Loki 1×04 Review: “The Nexus Event”

The Nexus Event
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and Disney+

In a series rife with cliffhangers, “The Nexus Event” delivers an episode that hits us where it hurts…. and then gives us just enough hope to stay in the game. 

We don’t normally put spoiler tags on reviews, but “The Nexus Event” had so many jaw-dropping moments that I feel the need to warn away anyone just looking to get a sense of what happened. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, you’re going to mess up some critical reveals for yourself. 

There are a lot of potential spoilers, too. Sylvie being plucked from her timeline as a child for some trivial offense was a big one. Asgardians live a long, long time. Loki was just over a thousand years old when he died. At a minimum this poor kid spent centuries on the run, then could only live in peace on worlds that were very close to death. 

I think I see why Sylvie is so aggressive. All her friends died throughout her childhood, probably over and over again as she visited the same worlds at earlier points. She could never go home, or if she could it was only a timeline where no one would recognize her. Maybe Frigga from our Loki’s timeline would have, but she died well before Asgard fell. It wouldn’t have been safe for Sylvie at that point. (I assume – we haven’t heard yet how wide the smokescreen is before apocalypses.)

Moving on, was anyone at all surprised that Loki started to grow feelings for Sylvie? Who else could understand the web of conflicting motivations and emotions that makes a Loki better than another Loki? There were some hints thrown out last week that a romance was in the cards for Loki, what with all that “Love is a Dagger” drama. We weren’t sure whether it would be Mobius or Sylvie. 

Oh, who are we kidding? Of course it was going to be Sylvie. Disney had no real choice but to let Loki be queer (he’s canon queer in real life for crying out loud), but apparently we aren’t going to get a main character with a same sex partner for a while yet. They have to leave room to edit out the gayest bits so CERTAIN COUNTRIES WHO SHALL GO UNNAMED will let them air the show.  

Sigh. 

Well. Sylvie is awesome, so things could definitely be worse.

I predicted last week that the TVA would have to rescue Loki and Sylvie, and “The Nexus Event” proved me right. The show would have ended very quickly if the TVA had just…. waited. Instead, they pulled the variants in to be fully sure they were going to die. 

That gives us space to explore the reveal from the last episodes. Namely, that the TVA agents were all real people whose memories have been wiped. That’s something the shakes both B-15 and Mobius from their comfortable paths.

Mobius continued his arc of questioning the Time-Keepers. This is where Ravonna becomes more “sinister manipulator” than “concerned agent”. True, she could still be operating as someone with a mission, but I feel like she has to know something else. Otherwise why would she have killed Mobius right off the bat? If she were on a mission she would have just had him arrested.

Speaking of Mobius… ouch. When he said all that supportive stuff to Loki about “you can be whoever you want” I joked to my partner, “Welp, that’s it, he’s about to die.”

Then they walked out the door, and Mobius died. Without ever getting to ride a jet ski. The only comfort we get is the stunned devastation on Loki’s face.

I cannot make jokes like that anymore, it seems. 

The Nexus Event
Loki and Sylvie finally face the Time-Keepers. (Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and Disney+)

B-15, who Sylvie had enchanted before, still remembers her past life enough to pull a rescue that puts Sylvie and Loki exactly where they want to be: in front of the Time-Keepers and armed. That was a fun fight to watch, even if I personally think Loki would be a shade better with hand to hand than he comes off.

Am I going to talk about the moment of where Loki came very close to express feelings for Sylvie that could potentially break the multiverse? No, that’s being hashed out across the internet (with special focus on Ao3).  I’d rather talk about how the ending of “The Nexus Event” was more of a moment of tension than a true cliffhanger.

I can think of three separate points that would have been solid cliffhangers:

  • Mobius being killed by his best friend
  • The Time-Keeper’s head falling off
  • Loki being killed 

By not ending on any of those major events, the episode feels like a series of blows. The hits keep coming, and like Sylvie we’re left reeling. She’s back at square one on her plan now. I can’t wait to see what she ends up doing when as far as she knows Loki is dead.

And he is! Or at least, he’s as dead as the TVA could make him.

Which as it turns out is not super dead, because apparently there’s a little pocket dimension full of Loki variants. 

Does every person get their own realm of all their dead variants? Or is it just Loki because of the essential nature of a Loki? It would be cool if Mobius could come back, although I know it’ll make a whole mess of the timelines. 

I’m okay with that. We have Doctor Strange on the horizon. If the Loki Bunch leaves the multiverse in a bit of chaos, someone will be along to clean it up shortly.

Parting thoughts for “The Nexus Event”:

  • It’s tempting to think Sylvie’s crime involved her toys, but I’m guessing it had to be something else. There was another Loki somewhere on her world or she wouldn’t have been a variant. Maybe she split herself with magic but hadn’t realized yet, and the Sacred Timeline said that wasn’t in her power set? 
  • Having a horde of Lokis is such a smart idea. There were several variations on Loki in the comics, so there are many paths the show could take and still be in some form of canon. My theory is that no single storyline will be followed completely. Maybe all the Lokis live?
  • In the comics the Time-Keepers were created by the last director of the TVA to keep the timelines in order. Are we going to meet them? Or are we going to discover these were made by the Time-Twisters, the first failed attempt at making Time-Keepers (and by the way, that whole mess was sorted out in a Thor story soooo…)?
  • Does Ravonna know that disintegrating people doesn’t actually kill them? Could that be why she hit Mobius?

We’ll have to wait for next Wednesday to see what happens. In the meantime, share your thoughts and theories with us in the comment!

 

Author: Khai

Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.


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