Loki: Lamentis
June 23, 2021 11:50 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Loki finds out The Variant's plans, but he has his own that will forever alter both their destinies.

The time door at the end of the last episode leads to the TVA offices. The Variant is as surprised as Loki was to discover this is a no magic zone but gamely falls back on just plain beating people up. Loki follows shortly behind and, cornered by Ravonna, who is just as happy to prune both of them, punches the Anywhere But Here Button on the Variant's TemPad. Upon landing, they discover the TemPad lacks power for another door, and in the ongoing scuffle, Loki gets the TemPad and conceals it somewhere on his person. Now that interaction is unavoidable, the Variant, who does not care to be called "Variant" or "Loki", gives her name as Sylvie, a name she appears to have chosen for herself. They determine their location is Lamentis-1, and the time is a few hours to Apocalpyse from planetary collision with its moon. In the hope that the Ark (i.e. evacuation vessel for the rich) will have the power to charge the TemPad, Loki and Sylvie get themselves onto a train to the dock, only for Sylvie to doze and Loki to get drunk enough to blow their cover and get tossed off. Loki has landed on the TemPad, leaving them stranded. Plan We're Running Out Of Letters becomes the hope that their magical abilities will allow Loki and Sylvie to get the ark launched successfully rather than fail as it does in the Sacred Timeline. A meteor smashing the Ark into bit puts the kibosh on that plan as well and we go to credits with our heroes protagonists stranded on a doomed planet.
posted by Karmakaze (115 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Confirmed bisexual Loki!!! And on a very bisexual lighting planet.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:12 PM on June 23 [8 favorites]


I always thought Hiddleston would make a great Doctor Who!

The very best part for me was Sylvie tying her hair back before beating people up. This was definitely written by a woman.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:13 PM on June 23 [24 favorites]


I always thought Hiddleston would make a great Doctor Who!

I forget where I saw someone make that comparison last week. After this week's talky adventure on quarry planet even the Guardian recap asked if it was big budget Doctor Who.
posted by Gary at 12:50 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Now, that's how you end an episode.
posted by kyrademon at 2:49 PM on June 23


What if Sylvie really did enchant Loki and this was all an illusion ?
posted by Pendragon at 3:12 PM on June 23 [13 favorites]


What if Sylvie really did enchant Loki and this was all an illusion ?

I suspect there was a lot of both of them playing the other and we'll have to wait until future episodes to see what's what. For instance, was Loki really drunk?

Overall, a bit of side question type of episode, where a lot of time is spent dealing with a couple of characters, but the actual narrative doesn't move that far forward. Which seems fine for now, but also feels vaguely fillery.

Still, the performances and characters were great, so no major complaints, other than I have no Figgy Port.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:26 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


This was obviously an episode meant to showcase a lot of Loki/Sylvie interaction, which was fun, but it felt like not enough actually happened. There was the interesting titbit of information about TVA staff being variants who don't remember their former lives, though.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:30 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


Also the TVA minutemen must be too used to pruning oblivious idiots who don't fight back, because they seem pretty useless when facing someone with actual combat skills.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:33 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else get kind of a deadname vibe from Sylvie's "don't call me Loki" reflex?
posted by Karmakaze at 3:34 PM on June 23 [18 favorites]


My random and probably wide-of-the-mark conjecture: Mobius used to be a postman, and he's employing Loki not because he's trying to catch Sylvie, but because he's not. How that works, I don't know, but he's been quite successful at not catching her (or even letting the TVA know she's she) so far.
posted by Grangousier at 3:39 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


This episode of Doctor Who was terrible.
posted by crossoverman at 4:05 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Disney really is getting their money's worth from that rear screen projection set!
posted by Catblack at 4:34 PM on June 23 [6 favorites]


So if the TVA staff are people are they also plucked from disaster sites where their disappearance won't disrupt the timeline? Was Moebius a former jetski owner and Valujet customer?
posted by cmfletcher at 4:45 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


Confirmed bisexual Loki!!! And on a very bisexual lighting planet.

Yeah this show sure is queer.
posted by medusa at 4:47 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


So we're pretty sure that Sylvie is, in fact, a Loki Variant, who deviated from the Sacred Timeline relatively young. The deviation was probably not in infancy on Jotunheim because I think the TVA agents could probably have taken down a baby. Though I note they were still vague about who her mother was (adoptive or biological), so I have a wild and almost certainly incorrect theory that (not necessarily this particular) Loki is Sylvie's mother.

I am also never not going to be typing Sylvia, backspacing and replacing the a with an e. Coundown until I miss one.
posted by Karmakaze at 4:54 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Hiddleston can make that crappy jacket look good, speaks excellent Latin, is charming as hell, and evidently sings in Norwegian to boot. Add in his amazing impressions and I hope he has at least one thing bad thing about him. Maybe he always forgets your birthday, because he just seems too good to be true. (Also, the casting director that went with "no-names" HIddleston and Hemsworth? Disney should buy them a new house every year.)

I'm no sure who enchanted who this episode, but levitating an entire building is not really in Loki's powerset. So some shenanigans are afoot.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:10 PM on June 23 [22 favorites]


When that building went up, both my kids immediately shouted “Thor!” For some reason but I think this was Sylvie enchanting Loki from the start.
posted by tilde at 5:19 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


1) Someone who programmed a lot of quicktime events for video games came up with that end sequence.

2) Between this and the last episode I'm actually.. kind of legitimately bummed? Apocalypses are unsettling. =/

3) Also really wondering if there's some shenanigans afoot re: what's real / not real. *spins a top, cuts to credits*
posted by curious nu at 6:18 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


I'm enjoying the creativity in Loki's upgraded fighting style.

Great body language by Sophia Di Martino (Sylvie), very comic book. Especially the bit where she gets frustrated after they leave the train and stalks away.
posted by porpoise at 6:38 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I'm no sure who enchanted who this episode, but levitating an entire building is not really in Loki's powerset. So some shenanigans are afoot.

Either he's been ensorcelled all along and none of this is happening, or he stole a time stone from one of those desktop collections because Loki, is my own take. I keep vacillating.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 6:44 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


Ooh timestone, he WAS fondling one when looking for the Tesseract...but I thought you had to match each Infinity Stone to the proper universe it was from...but maybe not.

