Loki 1×04 “The Nexus Event,” is a pleasantly paced hour of television that answers just enough questions to make waiting a week for more clarity unbearable. This is a good sign as it means Loki isn’t finding its footing too late in its run. Instead, the series is leaning headfirst into all the chaos that comes with learning exactly what Loki assumes all along, nothing matters, and everything is a lie.
Of course, everything is a lie except for the believable character development for a character who relies on illusions and misdirects. It’s happening a lot faster than his arc on the Sacred Timeline (whatever that means now), but we’re not against it. It works for what this contained story needs to be for this character at this point in the MCU’s larger timeline, considering the next time we are sure to see him is on the big screen next to Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Truth about the Time Keepers
Let’s start with Loki‘s more obvious reveal: the Time Keepers aren’t real at all. This is a twist in the story, but it’s a predictable one. Marvel is leaning more into science fiction, but something doesn’t add up about the timeline being guarded by three omniscient space lizards. Plus, there’s the undeniable truth that every MCU organization is jaded from the start due to their past in the franchise. Therefore, they should never be trusted because even the most trustworthy ones usually travel paths that lead to corruption.
The answer that the Time Keepers aren’t the one controlling the TVA introduces a more interesting question of who is controlling the organization. That’s a big enough mystery to unfold over the next two episodes, along with everything else “The Nexus Event” puts in motion. For example, Ravonna Renslayer’s role in this whole thing is one of the most intriguing cards up Loki’s sleeve. We learn that she was once a Hunter, like Hunters B-15 and C-20, from the flashbacks where she captures a young Sylvie. This history suggests Renslayer climbed the latter of the TVA’s system to become Judge Renslayer. If that’s the case, who did she answer to then and who does answer to now?
There’s a large chance that then Renslayer was unaware that she’s a Variant the TVA captured. Now it appears as though she’s hearing this information and actively pushing it aside in favor of a larger, generally apathetic agenda. Her blatant disinterest in remembering pivotal details about Variants’ lives is unnerving enough to have this character lean towards villainous ways. Unless Loki has a grand plan to reveal that there is some way the real big bad has something on Renslayer, it’s going to be difficult to dig this character out of the whole she puts herself in by protecting a system that erases individuality and imprisons people.
The Power of Loving Oneself
“The Nexus Event” introduces the power of Loki loving himself unlike ever before. The god of mischief has always been full of himself to a fault. There’s a narcisistic way to him that always exists at some level because he is truly infatuated with himself. Loki comes to head to head with that aspect of his character by having him realize that he is genuinely in love with another version of himself. This is an odd concept on the surface, which, thankfully, Mobius spends a great deal of time pointing out.
It appears as though Loki is setting up the fact that Loki’s ability to connect with and love himself truly is the thing that can blow the entire timeline up, creating the multiverse. The never-before-seen Nexus Event only comes after Loki and Sylvie hold hands before their impending death. There has to be some underlying meaning there about the power of self-love. It’s also a welcome story to add to the MCU’s catalog that often explored the same love stories. Like WandaVision, Loki could be an example of the power of love and how it can be the thing to save the world or blow it up.
Like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki seeing Sylvie (and himself) as something other than a villain aligns with Phase 4 of reexamining that infamous grey area. For most of his tenure in the MCU, that’s where Loki finds himself. It’s infinitely more interesting to examine how some heroes fall, and villains rise depending on who is telling the story. Loki realizing that his potential can be more than what the Sacred Timeline deems him to be is exciting. It lets his story be entirely his own in a way that it couldn’t be in the past when it was so intricately tied to Thor’s story.
This breakthrough for Loki comes on the heels of one of the most memorable lines from the series, as said by Mobius. Just before being pruned, Mobius tells Loki, “You could be whoever, whatever you want to be. Even someone good. I mean, just in case anyone ever told you different.” This line, paired with Mobius’ jealousy about Loki’s time with Sylvie, makes me wish Marvel and Disney would let there be something between Mobius and Loki. That may be too much wishful thinking for now, though, considering their track records. So, for now, I’ll blame Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson for having fantastic chemistry.
Are We Entering the Loki-verse?
Just like when Ralph Bonner appears on WandaVision with the face of Peter Maximoff from Fox’s X-Men franchise, the end of “The Nexus Event” raises a ton of multiverse-related questions. Making assumptions of where Loki is going next is naive, considering there is still so much time (and space) left in the season. However, this mid-credits scene does provide some much-needed context about what happens to someone when they are pruned. Loki could pull the rug out from under us next Wednesday, but it appears as though Variants end up in a little pocket dimension with their other-selves.
Now we’re with Loki in a brand new place with many other Loki’s. One is even an alligator. Shamelessly, I hope this becomes something like John Mulaney‘s Spider-Ham in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We even get a glimpse of Richard E. Grant in a classic, comics-accurate costume, à la Wanda and Vision’s on WandaVision. News about Richard E. Grant’s casting was announced more than a year ago now. It’s a testament to Loki‘s all-encompassing story that it slips our minds that an actor of Grant’s caliber has yet to appear on the screen.
This reveal makes it a little easier to process Mobius’ pruning because we can rest easy that it isn’t final. For all we know, Mobius is in a pocket timeline with a bunch of other Mobius. Maybe one of them eerily resembles Wilson’s character Jedidiah from Night at the Museum. Most importantly, it means there is potential for a meaningful reunion between Mobius and Loki before the end of the season.
Potentially more important for the MCU’s future, these pocket universes or alternate timelines could be a viable setup for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Hopefully, if this is the case, Loki can tell a complete story without that setup derailing the final two episodes. This variant of Loki is already on such a strong path that it would be disappointing for the series to fumble the ending in favor of another property. Loki hasn’t disappointed us yet, and we’d like to keep it that way.
Other Glorious Moments:
- I know there’s probably not time for it, but I would love an entire episode dedicated to Sylvie’s backstory.
- Loki cheering Sylvie by reminding her that Lokis survive no matter the circumstances warmed my heart.
- Mobius calling Loki an “asshole and a bad friend” shouldn’t hurt my heart as much as it does.
- Loki being upset that he doesn’t have as many guards with him as Sylvie is very Loki of him.
- The Lady Sif cameo is so bizarre and wonderful. I expected something entirely different when it was rumored she’d appear on the show.
- Mobis mentions that the TVA has dealt with Kree, Titans, and vampires. We’ve seen Kree and Titans in the MCU. Is this a Blade tease?
- Wunmi Mosaku steals every scene she’s in as Hunter B-15. I hope this isn’t the last time we see her.
What did you think of “The Nexus Event?” Let us know in the comments below!
New episodes of Loki stream Wednesdays on Disney+!