Part 1 Plot Synopsis
Episode 4 of Loki starts with the Timecops, apparently in Asgard, kidnapping a young darkhaired girl. We see the young being judged in TVA Court by Ravonna- whose name seems to only appear in subtitles. Shes the Time Court Judge and chief TVA Administrator under the Time Keepers. The girl seems to be Sylvie and shes described as a variant. A Time Reset Bomb is used to erase her from the timeline. She fares better against the TVA then Loki Prime though and outwits them in short order, escaping.
So in the opening we see a 10 year old child who manages to escape the TVA with ease, whereas Loki was humiliated, stripped, processed, yelled at and is about to die when Mobias saved him.
In the next scene Ravonna is seen consulting with the Time Keepers themselves, seen in the shadows as mere silhouettes. The brief opening theme plays.
When we return Ravonna is back from the meeting – describing it as always disconcerting-and is comforted by Mobias. She says she is catching blame for Timeline issues from the Time Keepers. She tells him that the TVA has executed, reset or somehow finished off the seemingly uninjured Time Cop (called C-20) that Sylvie had briefly abducted. Ravonna says the time cops mind had been horribly altered. Mobias and Ravonna agree to tell no on else.
Then we jump back to Lamentis 1 where the Apocalypse is on schedule but has slacked in intensity. Loki and Sylvie sit down for a chat in the ruins and she confirms shes the child we saw kidnapped. She claims title goddess of mischief. She escaped because she instantly stole a TemPad and began hiding in Apocalypses at what appears to be about age 10.
We see the TVA scheming for a moment, then just like that we’re back with Sylvie and Loki. Their brief exchange is sort of typical of newer Marvel stories, they both admit they are Loki’s and settle that- again. Sylvie seems fatalistic but a newly upbeat Loki, fresh off finding out hes stranded and will die, tells us what we already know. Female Loki aka Sylvie is a better, smarter Loki. She’s more powerful. She outwitted the TVA as a child and he was just as inept as could be dealing with them just weeks ago. So he Self- Owns and happily admits hes not the best. This is so not like Loki.
Virtue Signals stay on til we cut back to the TVA being somehow able to detect the two Lokis. They call it a Nexus Event and we’ve come to know that more or less means someone created a butterfly effect that the Time Keepers don’t want. So we know the TVA is going to rescue the Lokis- so they can kill them. While we ponder this Loki and Sylvie are looking like they want to go fuck themselves in the most literal way possible.
The Nexus Event grows worse and Lamentis is about to self destruct when the TVA shows up and recaptures the Loki’s, apparently they comply and we’re beamed back to TVA HQ for a weird situation where Mobias says Loki Prime sort of wants to fuck himself and is a bad friend. This is the first we’ve heard of this friendship. Then Loki tries to tell Mobias that he his also a variant and the Time Keepers lied to him.
Mobias has Loki beamed to an Asgard holodeck type simulation where he meets Lady Sif, who I do not think we have seen since Agents of Shield- and of course she hates Loki. He gets slapped and yelled at and finally leveled by Sif. The situation repeats almost immediately. So Loki is just getting owned. He tells Sif shes more or less a holodeck simulation of herself and she beats on him for the third time. Ravonna – who lost control of Sylvie in the first place- rebukes Mobias and his methods again. When he walks away Alpha Femle Timecop (later revealed to be Hunter B-13) owns him verbally for a while too.
Back in the Holodeck – seemingly called a Time Theater- Loki begs Sif to stop beating him, the simulation is ended by Mobias. Mobias and Loki have a long exchange thats weird and makes no sense. Mobias successfully intimidates Loki – who appears to be lying. Loki claims the he and Sylvie are conspiring but he is in charge.
When Sylvie comes up its said Hunter B-13 has already killed her- which is a lie. This really fools and bothers Loki. Loki manages to keep his composure but Mobias sees through it. Loki sort of confirms that they did want to go FUCK THEMSELVES.
Apparently the idea they liked each other triggered the Nexus event- after them being together for 12 hours and flirting on and off. How is not really made clear. We were told this was impossible earlier.
Finally Loki reveals to Mobias that the TVA agents are variants who have been kidnapped and mind wiped. Mobias claims not to believe it. He seemingly blames the preordained end of Lamentis on Loki and Sylvie and tells Loki shes alive for now. Then Loki is tossed back into a transporter beam. Moments later Alpha Female Time Cop frees Sylvie and beams away with her. Mobias gets owned by Ravonna who is pulling a Holdo- you just dont need to know the plan here. The Time Keepers apparently want to kill Sylvie in front of Ravonna and Mobias.