Anyway not much happened but I don't care I had a good time. Love Sylvie.
posted by emjaybee at 7:04 PM on June 23


I think Moebius is a Owen Wilson variant.
posted by metabaroque at 7:10 PM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Loki and Sylvie were so great together, I could watch twenty more hours of this and not get bored. I am just dejected that there’s only six episodes.
posted by dogheart at 7:12 PM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I'm now leaning a bit harder towards a stolen Time Stone for the falling building shenanigans.  Just went back and re-watched the scene at the desk during his little walkabout in episode 01, and they definitely did not show him putting it back down with the other did-we-mention-these-are-so-worthless-they're-used-as-paperweights Infinity Stones, since they switched camera views at the crucial moment—though you do hear a little clink as if it dropped.  And!  It was also made clear that "even an Infinity Stone is useless", inside the TVA.

That being said, I look forward to being gloriously wrong about all this.  It's half the fun.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:28 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Speaking of other SF franchises, did anyone else wonder if the ark was a B Ark type of deal? Maybe overdoing it a bit on the practical FX, but still a fakepocalypse?

This one was definitely a bit slower in the middle, but otherwise fine. Even before the Big Bi Moment, I was getting a bit of Black Mirror's "San Junipero" from the beginning. (There has to be a role in the MCU for Mackenzie Davis, somewhere, somehow.) And Sylvie's tiara missing one of its horns was also a nice touch, as was her using it as a weapon, a la Loki-Prime doing the same in Thor: Ragnarok.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:03 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


It seems to me that both in the dialogue and accent/word choice the show is highlighting the class difference between Loki and Sylvie - he dated royalty, she dated a postman, he speaks Latin, she swears often, etc. Would someone who knows more about British accents want to weigh in?
posted by medusa at 8:26 PM on June 23


Did anyone else get kind of a deadname vibe from Sylvie's "don't call me Loki" reflex?

Yes.
posted by medusa at 8:29 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Dated a postman, eh?

Willie Lumpkin to the MCU confirmed!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:06 PM on June 23 [12 favorites]


CALLED IT!!!!!

"Another!" followed by smashing of a glass never fails to delight me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:32 PM on June 23 [13 favorites]


Everyone is dangerous.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:35 PM on June 23


After having enjoyed the shit out of WandaVision, and really loved the first two eps of this, I was seriously disappointed in this ep. Lots to dislike here.

The plot was inconsistent: they're in danger of falling meteors when they're in a tent, so they have to sprint to a shed, at which point the danger is completely over. Afterward they can just mosey off to town. And for the rest of the story, the meteors are like the zombies in Walking Dead: only around when the story calls for it.

The direction was terrible. For an ep filled with so much hand-to-hand combat, you probably want to spend some time working that out, telling a story with fights, rather than just the mess we saw. (Seriously, sometimes Sylvie can single-handedly take on four guards at once, and other times she can't handle one.)

And speaking of time wasted: that oner to end the ep. I understand that every director wants to do this now, but it kind of needs to make sense. Having Loki and Sylvie literally run back and forth, fighting some guards stage left, then fighting some guards stage right, then back to left again, just to do a oner is dumb. At the very least they could have shown progress on their way to the Ark. Herron should have just shot it conventionally and used the extra time on the earlier fight scenes.

And finally, story-wise, this episode was really only about 2 mins long. Neither character did much. Neither learned anything. Neither changed at all, from their interactions with the other. Plus, neither of them acted in character, especially Sylvie. If she really doesn't want Loki along on this plan that took years to execute, once the phone was destroyed, there is literally no reason for her to wait for him. Also, for a couple of trickster characters, the double-crosses were weak as shit.

I know that we did learn one important piece of info, that the people who work for the TVA are variants, but this was done so quickly, and then dropped just as quickly, that it almost doesn't count for me. There is almost certainly another, better way for the writers to drop that bomb on us than what we got.

Overall I could cut some slack for much of the above, but this show is six eps long. There is so much potential here, that I find it hard to believe that we really have time for filler episodes. They gotta get better.
posted by nushustu at 10:22 PM on June 23 [16 favorites]


I'm with nushustu. What a mess. The pointless oner with too much CG was the worst. Some director thinks they are making Children of Men and misunderstanding what made that so great. Also missing about 18 of the 20 minutes.
posted by Nelson at 11:06 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


This show features much more hand-to-hand combat than I expected from a Loki series.
posted by straight at 12:11 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Although it probably means nothing outside my overactive imagination, the introduction of a character called Sylvie made me think of this antecedent.
posted by Grangousier at 12:27 AM on June 24


I must come to the defense of the episode against the complaint that it didn't advance the plot.

Apologies if I'm being overly literary about a comic book TV show (but Hiddleston), but I think the proper form for this show is the "picarseque".

See in particular:

There is little or no plot. The story is told in a series of loosely connected adventures or episodes.

and

There is little if any character development in the main character. Once a pícaro, always a pícaro. His or her circumstances may change but these rarely result in a change of heart.

Last episode I wrote that the show needed to be about 15% stranger, to go off-script more, to seem less like a linear constructed product like the Sacred Timeline. So I think this was a step in the right direction.

I wasn't, and am not, bothered by the pelting of meteorites being uneven. That wouldn't be unexpected.

It also reminds me of some iconic theater pieces like King Lear and his Fool, their headpieces (crown or fool's cap) ironically equalized in a raging storm that has parallel here with the end of Lamentis meteor pelting.

Nor did I think it a problem that Loki and Sylvie were too friendly. They were set up to be like a romantic comedy duo, they spar against each other. The "love is a dagger" speech crystalized this. They recognize something complementary in the other.
posted by Schmucko at 12:50 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


It seems to me that both in the dialogue and accent/word choice the show is highlighting the class difference between Loki and Sylvie - he dated royalty, she dated a postman, he speaks Latin, she swears often, etc. Would someone who knows more about British accents want to weigh in?

Bona fide English person here and there was definitely the odd Midlands/Northern vowel dropped in here and there during moments of stress or action. Would absolutely fit with a trickster covering up a class difference. My accent is Birmingham mangled through posh school and can sound similar. Looking up the actor she’s from Nottingham which makes sense.
posted by brilliantmistake at 12:55 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Yes! I was curiously pleased to hear an actor speaking as an actual English person rather than doing an English accent (however skilfully) - the music of the speech goes off in all sorts of different directions, whether she's trying to ingratiate herself with the TVA soldier in the imaginary club, or maintain some kind of authority over Loki (more RP), or little bits of Nottingham that slip out under stress. She's excellent, by the way - she's one of those actors who's done an awful lot of work in things I've not seen.

