It’s a real “out of the fireplace, into the fire” situation for Loki and Sylvie this week. If an apocalypse event on Lamentis-1 wasn’t bad enough, they have even more danger ahead of them in Loki episode four, “The Nexus Event.” The Disney+ series’ pen-penultimate episode gave us massive revelations about the Mobius, the Lokis, and even time itself! It’s a heavy, heavy episode and we’re going to break it all down for you, in a very spoiler-filled way. Here are some of the many Easter eggs for Loki episode four.
The episode begins on Asgard. We go inside to reveal Sylvie as a kid playing with some toys. She flies a Valkyrie on a pegasus to battle a dragon like we saw in Muspelheim in Thor: Ragnarok above a little longboat and Fenris, one of the massive wolves of Asgard that Hela rode in Thor: Ragnarok. Unfortunately, playtime is short-lived: Ravonna Renslayer steps through not as a judge, but as Hunter A-23, flanked by Minutemen. A-23 is an Easter egg referring to Ravonna’s first appearance in Avengers #23.
What Did Sylvie Do?
The question then becomes, what exactly did a child, even a supposed “variant” child such as Sylvie, do that was bad enough to cause Renslayer to arrest her and nuke her timeline? We don’t get the answer in this episode, but we do know what happened to Sylvie after her arrest. Unlike our Loki when he came before a TVA judge, Sylvie escapes and steals Renslayer’s TemPad.
Later, back on Lamentis-1, as the sky keeps falling, Sylvie tells Loki about her childhood. She says the TVA chased her through time and space her whole life. “Everywhere and every-when I went, it caused a Nexus Event,” and so she grew up among apocalypses. Apparently her mere existence created a big enough detour from the Sacred Timeline to warrant TVA intervention. Is someone out there targeting Lokis? If so, why? What threat do they pose if they’re allowed to run amok unabated? Are they being rounded up to harness the chaos energy that they clearly possess?
Back in the TVA, we see Mobius, Hunter B-15, and a crew of Chronomonitors searching the Sacred Timeline for the Lokis. We see a few interesting dates and locations on the monitor, including Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. That spot was once home to the world’s longest covered bridge, which was destroyed by inclement weather in 1832, the date on the screen.
We also see Morag, the planet that housed the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. Apparently, it suffered a climate apocalypse of some sort that caused the oceans to catastrophically rise. Perhaps this is the moment the tide rose a little too far. Above, we also see Sakaar, the junkyard world we spend a lot of time on in Thor: Ragnarok, and Alberta, Canada, birthplace of Wolverine and home to a secret Weapon X facility in the comics.
The screen at one point reads Timeline 400, which immediately made us think of Thor #400’s “Lest the Heavens Perish,” a story about Thor battling Surtur across space and time. Then again, it also reads 395 at one part, and it’s doubtful we’ll see the Earth Force from Thor #395 in the MCU anytime soon.
Marvel/Artists: Ron Frenz, Brett Breeding
In what is sure to be the moment keeping everyone talking until the next episode, it appears Loki and Sylvie sharing a tender moment (holding hands, how cute) is enough to create a massive spike in the timeline. The act helps Mobius pinpoint their location. It’s a pretty massive Nexus Event, and the one from the title, clearly. This may skeeve some people out, but as we find out later in the episode, Loki and Sylvie are not “the exact same person” even if Mobius laughs at the narcissism it would take to fall in love with yourself. We actually have a different read on that moment.
When Mobius gets Loki back in his interrogation room, the TVA agent seems exceptionally upset, and hurt that Loki would do this to their friendship. As punishment, Mobius puts Loki in a specific time loop from many years back on Asgard. And it’s here we have a fun Thor cameo. It’s none other than Lady Sif, as played once again by Jaimie Alexander. Sif’s last movie appearance was Thor: The Dark World, though she also appeared in two episodes of the now-canonically-unstable Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Because Alexander was busy filming her NBC series
Tattoo Memories Blindspot, she was unable to appear in Thor: Ragnarok. That’s probably good for her because that means Sif can show up in Thor: Love and Thunder, which she apparently will.
Anyway, Sif is mad at Loki for a prank resulting in him cutting her hair. This isn’t just an example of a young God of Mischief being a bit of a dick. This prank is straight out of Norse mythology too and has appeared in the comics several times, including 1983’s Thor Annual #11. Honestly, though, name a more iconic duo than Marvel villains and getting trapped in time loops. It worked on Dormammu, in a way it worked on Thanos, and now it’s working on Loki.