Mobias presses on C-20’s execution. She tells him she is just trying to protect him from exposure to Sylvie- which is getting people deleted. She again bizarrely says theyre good friends. Mobias distracts her and switches their TemPads.
Sylvie and B 13 are back at the 2048 Mass Casualty event in the US. She tells Sylvie she kind of remembers stuff from when Sylvie enchanted her. Sylvie tells her the same story- the TVA are all mind wiped variants. She lets Sylvie re-enchant her. We dont know what B 13 experiences but in a moment shes on Team Sylvie.
Team Sylvie seems to be Loki, B 13 and Sylvie herself with Mobias about to clear trade waivers.
Back at the TVA Mobias checks Ravonna’s TemPad. He sees that C 20 is on team Sylvie and not crazy at all before they have her deleted. So its also a Tricorder? Ok.
Mobias meets Loki in the Asgard Holodeck prison. He’s switched teams and offeres to help Loki and get him another place in the timeline and freewill. Mobias and Loki just blurt out some coopted Lord of the Rings Dialogue about fighting side by side to the death. So theyre friends now.Because they got yelled at together…ok.
After beaming out from the Holodeck Mobias tells Ravonna- who knows he switched their TemPads- that hes down with Team Sylvie and believes himself to be a kidnapped variant. Its the first time we’ve seen Mobias stand up to her. As he laments his lost life Ravonna orders him pruned from the timeline and he’s deleted. Then Ravonna walks in on Sylvie and YES -they refer to Alpha Female Time Cop and call her Hunter B-13. Mystery SOLVED! Ravonna is pissed B 13 was allowed alone with Loki and puts the word out to delete her as Sylvie gloats. In short order the two Lokis are bought together and Ravonna takes both into an elevator like the one from The Shining. They talk in circles and the elevator opens to reveal – The Time Keepers!
Theyre unimpressed with Loki Prime, hes told hes not a threat. Then B-13 arrives and iniates a brawl. We go full Last Jedi Throne room battle in Time Keepers Chambers. Its Ravonna and the Time Cops squaring off against all of the living members of Team Sylvie, So B-13, Sylvie and Loki. After tossing weapons to Loki and Sylvie B 13 is subdued or killed by time cops.
Soon Loki is asking for help while Sylvie is much more effective. Team Sylvie wins and Ravonna flees Sylvie. Then Sylvie takes out a Time Keeper. In fact the so called Lizard People/ Time Keepers are merely…..animatronic robots like from Disneyland? Is this some sort of ‘in world’ Disney Commercial? “mindless androids” Sylvie concludes. “Then who created the TVA?” asks Loki. Like me and maybe most of you- Sylvie is stumped by this.
In another weird scene Loki starts to tell Sylvie how he feels when he’s deleted by Ravonna. Sylvie instantly disarms her and, holding Ravonna with her own weapon, Sylvie demands to know everything. Credits roll as If You Love Me by Brenda Lee plays. There IS an Easter Egg this time. We see Loki is ALIVE somewhere and three other males, who look a lot like Loki in the guises we were shown very briefly in Episode 1. One is about 19, another is maybe 75 and theres an African-Asgardian whos about 40. Loki asks if hes dead and if he is in Hell. I feel the same way
Part 2- IMPLICATIONS, CONFLICTS and The New Rules
As Mobias would say “Wow……” This week Loki is a swooning romantic and we have the ethical question about whether fucking yourself is sort of shallow. The TVA are total bullshit and their seem to be no Time Keepers. They have left the story after a brief underwhelming appearance and were as ill explained as The Last Jedi’s Snoke. Seems possible the real Shot Caller is Ravonna. Oh and Sylvie isnt a real bonde for whatever thats worth. The child actor was poorly cast. She looks nothing like blonde haired Sylvie. The kid is also way too old NOT to remember her mother much. So whatever Sylvie said last week about this is now confusing. Sylvie really also should have seen Ravonna coming at Loki. She was looking right at him when she came up behind him. We dont know if Sylvie is also an adopted Ice Giant. This seems to have been totally dropped. OR- She’s Thor and Fria’s genetic daughter.
The idea the two Loki’s were able to create a Nexus event though doomed and unable to escape directly contradicts Loki and Mobias verifying this was not possible. Unless reconciled this is a corner cutting move. They seem to have just moved on. This was very lazy writing as it seems now.
