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Critics Review
Loki episode 3 review: A breezy chapter focusing only on the variants

Through the decently-paced and yet formulaic narrative, the audience also gets a peek into why Sylvie is out to destroy the TVA and the timekeepers

3.5
Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jun 23, 2021
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Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie

Last week’s episode left the audience at a cliffhanger with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki deciding to chase the variant, much to the dismay of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) members. What happens when the two Loki variants face off against each other in the third episode, which is streaming now on Disney+ Hotstar?

What’s it about?

Hiddleston’s Loki and the variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) get stranded on a planet as the device the latter uses to jump between apocalyptic events, runs out of charge. Instead of battling each other, the duo decides to escape together before its moon crashes into the planet.

What’s hot?

There’s no denying that the first two episodes were packed with intertwining plots and timelines, that too told at a brisk pace. Compared to those, the latest episode is a mellowed-out instalment but it makes for a breezy watch, nonetheless. The focus is just on its two characters – Loki and Sylvie – as they exchange information about each other, realising how alike they are while being extremely different. In fact, a scene where Loki asks about Sylvie’s parents and about her illusionist skills served as a clever segment about Loki holding a mirror to himself. There is also a role reversal in the sense that among the duo, it’s Loki who comes across as the one with tact, a characteristic that Owen Wilson’s Mobius had carried so far in the series.

The writers added another layer to Loki, making the God of Mischief almost human, with him reminiscing about his mother Frigga – “the kind of person you’d want to believe in you”. The different shades of Sylvie, essayed convincingly by Di Martino, also makes her a likeable Loki variant.

Through the decently-paced and yet formulaic narrative, the audience also gets a peek into why Sylvie is out to destroy the TVA and the timekeepers.

What’s not?

Considering that the first season has only six episodes, it would be safe to assume that this chapter serves more as a breather before the narrative picks up again. While it does have its charming moments – with Loki breaking into a song after getting drunk much like his burly brother and him trying to be the level-headed one, the episode is extremely predictable, something that the first two episodes swerved away from for large parts. Even though Loki and Sylvie’s chemistry is firmly established, you also can’t help but wonder whether Loki is being tricked because all the pieces of the puzzles fell in place expediently.

Verdict:

The third episode of Loki is an easy watch that focuses on further redeeming Loki while also creating another central character. Though it’s a break from the prior concept-driven episodes with the narrative losing its momentum, Hiddleston and Di Martino’s chemistry makes it an engaging watch.

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