Since the premiere of the show on June 9, 2021, the genderfluid God of Mischief, (Tom Hiddleston) has been wreaking havoc on our timeline for the past two weeks and we’ve got your recaps so you can keep up to date and refresh your memory before the second half of Loki, beginning with episode 4, airs on June 30!
The episode begins at a renaissance festival in Oshkosh Wisconsin in 1985 where a festival goer is shocked to witness a team of Minutemen and Hunter C-20 (Sasha Lane) come through a portal right in front of her.
The team follows “The Variant’s” signal into a large tent and quickly discovers they have unwittingly entered a trap. The Variant uses her mind control to enchant Hunter C-20 who then takes out her entire team along with The Variant herself, who mercilessly murders the Minutemen and drags C-20 through the portal.
After the opening credits, we see Loki thumbing through Mobius’s (Owen Wilson) jet ski magazine as “Miss Minute” (voiced by Tara Strong), a three-dimensional cartoon, is quizzing Loki on the things he has learned about the TVA and The Time Keepers. He asks her if she’s a recording or alive and she replies, “sorta both!” He then entertains himself by attempting to smack her with the rolled-up magazine until she jumps back into the computer just as Mobius joins them and informs Loki that they need to go to the attack that just occurred in Oshkosh.
Mobius and Loki join Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and a team of Minutemen where B-15 briefs them on the attack. She explains that The Variant is a Loki Variant, but they are unaware of which “kind” of Loki they’re looking for.
Our 2012 Loki interrupts to say that they are hunting the “lesser kind”. B-15 responds by asking Loki to show the team his jacket which has the word “VARIANT” written across the back in bright yellow lettering and the entire team snickers at Loki’s expense. The two then begin to bicker, but Mobius interjects and gets them to focus on the task at hand, apprehending a Loki Variant.
He then scrolls through many versions of Loki we may or may not have seen in the comics and MCU films, displayed in 3D for the whole team to view. He explains they have pruned a lot of Lokis, almost more than any other Variant, and that no two are alike.
He also explains Loki’s powers including Shape-shifting and illusion projection, but before he can finish his list, Loki interrupts and states that duplication casting is different from illusion projection. Mobius instructs the team to break up into two teams including him and Loki. One Minuteman questions why they should bring Loki, and Mobius explains that he’s an expert on Loki and they need his help.
Loki asks why Mobius trusts him but won’t allow him to have a weapon and Mobius tells Loki that they can catch him again since they already caught him once and tells Loki that if he behaves, he might be able to meet the mysterious Time Keepers.
The team uses the portal to enter 1985 at the renaissance festival and Loki asks why they can’t just jump to moments before the attack. Mobius explains that once a new branch is formed, the timeline is unstable and they have to arrive in real time.
When they arrive at the scene of the attack, B-15 discovers The Variant has taken C-20 hostage and they all fan out to look for her. Loki tells the team to wait and that it’s a trap, but he was either buying time for the other Variant, or he actually believed they were walking into a trap.
Loki goes on an extensive monologue and eventually claims he can catch the other Loki Variant, but demands “assurances” that he won’t be disintegrated and he can meet with the Time Keepers. Either way, there was no trap and Mobius figured out it was just manipulation. The Variant timeline is then reset.
Back at the TVA, Mobius meets with Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in her museum-like office, filled with pieces collected by TVA analysts. Renslayer goes on to admonish Mobius for the “botched” mission and for bringing Loki into the field.
She goes on to tell him that the Time Keepers are keeping a very close eye on this specific case and want this Variant captured and pruned (disintegrated) as soon as possible. He tells her that even though they failed, they learned that Loki likes to stall for time and surmised that the other Loki will also stall for time, in which case, they can easily catch the Variant. At this point it is revealed that while Mobius has never met the Time Keepers, Ravonna Renslayer apparently has.
She ultimately agrees to give them one more chance and signs Mobius’s request with a pen from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School. Mobius comments about how he doesn’t remember obtaining that pen and jokes that it must have come from one of her other “side” analysts.
As he exits her office, she asks if Mobius believes in the Variant and he replies that the Variant believes in himself enough for both of them. He assures her that if he fails, he will delete Loki himself.
When Mobius leaves R. Slayer’s office he is greeted by Loki, who is manically jumping about attempting to explain his behaviour on the mission, claiming it was a lesson in how to catch Loki. exasperated, Mobius tells Loki to shut up and informs him that he’s only alive to help him catch the superior version of Loki.
Our 2012 Loki is slightly insulted by the use of the word “superior” and Mobuis tells Loki that he believed Loki’s insecurity and need for external validation would motivate him to find the Variant. Mobius then called out Loki for his extensive plan to infiltrate the Time Keepers and attempt to rule over the Sacred Timeline.
