With two episodes left, we didn't expect to lose so many key characters after that shocking betrayal and an even more unexpected plot twist -- it's like a whole new show now!
Last week's "Loki" was a pretty low-key affair (see what we did there?), but this week's fourth chapter was filled with bombshell after bombshell ... and then death after death.
We thought the secrets of the Timekeepers and their precious Time Variance Authority would have to wait until the finale to expose themselves, but that didn't happen, either. Instead, the curtain was pulled back as the Lokis dropped that "everyone is a Variant" shocker right in the laps of characters who had no idea.
We did appear to get some clarity as to Sylvie's identity -- if anything anyone on this show says can be believed -- as the flashback sequence appeared to place her on Asgard when she was taken by the TVA. Perhaps she really is a female Loki.
That would explain why the weird flirt-mance between her and Loki created a stark new timeline emerging from the Sacred One. Could this be the birth of "The Multiverse of Madness" that Doctor Strange is going to have to deal with in his next movie?
Sif-ting Through Memories
While it was but a brief cameo, it was still a lot of fun seeing Jaimie Alexander take out all of her rage and frustration on Loki over and over and over again. We have to give props to the writers, they use time very creatively as punishment on this show.
Having Loki relive the aftermath of a cruel and pointless prank again and again did seem to finally push him to a point of genuine remorse and self-awareness. It's not unlike the journey the OG Loki took through the course of the MCU films (remember this one was snatched out of the timeline just after the epic battle in the first "Avengers" film).
At this point, we find ourselves rooting for this particular Loki. Could it be that this whole show is a way to bring Loki back without undoing events that have already happened, and even offer him a bit of a redemption arc of his own? We're here for it.
Look, we expected Loki and Sylvie's revelation that everyone working for the TVA was a Variant to be a bombshell for those involved. We didn't quite expect things to turn the way they did, and so quickly!
Loki told Mobius outright that he was a Variant, along with everyone, and planted that little seed of doubt. From there, Mobius stole his boss (and friend) Ravonna's communications device. There, he learned a horrific truth.
Meanwhile, Hunter B-15, who hasn't been the same since she was mind-controlled by Sylvie two episodes back, finally reached her own breaking point when she wasn't able to get any clear answers as to what had happened to her friend, Hunter C-20.
So she snatched up Sylvie from her cell and took her back to the RoxxCart apocalypse event (so the TVA can't spy on them) and demanded clarity. What were the memories she saw? Did Sylvie create them? When Sylvie told her those were her own memories, hidden and suppressed when she was stolen from her timeline, that set the stage for the night's biggest tragedy.
Mobius did something similar, approaching Loki in the Time Cell in hopes they can do something about the lies and truth. On Ravonna's machine, he saw C-20 remembering her past life ... and then he saw Ravonna deciding to prune her (i.e., wipe her from existence).
But when they returned from the Time Cell, Ravonna was there with Hunters of her own. And in a shocking moment, she rather abruptly and callously pruned Mobius. Just like that, Loki's only true friend in the TVA was gone.
Things only got darker, though, when both Lokis were brought before the Timekeepers, who were three giant, smug aliens. At least, they were until B-15 arrived and helped the Lokis fight off Ravonna and the Hunters as the Timekeepers just watched.
In the end, the Lokis were triumphant (it looks as if B-15 didn't make it, either) and Sylvie lashed out at the Timekeepers, lopping the head off of one of them. That move only shook things up even more, as it exposed the biggest lie of them all.
The Timekeepers are like the robot band at Chuck E. Cheese's. But if they're not real, then who is the man behind the curtain? Who's really running the TVA? And if everything about it is a lie, what is it really doing and why? These questions and many more were just hanging in the air, along with a lot of sexual tension between the Lokis.
But just as Loki was about to tell Sylvie something meaningful, Ravonna proved not dead after all, and she pruned Loki. After he vanished, Sylvie got the upper hand and demanded answers, but we've got even more questions than her, probably!
There are still several unanswered questions, including one Sylvie asked Ravonna just before their final battle in front of the Timekeepers. What was the nexus event so serious they had to pull her from her timeline and wipe it out? Was there even one?
Knowing that everyone is a Variant, and with Sylvie's question and Ravonna's smug answer that she does't remember ringing in our brains, we can't help but wonder if some of these Variants were pulled from their timelines for no other reason than to forcibly recruit them into the TVA.
But it is interesting that Sylvie was taken as a child, considering most of the agents appear to have been taken as adults. Was she taken to literally be a child? Perhaps Ravonna thought she could wipe her memory and raise her like her own. We'll have to wait until next week to find out what Sylvie asks her, and if she answers anything.
But we also need to know if Mobius and Loki are really gone? Perhaps those devices that prune people don't really wipe them out of existence at all. If the TVA is a lie, then its devices may not work as advertised, either.
After wiping the stage of not only the Timekeepers but our two lead heroes as well, it should be interesting to see how "Loki" proceeds from here, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday on Disney+.