This review contains spoilers for Marvel’s Loki episode 3.
Loki Episode 3
The third episode of Marvel’s Loki, “Lamentis”, threw our main man and the Variant he’s been chasing into a deadly situation from which there ultimately appeared to be no escape. It also made Loki canonically bisexual in the MCU and opened up a can of TVA worms that will keep us wondering about the true nature and identity of the Time-Keepers for a while longer.
There was a lot going on in the show’s most Doctor Who episode yet, which abandoned its crime procedural vibe to focus on splashing Marvel’s cash further than previous installments. It mostly succeeded in doing so, considering its focus was entirely on two characters plotting a Snowpiercer-esque escape from a doomed moon. Luckily, Tom Hiddleston and Sophia di Martino have terrific chemistry and it’s a joy to watch them scrap at the edge of annihilation while marooned together and forced to come up with a way off the rock.
Sylvie’s original grand plan, which involved bombing the sacred timeline and ambushing the Time-Keepers’ hiding place while the TVA scrambled to put out temporal fires, went phenomenally awry thanks to the God of Mischief – and he may end up regretting it. There was no regret on my end, mind. Watching Loki and Sylvie trade jibes and play games with each other made for a cracking episode of television, and I can already envision the many memes spreading far and wide across the internet from their prickly banter.
The two butted stubborn heads on Lamentis-1 as they peacocked their magical talents in some hilariously ineffectual ways. Naturally, because Loki, this eventually involved getting drunk and making a suspicious spectacle of himself while trying to charm Sylvie into opening up to him about her whole deal. You can take the prince out of Asgard but you can’t take the Asgard out of the prince!
To be serious for a moment, it meant a lot to me personally that Loki was finally acknowledged as bisexual when he connected with Sylvie during all this, and I imagine it meant a lot to some other people, too. Hiddleston and di Martino both grip the screen with ease, and along with some stunning visuals cloaked in “bisexual lighting”, a strong mood was definitely set on the beleaguered moon. There was an energy to the episode that kept me longing for scraps of information about Sylvie, and hoping that she and Loki could find something “real” together as two determined, independent Variants who refuse to do what they’re told.
Whether this story will find Loki and the Enchantress forging a strong bond if they ever get out of the Lamentis bind is still unclear. Right now, that friendship is only just starting to be earned, but of course it’s deeply ironic to witness Loki pleading for a trustworthy arrangement with Sylvie. The man is notoriously backstabby but he certainly doesn’t much like the shoe being on the other foot, and by chasing her he’s also simultaneously broken his trust with Mobius.
Alas, yes, episode three was indeed Mobius-free, but by the time its cliffhanger ending landed he was very much in my heart after Loki discovered that the TVA are in fact made up of memory-wiped human Variants plucked from the timeline and pushed into servitude at the universe’s most beige and orange bureaucracy. Who were you before the TVA snatched you, Mobius? A chill beach bum teaching drunk tourists how to jet ski? Or a land-locked retail employee who dreamed of one day moving to the coast? We have to know, and hopefully by the time this series ends, we will – justice for Mobius!
“Lamentis” does take its time in picking at the fraying edge of the Sylvie mystery, however. She insisted that Loki isn’t who she is anymore, and revealed herself to have a different past than him. She was told she was adopted up front, but doesn’t really remember her mother and has spent her entire life running from the TVA. Where in time is Sylvie from, and why are the roots of her past so intriguingly different if she was once him? Things just don’t really add up, and the mystery of the sacred timeline deepens once more as we head into the back half of the series.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the spectacular and pricey action sequences that this episode has to offer. It’s the most action we’ve seen in the show to date, but it’s action that became increasingly problematic – at least on first watch – as the lack of peril was a little frustrating. We’re only halfway through Loki; there’s no way he won’t find a path off Lamentis, right? Even at the climax, when all hope was seemingly lost, I knew that he’d probably be okay.
The cliffhanger does instill a bit of the hopelessness that we haven’t really seen in the MCU since the devastating last few moments of Avengers: Infinity War though, and I’m surprised and kind of delighted that the show wasn’t afraid to leave things there for now.