I must confess I find the episode-by-episode scoring rather... odd? I mean, given that it's a six-part story, and this is the third part, it's a bit like saying about a feature film "I thought minutes 40 to 60 went off the rails, but minutes 60 to 80 were a real return to form". We don't know whether it advances the plot, because we're not absolutely sure what the plot is yet, other than that we have a sense that what the people at the TVA believe about the TVA is completely wrong.
posted by Grangousier at 1:13 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


I enjoyed this episode. It isn't as tight as the two previous episodes, but still. It felt like they had one episode that ran too long, so they split it and this is the first half.

Only watched it once, but I'm guessing this episode was mostly Sylvie in Loki's head. Also, I don't think Sylvie is another Loki; I think Loki is actually her (future) mom.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:51 AM on June 24


Pacing issues aside, I really liked this episode for the character interactions. The train scene was really poignant when they started opening up to each other (very slightly), and Loki got to boast about Frigga to someone who would appreciate it. There were a lot of subtle expressions between the two of them that I would love to go back and analyze when I know more plot. And definitely yelled VINDICATION to a friend when he gave a little wink with "maybe a bit of both".

(Plus, as a fic writer for the MCU with a focus on Loki, this whole show so far has felt more like my kind of Loki and how I see his character, so I'm having a very good time.)
posted by lesser weasel at 4:48 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Sylvie dating a postman seemed like a pretty clear reference to The Postman (or, perhaps, The Postman). Especially given her habit of hanging out in apocalypses.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 5:55 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed this episode.

Remember Mobius asking Loki - "Do You Enjoy Hurting People?"

During the fight scene on the train I liked the differences in choreography and also how the entire episode showed the differences between how Sylvie and Loki problem solve.

Loki is good at fighting, but he does it because he has to.

As soon as the fighting started on the train Sylvie stood up and smiled.

She enjoys fighting for fightings sake.

Still not convinced that Sylvie is a Loki Variant.

Also there was a lot about the episode [framing, pacing, dialogue ]that made me think that the entire scenario could easily be taking place entirely in Loki's mind..

Also, Loki stopped a building toppling through what - telekenisis? sheer force of will? Since when does Loki have those kinds of abilities within the MCU?
posted by Faintdreams at 6:02 AM on June 24


The energy blast (?) against the building might be new to MCU, but if that's what it was, he might've picked it up from watching Slyvie scream. either way I was very giddy
posted by lesser weasel at 6:44 AM on June 24


I also agree that whatever Sophie is, she is not a Loki variant. She's literally too different from him in a lot of ways, seems to have different powers, dissimilar upbringing (if what she says is true) and she doesn't want to be called a Loki because duh, she isn't one.

I wasn't that into this episode either, for the reasons others said.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:24 AM on June 24


I rather enjoyed this. My goodness production values for TV have reached new heights, and I'm all in.
I was going on about it to my teenage son, extolling the virtues of these longer form stories and expressing my wish that the MCU could continue this rather than 2.5 hr movies any day and he replied "but the Big Screen!"
My only confusion was Loki's insistence on building "trust" with his variant self (and I agree that she is as likely to be the Enchantress as another Loki at this point). Trust seems a thing he is keenly willing to misuse, so pretending to be vulnerable to a like-minded being seems naive.

It'll be interesting to see the reveal of the postman. that couldn't have been a throwaway bit of info.

If this is all an enchantment, it seems most likely to begin when she wraps his throat in the first building. I wonder if this means that her memories are his memories and she is tapping into her own experience on Lamentis to build the world?

I feel that a lot more happened in this episode than folks are thinking, and I'm willing to trust the storytellers.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:30 AM on June 24


No one's said the obvious: part of why this episode seemed less great is it had zero Owen Wilson.

I was curiously pleased to hear an actor speaking as an actual English person

Ironically, comic book Sylvie speaks with a ridiculous fake Asgard accent.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Loki and Sylvie were so great together, I could watch twenty more hours of this and not get bored. I am just dejected that there’s only six episodes.


You may wish to rejoice.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:43 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


While I wouldn't be surprised that Loki is being enchanted, I don't think he is. At least not to the degree established early in the episode. They aren't going through Loki's memories at all, but seem to be in an objectively real place.

Yet Loki seemed uncharastically open and him getting drunk like Thor seemed very odd.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on June 24


Marvel put out a mini-featurette on Sylvie. [Potential spoilers for future episodes, although it's mostly Sophia Di Martino and Hiddles talking about the character]
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:35 AM on June 24


"I know that we did learn one important piece of info, that the people who work for the TVA are variants, but this was done so quickly, and then dropped just as quickly, that it almost doesn't count for me. There is almost certainly another, better way for the writers to drop that bomb on us than what we got."

So: theory: when Renslayer sentenced Loki to be "reset", she was sending him to be mindwiped and turned into just another TVA employee (we haven't seen any of the other reset Lokis because TVA is big, man). Reset is where they get new employees (although the office workers seem safe enough, they probably go through more than a few timetroops in the run of a mmillenium and need to replace them).
posted by Mogur at 9:07 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see the reveal of the postman. that couldn't have been a throwaway bit of info

Probably Mephisto. Or Ralph Boehner.
posted by emjaybee at 9:27 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


They go out of the way to show what Sylvie's enchantments look like to their targets with Hunter C-20, and have Sylvie explain what she needs to be able to do to start an enchantment, and show Sylvie getting Hunter C-20 drinking while pumping her for information. Then, Loki happens gets drunk during the episode. That's almost pointing too much at the whole episode being an enchantment.

Anyway, I enjoyed this episode more than either episode 1 or 2.
posted by skewed at 9:36 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in #mcu #Loki 💗💜💙 Kate Herron on Twitter
posted by ellieBOA at 10:07 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]


I remembered to check last night and the IMDB listing for loki and Di Martino and she was still listed as "The Variant" -- today it's as "Sylvie", a coordinated marketing strategy, or perhaps I just slipped timelines in my sleep.
posted by sammyo at 11:37 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Part of the discourse I've noticed surrounding these Disney+ Marvel shows is the "nothing happens and it sucks " crowd versus the "the characters are so interesting and I could watch them do laundry" crowd.

It is a shame that there are only 6 to 8 episodes, if we had 10 to 13 like the average Netlfix show I think we could all enjoy the "filler" episodes more and not feel cheated by lack of plot progression.

