Episode 4 of Marvel’s Loki gave us plenty of insight into Sylive’s origins and what makes her tick. It goes without saying that there are….
SPOILERS AHEAD — catch up with our Episode 3 recap right here.
The episode begins in Asgard, where an imaginative young girl plays with her toys, seemingly minding her own business. Behind her a time door appears and out steps Hunter A-23 who recognizes and arrests the young girl as a variant that has committed crimes against the Sacred Timeline. Upon arrival at the TVA we can tell from how the young girl is dressed she has to be Sylvie. She is processed and taken to a courtroom by A-23. When her case is called, young Sylvie attacks A-23 and takes her TemPad. A-23 can only watch on helplessly as young Sylvie escapes through the time door.
Flash to the present (or at least we think) Ravonna rides the gold elevator reflecting on the flashback we just witnessed, she opens her eyes as the doors open and walks forward to give us our first glimpse of the mysterious Timekeepers as the title card rolls.
Post title, Mobius is standing by the elevator doors awaiting the outcome Ravonna’s meeting with the Timekeepers. She says that there is pressure from the Timekeepers to get the situation under control. Mobius agrees but says he needs to speak to C-20 to see if there is any insight from her time as a captive. Ravonna turns him down, eventually explaining that C-20 has died. Sylvie’s enchantment scrambled C-20’s mind and she slowly succumbed to its effects. Mobius is going to have to find another way, but he must find the variants as quickly as possible.
Back on Lamentis, sirens howl, rocks fall, and certain doom impends. Loki approaches a dejected Sylvie and apologizes. In truth, one never really knows how sincere a Loki is, but it appears as if Sylvie felt he was and accepted. Afterward she talks about memories of her family, Asgard and her former life before making a claim that the galaxy purposefully manifests chaos (in order to break free from something controlling it?). And that her birth as the Goddess of Mischief was a result of that chaos, which led the TVA to take her away as a kid. We can’t help but think back to Tony Stark’s line: “You mess with time, it tends to mess back” (Avenger’s: Endgame). Sylvie goes on to recant how she stole a TemPad and ran although she couldn’t hide because her appears created a Nexus Event. The event would lead the TVA right to her until she figured out how to hide in apocalypse events. “…that’s where I grew up, the end of a thousand worlds now…that’s where I’ll die”, she ends as they look up at the sky.
Meanwhile the TVA searches frantically for Loki and Sylvie. B-15 and Mobius look on as analysts scour through data on the hunt for the variant duo. B-15 asks for an update on C-20 to which Mobius falsely tells her no, he reassures her however that they will find the variants.
The moon above Lamentis is making its final preparations to crash down to the surface below. Sylvie asks Loki philosophically if they are just born losers, destined to lose. He doesn’t disagree that they lose, and sometimes painfully, but he does declare that they don’t die. He goes on to compliment her on how she almost took down the TVA on her own as well as how amazing she is. She smiles and touches his arm, setting off alarms at the TVA, creating a time event unlike anything that had been seen before. The planet begins to explode around them as time doors appear.
Flanked by Minutemen, Loki is collared up and being led down a TVA corridor. Mobius semi-berates him while leading him into a Time Theater. Conjuring up a time door, this time red (more on that shortly), Mobius prepares to order Loki in. Before being shoved in by his ushers, Loki warns Mobius that the TVA is lying to him. And on that note, Loki is thrust through the red door appearing in what looks to be an Asgardian courtyard.
From a corridor behind him, Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander: Thor: Ragnarok) appears with a handful of her own hair. She shouts, angrily approaching Loki, once in striking distance, she punches him and knees him in the groin. She also harshly mentions that he deserves to be alone and always will be. Turns out that the red time doors are “time cells” in which variants relive a certain event on repeat. Although we are not sure which is worse, this, or falling for thirty minutes (Thor: Ragnarok).
Mobius heads off to Ravonna’s office to get permission to interview Sylvie while Loki does a few laps in the time cell. She rebuffs him, telling him he needs to “work” his Loki in order to get information about the nexus spike they witnessed. Mobius feels he can work both at the same time and get results faster. She denies him again first stating it would be dangerous then she just gets outright protective. She then dictates that no one will speak with Sylvie. Marching orders in hand, as well as, unable to get what he wants; Mobius leaves the office.
Moments later Mobius approaches B-15 and some Minutemen in front of a door where we presume Sylvie is. He confirms that she is inside before asking one of the Minutemen if he is ok. Looks like Sylvie did not go quietly as one of the Minutemen is wiping his mouth with a cloth. B-15 and Mobius banter back and forth before Mobius turns to leave. As he does, B-15 approaches and asks if Loki has said anything while in interrogation. Mobius responds that he hasn’t said anything other than “The TVA is lying to me”, which brings a look of concern on B-15’s face.
In the time cell Loki is finishing up another loop when Mobius appears from the corridor asking if he is ready to talk. He extracts Loki back to the time theater and starts to ask about his involvement with the variant and her plans. They go back and forth with Loki finally showing concern for Sylvie when Mobius lets on that she has been pruned. Mobius realizes that Loki has feelings for the variant version of himself. He goes on to say the two Lokis together equals pure chaos and could break reality. From our point of view, it should be no surprise that Loki would fall in love with a version of himself.
The conversation goes on and on until Mobius annoys Loki enough to make him blurt out that Mobius and everyone else who works for the TVA are variants. Loki explains how the TVA kidnaps variants, erases their memories and repurposes them to police the Sacred Timeline. Basically before Mobius was Mobius, he had a different life, maybe a family, maybe even a jet ski. Mobius shakes Loki’s claims off as false and has his Minutemen put Loki back into the time cell.