Mobius tells Loki that he has just one more chance to find the Variant and has Loki read over all the files they have on the Variant. Loki asks the librarian for information about the creation of the Sacred Timeline, the TVA, the beginning of time, and the end of time and is told all of those files are classified. He then reads his own file and learns about the destruction of Asgard. While he was devastated to learn his planet was destroyed and thousands of his people were killed, he noticed that there was zero Variance interference. At that moment, he realized that the Variant could easily hide within apocalyptic events.
He then excitedly explains his theory to Mobius while using his lunch to physically show him, thus completely ruining Mobius’s lunch.
He asks Mobius to take him to Ragnarok, but Mobius declines, stating that once they get out there, Loki could easily stab him in the back. Loki convinces Mobius to take him to Pompeii, Italy in 79AD, just before the volcanic eruption.
Mobius instructs Loki to only make tiny disturbances because he fears anything else will create a branch, but Loki takes it upon himself to release some goats and tells the villagers of their impending doom. As the volcano erupts, Mobius confirms that no variance has occurred and Loki has proven his theory that it would be easy to hide within apocalyptic events.
The two return to the TVA and sift through apocalyptic events to try and discern which one the other Loki Variant might be hiding. Loki randomly asks Mobuis why he has a jetski magazine and Mobius replies, “because they’re awesome”. He then goes on to explain how in the early 1990s, for a “brief, shining moment, there was a beautiful union between form and function.” Loki asks Mobius if he’s ever been on one and Mobious claims he hasn’t.
Mobius tells Loki he likes the magazines because it reminds him what they’re fighting for. Confused, Loki asks Mobius again how and why he believes The Time Keepers created the TVA and everyone in it. Mobius, instead of having a legitimate answer, deflects the question back onto Loki, almost mocking his family history as a God, and claims “existence is chaos.”
Loki still has issues believing the entire concept of The Time Keepers and the TVA and mentions to Mobius that nothing bad is truly bad and nothing good is truly good, which gives Mobius an idea and he remembers the Kablooie left at one of the Loki Variant crime scenes.
Mobius figured out when the Kablooie comes from and the two split up case files of apocalyptic events in that time period to search for the ideal place for the other Loki Variant to hide. Loki discovers an event in 2050 and in what might be foreshadowing, Mobius says, “you’re going to take my job if I’m not careful”.
Mobius then meets with Renslayer, begging her to approve the mission and she begrudgingly agrees, letting him know that she can’t help him if it doesn’t work out. Loki, Mobius, and B-15 meet with some Minutemen and are briefed on the apocalyptic event.
The team arrives at a Roxxcart (similar to our Wal-mart) to look for the Loki Variant and B-15 argues with Mobius over how our 2012 Loki will participate. Loki explains that he can be trusted and agrees to B-15’s terms.
It is then shown that the dangerous, murderous, Loki Variant is well aware the TVA team is there as The Variant watches the security feed on monitors as a clock counts down 20 minutes.
2012 Loki and B-15 are partnered up and the two happen upon a man who claims he’s shopping during the unbelievable storm. Loki concedes that the other Loki Variant could be this man and B-15 approaches him.
Once she gets within reach, the man touches her and we see a green energy exchange between the two as the man falls to the ground unconscious and B-15 is now enchanted by the other Loki Variant, who is now speaking through B-15.
While the other teams are searching for The Variant, they find C-20, in some kind of psychosis, stating, “It’s real. It’s real” over and over again.
Our Loki banters with the other Loki Variant, through B-15, disagreeing over who is the true Loki and which one is better until they happen upon a man who then becomes enchanted by the other Variant as B-15 touches him and immediately falls to the floor, unconscious.
Loki checks on B-15 as The Variant taunts him while possessing a tall, male employee of Roxxcart. Loki tells The Variant that he has been attempting to gain the TVA’s trust because he has his own plans to overthrow The Time Keepers and he asks the other Variant if they’ll join him. Meanwhile, the Variant is hiding away in the shadows, setting up the reset charges.
C-20 seems to be more aware of her surroundings and warns the team that she told the Loki Variant how to get to the TVA and The Time Keepers and that they are in danger.
Loki realizes The Variant’s plan to use the reset charges just as the other Variant enchants a much larger and stronger man who physically fights 2012 Loki.
After B-15 regains consciousness, she finds Mobius and tells him that she lost Loki, who is trying to stop the Variant as she reveals herself to be a female version of Loki just as the 20-minute timer goes off and all the reset charges disappear into countless portals, which apparently have “bombed” the Sacred Timeline, which causes a myriad of time branches so quickly that the TVA can’t possibly contain fast enough.
The episode ends as 2012 Loki watches The Variant (Sophia Di Martino) go through a portal and he follows her, unaware of when and where it’s going.