In a lot of ways this felt like an extremely expensive bottle episode.
posted by M Edward at 12:41 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


And bottle episodes quite enjoyable as the actors get to flesh out their characters.
posted by M Edward at 12:43 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


And speaking of time wasted: that oner to end the ep. I understand that every director wants to do this now, but it kind of needs to make sense... Herron should have just shot it conventionally and used the extra time on the earlier fight scenes.
I'm glad this stuck out to someone else. These don't even make sense in something that is as heavily post-processed as Marvel/Disney live-action and it had some pretty obvious/obnoxious hidden cuts in it as well. The technical aspects of this episode were really not great. I thought a lot of the shots with an emphasis on the background/buildings that used the rear projection had an uncanny/video game look to them as well. I think this is one of the first times in this cycle of Marvel TV where it looked TV budget rather than film budget.

This really stuck out to me because I thought the first two episodes had some Kubrick vibes with how shots were composed, especially inside the TVA, and in this episode, everything felt much messier and artificial.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 2:14 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


COVID caused an 8-month hiatus in the filming of Loki. Herron used some of that time to start editing the scenes they already had in the can, and that led her to make some changes when production finally resumed:
...based off these cuts I was doing, [we] went back into the scripts and the scenes we hadn't filmed yet when we were able to go back to filming, and it definitely informed the rest of the story going forward...
Source

in this episode, everything felt much messier and artificial.

So, now I'm wondering which scenes were filmed when, and whether that might account for some of these issues.
posted by cheshyre at 2:38 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


No one's said the obvious: part of why this episode seemed less great is it had zero Owen Wilson.


Your comment crystallized why I liked this episode better than the others. Ugh Owen Wilson, so self-satisfied.
posted by medusa at 2:59 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


That's interesting, cheshyre, I didn't know about that. Now I am curious as well! I checked to see if this episode had a different DP, but it looks like Autumn Durald did all of the episodes.

I think most of what I didn't like on the technical side of this episode is more the result of trying to achieve a vision that they didn't quite have the resources for. This was a very big episode and they needed to come up with alien/future architecture, the entire planet, the apocalyptic special effects, the train, all-new costumes that probably won't be used again, the magic, etc. It isn't very surprising to me that some of the seams are showing.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 3:01 PM on June 24


I'm unsure how I'd feel if this episode had been Sylvie enchanting Loki. It seems a little too much the "it was all a dream" trope. I'm rooting for this show to go weird.

Did everyone else experience last episode (episode 2) ending earlier than they expected, and then after the credits, the final scene just repeating? I thought it was going to be an alternate ending like Clue. Maybe in one ending Loki would jump through the time portal with Sylvie but in the other he'd stay in the TVA. But no, both were identical.

This kind of resolution would solve my need for the show to go off the rails a bit (I guess it kind of did that literally!): Loki steals a time stone AND gets enchanted by Sylvie. Maybe Loki had a split second decision whether or not to steal a time stone and that split the time line: is he using the time stone to make Sylvie just think she's enchanting him, or is Sylvie enchanting him into just thinking he has the time stone? I'm probably writing fan fiction here though.

I'm also an apologist for the planet of Lamentis itself and its tragic end to be vague backdrop and not finely rendered. It's supposed to be atmospheric, like the storm and cracking thunder to Lear and Fool.
posted by Schmucko at 5:16 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


We're halfway through the season and we've learned exactly three things:
- The TVA are trying to maintain the sacred timeline
- A Loki variant is trying to fuck this up
- All the TVA employees are variants

I can't wait for:
- The TVA employees are sad that the corporation lied to them
- Sylvie is right to restore the Multiverse
- The Multiverse will lead to future Madness

This TV show could have been an email.
posted by crossoverman at 5:25 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


In a lot of ways this felt like an extremely expensive bottle episode. And bottle episodes quite enjoyable as the actors get to flesh out their characters.

When I think of famous bottle episodes, the first one that comes to mind is "Fly" from Breaking Bad. SPOILERS FOLLOW.

It's a divisive episode: two people, stuck together in a room. Nothing happens. The plot is not advanced. Some people hate it for this reason. But there IS significant character building in that ep. You get to see WW and Jesse try to better understand one another. You get to see them let their guards down a little bit, and show their true selves. Heck at the climax, you get to see Walter White allllllmost admit that he could have saved Jesse's girlfriend, but he didn't. It's an extremely tense scene, because the audience knows the potential weight of this confession, and knows that there will be significant fallout afterward. And we know that Walter White knows it too, and we see him make the decision not to do it. And this action teaches us something else about WW, about how wants to hold on to his basic humanity, but it's hard, because he's so far down the path that he's on.

Meanwhile, Loki tried to do this as well. This was effectively a bottle ep. It was really only about Loki and Sylvie. And they tried to get us somewhere with their convo on the train. But there were some problems: we didn't really learn anything about Loki that we didn't already know* and we still don't know enough about Sylvie to have any idea whether anything she said was true or not. She's a variant of a trickster god, so I would expect her to be lying. And since this is the first ep she's really been in, we have no experience with her to compare her to anything.

As a result the entire time I felt like they were probably just playing lying poker with each other. I didn't trust anything either of them said, and so I didn't really learn anything about either of them. So when you match that up with an ep where also the plot doesn't advance, you get 45 mins of literally nothing but punches and explosions and honestly that is the least interesting part of the MCU and I thought after WandaVision they had realized that.

*Yes I know, Loki admitted he's bisexual, and I'm glad they got that out in the open but that would only have been a shock if he turned out to NOT be bisexual. He's the trickster god: the character is fluid enough that it is not surprising that he'd date men and women.
posted by nushustu at 6:13 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


we didn't really learn anything about Loki that we didn't already know*

One thing that is super hard to remember for me is that the Loki on this show has not gone through the Thor2 and Ragnarok character "redemption" beats. He begins this show as the Loki who literally just got manhandled by Hulk in Stark Tower. There are moments where I think the showrunners seem to have forgotten this as well. I hope they either have him reveal he is still the "true villain" from Avengers and completely dead-set on ruling everyone or flesh out a new "redemption" arc. If they leave it at "he watched a video of himself dying and his mother dying and Asgard being destroyed so now he's a good guy" I will be super disappointed.
posted by M Edward at 6:28 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


I know they're twins, or whatever it is when you split off in a separate timeline when you're too young to remember your mom clearly. But, "you're so weird," is classic rom-com shorthand. It practically screams "meet-cute", dunno what I feel about that.

