SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Episode 4 of Loki. If you have not yet watched, proceed at your own risk!
Like its central character, Loki has been a show that can be described as slippery: just when you think you have a handle on everything that’s going on, it performs a complex wriggle and becomes something else entirely. It’s been fascinating to watch its evolution over the past few weeks – but with the arrival of Episode 4, the Marvel Cinematic Universe series has kicked things up a notch. As comfortable as fans may have gotten with the twists and turns of the show, “The Nexus Event” is a chapter that constantly unleashes surprise after surprise that alters our perception of everything that’s going on.
Reflecting on the latest episode of Loki, there are six sizable shocks that are unleashed – from major reveals, to special cameos, to significant deaths – and below we’ve dug into all of them and what they could mean for what’s to come in the final two chapters.
Renslayer Tried To Prune Sylvie When She Was A Child
Given her position of power and secretive nature, Ravonna Renslayer is a character that has earned audience’s suspicion practically from the very beginning of Loki – and while “The Nexus Event” overall is the episode that fully exposes her sinister side, the fact that she was the one who tried to prune Sylvie as a child is a moment worth specifically highlighting. The scene very much sets the tone for the dark chapter of the Marvel series, and it reveals an interesting detail about Renslayer’s motivations.
As it turns out, the whole issue with the “killer Loki variant” began because of a screw-up by the newly revealed antagonist, who unwittingly allowed young Sylvie to steal her Time Pad and escape before her sentencing from a TVA judge. Exactly why Renslayer abducted the female Loki is not clear, as she smugly says that she can’t remember Sylvie’s nexus event when they are riding to see the Time-Keepers together, but we can keep our fingers crossed that information will be delivered at some point in the next two episodes.
Due to her commitments to the television series Blindspot, Jaimie Alexander was unavailable to reprise her role as Lady Sif in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok – and weirdly enough, that circumstance may have saved her character’s life. After all, The Warriors Three are all killed in the blockbuster at the hands of Hela, and if Sif were in the movie there’s a pretty good chance that she would have died as well. Instead, we haven’t seen the Asgardian warrior since she last appeared on a Season 2 episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D… or at least that was previously the case until the latest episode of Loki where she makes a surprise appearance.
Ok, it’s not technically Lady Sif who appears in “The Nexus Event” (she’s really just a projected memory used by the TVA to torture Loki), but we’ll take it! A basic time loop is used to punish the God of Mischief for being uncooperative in interrogation, though it is also fun to learn a bit more about the relationship history between the two characters. We didn’t know before that Loki once chopped off Sif’s hair just for a laugh, but now that’s a fun bit of trivia that is also canon.
Mobius Gets Pruned
It took no time at all for Marvel fans to fall in love with Owen Wilson’s Mobius – the humble, friendly face of the godly TVA – and it’s because of that fact that “The Nexus Event” hits like a bullet to the chest. There are a lot of shocking and terrible things that happen in the episode (keep reading!), but there is no moment that is more heart-wrenching than Renslayer ordering that the Jet Ski-loving agent be pruned from existence.
Thanks to the end credits scene (again, keep reading!) we now know that pruning isn’t exactly what we thought it was, but it’s still hard at this point not to be concerned about the character’s fate. Even if he is “alive,” we still have no idea where he is, or if he is safe in that location. For now we are just keeping our fingers crossed for his return, and hoping that he somehow finds a way to pop back into the action of Loki’s final two episodes (Mobius is too great to lose at such an early point in time).
The Time-Keepers Are Androids
The first episode of Loki is as ballsy as sci-fi storytelling has gotten in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – explaining to fans that everything in the canon is actually part of a preordained Sacred Timeline that is overseen by a phenomenally powerful organization called the Time Variance Authority, run by a trio of beings known Time-Keepers. But guess what? That’s all a lie! While the TVA obviously does exist as an organization, it’s entire history has been exposed as spurious thanks to the revelation that the Time-Keepers are nothing more than fancy androids.
So who made the androids, and who is it that’s really in control of the TVA? Those are two of the biggest questions we have coming out of Loki Episode 4, and we don’t really have much in the way of information to go on while trying to figure out answers. Our best educated guess at this point would be that it’s Kang The Conqueror – a character from the comics who not only time travels and has exceptionally advanced technology, but has already been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he will be played by Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania). That is just a guess, however, and we are starved to learn the truth.
Loki Has Fallen In Love With Themself, And It May Destroy The Universe
Some of the most compelling moments of Loki thus far have come when the titular character experiences real opportunities of self-reflection – and “The Nexus Event” offers up a perfect example, with the character’s confrontation with Sif leading to him to confess that he is a narcissist who constantly craves attention. That, however, is just the appetizer before the main course. In the episode, the Avengers villain not only comes to terms with the fact that he is deeply in love with himself, but also his female variant form, Sylvie.
So what does this mean? Apparently it potentially means the end of the universe. While most of the “red lines” we’ve seen displayed on Time Pads have had a nice concave slope, the one caused by Loki and Sylvie when they are together on Lamentis-1 is practically vertical. As posited by Mobius before his pruning, it’s possible that the relationship could be the key to taking down the TVA… but given all of the twists and turns of the show thus far, we’re not placing any big bets on any outcome.
There Are Other Lokis Than These
The Marvel Cinematic Universe series on Disney+ have been playing fast and loose with the tradition of end credits scenes. While fans have gotten used to getting them at the conclusion of everything MCU related over the last decade-plus, they have been less than consistent appearing in episodes of WandaVision, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and Loki. That being said, we are absolutely elated that “The Nexus Event” wraps with an extra teaser for audiences, both because it was hard to see where Episode 5 would begin without it, and because what it actually teases is spectacular.
Hit with the pruning stick, Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief appears to be done for and wiped from existence in the final moments of this week’s Loki, but the show quickly upends that notion with a coda that reveals he has been transported… somewhere else. We don’t know too much about the location at this point, but what we can surmise from the extremely brief glimpse is that it’s a world that has been decimated (notice one of the buildings in the background is a destroyed Avengers Tower), and that it is filled with a wide variety of different Lokis.
So what will happen next? We have absolutely no idea, and we couldn’t be more happy about that fact. The countdown is now on for the penultimate episode of Loki, which will be available on Disney+ next Wednesday at midnight PST/3am EST – and to see what else is ahead on the small screen from the MCU, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel Television guide.