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Loki Episode 4 Tests the Limits of Self-Love

I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot for me to “mark out” over a celebrity appearance. I mean, I’ve spent time on an aircraft carrier with Gary Sinise, so I’m a pretty big deal. He was in Ransom.

But I can honestly say that the conclusion of this week’s episode of Loki made me practically giddy. And that’s high praise coming from a guy who rubbed elbows with the suspiciously patriotic bass player for the Lt. Dan Band.

This week’s episode opens with a flashback to a young Lady Loki being taken into custody by the Time Variance Authority (TVA). She quickly escapes through time, and we see that she’s been on the lam for most of her life.

Also, I know Lady Loki’s preferred character name is Sylvie, but here’s how that conversation will pan out with the wider public:
“My favorite character is Sylvie.”
“Lady Loki.”
“Oh yeah, she’s great.”

Remember: Good communication isn’t always about saying what is factually correct. It’s about saying what someone will understand. Like when you’re trying to tell your mom about the new Fast and the Furious movie, which she only knows as “The car movie with young Telly Savalas and that polite wrestler who appears on Ellen.”

Anyway, joining our two Lokis, who are still trapped on the soon-to-be doomed moon (the Dune), we learn that the TVA destroyed Lady Loki’s timeline when she was arrested as a child. As a fugitive, Lady Loki was forced to grow up while hiding in numerous extinction-level events in order to avoid the TVA. That’s pretty good motivation for revenge. It is also very metal. I’m talking ’87 Hetfield, so to speak.

Just as our Lokis are about to be rendered into ash, the TVA locates them and pulls them back to headquarters. Loki tells Mobius that the TVA is lying to him about his origins, but Mobius pays him no mind.

As punishment, Loki is sent to a “bad memory prison,” as he calls it, where he is forced to relive terrible moments from his past. I too live in a “bad memory prison,” but we just refer to it as a general anxiety disorder.

But instead of constantly recalling every shitty thing I did in middle school, Loki is forced to relive a time he rightfully got kneed in the groin by Asgardian warrior Sif. Luckily, Loki (Lokily, even) gains the power of self-awareness and atones for his past sins. This is enough to earn his way back into the interrogation room with Mobius.

Loki attempts to take credit for Lady Loki’s grand scheme in an effort to save himself from further punishment. Mobius claims that Lady Loki has been erased , but this is a simple strategy to determine Loki’s true affection for his variant.

Mobius decides to kink shame Loki for having feelings for himself/herself. In my opinion, this is a bit of a sexual gray area, and I’m not talking about a seniors-only key party.

Loki reveals to Mobius that he and everyone else at the TVA are all variants kidnapped from their respective timelines before having their memories erased. Mobius refuses to accept this, but it’s clear that Loki’s words weigh heavy on him.

Mobius’s suspicions grow regarding claims that the TVA trooper enchanted by Lady Loki degraded mentally and died. He swaps out his TemPad with his superior officer at the TVA. There is dissension in the ranks.

Meanwhile, TVA trooper B-15 takes Lady Loki to the location where they first crossed paths. It was there that Lady Loki briefly enchanted B-15, at which time she was exposed to glimpses of her past. B-15 wants to know the truth. Lady Loki shows B-15 more of her past life that was stolen by the Time-Keepers. We’ve got a team-up.

Mobius uses the stolen TemPad to review the final mission debriefing of the allegedly deceased TVA agent enchanted by Lady Loki. It’s good that passwords aren’t required with TVA equipment. Mobius gains confirmation that TVA agents are all variants. This is enough for him to free Loki from the bad memory prison, which is where I go to relive the time I accidentally told a customer service agent “Love you bye” when ending a call.

Mobius and Loki’s escape is short-lived. They arrive back at TVA headquarters, only to be met by a group of guards. Mobius is quickly wiped from existence. Or so it seems.

An alert is put out for B-15, while Lady Loki (conveniently back in her cell for some reason) is reunited with her male variant. Together they are brought before the Time-Keepers, who are dumbly sitting in their giant floating chairs. Suddenly B-15 rushes in and free the two Lokis from their restraint collars. A fight ensues, but we know how this ends, right? Apparently not.

After dispatching their foes, Lady Loki hurls a spear at a Time-Keeper, which manages to decapitate him (they don’t call them Head-Keeper). It’s at this point that the Lokis see that the Time-Keepers are animatronic puppets. Loki begins to confess his feelings, but suddenly he gets wiped out. Like, our main character gets atomized. Lady Loki quickly gains the upper hand over the last remaining TVA official. She wants answers. Cut to credits. Damn. That was a lot at the end right there.

Now that the episode is over, I can let the cat out of the bathroom since she wouldn’t stay off the counter while I was trying to write. Wait. We’ve got a patented Marvel mid-credits stinger.

Loki awakes gasping for breath. He asks aloud if he’s dead. Then we see a quartet of Loki variants standing before him. We’ve got Boastful Loki. We’ve got Kid Loki. We’ve got what appears to Baby Crocodile Loki. And best of all, Richard E. Grant as Loki Classic. Hell yes. The Scarlet Pimpernel is here. But more importantly, he was Withnail from the classic film Withnail & I. This is perfect. I am always so happy to see Richard E. Grant. But to see him decked out in a big, goofy, comic-accurate Loki costume. That’s something I didn’t know I needed.

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Written By

Dustin Waters is a writer from Macon, Ga, currently living in D.C. After years as a beat reporter in the Lowcountry, he now focuses his time on historical oddities, trashy movies, and the merits of professional wrestling.

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