I don't think the Time Keepers are around anymore. Last ep when Ravonna said that she'd "never seen them so involved," I got strong Important Plot vibes. Something is for sure not what we've been told on that front. I think the reveal that the TVA agents are regular people supports that. The TKs are not around to replenish their personnel and they haven't been for a really long time. The bureaucracy is just limping along, with people like Ravonna making decisions about the Sacred Timeline. Maybe only Ravonna, maybe she's corrupt and that's why her office keeps getting nicer everytime Mobius visits.
posted by Horkus at 7:53 PM on June 24


If they leave it at "he watched a video of himself dying and his mother dying and Asgard being destroyed so now he's a good guy" I will be super disappointed.

Nothing in episodes 2 and 3 suggest the show cares to address this. They wanted to have him be the Loki with the character growth and I think they think the video was enough.
posted by crossoverman at 8:05 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Not just the film has affected Loki's view of things. He sees the power of the TVA. He is experiencing powerlessness. He extends that feeling of being wronged to questioning TVA's power in general, and sticking up for what he thinks is a more just order (or lack thereof). He sees Mobius genuinely try to befriend him and save his neck, although it is partly to achieve his own ends.
posted by Schmucko at 8:20 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


The thing that I found off in this episode is that they seem to be underplaying Loki's skills and talents. The character in front of us isn't giving me the sense of the prince of Asgard who trained at Odin's feet and beside Thor. That Loki would have had (and I'm sure there is reference to this somewhere in movies) combat training and skills training, and training and battle tactics and strategy. Very little of that seemed to be on display.

He's also a trickster god and the god of mischief and a powerful magic wielder, and again he seemed very underpowered in those aspects. This is in spite of being able to explain to the TVA agents the differences between the different types of powers and magic. Heck, he couldn't even trick an old woman by doing a good impersonation of her dead husband. Actually, why he'd chose the husband after already revealing himself and Sylvie as travellers was really dumb.

At one point Thor gave Jane a speech about science and magic being essentially the same thing, and then went on to explain Einstein Rosen bridges to her, and during another movie the Asgardian healers used some combination of magic and science to heal Jane, and yet Loki can't figure out how to power up the TempPad.

I get that this might all be one of his scams to present himself as something other than the powerful, (mostly) competent being that he is or he might be under some kind of enchantment, but it really feels like the character is swinging wildly between what he should be, what he is a capable of and the absolute worst, most incompetent version of himself, and that creates the impression that the writers have no clue who he actually is or what do make of him or his character. Perhaps, as was pointed out above by M Edward, the problem is that this isn't the current version of Loki that has grown and evolved or even a true version of a Loki we are previously familiar with from an earlier movie but some kind of hybrid version that is trying to mix together the aspects that audiences like from his previous appearances in order to make him the hero of his own story and that effort isn't working as well in the reality as the writers thought it would when they were putting their plans to paper.
posted by sardonyx at 8:09 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


It is impossible at this point in the series to determine if this episode was hella stupid or clever misdirection. As others have pointed out, there is almost certainly some level of illusion or trickery happening on both sides, so I will reserve judgment at this time on plot/characterization failings.

That said, I am surprised how much this show has thus far been about how many apocalyptic events we can expect in the next half century. It's interesting, but not what I was thought I was signing up for! Hoping this theme is headed towards some sort of hopeful, we can defeat bureaucracy and change our timeline ending, because I do not watch Marvel entertainments for bleak cli fi, thanks. (I'm not opposed to the genre but have plenty other sources to scratch that itch.)
posted by the primroses were over at 8:21 AM on June 25


The character in front of us isn't giving me the sense of the prince of Asgard who trained at Odin's feet and beside Thor. That Loki would have had (and I'm sure there is reference to this somewhere in movies) combat training and skills training, and training and battle tactics and strategy. Very little of that seemed to be on display. He's also a trickster god and the god of mischief and a powerful magic wielder, and again he seemed very underpowered in those aspects.

Well, let's think about that, and what we've seen of Loki's schemes before now. He got control of two of the Infinity Stones in the first Avengers movie, which in and of itself should have made him the most powerful being in the universe (as was said about Thanos in Infinity War), and at different points had command of a substantial portion of SHIELD's people and Thanos' Chitauri strike force... and lasted a surprisingly short time before Iron Man closed the portal and Hulk swatted him around like a rag doll. He deposed his own father and took over Asgard, and used his position to commission a play about himself and eat grapes until his brother showed up. He wormed his way into the Grandmaster's court, at which point he could have taken GM's place and had an impressive army of gladiators at his disposal (including, ironically, the Hulk), but whiffed that opportunity, as well. Historically, he's been fantastic at the short con and bad (or indifferent) at the long game.

Plus, he's dealing with the shock of both his parents (gods who are supposed to be immortal) being dead, he himself technically being dead, him being under the control of an organization for whom the Infinity Stones are tchotchkes, and another him (her) who actually is good at the long game. So, you know, I think that it's logical that someone who is extremely good at a relatively limited skill set might be thrown off his stride a bit. I don't think that he's a magic wielder on the scale of Stephen Strange (who could have simply magic gated his way onto the ark) or Wanda Maximoff (who probably could have powered up the TempPad herself), and getting out of the TVA's control was probably the top of his game. He's not a brute force guy; that's his brother. He's someone who can pull off an incredible escape, but then blows it by getting drunk and organizing a sing-along. He's such a good trickster that he tricks himself.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:25 AM on June 25 [26 favorites]


How is Sylvie a Loki variant? I was under the impression that Lokis action of stealing the Tesseract made him a variant. He was destined to go thro the actions in the Dark world/Ragnarock etc until his eventual death at the hand of Thanos. But we see Sylvie as a little girl with a different parentage and different everything. Are they just not two different characters then?
posted by asra at 10:14 AM on June 25


This isn't all spelled out, but: Loki-protaganist is a variant of Loki-prime (deceased), who branched off when he stole the Tesseract. Sylvie is a different variant of Loki-prime, and exactly how she branched off the sacred timeline is unclear, but that will no doubt be explored. I'd imagine for a demigod, the form one takes in the physical universe could vary greatly depending on circumstances at conception. From her antipathy at being called Loki, it sounds like she was much closer in identity to Loki-prime at some point, but did something to sever that identity, something the TVA didn't think fit.

