something Loki Prime is stunned by. They can get right out of it with the “All Loki’s lie” thing, but that really seem to be a primary feature of either Loki, theyre not effective at kies, long-game lying or being able to tell when others are lying. Both are far too trusting of eachother after hating eachother.

Sylvie is actually asleep during a lot of the 12 hours the two Lokis spend “Bonding” They have the most superficial attraction. Its going to be hard to sell it as ‘deep.’ They also just don’t seem very self aware. Why would any Loki trust a variant of themselves? They know what they’re capable of. Highly inconsistent for any iteration of Loki.

In a moment of “Win” Loki gets a bit tanked and sings a drinking song with the locals- all of whom appear completely human. Its a little strange he doesnt try to ditch or somehow screw over the passed out Sylvie- or why Sylvie needs to sleep whereas apparently Loki doesn’t. The weird dialogue about this later doesn’t clear anything up.

One real question is “just how powerful is any character at any given moment?” Minutes after losing a fight to rando humans Loki shoves an entire huge building away with his telekinesis. Why not use that to win the fight on the train? Loki’s abilities are all over the place this week.

We dont see the effects of the Timeline Bombing or hear about them in this episode. The TVA is still there, so bombing the timelines effects do not seem to include destruction of the TVA HQ.

Then somewhere in there we find out WHAT the Time Variance Authority workers are – something I’ve been wondering about for a while. They are not clones or androids but VARIANTS! So everyone is like Loki in the sense they were once living in the So Called Sacred Timeline. We dont know how much they know of their lives before this, so far we had indications they mostly have never left the TVA HQ.

The flashback where Sylvie gets key info from the timecop she kidnapped seems to take place about now in our world. At what point that life ends and she becomes a TVA Time Cop is unclear but Sylvie indicates its some point in the past in a way that makes it seem more than just a little while ago. In a show that has time travel its again really hard to know what exactly the current time is at the TVA- said to exist outside of time. Yet the bombing of the timeline shows it does have a physical location in some sense and you can get there during their version of “NOW.”

Sylvie outright calls the TVA Fascists. Finally someone I can agree with on this one. She says – at least from her point of view- that the Time-Keepers have eliminated free will. On this one she seems to be in the right. The TVA seems evil and Sylvie is moving towards moral ambiguity. Killing the Time Cops was always sort of hard to gauge morally, but now we see some people think they’re pretty uncool. At the same time there’s a case to be made they Time Cops and workers have been brainwashed or something and of course in episode 1 and implications we’ve covered the whole question of whether or not the MCU has free will. So maybe killing them is really wrong. This is now entering First Order Stormtrooper level of ambiguity. They’re the worst- unless they desert and fight with good guys. Their free will is in question.

Other big questions include – Is every variant who isn’t reset recruited by Mobias? How much of this does Mobias know? Is his jetski fixation a re-emerging memory? Or is Mobias “IN” on the ‘time-kidnappings’ too? As Mobias himself might say; “Wow…”

We’re also left to ask ‘just how is it a variant is unaware of what a fish is if he was once a normal person?’ The same TVA worker also said he’d been at his desk all his life. So memory wipes are possible or this was the writers going for a joke and ignoring the fact we have contradictory information on that topic already.

Loki is apparently the only person (aside the Time Keepers themselves) working for the TVA in any capacity who isn’t a normal human (albeit a variant), so we need to see where they go with this. I don’t see how they can get around it. Seems like we have some people at the TVA set up to “come Clear” or have “Total Recall” if they have had their memories suppressed. The TVA really just looks more evil than ever.

While we did slow down and get some information it was still pretty scarce and some things said in the episode seem self contradictory. While changed and fast forwarded to a Ragnorak kind of Loki who only has flashes of mercilessness and sometimes shows empathy- we have not rebooted Loki any more this week. He was more or less the same as last week this time.

Whether Loki has his own agenda or is now totally onboard with the TVA is up in the air, but he was down for saving people- or not. He’s most oriented on self preservation. It was two crazy episodes where we deconstructed and very quickly rebuilt Loki. So that he stayed more or less the same this week was kind of refreshing. He’s still not the coolest Loki we’ve seen in this Universe though- nor much like the Avengers 1 Loki he started out as in this “Timeline.”

Loki drops that hes bisexual. It was only just so shocking.Too much will be made of this, it works for the character. He can appear as anything and would have sex with ANYONE for fun or to advance a plan. So, while a revelation in a way it doesn’t change the character much to me.

Loki and Sylvie seem to put themselves on a tight deadline. They are said to be about 10 minutes from Ark departure when they get tossed off the bullet train. When we see the city it’s easily a 3 hour walk as they sort of saunter off towards it. They make it in about 8 minutes though based on the time frame we got earlier. This seems like a mistake. Its lazy continuity.

This episode was maybe the best so far as watch-ability goes. The surprises are mostly in the rearview and we seem to be getting some context. It beat endless unexplained info dumps, but we still need more. Lets hope theres more context next week- we didnt get too much in this episode but what we did get helped.

We also stopped being just pelted with new, unexplained info. There was some bare bones of context for the show. Lets hope this continues to be paid off. We really didn’t get a lot. Only the actual name of the TemPad’s, their limitations and some validation Loki isn’t the only one who has issues with the Time Keepers, even if the only other person saying is another Loki. It beat more unexplained info, but the trend needs to continue.

No one is ever going to say “Those Loki vs Sylvie fight scenes were great.” Maybe the were ok but they mostly argue and dispense key information while they fight. Its annoying and hard to follow sometimes. They’re shouting and punching, dodging and weaving and its not all that easy to hear, and some of its important. Like when Sylvie unspools what planet they’re on while they run through a thundering meteor storm from shelter to shelter, pausing here and there to fight and quibble. So this was a good one for leaving the subtitles on. The subtitles helped a LOT and seem to include un-redacted direction right off the script. They can be accidentally hilarious! “Captivating Music Plays”? I’ll be the judge of that!

Though Loki seems content to let Sylvie talk to him like hes an idiot hes unbothered. He even occasionally throws a rejoinder back at her. Its not anywhere near as bad as what Mobias went through last episode at work, but then again these are adversaries. Mobias is called an idiot for five straight minutes by his supposed friend. At least the Loki- Sylvia rivalry makes sense.

Some may consider this episode Bloat- not a whole lot happens. We dont deal with the timeline bombing or hang out much with the TVA and it HELPS!

I was glad we slowed down, stopped with all the new info and tried to start guiding us to a reasonable explanation of enough of this for it to make sense, because we dont have a whole lot of that yet.

If I missed something or got something wrong let me know in the comments and I will check it out!

Til Next Time- Should the Lizard People Allow it!

Waddya Think? I want to know; Leave your comments here!

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