Loki Episode 4: The Nexus Event Review

*SPOILERS, MAYBE?*

Lamentis Review

There are lies, damn lies and LOKI episodes which laugh to scorn at the audience’s expectations. Delivering on the event promised by its title, THE NEXUS EVENT retrospectively justifies the naval-gazing of LAMENTIS (which some, but not I, found so tedious) with a premise-shattering payoff. Quite simply, you couldn’t get to THE ENXUS EVENT without LAMENTIS and THE NEXUS EVENT is an event worth getting to.

Marooned on the doomed world of Lamentis-1, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) find intimacy in impending doom, an outcome so absurdly unlikely that it generates a timeline variance so strong it brings the TVA right to them. Temporarily reprieved from annihilation, the TVA’s most wanted find themselves separated and scheduled for a quick debrief ‘n’ trim. Except, that is, for the fact that Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and Mobius’ (Owen Wilson) façade of certainty has started to crack and into those cracks, Loki and Sylvie manage to sow seeds of doubt which eventually bear fruit in the form of an audience with the Time Keepers themselves. And that’s when the episode really gets going.

This episode picks up the theme of its predecessor by continuing to explore what defines a Loki. This time, though, the introspection is prompted not by a tactical need to seek advantage but in confronting the consequences of Loki’s recent actions and, uncomfortably for a self-loathing narcissist, the idea that he may actually have started to love himself a little – albeit himself in a female and very different form. We find ourselves as intrigued by Sylvie as our eponymous hero too, thanks to the increasingly pertinent question of why she was trimmed as a variant, an event which we see occur at a very young age.

The Nexus Events

Loki, meanwhile, gets a crash course in self-reflection thanks to a time loop prison featuring a welcome return for an MCU character we haven’t seen since AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., continuing his series trajectory away from the conniving, 4D-chess playing incorrigible schemer that we knew to a much more passive, reactive iteration of the character than we’ve ever seen before. Indeed, once we reach the confrontation with the Time Keepers, it’s Sylvie who is the playmaker and while Loki plays his part, he’s no longer the ringmaster of his own circus.

There are some jaw-dropping surprises in this episode, including one or two shock trimmings as Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer reveals her true colours but, as a mid-credits tease makes deliciously clear, we haven’t even been told the truth about what happens to people who are trimmed.

LOKI may have started out feeling like an MCU riff on DOCTOR WHO but THE NEXUS EVENT sees it stake a claim to a much more contemporary inspiration: RICK & MORTY. It’s gleeful comic-book craziness all the way and while the series has ended up answering most of the questions we had in the opening couple of episodes, its answers have simply served to admonish us for our gullibility and make it abundantly clear we haven’t been asking the right questions. With just two episodes to go, we’re due to get some proper answers, but from this character – and this series – how can we be sure we can believe what we’re told?

score 10

10/10

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