It obviously reads like a set-up for a trans allegory at this point--Sylvie was supposed to have a certain identity, she didn't want that, the TVA doesn't allow for people to stray from their pre-determined path, Sylvie decides to overthrow the TVA hegemony to restore a multiverse with infinite possibilities, within which she could have the chance to live on her own terms.

I think having the major character arc within the Loki series belong to someone other than Loki-protagonist, but it kinda works with the Picaresque narrative that Schmucko mentioned upthread. I also think that it seems a little too simple and neat as a narrative for a 5-6 hour movie/series, but maybe I'm underestimating how daring the MCU is or feels it needs to be. Or maybe there will be more going on in the second half of the series that it seems at this point.

Also, I'm not sure if it's interesting or maddening that Loki-protagonist is almost completely unsurprised and only mildly curious that this the Sylvie-variant is so different.
posted by skewed at 10:37 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


Moebius told Loki that they are chasing a Loki variant. Conjecture here is that Sylvie is not, in fact, a Loki variant. Loki is working under the assumption that she is, but it's unclear whether she believes it.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:38 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


I don't really understand the idea that Sylvie is not a Loki variant. What's the in-universe explanation for Moebius to tell that lie to Loki? It'd have to be really, really good to excuse that kind of misdirection to the viewer. If they can come up with a reason that Moebius himself believes, that helps, but only to the extent that it makes sense for it to be worthwhile for Loki to be chasing a Loki-variant, rather than some general super-powered variant. Also, Sylvie really doesn't want to be called Loki, which makes a lot more sense if she has some sort of Loki-connection than if she doesn't.

Also, Sylvie is a lovely name.
posted by skewed at 11:04 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I think that Sylvie featurette mentioned that the chaotic universe keeps creating branches on its own, and perhaps Sylvie was a result of that and not of anyone's conscious decision/action. The whole story about variants is just another lie ( just like their muddled memories) fed to TVA agents to make their actions more palatable.
posted by asra at 12:17 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Ah, interesting, thanks asra. I could see that working pretty well with the setup they've got. So Sylvie's position would be that that there's nothing sacred about the timeline in which Loki-prime exists, so he doesn't get to be Loki-prime, and she doesn't have to be a Loki-variant.
posted by skewed at 12:22 PM on June 25


I appreciate the massive world building the MCU is undertaking but if we have to start watching featurettes to untangle poor plot management in the main properties then they're not doing nearly as well as I have been giving them credit for.
posted by M Edward at 2:03 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


If Sylvie gets killed off at the end of this - like the kids and Vision were killed off at the end of Wands Vision and Karli was killed off at the end of Captain America Redux - I am going to be irritated. It's probably what's going to happen, right? After all that talk about how the role of Loki is to make other characters around them better.
posted by medusa at 2:58 PM on June 25


There’s a comics connection that I’m surprised no one has mentioned yet. SPOILER-ISH
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.
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I was chatting with a friend about who Sylvie really is, and the fact that she’s a woman who enchants people (they’ve said “enchant” at least fifty times so far) led me to believe that she was clearly the Enchantress, Thor’s Asgardian foe from the Lee and Kirby years. So I searched up the Enchantress to show my friend, and it turns out there’s a second, newer Enchantress, who appeared after I’d stopped reading Marvel comics. She’s a Midgardian teen named Sylvie, whose powers were bestowed on her by Loki, who now pretends she’s Asgardian.

The MCU is very good about recontextualizing characters from the comics to make them less silly and make them make more sense in the universe. So the knowledge of comics!Sylvie doesn’t definitively predict anything about MCU!Sylvie. But now I’m starting to think she’s not a Loki Variant, she’s the daughter (adopted or otherwise) of a Loki Variant who granted her her powers. This show doesn’t seem to be flirting with time loops yet so I don’t think Loki-protagonist is going to wind up being her father, but I’m guessing her father was pruned and that’s why she has it in for the TVA. As mentioned above, why couldn’t her Loki Variant dad have been allowed to live his life, rather than be pruned for the benefit of that loser Loki-Prime.
posted by ejs at 4:20 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Plus, he's dealing with the shock of both his parents (gods who are supposed to be immortal) being dead

It doesn't really make sense to ask when in the MCU timeline this is taking place. Even so, from Loki's point of view, those events are months or years in his future.

In most stories like this, what Loki was shown would be considered by Loki and the viewers as a potential future and the plot would be Loki doing whatever needed to be done to avert that future.

We know that Thor 2, Ragnarok, and Infinity War are "the right timeline" and we'd be (rightly?) upset if a series like this came along and re-wrote the time line so that none of those movies ever happened. Which makes us the Time Keepers.

But this Loki shouldn't feel that way. From his point of view, he should be doing all of this to avert the future in which his mom is killed (and also saving his dad, Heimdall, and the rest of Asgard...just, coincidentally, not because he cares about them or anything....)
posted by straight at 6:21 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


On the other hand, I did like that Loki didn't seem upset about Asgard itself perishing in fire because, duh, every Asgardian knows Ragnarok is gonna happen someday. And he'd probably nod his head and think, yes, fitting, to find out that Loki himself pulled the trigger that unleashed Surtur.
posted by straight at 6:27 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


but if we have to start watching featurettes to untangle poor plot management

The "featurette" linked above is literally one minute of brief clips from the show, interspersed with soundbites of Hiddleston, Di Martino, and Herron saying vague promotional things about how the audience will love this, or it was great to get to do that. This reasoning sounds like refusing to go see a movie because you missed the second lead being interviewed a week ago on Stephen Colbert or Graham Norton or some such, and without that piece of the puzzle, you are certain audiences will be lost.

Like just about everything on screen, it has some dubious choices. Like quite a few things lately, it winds up a little disjointed by having a multi-month COVID pause in production. Rolling your eyes because there is a commercial that on principle you don't want to spend sixty seconds watching is weird.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:58 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


> One thing that is super hard to remember for me is that the Loki on this show has not gone through the Thor2 and Ragnarok character "redemption" beats. He begins this show as the Loki who literally just got manhandled by Hulk in Stark Tower. There are moments where I think the showrunners seem to have forgotten this as well. I hope they either have him reveal he is still the "true villain" from Avengers and completely dead-set on ruling everyone or flesh out a new "redemption" arc. If they leave it at "he watched a video of himself dying and his mother dying and Asgard being destroyed so now he's a good guy" I will be super disappointed.
I find this Loki's redemption arc to be more plausible than the one in the films. I didn't feel like the redemption arc in the movies was especially well earned or set up; Loki just sort of gradually became less of an asshole from film to film just because. I mean, I was glad he became less of an asshole because the evil backstabber shtick gets annoying after a while, but I never really bought it.

