Loki: The Nexus Event

“You know, neither one of us are title characters. I’m just saying, this could go badly for us.”

Past the halfway point now, Loki continues to deliver surprises and twists. What would you expect from something where the main character is the god of mischief, or lies, depending on which version you’re going by? I like to think I’m pretty good at working out where stories might go, and I saw none of what happened this episode coming. Thanks to what we’ve learned so far, and a hint from back in WandaVision, we have an idea of the significance of the title this week, “The Nexus Event.”

The episode opens with some background on Sylvie. What we see goes a long way towards explaining why this particular Asgardian has decided to make it her life’s work to fight the TVA. We also see an earlier version of a familiar face, the start of a routine we’ve seen before, and a clever escape. Moving to the present, for whatever that term is worth, Judge Ravenna goes for a meeting with the actual Time Keepers, who are in an odd space wreathed in blue mist.

Some time after this meeting, Ravenna and Mobius talk in her office. She once again stresses how important it is to keep the timeline stable. Mobius makes what sounds like a reasonable request, and Ravenna shuts him down completely. When Mobius pushes, she delivers some surprising news, and then stresses the importance of capturing Loki and Sylvie. Speaking of, our two fugitive variants are on Lamentis, watching the end of the world, out of ideas and options. Sylvie shares some of her past, and paints a bleak picture of what she’s been through.

Mobius and a team of Hunters are trying to find the missing gods, and, while you can tell he’s not completely comfortable with it, he takes the company line about Hunter C20. Sylvie sounds like she’s despairing, and Loki ends up singing her praises, being surprisingly earnest and supportive. Something kicks off a major nexus event, leading the Hunters to the Lokis, and saving them from certain doom. Which is an odd choice if the TVA wants them dead anyway. The two are captured and separated, and almost seem more upset about the second than the first. Loki and Mobius, reunited, argue about betrayals and appropriate labels. Mobius then sends Loki off to an interesting time loop that’s right out of the Norse myths and brings back a familiar face we haven’t seen in a long time. Since this is both a favorite character and actor in my book, I was thrilled to see it.

While Loki deals with a shorter cycle of his own personal Groundhog Day, Mobius goes to Ravenna and asks about interviewing Sylvie. Ravenna is unalterably opposed to his request, and starts with personal digs to get him off the subject, which is remarkably hypocritical considering what we’ve learned this episode. Mobius rattles off an impressive list of beings the TVA has dealt with, and talks with a few Hunters. Loki suffers through his time loop and makes some insightful admissions before Mobius comes by to talk.

Back to one of the rooms we’ve seen before, Mobius and Loki spar about lies as they lie to each other. They’re clearly exasperated with each other, and equally clearly have some grudging affection for each other. When Mobius threatens Loki with a return to the time loop, Loki shares what he’s learned about the TVA from Sylvie. Mobius is clearly shaken by this, while professing not to believe it, and tosses Loki back anyway. Having her own crisis of faith, Hunter B-15 psyches herself up, then insists on going in to see Sylvie. The variant is amused at the Hunter’s presence at first, then very surprised when the Hunter does the unexpected.

Later, Mobius and Ravenna relax in her office. She seems to be in the mood to celebrate, while Mobius is a bit more reserved. When he starts asking about Sylvie again, she distracts him with relayed praise from the Time Keepers, and even a special invitation. She then goes with one of those big questions that is usually either a “getting to know you” type of thing or a “Wow, we’re so high” kind of conversation. Mobius’ job gives him a unique answer, but he goes with a friendly response. Mobius is still concerned with the fate of Hunter C-20, but Ravenna uses this, too, to spin the conversation in a different direction. She starts laying it on thick, but we see how serious Mobius’ doubts have become. He does something I wouldn’t have expected of him, and slips away. B-15 and Sylvie revisit a familiar location, and the Hunter asks some surprising questions. Sylvie shows her something, and B-15 is at a loss for what to do now.

Sneaking among the stacks (the TVA really does favor older tech for a lot of things), Mobius begins looking into things some people clearly don’t want him to. He gets several surprises in a row as he finds out that some of Loki’s claims are true, or at least backed up by someone from the TVA itself, and that someone else has a bigger role in what’s happening than Mobius suspected. Loki’s boredom with his repeating torment is alleviated when Mobius comes back, and they have a very intense discussion. They agree to work together and leave, only to find Ravenna waiting for them with a lot of backup. There’s some banter, and Mobius gives a different answer to Ravenna’s earlier questions. This is where the surprises kick into high gear as Ravenna gives a startling order and Loki gets upset by the outcome. Ravenna goes to check in Sylvie and then makes another announcement that surprises some of her co-workers.

Under heavy guard, Loki and Sylvie are reunited and then brought to the Time Keepers. This scene lost a bit of impact for me as they used some heavy voice modulators for the Keepers, and I had trouble following what they were saying. Loki, at this point, is utterly unimpressed with the possibility of being killed, and Sylvie presses forward with a theory of her own. An unexpected arrival kicks off a fight, and there’s some impressive action as we see the Lokis in combat. The Lokis eventually win, which is not a surprise considering, well, the title of the show. What is surprising is just about everything that comes next, from a revelation about the Time Keepers to a shocking death to someone finally being in a position to get some answers. This episode also becomes the first time the Loki series indulges in the MCU tradition of the mid-credit scene, and that one, too, is surprising all the way around.

What I liked: There were a lot of surprises, and they all made sense. None of them seemed to really come out of nowhere just for shock value. The fight near the end showed how competent both Lokis are, and it was impressive to see. The cameo in Loki’s time loop was fantastic and hopefully an indication of things to come. Watching Loki struggle with some unfamiliar territory was fun, and the credit scene was really unexpected, opening up some new possibilities. I was very intrigued by the mystery opened up by the revelation about the Time Keepers.

What I didn’t: It was a bad spot to be in, but the Lokis seemed to give up and accept their fate way too easily early in the episode. That seemed really out of character. The Time Keepers were hard to understand. I get the effect, but enough is enough.

I thought this was another great episode. I’m curious to see what’s next for the god(s) of mischief. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5.