Loki: The Nexus Event (Episode 4) Review
On this week’s episode of Loki, The Nexus Event, the series divulges deeper into the TVA being made up of variants as paranoia and doubt begins to spread throughout the TVA.
Last week’s ending left us in a bit of a hopeless place as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) await death on Lamentis-1. Even though this obviously isn’t the end for these two, it’s easy to appreciate how the series uses this moment to solidify their relationship and for Sylvie to divulge more of her backstory. Her motivations to overthrow the Timekeepers stems from her being abducted from her reality as a child and then being unable to go back to it after its erased. It’s a tragic backstory that’s disheartening to watch during the opening and there’s still some unknowns to ponder over. The answer is still unclear as to why she was labeled as a variant as a kid and what purpose she would’ve served to the TVA. Would she be just another variant working for the TVA? The jury is still out on all of this, but we get something more immediately impactful with what happens between Loki and Sylvie.
As Sylvie touches Loki’s hand, you can feel the romantic tension between these two growing and it causes a spike in the timeline, referred to as a Nexus Event, that causes the TVA to find them and bring them in. This Nexus Event seems like nothing at first, but it actually signifies a strong character arc for Loki and Sylvie since they’re kind in love with each other. This might make Mobius (Owen Wilson) laugh, but it’s actually a very genuine change for Loki and the depressing sadness seen on their face when Mobius lies about her being pruned shows how much they really care. Of course, Loki would be in love with themselves, but it isn’t just some corny character quirk and really carries some emotional meaning. I especially like how Mobius refers to their unity as something so chaotic that it causes a rift in time. Definitely implies something special in the near future.
What makes this episode a major tide turner for the rest of the season is how it turns a seemingly unimpactful character into something more. The appearance of Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in the opening as the officer taking the young Sylvie in definitely makes you question the role that Ravonna really plays in all this. Up until this point, Ravonna has just seemed like the buttoned-up head of the TVA, but there’s clearly something more to her and she knows more than she’s let on. It’s obvious from the start that she’s lying about what happened to Hunter C-20 (Sasha Layne) and that her closeness with the Timekeepers has made her keep some secrets from everyone. I’m actually curious if her losing Sylvie earlier in her career made her strike a deal with the Timekeepers because it definitely feels like she sold her soul to them or something.
Ravonna definitely takes a more villainous turn here and it’s enough to make Mobius suspect there’s something more to him. Before getting sent to a time loop prison that features a hilarious return of Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Loki tries to tell Mobius that he and the rest of the TVA are just made up of variants abducted by the Timekeepers and while he just laughs it off at first, it does get his wheels turning. Man, Mobius continues to be the best thing this series offers and it’s not just because Wilson’s performance is just plain incredible every step of the way. He’s someone that genuinely believes that Loki can be better and doesn’t just fully disregard people at first glance – kind of like Ravonna does. He’s the type of just that trusts his gut and acts on instinct in the smoothest ways. When he steals Ravonna’s time device, he does it with delightful charm and when he goes back to get Loki, he acts like a real friend to them. There’s this authenticity and respectable openness to Mobius that makes him so damn lovable and what makes what happens to him absolutely tragic.
Just as Mobius brings Loki back and makes an impassioned speech to a pretty pissed Ravonna, he’s pruned from existence. It’s a big shock in the moment and not the only one in this episode. I have to say, although this series can have some moments that are just okay, it excels in delivering big ending wallops that get you hyped for what else it has to offer. We finally get a glimpse at the Timekeepers, but it’s easy to tell that there’s something off. Actor Jonathan Majors, who is set to debut as Kang the Conqueror in the next Ant-Man movie, has said that Kang isn’t appearing in Loki and when we see all three of them, none of them look like him. So, it’s easy to tell that this isn’t really them and they end up just being robots. This is kind of a big shock and things become even crazier with Loki being pruned by Ravonna. Want even more things to be excited about? A post-credit scene shows that Loki isn’t actually dead from being pruned and is now among other versions of themselves – including a classic looking Loki played by Richard E. Grant.
Episode four is a true changing of the tide for Loki as features some major shifts within the TVA as Mobius becomes aware of who he and the other agents really are, and major secrets are revealed that make the wait for next week’s episode unbearable. Loki may have started off slow, but it rapidly picks up the pace this week.