Warning: MAJOR Spoilers Ahead for the Loki Episode “The Nexus Event”
No matter how painfully they may lose, a Loki always survives.
This is the mantra of this episode and really, our Loki’s entire trek through the MCU. Normally, I try my best to avoid spoilers when I can, but this episode warrants a review wherein I bare all (...figuratively speaking). So I’ll allow you a moment to click away aaaaaaaand WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL!?
I’m starting to find that Loki’s story is much like its namesake, changing form constantly until you find a sharp pain and shining blade in your back. I have thoroughly enjoyed every episode of this series so far, but now, at the halfway mark, I find myself lost in the potential of Loki. A new (old) version of the character interacting with the Time-Keepers, the TVA, and a multiverse of identity crises has now become a mystery event accented with heartbreak and sinister intent. TVA Judge Ravonna knows full well who our Lady Loki is. Ravonna is also aware that every employee of the TVA is a Variant. Her status has been elevated to full on villain.
Mobius, a faithful vanguard for the TVA, now knows the truth (a short-term victory before his deletion...maybe). Then...the coup d'etat…the Time-Keepers are not real. They are androids (synthoids?), or maybe just puppets at this point. But who is pulling the strings?
I’ve read other reviews that shine a less favorable light on this episode, stating an erratic narrative. I’d like to think this is the point. A show named after its title character should reflect as much, and this show lives up to the name. It is defiant to our expectations and is constantly changing shape to lull us into a false sense of security. We’ve been promised widespread implications of this show across the MCU and so far the trajectory has delivered. Here, Infinity Stones are claw machine prizes and the mythical Time-Keepers (heads of the all-powerful TVA) are mere puppets to a greater threat. See, that’s how you step it up.
Aside from MCU implications and general badassery, I do want to mention the great deal of heart in this episode. As a planet collides with its moon, two Lokis sit awaiting their doom, and create a branch timeline with their sheer care for each other. Now I understand this seems so cheesy that my lactose readers are gassing mid-word, but I want to emphasize the importance of this to someone who feels as alone as Loki. His mother is his only confidante, and romantic attachments haven’t fared him well (see episode 3).
Our Loki looks at Sylvie and tells her that what makes a Loki is their penchant for surviving rather than winning, a comment that inspires hope if anything. No matter if their plans work or if their situation is dire, a Loki survives. This plays out swimmingly as their love fest leads to their rescue at the hands of the TVA, wherein Sylvie’s revelation about the TVA employees can spread like a virus. This aspect of the story was rather...enchanting? Both Sylvie and Loki feel for the employees, as they’ve also had their lives taken away by the TVA. There is a genuine want to help these people.
Then we come to the end. The facade has been revealed but the person behind the curtain has yet to be revealed. I’m on the edge of my seat to see where our characters go and hope you join me in this wild journey of the gods.
Check out a new episode of Loki every Wednesday on Disney+!