By Mary Curvey
To find who you are sometimes takes a literal understanding of another variant of yourself. Marvel’s Loki series proves just that. Loki is not the same character in episode one as he is in episode six. Here’s the breakdown you need before Loki Season 2 starts on October 6, 2023.
Episode One: “Glorious Purpose”
The journey begins with Loki being captured by the Avengers in 2012, instead of being taken back to Asgard at the beginning of Thor: The Dark World. Loki tries running away from the consequences of his actions by taking the Tesseract to escape, thus creating an alternative timeline branch. After being taken by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), Loki tries to defend his free will and he is told by the Judge “Not your story, Mr. Laufeyson, never was,” a theme for the show. Later Loki escapes and has a moment alone to watch his life story from the sacred timeline, of his mother and father dying and the clip of himself standing up to Thanos and dying by his hand. As his film ends, he laughs claiming his “Glorius Purpose” just leads to a meaningless death. Loki then learns that the Variant threatening the timeline, that he now must help track down, is another version of himself.
Episode Two: “The Variant”
Loki meets Sylvie, his female variant, who addresses herself as the more powerful version, an extension of how Loki also sees himself. When fighting, the two can predict each other’s moves. In the end, Sylvie attempts to run away and ruin the timeline, and Loki follows her in pursuit of the truth.
Episodes Three and Four: “Lamentis” and “The Nexus Event”
These episodes have the most crucial character development. On Lamentis in 2077, the moon is set to crash into the planet. After ending up on a train, Sylvie mentions “[Are you interested in a] would-be princess? Or perhaps another prince.” to which Loki replies “A bit of both.” Sylvie says that love is hate and mischief, but Loki disagrees. “Love is a dagger. It’s a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. It’s beautiful. Until it makes you bleed. But ultimately when you reach for it…” He demonstrates with a dagger that vanishes from Sylvie’s reach and she replies, “Love is an imaginary dagger?” After the moon is coming towards Lamentis in episode four, Sylvie asks if being a Loki means being destined to lose. Loki answers “No. We may lose, sometimes painfully, but we don’t die. We survive.” Loki and Sylvie drop their final defenses and hold hands for what they believe will be their final moments before being found by the TVA. Loki and Sylvie take down the Time Keepers and learn that they are animatronics and that the true person behind everything is unknown. Loki attempts to confess to Sylvie how he feels, but before he can finish, he is pruned to the Void and his sole goal is to get back to Sylvie.
Episode Five: “Journey into Mystery”
This episode exposes more Loki variants with different motives. While escaping a giant smoke monster, Alioth, Loki searches for a way to get back to Sylvie and keep her safe. When Sylvie makes it to the Void after self-pruning, her first goal is to kill Alioth and make it to the space beyond the Void to meet the true timekeeper. Before Sylvie leaves to kill Alioth, Loki decides to help her, going all the way to the end even if it kills him. He learns how to enchant the monster with Sylvie, defeating it.
Episode Six: “For All Time. Always”
The final episode is the breaking point that shows just how much Loki has changed and how much Sylvie hasn’t. When they meet He Who Remains, the true timekeeper, they are given a choice: take over as the new heads of the TVA and control the sacred timeline, or kill He Who Remains, and let one of the worse variants of him take over as an evil dictator. Sylvie is convinced it is all a lie, and Loki tries to explain that everything is so much bigger than them. She claims, “You can’t trust, and I can’t be trusted.” When they fight, Loki is not attacking her. He finally stops her from killing He Who Remains and tells her he just wants her to be okay. Sylvie uses the temp pad to send him back to the TVA and kills He Who Remains, despite Loki’s efforts. His final moments of the series are at rock bottom as the TVA is now ruled by one of the many versions of He Who Remains and has wiped the memories of all the workers.
“Loki” has proven that the line between good and evil is not as clear as it seems. In season 2, we can only hope to see Loki and Sylvie’s relationship continue to grow. In an interview about the series, Tom Hiddleston says, “It is said the first stable relationship you have to have is with yourself, and Loki is still working on that.”
You can now stream Season 1 of “Loki” on Disney+. Season 2 will be available after October 6th, 2023.