When Ravonna says unifying the timelines is more or less impossible you have to wonder why they do it at all. The nebulous War between timelines that was alluded to in Episode 1 has never been elaborated on. The idea the Agents have been completely dedicated for a unknowable amount of time is explained with more third reich rhetoric about how theres a need for order. This clears a few things. They talk like nazis cause thats what they more or less are. The attempt to confuse you as to the TVA both works and fails at the same time. It may just have been too little information for too long.
The TVA never seemed competent or potent time travelers. They all seemed to have a mild concussion at all times as far as mental prowess. The ability they have to travel time is still really not used well. No one goes back a few minutes early to save people or change things- after we are told thats what the TVA does- travel time to make things orderly. If you can control time precisely we have to wonder why they let their own die. Is this more Last Jedi stuff? Is the TVA intentionally filled with dumb people like Snoke claims about the First Order?
This episode was hard to work myself up for. Episode 3 last week was only ok. Episide 4 isnt too bad as far as watchability. Lady Sif has no meaningful role though. She says the same thing about four times. They just seem to have her under contract.
The TVA really are evil and their Agents and Time Cops are more or less slaves kidnapped out of their timelines and Ravonna either knew or doesnt care. The TVA seems ready to collapse if everyone is finding out they were kidnapped. The three male Loki Team saved Loki Prime and Im willing to bet they saved Mobias as well.
We seem to have finally established Ravonna as main villain. So we have the main ‘bad guy’ finally show up in Episode 4- if things stay this way. This is pretty late in the story. We find out for sure with about 2 minutes left, so we wont know for a week if theres more to this.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier really blew it with their shows bad guy. In that show Karli is deeply evil but still is treated with great empathy, to the point Falcon ignores the wounded friend who saved him to lament the villain. This after she tries to set a bunch of innocent people on fire to culminate her plan. Karli is small and unimposing. Disney loves this trope. Ravonna is an adult but seems really slightly built. She doesn’t look like a match for Mobias, Loki or Sylvie. She was outwitted in moments by child Sylvie and vanquished quickly twice by adult Sylvie. She has some lackeys and some tech but shes not up to taking on anyone one on one, even though she does anyway. She has not aged in the time it took for Sylvie to age from about 10 to about 30.
Of late in the MCU women generally do not lose to men unless someone has undermined them or they are really outnumbered and over matched. In this show its really become predictable.
For instance- we never see Loki try to fend off or hit the hologram of Sif. She just kicks his ass as he reasons things out and asks the Hologram to be nicer. I would suggest there are no implications to hitting a hologram back, so whys Loki a pacifist? I wonder what he would have done if it had been a hologram of Thor. Its a genderless, lifeless projection. This show LOVES fight scenes, so why pass one up? Sif and Loki should have fought, they’re Asgardian warriors. There sure sees to be “Profiling rules’ about who can prevail. Sure its kinda funny, but the actress who plays Sif doesnt ever do Shakespeare, she seems to have been bought on for her physical skills from MMA or something. Hows the same joke four times better than action?
Female Villains seem to only lose to females. In Falcon and Winter Soldier it’s Sharon who kills Karli- and is then ignored as she lays wounded. Because Sharon being complicit in the villains corruption somehow offended some people that actress just lost the role as lead villain and now has a much smaller part in the next chapter of that story. So who is this helping?
The fight scene in the Time Keepers Chamber is a mess. The effectiveness of Sylvie is impressive throughout and of course she has to bail out Loki. The idea Loki would beat people up on his own and be a prime mover in a fight when teamed with Sylvie never occurred to me and I knew he’d be the junior partner. The idea he would be ‘killed’ by woman seemed obvious. The Loki ‘death’ scene was only so effective.
I dont know if their goofy predictability around virtue signalling made it appear Loki may have been swapped out for Sylvie, but you could feel that if that were done Loki would have lingered at the edge of death and said something meaningful. So it was not a successful Subversion.
Predictability is the now the norm. The show, and Marvel these days, in general, are predictable. Men are much dumber and much weaker. Men need to get bailed out in a fight by a woman. Its never the other way around or mutual. It okay to shout at and scapegoat men at work at the TVA. We can forecast who wins a fight in a way that’s ILLEGAL for Police to use – Race and Gender Profiling. I consider this deeply cynical. Who would ever decide that making people think along these lines was helpful to society? The MCU has slipped in quality since we introduced these rules.
While still better than Falcon and Winter Soldier, this show is degenerating into boring, confusing mess. I don’t care if some of the people beating up Loki are women or if women are powerful. I also accept the real world is pretty male-centric. The idea that we ‘make this right’ with stories that are utterly subservient to a set of gender and race based rules is sort of a hard thing to accept. Its still just a TV show about comic character. There’s enough time in this story to send a message better. I really don’t think we gain anything and may even be seeing people move to the right politically by this.