In this show, on the other hand, Loki has a paradigm-shifting experience in which he learns that the universe (or multiverse) is much bigger and more complicated than he thought it was, which puts his previous ambitions in a rather trivializing light. He also gets a Christmas Carol–style perspective on his previous approach to life, and sees that it was leading him only to death, and that he was only ever a foil for the true heroes. And he got to see everything that happened in the other timeline, including the events that effected that redemption arc. And he's in this unfamiliar setting where everyone's a stranger, so he has a fresh start (without, say, Thor around to be jealous of). I think that all adds up to a super believable recipe for the rapid character development that's necessary for this show to work. I don't feel any more explanation is needed than what we've gotten.
posted by Syllepsis at 8:07 PM on June 25 [24 favorites]


I think Moebius is a Owen Wilson variant.

I assume from a timeline where The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders didn’t do him in.

I think I liked this episode more than a lot of y’all, but Legends of Tomorrow is also doing a storyline from The Planet of Bisexual Lighting, and you’re never going to out-bi Legends of Tomorrow, so don’t even try.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:28 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]




Anbaric Eyes on tumblr transcribed and translated the Norwegian parts of Loki's song:
In storm-black mountains, I wander alone
Over the glacier I make my way
In the apple garden stands the maiden fair
and sings, “When will you come home?”

But the trees dance and the waterfalls stop
when she sings, she sings “Come home”
Amusingly, the captions refer to his singing as "in Asgardian."
posted by mbrubeck at 11:36 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]


A few things I noticed on rewatch.

In the comics, Thor's language was always archaic and elevated. In Avengers, while Thor and Loki are bantering in this style, Iron Man interjects: What is this, Shakespeare in the Park? And yet in this point in the MCU the Asgardians talk in slang. Sylvie at one point says "Jeez!" which also seemed jarring because isn't that derived from Jesus, while Norse legends of Thor and Loki were from pre-Christian Europe? She also says something "sucks."

Feeling proud of myself for the identification of the form of the show as "picaresque", I found this old tweet speculating about a Loki stand-alone movie, back from 2017, saying it would be picaresque
posted by Schmucko at 1:26 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I also thought it was amusing that this bit of dialog came right after the Norwegian song:
SYLVIE: You’re drunk.
LOKI: No, I'm just full. But bear in mind, I’m very full.
The Norwegian word for “drunk” is… full.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:35 PM on June 26 [16 favorites]


Sophie probably wasn't raised in Asgard, she was captured by the TVA quite young, so it isn't surprising that she doesn't retain much of the speech habits.
posted by tavella at 2:48 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Plus, she dated a postman, so his language must have rubbed off.
posted by Schmucko at 4:32 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


“Sucks” was extremely crude when I was a kid, and now it’s a mild term that I feel free to use in all sorts of contexts. People pick up new slang over their lives.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:55 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


The new Disney Plus shows so far have been too indulgent for me to respect, and typically centering on characters I don't enjoy enough to get excited about. I really liked this episode, but I wonder if I'd find it less compelling if Loki were less of a favorite of mine. (Watch me be similarly lax on the Obi-Wan series!) I will say this episode had a few things I really enjoy: Loki being a ridiculous spoiled mess of a person, Loki throwing himself headfirst into relating with a person that might understand him, and Loki finding his way into a ridiculous amount of trouble.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:39 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I'm glad that it's been canonically established that Loki is ... actually I'm not sure what we've established. Gender fluid? Bi? Pan? It's right for his character and representation is important. I'm especially glad that he gets to be in the middle part of the spectrum, rather than gay or straight, because I think we need more of that kind of representation.

BUT...

I'm also a little wary of it, because what it really means is that the creators have chosen a duplicitous, treacherous, liar, however sympathetic he may be, to be a standard bearer for non-traditional sexuality. And aren't those the traits that are already negatively associated with bisexuality by people prejudiced against it? Isn't that reinforcing a stereotype? They really need to commit to the next step and make one of their major heroic characters canonically not-straight/cis, and stop just hinting at it like they did with Captain Marvel or Bucky, and then backing off.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:24 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Well but Loki is such a fan favorite and has already had one redemption arc, he'll never be a total villain. His fluid sexuality is not what he deceives people about.

My biggest beef is that hardly anyone appears to have or think about sex in the MCU, so chances are small we'll ever get to hear much about any lovers.
posted by emjaybee at 8:46 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


My biggest beef is that hardly anyone appears to have or think about sex in the MCU, so chances are small we'll ever get to hear much about any lovers.


As well as putting half of AO3 out of a hobby if it was covered in MCU after dark.
posted by tilde at 2:44 PM on June 27


hardly anyone appears to have or think about sex in the MCU

Ego the Living Planet fucks.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:22 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Black Widow was interested in having sex with Bruce Banner in Age of Ultron.

*Quickly leaves room*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:45 PM on June 27


The very first Iron Man, which started the MCU, features Tony Stark bragging about bedding Maxim models. And shows him bedding a reporter and leaving her the next day. Both the culture and Tony Stark have evolved since then, I think the culture of fandom more.
posted by Schmucko at 4:18 PM on June 27


Oh, Tony and Pepper were clearly having sex by the Avengers movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 PM on June 27


I love the MCU but it’s astonishingly sexless. Everyone is beautiful and no one is horny, except perhaps in the fandom at large.
posted by notheotherone at 11:36 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Valkyrie is now King of Asgard, and is definitely queer.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:04 AM on June 28


I know people are all for Bucky being gay, but when I see him, I just feel like he never has sexual chemistry with anybody of any gender. No flirty banter. No sparks of interest. No checking out America's Ass. He stares at people weirdly (doesn't even feel sexual) and that is it. I can presume that being on ice for decades except for periodically getting thawed out for murder might have buzzkilled any desires, though.

Back to Loki, he strikes me as a one night stand guy, otherwise too focused on global domination to really bother.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:42 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


"Everyone is Beautiful and No One is Horny"

?

Perfect example of how two people can view the exact same media and yet read the contents *extremely* differently.

I don't know what MCU media the author of that piece is watching, cause it sure doesn't fit the description of the MCU media I'm and my friends are enjoying.