Time Theater 47
We see the TVA hold Sylvie in Time Theater 47. Fun coincidence is that What If #47 is a story called “What If Loki Found Thor’s Hammer First?” which feels fitting and could maybe be a subtle reference to Sylvie’s Nexus event. Additionally, Thor #47 is a story involving a duplicate Thor; Tarene, who is basically a Thor variant called Thor Girl; and the Enchantress, all in one saga.
Marvel/Art: Bill Sienkiewicz
All the Damn Vampires
Mobius mentions that the TVA has processed Kree, Titans, and vampires.
As a reminder, the Kree are the warlike aliens we first met in Guardians of the Galaxy like Ronan the Accuser, who later persecuted the Skrulls and also gaslit Captain Marvel. Titans are the people of Thanos’ homeworld of Titan. And vampires are what we’re going to see Mahershala Ali hunt in Blade. In the Marvel Universe, vampires were created by the Darkhold, the tome of black magic we see in WandaVision, but something tells me that the vamp variant they brought in might belong in another cinematic universe entirely.
While the beginning of the episode gave a brief tease, the climax of the episode, which finds Renslayer bringing Loki and Sylvie to meet the supposed makers: the Time Keepers. We’ve seen the statues and friezes devoted to the three lizard lords throughout the TVA, but now we get our first full glimpse of them, pompous and huge. But it’s not what it seems. Hunter B-15 arrives, now aware of the truth; she and her fellow TVA members are variants, abducted from their lives, their memories buried. She frees Loki and Sylvie and they have a big ol’ battle, which ends with Sylvie decapitating the top Time Keeper.
Except it’s not really a Time Keeper. Or at least, it’s not really a lizard guy. It’s a robot, you see. Meaning someone else is behind the TVA. A-no-doy. We’ve had various theories about who could or could not be behind everything. There’s probably no chance it’s Agatha all along, but the case for an evil Loki, a Council of Kangs, or even—as a popular theory posits—it’s the Beyonder, are all still on the table. Though, given Kang’s inclusion seems very premature since he’s already been announced to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania we’re not holding our breath for Jonathan Majors to pop up here.
Mid-Credits, Oh Boy!
So, you may have thought we glossed over Mobius’ apparent tragic death, or “pruning” as the TVA calls it. Never. He is our special Jet Ski Dad and we are devastated. Or we were briefly at least. The end of the episode has us thinking “pruning” might not be as disintegrate-y as it looks. Because, at the end of the episode proper, Loki is about to tell Sylvie how he feels, but Renslayer batons him at the most inopportune, yet perfectly TV dramatic, moment. Uh oh! Does this mean Loki’s dead forever?
Not a chance. The mid-credits scene finds Loki waking up on gravel (a favorite pastime of his), wondering aloud if he’s in Hell. Well, not a chance. We hear the distinctive voice of Richard E. Grant telling him he’ll need to join them. Well who exactly is that? A cut reveals something really exciting. Four more variant Lokis!
We see Grant as “Classic Loki,” wearing the God of Mischief’s classic comic book costume from way back in Journey Into Mystery #85; Jack Veal as Kid Loki, who first appeared Thor #617; DeObia Oparei as what the credits call “Boastful Loki.” He is wielding what looks like a variant Mjolnir hammer and his design looks like the one Worthy Loki in Loki: Agent of Asgard #9 that was able to wield Mjolnir mixed with the cover of Loki Vol. 2 #1, which is coincidentally another story where Loki cuts Sif’s hair. And last but not least, we have alligator Loki. You can tell it’s not a crocodile because of its u-shaped snout, but and you can tell is a Loki because of its tiny Loki hat.
This Gator Loki has us especially thrilled because it seems like a nice counterpoint to the comics’ infamous Throg, or the Thor that is also a frog.
Does this mean that pruning sends people to some kind of apocalypse dimension? We see behind the variant Lokis a desolated version of Manhattan, as evidenced by the wrecked Avengers Tower on screen right. Does this mean our dear Agent Mobius will also be around there somewhere, along with a metric buttload of other people the TVA have “eliminated” throughout history? Or are Lokis special and therefore they can’t really go away? It’s Lokis all the way down, man!
And there you have it, friends. Just some of our favorite Easter eggs, references, and moments in Loki episode four!