Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 Episode 5 of Loki.
The Big Picture
- Loki Season 2 Episode 5 explores a post-TVA existence and follows Loki’s journey to save the TVA and reunite with his friends.
- The episode delves into Loki’s growth and development as a character, showcasing his independence and emotional connections with the other TVA agents.
- Loki’s ability to time slip becomes a central plot point as he encounters his friends in different timelines, leading to a pivotal moment in his quest to rewrite the story.
With the TVA destroyed, Loki Season 2 Episode 5, “Science/Fiction,” looks at an existence without the TVA. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) manages to be the only person who survives the meltdown of the Temporal Loom and must get the gang back together in order to try and save the TVA and restore life as we know it. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and written by Eric Martin, there’s a lot to take away from this week’s episode. We finally get to see Mobius (Owen Wilson) on his jet ski, we learn about the lives that the other TVA agents had, and Loki discovers a way to control his ability to time slip. In the penultimate episode, we do a lot of jumping around across timelines and across universes, but the episode actually hinges on the most major growth we’ve seen in Loki’s character since we first met him back in 2011 in Thor.
Loki, the God of Mischief, steps out of his brother’s shadow to embark on an adventure that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
‘Loki’ Puts Us at the Heart of the Story in Episode 5
It might seem silly for me to say that I’m glad a show titled Loki is actually about Loki, but considering recent showings from the MCU (and Disney+) with their television shows, it feels like these shows serve more as a launching board for other projects. So it’s been nice watching Loki and watching a show so dedicated to exploring the growth and development of its titular character. When it was announced that Loki would be getting his own show a few years back based around a variant of Loki who stole the time stone during The Avengers, many fans worried that we would lose what made Loki so great. He had all that development through Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, not to mention the handful of other MCU movies where he played a significant role, and he was going to lose it?
It’s good to know that despite losing that version of Loki, the one from Loki is somehow infinitely better. He’s no longer simply attached to his brother or his family; he’s his own person, and we have watched him evolve in front of our eyes. So it doesn’t feel out of left field or cheesy when Loki says that he wants to save the TVA because he wants his friends back. We’ve watched him develop close friendships with the other agents at the TVA and become invested in their lives. That emotional beat feels entirely earned.
What Happens in ‘Loki’ Season 2 Episode 5?
The episode kicks off with Loki on his own at the TVA. Everyone is gone and the TVA has kicked into fail-safe mode. Searching for anyone, Loki begins to time-slip again. This time, he isn’t just time slipping within the TVA. As the TVA turns into spaghetti, he time-slips away and next appears in 1962 in a branched timeline near Alcatraz. Here, he finds Casey (Eugene Cordero) — except this is not the Casey we know, this is Frank, a career criminal currently trying to escape Alcatraz with his fellow prisoners. Throughout the episode, Loki is pulled through time and space, but where he ends up is not random; instead, he appears at the location of each of his friends. He sees B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), who is now a doctor named Dr. Willis in 2012 New York. He sees O.B. (Ke Huy Quan), who is an author/scientist named A.D. Doug in 1994 Pasadena. And he finds Mobius, now named Don, at a jet ski shop in 2022 Cleveland.
Out of all of them, O.B. seems the least surprised when Loki sits him down and tells him about the TVA and everything that’s happened to them. Maybe it’s because he’s a science fiction author, maybe it’s because he teaches theoretical physics at Caltech. Regardless, O.B. deduces that the time slipping must be attached to Loki and what he wants. Although the TVA is gone, Loki does time slip to a time theater like the one we saw him in in Season 1, which suggests that in some capacity the TVA is still around. O.B. decides that they need to assemble everyone in that room together to get their group temporal aura so they can transport back to that spot in time and space. He’s given the TVA guidebook by Loki to build a tempad, but before Loki can say anything else, he time slips to Cleveland.
Loki approaches Mobius, who has no idea who he is and is initially apprehensive of him until O.B. appears through a time door from his homemade tempad. Mobius, in this universe, is a single dad to two sons and has a seemingly comfortable life selling jet skis. But Loki convinces him that he should help because all of existence is in danger, including the lives of his children. After some persuading, Mobius agrees to go with them, and Loki and O.B. assemble the rest of the team before going to collect Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino).
Returning back to the McDonald’s in 1982, Loki approaches Sylvie, ready to give her his speech about the TVA — but unlike the other variants, Sylvie remembers him and has all of her memories intact. Rather than go with him back to the group, she takes him out for a drink. There, at the bar, they return to their previous argument, the one they’ve been having all season: Free will or control? Loki is determined to save the TVA and is baffled by Sylvie’s selfishness for wanting her own life.
To this, Sylvie agrees: she is selfish. She wants a life, she wants to live. “What’s wrong with wanting something, Loki?” she asks him. Knowing that the rest of the group have their own lives on their own timelines, Sylvie is content to let them stay there. They were never given a choice to join the TVA, but Loki disagrees and says that agents like Mobius called the TVA their purpose, and he should be given a chance to choose between the branched timeline life and his life at the TVA.
But after all of this, after Sylvie prods Loki for a true answer, Loki reveals that he wants the TVA back because he wants his friends back. He doesn’t want to be alone, and, in his own way, this is him being selfish as well. Loki isn’t doing this to save existence; at a very base level, he doesn’t know where he belongs without the TVA, which has been his struggle since the very beginning of his story. Long before the TVA was even a thought in Kevin Feige‘s mind, Loki was a kid pulled from his home and raised by a conquerer. He has never truly belonged anywhere.
When Sylvie rejects Loki’s offer to join up with the other agents, she tells him that they must all write their own stories now and leaves him at the bar. Bereft and confused about what to do next, Loki returns to O.B. and the gang uncertain of how to proceed. Meanwhile, Sylvie visits a record shop and puts on The Velvet Underground‘s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’,” which is a fitting soundtrack to the end of her world. Everything around her slowly spaghettifies, and realizing that everything has fallen apart, she uses He Who Remains’ tempad to go to Loki.
With Sylvie there, the group can finally collect everyone’s temporal aura and go back to that specific place in time — except it’s too late. Slowly, each of the characters spaghettify in front of Loki. The whole world disappears into strands of temporal spaghetti and it’s at this moment that he time slips and jumps right back to moments before. Realizing he is now getting a handle on his time slipping, Loki knows what he has to do to rewrite the story. He goes back to the point in time right before someone goes through the blast doors. Is it before Mobius goes to pull him out of the timeline in Episode 1, or is it before Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors) goes out onto the platform in Episode 4? Only time will tell.
Stream Loki Season 2 on Disney+ in the U.S.
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