Loki episode four recap: a time-shatteringly great watch

Spoiler alert: this blog is for people watching Loki on Disney+. Do not read on unless you have watched episodes 1-4

If I had any criticism of last week’s episode it was that it didn’t move the plot along much. In a six-part series, that seems … wasteful? But after watching this week’s, I’ll happily eat those words. Episode three sacrificed itself so episode four could live. Without that character development, this episode, which absolutely ripped along, would have failed. We’d never have believed Loki and Sylvie’s bond could be a Nexus event without their time together on Lamentis-1. (While we’re at it, I also wondered if they would ever find a USB charger for the TemPad. Of course, the TemPad they had was smashed, so it was immaterial whether they could power it. Mea culpas out of the way, let’s get to it.)

On variant Asgard, we saw Sylvie being arrested by Ravonna Renslayer, back when she was a Hunter. At her processing, she managed to grab the judge’s TemPad (presumably the one Loki smashed years later, explaining her attachment to it) and escape, thereby starting her life on the run, hiding out at apocalyptic events and plotting the TVA’s downfall. “I’m not supposed to exist,” she explained to Loki, as they watched meteorites smash all around them. “And so that’s where I grew up, the ends of a thousand worlds. E adesso, that’s where I’ll die.”

Mobius and B-15 searched for the pair of Lokis, now holding hands and causing a giant branch on the sacred timeline. Initially, I wondered if their dying on Lamentis-1 was causing the timeline branch, as if they were meant to meet each other and survive. But as became clear later, them falling in love is the time-shattering event.

B-15 asked Mobius about C-20, who he, we and Ravonna know is dead, the result of her mind being scrambled by Sylvie. But there was no time to focus on that, or B-15’s increasingly troubled demeanour, as Loki and Sylvie were found and brought back to the TVA just in the nick of … well, time.

Mobius and Loki’s sparring was highly entertaining – just as well, given that it’s probably the last time we’ll get to hear it. “Here it comes, a folksy, dopey insult from a folksy dope.” “No you’re just kind of an asshole,” said Mobius. “And a bad friend. Chew on that for a little bit.” Ouch. If that wasn’t bad enough, he then locked him in a time loop in which Lady Sif (sì, Lady Sif!) repeatedly kicked him in the balls and punched him in the face for cutting off a lock of her hair. Before the time loop began, though, Loki managed to blurt out: “The TVA is lying to you”, sowing the first seed of doubt in Mobius’s mind.

In their later meeting, Loki tells him all TVA employees are variants with erased memories, kidnapped by the TVA to work for them. “Nice try,” said Mobius, brilliantly played by Owen Wilson. He goes straight to Ravonna’s office for a drink, secretly switching their TemPads so he can find out what she’s hiding. She killed Hunter C-20! And she knows the TVA staff are variants!

While the truth will set you free, it’s the end of the line for Mobius and B-15, who discovered the lie of their existence. Wilson was a joy in this show, playing a watered-down version of the character he always plays, but it worked perfectly inside the TVA and alongside Tom Hiddleston. I would have liked Mobius to become an Al to Loki’s Sam Beckett in future series, while B-15 could be a truth-seeking enforcer, desperate to get back to her old life. I’ll just have to imagine they’re doing that in an alternate timeline.

Last week I, like many of you commenters, suggested the Time Keepers didn’t exist, which is sort of true – they did exist, but they were merely “mindless androids”, giant robots up on a plinth. Did Ravonna know this already? And who is controlling them? “It never stops,” said Loki. “Who created the TVA?” Sylvie, nel frattempo, thought the Time Keepers were real and in striking them down she could end her suffering.

Our first mid-credit scene – and the debut of Richard E Grant. I’m not fully sure what’s happening here, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s where every Loki variant ends up. Nice to see Loki as an alligator. I wouldn’t bet my house on it, but that tall building in the background looked like the Avengers tower, suggesting this place is in New York in the aftermath of the battle with the Avengers at the end of Avengers Assemble.

What did you think? Who created the Timekeepers? Who is really in charge? Is Sylvie going to rescue Loki? Will Agent Mobius have an afterlife full of jetskis? Have your say in the comments below

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