The Time Keeper reveal came as only a mild surprise since we never got any context on them. Theyre gone and we probably get some answers next week. The TVA still is hard to figure but now theyre absolutely bad.
The bombing of the Timeline by Sylvie as yet has no implications. We have heard nothing about it since. Seems it was distraction to infilltrate the TVA HQ and kill Ravonna.
The “Mindless Androids” are fully interactive and can answer questions, so hard to say if they were fooling anyone or not. We have no idea if B-13 is ok. She’s as good as dead if left with the TVA
The show so far has been sloppy dispensing information. They held off too long on context. The names of many characters are apparently never spoken or said just once.
The episode is packed with bad dialogue, There’s coopted LOTR lines. We can also now assume that if a few women yell at any two men at the same time those men are now friends. This was not supposed to be one of the Reveals, its a flaw and it makes no sense. Maybe they think the audience is purely Pavlovian in their thinking? We get told in dialogue from The Lord of the Rings that Mobias and Loki are friends. This is after death threats and some perceived betrayals.
Part 3- REACTION
Now my take. Its complicated, literally! We took so long to find out who the adversary would be. The time cop tech works in whatever way it needs to and subtitles are a must to get characters names.
This episode has some conflicts and there’s more emphasis on edgeyness than clarity in the dialogue. The characters are only being named now or, in Ravonna’s case, its possible their names have never been spoken. I only know who she is from IMDB and subtitles where she’s named as speaker in the non dialogue parts.
Ive seen 4 of 6 episodes and Im really not a huge fan of this show. Its kind of preach-y. The fact I deduced who would win each conflict so far through pure cynicism shows how thin a line the show is walking.
For my part I am in fact VERY left wing and have no problem with some messages in movies. I can ignore conspicuous product placement and the odd message here and there one way or the other.
Forest Gump is Right Wing Fairy Tale we all enjoyed. It was only after many viewings this became clear, which to me says “This was done pretty well even though I don’t believe that a mentally deficient person will get rich by simply doing Republican things.” This same BS also does not hurt Dirty Harry. The movies still okay despite the fact NO ONE would ever want any cop to act like that. Its a right wing fantasy. It’s dark but also sort of self aware, silly and fun.
The show Loki, like Falcon and The Winter Soldier, is now going so far as patting me on the head for my beliefs and it’s kind of offensive. I don’t seek validation from something we thought was supposedly escapist. Suddenly Sci-Fi is Triggering Topic. Great. Now the conversations aren’t about the story, they devolve into current politics and scapegoating of any critic.
Sometime back when we switched from Paramount to Disney we lost something. We got mandated humor and some weird new rules- like only seeing blood when a bad guy kills and Fight Profiling- that starts becoming a real indicator of the characters intentions. This is creating stories that are predictable.
The longer Disney has this (and Star Wars for that matter) the less enjoyable its gotten. Its too formulaic. This show is better but not all that great. Its also crammed with not so subtle clues. Its not done well. Its actually sort of bigoted in its own weird way. The fan base is divided for no reason except the writers desire to throw red meat to people so far left they rejected Bernie Sanders as ‘not genuinely left enough’ and probably didn’t vote at all. In other words – This is the TV equivalent of when a pack of Right Wing Trolls say and do offensive things to “Own the Libs” on Fox News or Twitter.
The fallout from these poorly sent out messages is that every sci-fi nerd is slowly becoming an angry right winger. Those who do like the show have simply taken up the messaging in the Weaponized way Disney crafted it. “Only evil hateful right-wing trolls who hate women and all minorities would say they stole these ideas from Old Star Trek wholesale.” And i sit there in Queens in an AOC t-shirt looking at my donations to ActBlue and wonder just what the fuck we have on our hands here.
So, if we continue like this the show will stay predictable and only get worse, This week was not all that immersive and we saw some ideas that just werent explained. The opening of the episodes has a mashup of the story to bring you up to speed thats really not well done either.
I’m sick of the weirdness of this story but this week ended with an interesting Easter Egg. My thought on that is – many will turn this show off as soon as they can and not see it though. I ONLY waited for this Easter Egg because someone tweeted about it.
Interest in the show seems to be waining. I know mine is. Whether or not people jump back in when we complete the show in 2 weeks and marathon it is an open question. I would say Episode 3 is so disengaging and the segue back to the full cast this week for a predictable take-down of everyone by Sylvie- that maybe even marathoners just stop at that episode or this one.