Aug 10, 2021
Strange ones on a train: Loki “Lamentis”
Previously: With the help of Protagonist Loki, the TVA managed to track down the Loki who’s been killing all their Minutepeople. And it’s a Lovely Lady Loki! But they weren’t able to foil Lady Loki’s plan to bomb the “Sacred Timeline” with a lot of time-reset charges and make it fracture into total temporal anarchy. Lady Loki escaped through time, and Loki followed her because he is totally evil and wishes to enlist her help to overthrow the TVA, world’s biggest wink.
We open on Agent C-20 sitting in a restaurant with a posh blonde lady who’s supposedly her best friend. The blonde, who’s really Lady Loki, is constructing this scenario in C-20’s mind for the purpose of gaining information about the Time-Keepers. She changes up the background and offers a variety of foods and drinks to ply her. And she figures out what she needs at the exact moment the TVA team shows up at the end of “The Variant”.
After the title sequence, Lady Loki takes a portal to TVA headquarters. She tries to possess a Minuteman, but of course her powers don’t work here, so she has to take an old-fashioned approach and kill them with acrobatic rogue combat and one of their glowing sticks that kills people PG-13-ly. Loki shows up right behind her, and makes one last entreaty to work together. She’s not interested, and only wants to get on the golden elevator to the Time-Keepers’ lair. After the two struggle, Judge Renslayer shows up with two elite Minutemen. Lady Loki briefly holds Loki at the point of her sword, but when Renslayer proves utterly unconcerned about the possibility of Loki being killed, Loki realizes he’s going to have to get his own hinder out of trouble, and sleight-of-hands Lady Loki’s portal-maker away and they both exit through the floor.
They appear in a bunker. Lady Loki tries to teleport away, but the portal maker (‘scuse me, “TemPad”) is low on battery life. Loki snatches it away and gets the upper hand on her with his teleportation and illusion powers, but their scuffle is interrupted by a small meteorite falling through the ceiling. It turns out they’re trapped in the worst apocalypse Lady Loki saved on her TemPad: the moon Lamentis-1, which in the year 2077 is going to have the planet Lamentis crash into it. The planet appears forebodingly in the sky, throwing small bits of debris down on them.
They run across a plain, dodging meteorites, and take refuge in a shack. Lady Loki, or “Sylvie” as she prefers to call herself, tries to possess Loki once inside, but her mind control beams can’t get through his thick layer of hair oil. He’s got the TemPad hidden somewhere, inaccessible to Sylvie via trickster magic, but doesn’t know how to go about charging it. Sylvie decides that a good old-fashioned truce is in order.
They wander to a space-western town in search of a power source great enough to charge a device that can punch a hole through time and space. They find a woman camped out in a house at the edge of a crater, with a large pulse rifle in her lap. She blasts Sylvie, who comes in with sword a-swinging, and then Loki, who disguises himself as a less-than-convincing illusion of her departed husband. They find out from the lady that there’s a train leaving soon, which will take them to an evacuation spaceship, but they’ll never get a ticket. That’s fine, though: they don’t need to escape on the spaceship so long as they can siphon enough power to juice up their TemPad.
They approach the train platform, where there’s a crowd of impoverished citizens screaming at the guards to let someone on besides the wealthy. They make it onto the train with a combination of Loki’s disguise powers and Sylvie’s possession powers.
Once on the train, the plot takes a bit of a breather. Loki, motormouth that he is, can’t help but fall into reminiscence of his dear departed mother, who taught him all this useful magic he’s been using to do all these things. He talks with Sylvie a bit, trying to probe what made her such a different kind of Loki. Like Loki, Sylvie was an adopted frost-giant; unlike Loki, she knew of her true parentage from a very young age. And while Loki’s mother was very affectionate and caring for him, Sylvie’s mother was more distant.
They talk about their sex lives. “You’re a prince,” Sylvie says, and says there “must’ve been would-be princesses. Or perhaps, another prince?” “A bit of both,” Loki admits, in the safest and tamest possible way Marvel can possibly find to introduce a single not-entirely-straight character into its sprawling lineup. Little tip, Marvel Studios: it really doesn’t matter if you do it this way, or show Loki fisting Channing Tatum; you’re going to get the exact same amount of “hurrdurr woke SJW activism buh”.
All this talk of dead mothers and meaningless bi flings gets Loki emotional, and he greedily gulps down the champagne the server brings him. Sylvie takes a short nap, and when she wakes, Loki’s so deep in his cups he’s ditched his uniform, conjured a space cello, and is leading the entire bar car in a Norwegian—sorry, “Asgardian”—folk song.
This, of course, attracts attention, and unable to produce their tickets, Loki and Sylvie are thrown off the moving train after an abortive combat sequence. A fuming Sylvie demands the TemPad back from Loki, but he turns out to have broken it while falling off the train. Since they no longer have the option of charging the pad from the ship, they decide to get on the spaceship and escape from the moon. It’ll surely cause a Nexus event to happen, but the TVA’s a bit busy at the moment.
They start walking toward the ship, somehow confident they can get to it in the several hours before the moon crashes into the planet. They return to chit-chatting, and Sylvie decides to tell Loki how she possesses people. She describes how it involved constructing a fantasy scenario from C-20’s memories back on Earth before she worked for the TVA. This confuses Loki, because he was under the impression that everyone who worked for the TVA was born and bred for it. No, says Sylvie: they’re all variants, just like the two of them.
The rocketship is launching from the middle of a big neon space city in the middle of the desert. Announcers over loudspeakers announce that the ship is at capacity, there’s five minutes to launch, and everyone should go home and duck-and-cover. The people aren’t very happy about this, and there’s a substantial amount of civil unrest that Loki and Sylvie have to fight, parkour, and illusion-power their way through in one long shot, with more meteorities dropping all the while. They just barely make it to the rocketship in time… and then the ship is cracked in half by a meteor. Mother of mercy, is this the end of the Lokis?
Next week: Loki finally remembers where he parked.