Loki Episode 3: Lamentis Review
It’s been observed more than once that LOKI sometimes represents Marvel’s take on DOCTOR WHO and The Time Lords in particular. In LAMENTIS, the third episode of the season, this comparison becomes particularly apt as Loki (Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) find themselves trapped on the world of Lamentis-1 as it experiences its final hours before its moon crashes into the planet, destroying both.
There are, of course, people who’ll be dismayed by this abrupt change of pace and storytelling style, especially after GLORIOUS PURPOSE and THE VARIANT rattled along at such a breakneck pace but what would LOKI be if not a series that confounds and surprises at every turn? After all, we’re dealing with multiple Gods of Mischief here.
It’s not just the pace that’s scaled back here, but the action and cast too. There are still a fair few fight (and occasional flight) scenes but the only character from the wider ensemble who gets anything to do beyond appearing in a recap is Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer who intervenes to repel Sylvie’s truncated assault on the TVA headquarters. The scaling back, though, allows room for some spectacle in the heliotropic environs of Lamentis and a whole lot of character introspection as Loki and Sylvie get to know each other and get the measure of their respective ambitions.
It’s another wonderful showcase for Hiddleston’s Loki even if it does take him further and further from his villainous roots. There’s something just so irresistibly charming about his character that in the absence of a bona fide hero figure, your attention and affection defaults immediately to him. After a somewhat standoffish debut in the previous episode, Sylvie warms up considerably in this episode and its in their tactical exchanges of small-talk that the series smuggles some of its biggest revelations so far.
The one about Loki’s sexual proclivities may have raised a few eyebrows in the Helen Lovejoys out there but anyone who’s familiar with the character – and especially the original mythical source material – shouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised. Far more impactful and relevant for the episodes yet to come is the casual revelation that most, if not all, of the TVA agents are variants themselves, taken from innumerable timeline branches and repurposed from temporal poachers to chronological gamekeepers.
We’re at the halfway point and, in true trickster fashion, the series uses LAMENTIS to turn things on their heads again. The arch-villain we were lead to expect is nothing of the kind, and likewise, the TVA isn’t everything they claim to be. Mind you, if you’re a DOCTOR WHO fan of long-standing, the idea that the self-appointed keepers of the timeline aren’t exactly on the up and up probably didn’t come as much of a surprise but whatever influences it draws on, LOKI continues to intrigue and delight in equal measure.