Each week, as new episodes of Loki release on Disney+, LTN writers will reflect on each episode. You can find what we think about the Sacred Timeline here. Spoiler warning for Loki Episode 4.“You know, of all the liars in this place, and there are a great many, you’re the biggest.” Loki says to Mobius in episode four of Disney’s Loki, ‘The Nexus Event’, right after he reveals that all the people working in the TVA are Variants. “Why? Because I lied about your girlfriend?” Mobius replies. “Oh no, that I can respect,” Loki continues, “I mean, the lies you tell yourself.”
Loki explores the themes of deceit, self-reflection, redemption, and, most surprisingly, but wholly welcome and joyfully, love. However, the themes that become abundantly clear in this episode are deceit and love. We start the episode with a lie, where Ravonna Renslayer tells Mobius that Hunter C-20 is dead because of the enchantment Sylvie put her through. It’s not until later that we find out that that is a lie, that their whole friendship is based on a lie, really, but lies abound in this episode, and we see the effect it has on others, especially the people they care about.
We see Loki lying about his relationship with Sylvie, how he denies the feelings he has for her to Mobius, even though Mobius can see right through it. Mobius, in turn, lies to Loki and tells him that Sylvie is dead, which brings Loki to stop lying and confirm Sylvie’s safety. Of course, once Loki tells Mobius that he is a Variant, Mobius lies to himself, at first, telling himself that there is no way that that can be the truth. Ravonna continues to lie, but this time to Sylvie, as she takes her and Loki up to the Time Keepers for judgment. She tells Sylvie that she doesn’t remember what the Nexus Event was that brought her into the TVA in the first place after Sylvie asks. But the biggest lie of all comes at the end of the episode, where we find out that the Time Keepers are just animatronic puppets, a Wizard of Oz-esque ruse to fool everyone working at the TVA and beyond.“So now, faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love,”
“So now, faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV). Beyond all the lies, we see how love can cut through them all and transform lives in all its forms. Love truly is the greatest power and motivator for change. We see that in how Loki cares for his friend Mobius so much that he cannot lie to him as Ravonna does. And because of that, Mobius is able to break free from the shackles the TVA has placed on him and confront the truth of who he is. In turn, we can see the difference that falling in love with each other has made on Sylvie and Loki, especially. Being with somebody who understands you and your struggles, your life experiences, and accepts you for who you are can bring out the best in you. I experience this myself on a daily basis. You want to become the best version of yourself at your very core when you experience a love like that. Jesus makes me feel this way, and my boyfriend does, as well.
While Loki falling in love with an alternate version of himself may be strange, head writer Michael Waldron explains in an article on Marvel.com that it’s not just about a literal romantic love, but a metaphor for discovering how to love yourself, as well. However, in that same article, Tom Hiddleston explains that Sylvie is her own person, not just another Loki. Seeing Loki overcome previous destructive behavior and experiencing a love so strong that it can cause a time-altering event, overthrow the TVA, and breakthrough the lies he tells himself and others is a truly beautiful, moving thing.
“You can be whoever, whatever you wanna be, even someone good,” Mobius tells Loki after he accepts the truth that he is a Variant, and as Loki begins to believe he truly deserves to be alone. “I mean, just in case anyone ever told you different.”Loki shows us that with the right people surrounding us and with the right purpose, we truly can overcome obstacles and change ourselves for the better.
Loki shows us that with the right people surrounding us and with the right purpose, we truly can overcome obstacles and change ourselves for the better. With love, a little bit of heartache that comes with self-reflection, and a whole lot of mischief, I am grateful for the story of Loki being told in one of the most popular entertainment franchises ever created, because we need more stories like this. What makes a Loki a Loki? I believe we have begun to dig a little bit deeper into the heart of that question, and I suspect we will continue to as the series comes to its own Nexus Event and conclusion in the final two episodes.