The MCU movies are known for their explosive set pieces and compelling characters, but it seemed like we were never given much time to just sit down with these characters and figure out what makes them tick. After the explosive, cliffhanger ending of Episode 2, Episode 3 of Loki decides to pump the breaks a bit to give viewers some intimate time with the titular character(s).
After launching a coordinated assault on the sacred timeline, the Loki variant who goes by the name of Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) escapes through a time portal with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki following closely behind. After a series of mishaps in the TVA, the two Loki’s escape to an alien planet on the verge of apocalypse with slim chance of escape. Loki and Sylvie go on an intimate journey of self (or variant self) discovery to figure out what makes a Loki a Loki.
Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie takes a co-leading role in this episode as a Loki variant who is now seemingly confirmed as an MCU amalgamation of Lady Loki and Enchantress (hence the name Sylvie). Her character is the perfect balance between classic Loki and unique qualities that make her a true variant. Now that she is confirmed to not be a direct adaptation of Lady Loki from the comics, her performance makes far more sense to a hardcore fan like myself.
Sylvie’s dynamic with Loki leads to key revelations for both characters that establish the core qualities of a Loki. One of those qualities is Loki’s bisexuality, which was long assumed by fans of the character but was officially made canon in this episode. The reveal is major step forward for LGBTQ+ representation in the MCU, but likely will not extend much further than this confirmation because Loki is traditionally not a romantic character. It seems as though this reveal was just a single step to open the door for more leading LGBTQ+ characters already set to appear in the MCU (Wiccan, Miss America, and Valkyrie being the only characters confirmed with more rumored).
This episode is also an amazing technical feat by the filmmakers. The writing is phenomenal (in line with the entire show). The VFX and cinematography are also incredible with an interesting interpretation of a planetary apocalypse used as mere background noise for the leading Loki’s. The VFX is reminiscent of Disney+’s flagship show The Mandalorian, which used set projection technology to create realistic natural environments on a private soundstage. Loki has not been confirmed to use this technology, but the VFX is of similar quality.
Overall, Episode 3 of Loki does what the Marvel Studios MCU shows do best: giving fans time to truly understand the depth of these characters. The TVA and its cast of variants were truly missed, but this episode was a great moment of reflection for the show that managed to move the plot and characters forward simultaneously with grace.
Filmnetic Grade: A