B-15 is troubled; it is difficult to tell how she feels at the moment. Although we see her power up her baton and enter the room where Sylvie is being held. To our surprise, she produces a time door and asks Sylvie to follow.
Elsewhere, Ravonna and Mobius toast to the closing of the case of the two Lokis. Mobius holds his glass and it is obvious he has the weight of the TVA on his shoulders. Renslayer asks Mobius where and when he would go if he could, but Mobius can’t get his recent revelation off his chest. He asks Ravonna why she wouldn’t let him interrogate Sylvie. Using verbal gymnastics, she evades his question and tells him that the Timekeepers would like for him to sit in on the pruning of the Lokis. Nonetheless, he still wants to know more about when Ravonna knew about C-20. Ravonna parries again and turns it back on Mobius telling him she only wants to protect him, C-20 went crazy, and that he’s spending too much time with Lokis. Mobius changes the subject, and when her back is turned, switches his TemPad for Ravonna’s.
B-15 and Sylvie exit the time door in Roxxcart, Alabama. B-15 tells Sylvie that she’s seen something in her head and wants to know if she put it there. Sylvie clarifies that she has only shown B-15 her own memories from before she was in the TVA. Defiantly, B-15 says she has been created by the Timekeepers and what she saw in her visions can’t be true. She is corrected by Sylvie who says she cannot manufacture memories and can only use what is there. Sylvie goes on to say that the Timekeepers have stolen the lives of their employees because they too, are variants. Not to be misled, B-15 asks for proof, she asks Sylvie to show her the truth. Sylvie provides a memory where B-15 realizes she was happy and not created by the TVA opening her eyes.
Meanwhile, Mobius has absconded to the library with Ravonna’s TemPad. Even though the device reminds us of a Nintendo 3DS it is far more technologically advanced with infinitely better battery power. The device has recorded the final deposition of C-20; we see her giving credence to the theory that she had a life before she was a hunter at the TVA. It has also recorded Ravonna suspiciously ending the interview mid-deposition.
Mobius appears back in the time cell. He tells Loki he believes the time spike that occurred on Lamentis is big enough to bring down the entire TVA. Subsequently, Mobius confirms that Loki that he has been right all along with regards to the TVA. They decide together as friends to attempt to save Sylvie and expose the lies of the TVA.
Unfortunately, Loki and Mobius exit the time cell to a contingent of Minutemen and Ravonna. Renslayer is holding Mobius’ TemPad with a look of acute disappointment. He hands over the TemPad claiming he didn’t realize it was hers until he had gotten downstairs. Realizing the jig is up Mobius says if he could go anywhere, he’d go to wherever he had a life before the TVA. Ravonna has him pruned, but it hurts her to do so as she closes her eyes while Mobius disintegrates. They escort a stunned Loki to the elevator while the camera lingers on Ravonna’s conflicted facial expression.
Ravonna enters the time theater where Sylvie is being kept, she immediately notices from Sylvie’s wet hair that someone has been in with her. The guard says it was B-15 who insisted to speak with the variant. Realizing what has happened, Ravonna has an alert issued for B-15 whom she claims has also been tainted by the variant.
Sylvie is escorted to the gold door elevator where Loki is also waiting. Renslayer dismisses the guards and the trio enter the elevator. On the ride, Sylvie wants to know what her nexus event was, why she was taken away as a child. Ravonna callously retorts that she does not remember, smirking devilishly to Sylvie’s dismay.
The doors open to reveal the Timekeepers massive, smoky, blue room complete with pink neon accents. Ravonna presents the variants to the Timekeepers, who ask them to answer for their crimes. The order to delete them is given, however Ravonna’s collar controls aren’t working. The elevator doors open to reveal B-15 who uses a second remote to switch off Loki and Sylvie’s collars. Yelling the TVA motto, B-15 tosses Sylvie her short sword before being dispatched by the guards at the door. A melee ensues, but the main event is a quick duel between Sylvie and Ravonna. Promising to finish the job, Ravonna lunges at Sylvie attacking with a staff. Ravonna doesn’t seem to be much of a match for Sylvie who takes her down quickly with Loki taking out the other two guards.
Our pair turn their attention to the now defenseless Timekeepers. One of them tries to barter with Sylvie but she isn’t having it. She slings her short sword toward the Timekeeper decapitating him, his head rolls to a stop at her feet. The other Timekeepers laugh in amusement. Preparing to kill them as well, Sylvie grabs a staff, Loki however stops her. It is revealed that the Timekeepers are no more than mindless androids, thus thickening the plot and leaving us somewhat confused. Because if it wasn’t the Timekeepers behind the TVA, then who is? Is the “Sacred Timeline” even a thing?
Loki realizes he needs to confess his feelings for Sylvie. As he attempts to do so he fumbles and stumbles over his words. Instead of trying to speak he grasps her shoulders and prepares to move in for a kiss. That kiss never comes as Loki begins to disintegrate, it’s Judge Renslayer. She thrusts toward Sylvie and is quickly disarmed. Renslayer demands Sylvie to disintegrate her as well to which Sylvie denies and requests that Ravonna tell her everything ending this week’s episode.
In the first post-credit scene of the series, Loki awakes. He wonders if he is in Hell before being encountered by three beings and a komodo dragon (maybe it’s a crocodile). They look to be other versions of Loki who assure him he is not dead and needs to come with them if he wants to make it to next week’s episode.