Wednesday, June 30, 2021

REVIEW: 'Loki' - Mobius and Hunter B-15 Question the Narrative That Has Fueled Their Beliefs for a Long Time in 'The Nexus Event'

Disney+'s Loki - Episode 1.04 "The Nexus Event"

Frayed nerves and paranoia infiltrate the TVA as Mobius and Hunter B-15 search for Loki and Sylvie.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Disney+'s Loki.

"The Nexus Event" was written by Eric Martin and directed by Kate Herron

Loki and Sylvie view the TVA as the greatest power in the universe. The Time-Keepers serve as the deities controlling it. They dictate the lives of every single person in the sacred timeline. When a figure deviates from the selected path, they are deemed a variant and removed. Sylvie needs to know why she was deemed unable to serve as the Loki destined to play out in this revered story. Ravonna offers her no answers. In fact, the entire TVA is revealed as nothing more than a lie and deception. That's fitting for a show with Loki as its protagonist. He has never been trustworthy. Even when he hopes people listen to what he has to say, they doubt his sincerity. Anything can be revealed as a trick. He is all about personal survival. He cares only about himself. Loki and Sylvie only escape Lamentis because they break from the pattern that has been predetermined to motivate their every single action. As they await death, they embrace each other. That's the event that causes the TVA to learn where they have gone. The technology sees Loki as only capable of loving himself. Any deviation from that path is unacceptable. Free will does exist though because that extension of empathy is capable within him. Sure, it highlights just how narcissistic he really is. He falls in love with another version of himself. It's twisted. But Sylvie also challenges him in a way that is annoying and refreshing. It's an experience he has never quite faced before. They have both come face-to-face with death on a number of occasions. Their lives never seem to have clear and concise endings. They always find a way to survive even when reality seems to bend to make that a possibility. It all runs the risk of confusing the audience. And yet, the emotions are so grounded in the desires of these characters. Sylvie's life was taken away from her by the TVA. Ravonna was the hunter who brought her in when she was just a child. The timeline was reset with the hope that a different Loki would be more suitable to the demands of the story after that point. Meanwhile, Sylvie was driven to jump from apocalypse to apocalypse in order to survive. That's how she grew up. She came so close to confronting the power that has corrupted so many minds. And then, it too is revealed to be nothing but a deception. The Time-Keepers aren't real. They are simply androids meant to embody a specific purpose. It's a way for the workers at the TVA to fall in line by believing they are doing something with meaning. They see the world in a way only a few people are capable of. They were taken from their lives though. They have the technology to play around with time and torture people who disrupt this system of belief. Mobius is enough of a hard-boiled detective to know when to question what he is being told. He knows when Loki is being deceitful and when his emotions are genuine. It's a fine distinct. Loki enjoys chaos. He is also genuinely heartbroken over the thought that Sylvie was pruned. That evolution provides valuable insight. It's one that propels Mobius to investigate. Hunter B-15 does as well. She actually gets to see the life she once had. She looked happy. Sylvie gives her that blessing. She reaches out and offers that human connection. Everything falls away in an instant. Ravonna falls in line with this overall deception though. She too channels the sense of control over absolutely everything in the universe. She collects trophies like some twisted serial killer. She has the skills to thrive in the field. But her influence is made known throughout the entire timeline. She determines what happens and what the various hunters are allowed to know. Something more is going on. The Time-Keepers provide no clarity to Loki and Sylvie. Meanwhile, it's devastating to watch as both Loki and Mobius are pruned right in front of the people who hope their support can lead them through these uncertain times. Ravonna is responsible for both of those actions. This episode cements her as the core antagonist. Her hold on power is being questioned. She flexes all she is capable of doing to Loki and Sylvie. That makes things more complicated. But it's also the typical self-indulgence of a villain who thinks they've won. That's not where the story ends though. And yet, the future seems to unravel into more nonsense. The universe may have no point to it at all. It may have no higher meaning. People simply inflict pain on each other with whatever power they happen to control. Loki isn't dead though. He has avoided that inevitability once again. He lands in a strange new place with new strangers trying to tell him what to do. That probably won't go according to plan. But it's all done with a sense of momentum that it's building to some satisfying finish that provides clarity and answers that everyone seeks. It questions power and authority while trying to find connection along the way. Sometimes unexpected things happen. No one can control that or dictate the terms the people must abide by. And yet, devious forces are at work to make that seem like the only viable choice. It isn't. Loki and Sylvie strive to expose the truth. That chaos may only lead to more mischief. That's fitting for them. It also will have profound effects on how time and free will are depicted throughout the MCU.