“Lamentis” teams Loki up with a reluctant partner as both are forced to navigate a particularly dangerous apocalypse — and each other.
This recap of Loki season 1, episode 3, “Lamentis”, contains spoilers.
Presumably, there are an infinite number of Loki variants (imagine if you gave them all a typewriter), and as Owen Wilson’s Mobius explained to one of them last week, they all tend to have different appearances and powers and personalities. Some things, though, remain pretty consistent. Loki is the Norse God of Mischief, after all, so illusions and such are pretty standard. Hence, “Lamentis” opens with Sophia Di Martino’s “Variant”, or Lady Loki if the one snapped-off horn is anything to go by, probing Hunter C-20’s mind for information about the Time Keepers and their security in a dreamscape of a laidback dinner between two best friends. Apparently, the elevators you take to get there are golden. That’ll do, I suppose.
In the chaos caused by Lady Loki’s timeline bomb, she’s able to slip back to the TVA, where she’s distressed to learn that her powers don’t quite work. Luckily, though, she’s got a mean high kick and some other tricks, so she’s able to fight her way through the first lines of defense while Loki zips through the portal a little behind her and has to cautiously roam through the bodies she has piled up. Eventually, they come face to face outside the golden elevators, and a brief knife fight ensues before Renslayer interrupts and both Loki’s once again disappear through a portal, this one on the floor.
With the TemPad almost out of juice — thank goodness Miss Minutes isn’t pre-installed on my devices — both Lokis are stuck on Lamentis-1 in the year 2077, so we know why Loki episode 3 is called that, at least. Lady Loki resents being referred to as a Loki and refers to our Loki as a variant, so someone obviously has their wires crossed, but this particular apocalypse isn’t the ideal place for a conversation, since it’s a moon that a nearby planet is about to collide with. If one of the Lokis dies so does the other, so some reluctant teamwork is in order for the time being.
Not that these two necessarily get on. Lady Loki tries to mind-probe Loki in the way she did Hunter C-20, but it doesn’t work; he’s also able to teleport on Lamentis, which is something she’s annoyed by since she obviously can’t do it herself (different abilities, remember). In an abandoned mining shack, Ladi Loki moans that Loki has interrupted a plan that was years in the making, so once they find enough power on the moon to travel through interdimensional time and space, she’ll be continuing with that plan. Oh, and her name is Sylvie now, which she’s pretty adamant about. Sylvia is a different character to Lady Loki, so it seems we’ve got some compositing going on here, like what the Netflix shows did with Claire Temple and Night Nurse.
Lamentis-1 is 12 hours away from complete annihilation, and during those few remaining hours, things are only going to get worse. Meteorites hammer the surface. The society that once lived there has attempted to flee, and those who remain are on their guard, hence why one shoots Sylvie and then Loki when he tries to impersonate a local. This defensive lady explains that everyone else has taken shelter on the Ark, the evacuation vessel, which will no doubt have enough juice to charge the TemPad but requires a train journey to reach — and the train’s only accessible with a ticket.
This little predicament is a good excuse for Loki and Sylvie to bond and flex their respective powers (he impersonates a guard, she enchants one), and once they’re aboard they have some more time to chat amongst Lamentis’s wealthy elites, who of course were the only ones with enough moolah to secure tickets (it’s like Snowpiercer all over again!) Loki and Sylvie compare backgrounds. He’s shocked to learn that she knew she was adopted and speaks at length about his own mother. As ever, Loki is at its best when it slows down for a conversation. They discuss love and relationships, postmen and princesses, and the absence of anything truly real in the life of a trickster. “Love is mischief,” posits Sylvie, which is a fitting way of looking at it.
Sylvie also brings up the moral dilemma of Loki season 1, episode 3 — they’re about to hijack the power source of a civilization’s only hope for salvation. If they get a chance to, anyway. When Sylvie wakes up from a nap she discovers Loki, no longer in his disguise, leading all the train’s passengers and staff in an Asgardian song. Not exactly subtle, and that’s without the callback to Thor’s glass-breaking “Another!” scene from his first movie, which only draws more attention. A fight ensues which sees an overconfident liquored-up Loki being tossed from the train with the TemPad and Sylvie diving out after him — the device, though, got smashed to pieces during the fight and the fall, which has presumably doomed the pair of them.
Out of other ideas, Loki suggests they hijack the Ark and ensure it makes it off the moon, which usually it never does. The long hike there is another good opportunity for a conversation, this one about how enchantment works (Sylvie has to grab a mind through physical contact and invent a scenario from their memories). This tips Loki off to the fact he has been lied to about the Minutemen — they weren’t all created by the Time Keepers, they were all variants who have been given employment, though none of them seem to recall that. But there’s no time to ponder this revelation since Loki and Sylvie have to make it to the Ark through a crowd of frantic citizens and determined guards as the planet that obliterates Lamentis looms dangerously close. This is easily the most dynamic and exciting action sequence of the episode, playing out as a single long take, though admittedly most of the impressive stuff will have been added in post-production. Still, it’s fun. It’s also a failure since the Ark explodes before they can reach it, leaving them stranded on Lamentis as the credits roll.