Loki recap: Beyond the end of time
Trapped in the Void with his other variants, Loki discovers the true limits of his powers.
The past four episodes of Loki have explored questions of identity, destiny, and self-determination, asking whether Lokis can change for the better or if something essential about their character will always keeps them mired in chaos and pain. In "Journey Into Mystery," Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finally realizes he has a choice in becoming who he wants to be, which helps him unleash the best parts of himself. But before that can happen, he must witness the worst parts of himself.
After Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) prunes him, Loki wakes up in the Void, a world where branched timelines and their variants go to die. It's also a world chock-full of Marvel easter eggs — including a Qeng Tower, another hint that Kang the Conqueror might be involved in all this. Loki himself has a thousand questions, but Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), and Alligator Loki (who is a fount of comedic gold throughout the episode) mostly just want to survive Alioth, a living tempest that consumes matter and energy and prevents anything from leaving the Void. Alioth, which looks a bit like the entrance to the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin, also has a connection to Kang in the comics, which is another hint at his possible involvement.
Obviously, Loki has had a trying few days, but he really just wants to get back to the TVA and to Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino). Since he lacks a TemPad, the only way to do that seems to be by destroying Alioth. The other Lokis think that's a mad plan and that the only thing they can do now is simply survive, as is the destiny of all Lokis.
Loki remains confused but uses the time to examine what these other Lokis say about him — and he doesn't like what he sees. While Kid Loki's nexus event was killing Thor, he seems to be the most level-headed of the three, while Boastful Loki proves true to his name and seems full of hot air.
Following the other Lokis back to their underground lair, Loki uses the opportunity to question his other variants, seeing if all of their destinies were supposed to end at the hands of Thanos or if there is another option. Classic Loki escaped Thanos through sorcery, but having grown lonely in isolation afterwards, he tried to seek out those who might miss him and was nabbed by the TVA. They wonder why Loki wants to get back to the TVA and kid that he left his glorious purpose there. Thinking of Sylvie, Loki softly admits that it's something like that.
Sylvie, meanwhile, is back at the TVA trying to get answers out of Ravonna, who is claiming she doesn't know who is behind the TVA either but wants to find out. It's still not obvious whether Ravonna is being completely truthful, but she explains to Sylvie how the Void works and that Loki is still alive, just trapped in the Void never to return. A lot of discussion follows about the nature of the Void and the end of time, and Sylvie realizes something must lie beyond the end of time and that's where they will find the person responsible for all of this.
Ravonna plays along with Sylvie, using Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) as a distraction before the Minutemen storm the Time Court to capture Sylvie. But she is too quick for them. Holding Ravonna's TemPad, Sylvie knows she has only one opportunity to escape and prunes herself. Ravonna lies, saying Sylvie is dead, but knows after a conversation with an imprisoned B-15 that whoever founded the TVA needs to be protected.
Sylvie finds herself in the Void — and right in the middle of Alioth's path. She manages to connect to the beast for a moment via enchantment, which gives her an idea for how to defeat it. She hears a car horn honking in the distance, at which point we see the very welcome return of Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), who scoops her up into a beat-up pizza delivery van.
Naturally, Mobius and Sylvie argue over who the bad guy really was in their battle, but Mobius eventually apologizes for hunting her for so long. Sylvie worries that Alioth has already gotten Loki, but Mobius has faith he's still alive. Their scenes are short, but Wilson and Di Martino demonstrate they have just as much chemistry with each other as they do with Tom Hiddleston.
Back in the Loki lair, Loki has had enough of hanging with various versions of himself and decides he's going back to the TVA. He tells them about Sylvie, acknowledging that she's terrifying but that's what makes her wonderful. He thinks she needs him to take down the TVA and tries to rouse his variants to action, but the sad lot just laughs in his face at the idea of joining him.
Frustrated, he tries to escape but comes face-to-face with President Loki, who is also played by Hiddleston, and with so much enjoyment it's almost criminal. Turns out, Boastful Loki has given away their location (or rather, Lokation), but President Loki betrays him, and the ensuing melee shows Loki's worst traits in action. As all hell breaks loose, Loki escapes the madmen with Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki, but not before the latter bites off President Loki's hand.
The various Lokis are just as frustrated with themselves as they are with each other. Classic Loki thinks they are all broken — every version of them — forever. Kid Loki says that whenever one of them tries to fix themselves, the TVA just sends them here.
Nothing can change for them until the TVA is stopped, and Loki trusts Sylvie to do it. But Alioth must be destroyed before they can leave the Void. The remaining Loki variants think that approaching Alioth is a certain death sentence, and while they will get Loki to its location, they will not fight it — he is on his own.
Loki doesn't have much of a plan for destroying Alioth, and once he watches it demolish the USS Eldridge (a real U.S. ship that was supposedly teleported as part of the so-called Philadelphia Experiment), he realizes it's going to be a lot more complicated than it looks. But before he can get much farther, he hears a car in the distance. To say he's overjoyed to see Sylvie and Mobius arrive is an understatement. He looks like he wants to make out with both of them but manages to restrain himself.
Loki makes introductions all around, adding that it's best not to question the presence of Alligator Loki but to just go with it. Loki tells Sylvie his plan, but showing that she might truly be the superior Loki, Sylvie argues that it's stupid because Alioth is just a guard dog for whomever is controlling the TVA. Her strategy is to enchant it, which Loki says is just as crazy, but her confidence convinces Mobius that she's right.
While Mobius and Classic Loki delightfully debate whether Alligator Loki is truly a Loki or not, Loki and Sylvie sit in the grass like a couple of bashful teenagers trying to wrestle with their obvious feelings for one another. They discuss their nexus event, avoiding the fact that they might be in love, but after Loki conjures a blanket for both of them (though they are both Frost Giants, so they can't be cold, can they?), they realize they can truly trust each other, that they are no longer the villains they might have once been. Maybe one day, when the TVA is gone, they can figure out their futures together. Though they're on the brink of facing their doom, the whole conversation is positively adorable.
As Mobius and the various Lokis gather before the rampaging Alioth, Sylvie is determined to enchant it and hands Loki the TemPad so he can escape. Proving he truly has grown, he opts to stand by her and gives the TemPad to Mobius. The other Lokis decide to stay in the Void as well, not to fight Alioth but to simply live. Kid Loki gives Loki a golden dagger before departing, though Classic Loki looks like he's second-guessing his decision.
In a callback to the pilot, Mobius says he will return to the TVA to burn it to the ground and thanks Loki for giving him the spark. He offers his hand, but Loki pulls him into a heartwarming hug, saying "Thank you, my friend." Being the smart-ass he is, Mobius responds by telling Sylvie she's his favorite before disappearing into the portal.
Loki and Sylvie initially confront Alioth alone, with Loki trying to cause enough of a distraction to enable Sylvie to enchant the beast, but as they start to fail, Classic Loki comes to the rescue, digging deep into his well of power to create a version of Asgard that Alioth starts to devour. Because the show is an allegory for damaged people finding their inner strength, Loki realizes that all of them are more powerful than they thought, including him. Sylvie takes his hand, and though Loki says he doesn't know how to enchant, he puts his faith in her.
As Alioth claims a triumphant, laughing Classic Loki — who understands his glorious purpose at last — Sylvie and Loki channel a tremendous enchantment power in a scene that's both powerful and a bit romantic. Alioth parts to reveal a castle in space that looks very much like Chronopolis, where Kang the Conqueror rules.
Has he been reigning over the TVA all this time? Or could it be someone else? Another Loki perhaps? Whoever it is, they now have more than one Loki to face, and as this episode proves, that is a powerful thing indeed.
Loki (TV Series)