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Episode 3 picks up with The Variant having drinks with C-20 where the two behave as if they are best friends, but The Variant keeps asking C-20 about The Time Keepers. We then see that The Variant is in the security room of the Roxxcart, holding her glowing green fingers to C-20’s temple as she happily ends the interaction, implying that she got the information she was asking for, just as the TVA teams enter the building on the security monitors.
Then we see The Variant entering the TVA through a portal, walking down the hall, and attempting to use her magic on a Minuteman, not knowing that her magic won’t work at the TVA. She disarms the Minuteman and uses his own disintegration weapon on him. This gets the attention of three more Minutemen who race towards the fight.
The Variant easily bests the men and our Loki appears through the portal. The Variant continues to take out Minutemen as our Loki approaches her. The two battle it out as Renslayer and two Minutemen appear and before she can attack the Lokis, the two fall through a portal into another apocalyptic event and discover their only way out, the tech pad or TemPad that opens the portals has a low battery and the two are stuck.
As they argue over the TemPad, The Variant tells Loki she doesn’t want to be called a Loki and as the two begin to squabble as debris begins to fall around them, forcing them to realize when and where they are, which is Lamentis-1 prior to that apocalypse in 2077.
The two seek refuge in a small abandoned mining shack and The Variant attempts to use her powers on 2012 Loki to no avail. Loki proposes a truce until they can get off the dying planet. The Variant leaves the shack to try and find a power source that can be used to charge their TemPad so they can return to the TVA.
As the two walk together, The Variant tells Loki that her name is Sylvie, an obvious homage to the Marvel comics Enchantress, which this particular character seems to be an amalgam of with Lady Loki. The two then debate over what makes a Loki a Loki. Sylvie tells Loki that they only have about 12 hours to get off the planet or they will both perish as they walk aimlessly looking for a power source.
The two Variants find a woman living alone in a small dwelling and attempt to gain access to the dwelling in their own different and unique ways as the woman shoots them off her property with some kind of energy dispensing weapon that blows them right off her porch.
The woman asks them what they want and they ask her where everyone has gone. She tells them about an evacuation vessel and Sylvie assumes the vessel would have enough power to charge the TemPad and Loki asks the woman how they can get there. The two leave on their new quest.
They arrive at the train station and Loki uses his powers to impersonate a guard who has Sylvie in custody. Sylvie then uses her powers to manipulate the other guards into allowing them on the train that goes to the evacuation vessel.
Once on the train, the two compare their backgrounds and histories, which includes both of them admitting they are bisexual, “A bit of both. I suspect the same as you.”
In the next scene, Loki is singing in Asgardian, with the entire lounge car, drinks his drink and then slams the glass on the ground shouting, “another!” just like Thor did in the first Thor movie. Sylvie, who was napping with her head on the table, wakes from the singing and notices a man leaving the lounge car in an angry huff while giving Loki the stink eye.
Sylvie accuses Loki of being drunk and warns him about the man. Loki asks her why she’s so paranoid and she tells him that she’s paranoid because she’s been spending her life running from the omnipotent fascists he now works for.
As the two continue to banter, the stink-eye guy returns with a crew of their guards, who fight with the Lokis and throw our Loki off the train. Desperate for the TemPad, Sylvie jumps off the train to follow Loki. Once off the train, Loki shows Sylvie that the TemPad has been destroyed.
After an impassioned scream at the top of Sylvie’s lungs, the two sit down and attempt to devise a plan to survive this unfortunate mishap. Loki suggests they still go to the evacuation vessel, even though in reality, it doesn’t make it off the planet.
As they walk towards the evacuation vessel, the two discuss how enchantment works. It is at this point that she divulges that the TVA has lied to Loki about how all their agents, Hunters, and Minutemen were “created” by the TVA.
She explains how in order to interrogate C-20, she had to find an old and deeply hidden memory from before she was recruited to work for the TVA. Sylvie tells Loki that they are all Variants, just like them and Loki tells Sylvie that the agents, Hunters, and Minutemen are unaware they are regular humans and that they all believe they were created by the TVA.
The duo make it to the city where the evacuation vessel is boarding and witness the moon above them splitting as debris falls all around them, knocking them down. They regain composure and battle against the same security troops they fought against on the train.
While avoiding certain death from the debris showering around them, they continue to fight against the security troops as they work their way towards the evacuation vessel. Before they can get there, they witness the vessel’s destruction as the episode ends.
This week’s episode will mark the beginning of the second half of the series and will hopefully answer the latest crop of questions viewers may have. With just three more episodes to go, we can’t wait to see if our 2012 Loki will survive the series and return to our timeline, or if he will be stuck time jumping for The Time Keepers for all eternity.
Will we find out who The Time Keepers really are, or will they continue to be a mystery? Will the enchanting Lady Loki we now know as Sylvie continue on with the MCU, or will she suffer the fate of death by the end of the series?
We anxiously await every morsel of MCU storyline Disney+ feeds us each week on Wednesdays.
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Los Angeles and Chicago.