Disney+ released the hotly anticipated Loki on 9th June, and we’re already halfway through this limited series. The 3rd episode, Lamentis, followed on from the events of last episode where Loki followed the Variant through a portal. Whilst the previous episodes have been ~ 45 minutes long (not including ads), Lamentis was only around half an hour. This did limit how much content we could actually get, but it also meant that the pacing was well-balanced. I’m glad they didn’t try and stretch it any longer than it needed to be. I expect that’s a benefit of airing through a streaming service – there are no rigid rules about runtime.
The opening scene on this week’s episode of Loki seemed curiously out of place. Just two friends enjoying drinks together. But wait, that’s the Variant! At first, I wondered whether we were getting a flashback from her old life, but then I recognised her friend. It was the agent from the end of the previous episode. Just as I was getting really confused, a question arose about the Time Keepers, and it was revealed that the Variant was enchanting the agent’s mind, placing a fake scenario there so she could extract the information she needed. We’ve seen her use her enchantment powers before, but we never saw just how they worked. It was fascinating seeing the sheer extent of her power and skill.
Back to Reality
Back in the present, we finally see where the portal took the Variant and Loki. Whilst I assumed they’d have been whisked off to some unknown planet, they were back in the TVA. The Variant attempted to enchant an agent, clearly unaware that magic didn’t work there. But it was no matter, and the ensuing fight scenes were a joy to watch. Just as with previous episodes, the choreography was a masterpiece. The action is so raw and cinematic, and it’s so intense to see as a viewer. A couple of the agents got pruned, reminding us of this Loki variant’s utter disregard for human life.
Loki follows the trouble, and manages to get himself caught by the Variant, just as more agents arrive on the scene. Realising he’s inches away from getting his head chopped off, he uses the TemPad to create a new portal. But once they’ve fallen through it, it becomes apparent that Loki’s in just as much danger, perhaps even more so. Because the Variant had several locations programmed in, and they were all… apocalypses. Still, maybe dodging an apocalypse would give the two Lokis a chance to bond?
A Mischievous Partnership
The Variant is furious, and reveals she’s been planning this for years. But then she discovers a more pressing issues, when she sees exactly which apocalypse they’re in. 2077. A planet crashes into the Lamentis-1 moon. No survivors. Alas, the TemPad is out of battery, and unless they can find a way to charge it, they’re doomed. As Loki has hidden it, this forces them to work together, and we slowly start to get a feel for the Variant’s personality. Firstly, she despises being called Loki, and doesn’t see herself as one of them. Instead, she goes by the name Sylvie, although we don’t get any backstory as to why the name change.
We do learn more about Loki, though. Sylvie wants to know more about his upbringing, and how he learned magic. Loki explains that his mum taught him, and it’s always sweet to hear the way he talks about her. Loki’s relationship with his mum is so pure and loving, and she’s probably the only person he feels true affection for, at least at this point in his timeline. But the really interesting part comes when Sylvie asks whether there have been and ‘would-be princesses… Or princes’. To this, Loki replies ‘a bit of both’, giving the audience confirmation that he’s at least bi, possibly even pan. This is the first indication that any main character from the MCU is anything other than straight, and is a long-awaited win for the LGBTQ+ community. Loki in the comics is both queer and genderfluid, so it’s good to see the show acknowledging that.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Realising that Loki isn’t going to hand over the TemPad, Sylvie accepts she has no choice but to work with him. Whilst at first she’s reluctant, it seems she starts to warm up to him, although I doubt she’d ever admit it. They’re a great combination, too. Whilst some of Loki’s magical abilities are a mystery to Sylvie, she has skills of her own. Namely, her ability to enchant the minds of others, a skill Loki finds fascinating. Together, they’re able to make their way onto a train bound for salvation. But in true hedonistic fashion, Loki gets drunk, and blows the whole operation. A fight breaks out, and Loki ends up being thrown out of a window, forcing Sylvie to jump after him. Unfortunately, the TemPad gets broken during the tussle, and they’re back at square one.
After figuring out a plan B, they begin the long walk to the Arc, which they hope can rescue them. It’s during this walk that a crucial piece of information is revealed – The TVA workers used to be regular people! Mobius explained last episode that everyone at the TVA was created by the Time Keepers, but that’s actually false. Loki realises they’ve been fed a false narrative, and it’ll be really interesting to see where Loki goes with that. However, they may not get a chance. At the end of the episode, after battling their way through the crowd, the Arc explodes! Is all hope lost?
It’s All About the Visuals
One area where the episode really excelled was the visuals. The whole series has looked cinematic, but having such a unique setting as Lamentis gave them a real opportunity. They created an entirely new skyline, and it was so gorgeous. The use of colour was phenomenal, and it made it feel so futuristic and magical. The train also really fit the aesthetic, and is exactly the kind of transport that I can imagine being used on some far away planet in the future. They put a lot of effort into the details, and I appreciate that. The costumes were cool too, although the soldiers did remind me a bit of that episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Hal gets obsessed with speed walking. There was also a lovely bit of CGI where Loki created fireworks right there in his hand.
The audio aspects of the episode weren’t bad, although I wasn’t keen on the intro music. It was overly poppy, and felt out of place with the dark theme of the show. However, the rest of the music choices were pretty good, and helped set the atmosphere. The sound effects too were all very realistic, and it’s great for the immersion. When I’m watching Loki, I often forget that it’s just a show, because it feels like I’m really there.
This episode wasn’t bad by any means, but it also didn’t thrill me in the same way as the other two. Even though they were escaping an apocalypse, the stakes felt lower. One of the things I really love about Loki is seeing the inner workings of the TVA, and we barely spent any time there this episode. I also missed Mobius, he’s a great character, and I enjoy his scenes with Loki. So while the episode was fun enough to watch, it felt almost like filler. We did get some cool reveals though (Loki bi confirmed), and the ending was powerful. We’ll have to see how they manage to escape certain death next episode! Join the discussion over in our Facebook community!