No. Sir.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:07 AM on June 28


> He's the trickster god: the character is fluid enough that it is not surprising that he'd date men and women

...and horses. Show that in your series, Disney, you cowards!
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:44 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


> I don't know what MCU media the author of that piece is watching, cause it sure doesn't fit the description of the MCU media I'm and my friends are enjoying.

Previously.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:46 AM on June 28


Finally got around to watching this last night and, yeah, it hit me as a little thin and went nowhere. Or, it didn't obviously go anywhere, anyway.

The one-shot in the city was dumb and seemed to go in exactly the wrong direction if the plan was to get to the ark. Every move they made was away from it. And why, with a bajillion other citizens running in the streets to escape the mayhem, do the guards seem to always pick-up a fight with Loki and Sylvie? Or, more to the point, why do Loki and Sylvie keep running into exactly the places where the guards are? There's just something...wrong...going on here.

One item that I haven't seen mentioned that puzzles me. In the last episode, when Sylvie enables the portal in the big-box store and walks through, it stays open a hell of a longer amount of time than we had seen before, as if it was programmed to give Loki enough time to decide to go through, too. As if that was exactly what someone wanted him to do. Sylvie certainly seemed surprised/angry that he had followed her.

My bets are that where we are right now is an illusion of some sort. Possibly involving both characters without them being aware of it.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:59 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I generally liked the episode, but yeah the fight scene at the end was silly. We got an announcement of 5 minutes to launch and then they basically wandered around from side to side until the ship blew up.
posted by tavella at 9:50 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


I also agree that whatever Sophie is, she is not a Loki variant. She's literally too different from him in a lot of ways, seems to have different powers, dissimilar upbringing (if what she says is true) and she doesn't want to be called a Loki because duh, she isn't one.

I really want it to turn out that Loki is Sylvie's mother, and her existence was the point of deviation. It works for the Enchantress angle; it works for Sylvie referring to Frigga as "your mother." It allows for the TVA mistakenly thinking Loki was the point of deviation for her as a Variant. I'm afraid from the meta vibes that they really are going with a Loki variant who changed her name, but I want her to be her own person so much.

I don't really understand the idea that Sylvie is not a Loki variant. What's the in-universe explanation for Moebius to tell that lie to Loki? It'd have to be really, really good to excuse that kind of misdirection to the viewer. [...] Also, Sylvie really doesn't want to be called Loki, which makes a lot more sense if she has some sort of Loki-connection than if she doesn't.

The TVA clearly does not know what timeline Sylvie comes from. They appear to have discovered her when she started attacking and then reverse-engineering who their enemy was. If she does turn out to be Loki's kid, then it would explain them being close enough that the best match the TVA algorithms found was Loki. (Especially if, as in my favored outcome, the act of conceiving or fathering a child on Loki's part is the branch point.) They've been saying "he" this entire time, so they don't even know they've been chasing a woman this whole time. That alone speaks volumes about how much less the TVA knows about her than they think they know.

Also, Sylvie is a lovely name.
Thank you.

I find this Loki's redemption arc to be more plausible than the one in the films. I didn't feel like the redemption arc in the movies was especially well earned or set up; Loki just sort of gradually became less of an asshole from film to film just because. I mean, I was glad he became less of an asshole because the evil backstabber shtick gets annoying after a while, but I never really bought it.

If you go in with an apologist's view, it's possible that Loki has been acting out of his usual character for most of the stuff we've seen and part of the asshole fade was due to his recovery. In Thor we see him get the rug pulled out from under him in a pretty cruel way, repeatedly. He's absolutely a reckless asshole over-reacting but he does have a comprehensible motivation. He then spends an unknown amount of time falling through the pure sensory deprivation of the Void, then a prisoner of Thanos/the Chitauri, who clearly were not gentle with him. He turns up on Earth stumbling, confused and unaware he's holding a staff until Fury points it out to him, and he gets telepathic orders from the Chitauri that include them being able to torture him remotely. This is when we see the worst behavior from him, and it's unclear how much of what he's doing is of his own volition. When we see him again in Dark World, he and Thor fall back into a surprisingly smooth partnership as if that was the normal way they'd been interacting for the two thousand years before the first Thor movie. What we saw there may be the best reflection of his non-traumatized personality. By Ragnarok, he's three-quarters of the way redeemed and only needed to finish by getting killed trying to save Thor. Arguably, the extended downtime in the TVA (time works differently there) may have served the same purpose as the events of Dark World and Ragnarok in giving him time to process the revelations of Thor and whatever went on before the start of Avengers and return more closely to what he was like during his first two millennia.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:22 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


WandaVision Changed Its Post-Credits Scene

OMG. The thing about this show being on Disney+ ... they could have Loki & Sylvie make changes to the MCU timeline that change things in the other movies. Depending on the changes, it would be expensive as hell, but...I am simultaneously fascinated and horrified.

What if George Lucas opened a door that cannot be closed?
posted by straight at 2:55 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Wanda changed footage shown in the Previously On during the run.

I'm sort of intrigued by the possibility of time travel actually changing previous series.
posted by crossoverman at 4:52 PM on June 28


Meh, looks like some color correction, possibly to match a similar scene in an upcoming movie.

The moving artifact looks exactly like a post processing artifact or glitch. It looks very unpolished for any Marvel movie.

But am curious if it changes further or something changes in other movies!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 PM on June 28


Wanda changed footage shown in the Previously On during the run.


See also Arrested Development :P
posted by tilde at 5:35 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Valve changed the final cut scene in the game Portal (changed the game on your hard drive) when they were getting ready to release Portal 2.
posted by straight at 6:17 PM on June 28


I can't see the whole disaster scenario being an enchantment by Sylvie, she specifically said she had to create the scenarios from her victims memories, and Loki clearly has no idea what's happening on Lamentis. It would also be a huge cop-out if the solution to "oh shit we're stuck in an apocalypse" was "it was all a dream!".

The moving artifact looks exactly like a post processing artifact or glitch. It looks very unpolished for any Marvel movie.

I thought it was dirt on the TV...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:47 AM on June 29


I can't see the whole disaster scenario being an enchantment by Sylvie, she specifically said she had to create the scenarios from her victims memories, and Loki clearly has no idea what's happening on Lamentis.

"This trickster god just explained to me how her powers work and if her explanation is true she can't be using her powers to trick me right now. I should definitely believe her! I mean, why would she lie?"
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:40 AM on June 29 [3 favorites]


the purple explody planet was very aesthetically pleasing
posted by lalochezia at 8:07 PM on June 30


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