REVIEW: ‘Loki,’ Episode 3 – “Lamentis”

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Loki Episode 3 - But Why Tho

Loki Episode 3 continues the forward momentum the first two episodes set up, presenting the God of Mischief with the one person he can’t manipulate or outwit: himself-or rather, herself. “Lamentis” picks up immediately after the ending of “The Variant,” as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) chases down the variant that has been wreaking havoc across time. The variant, who takes the name Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), and Loki end up on the moon Lamentis-1 in the year 2077. With Lamentis-1 heading on a collision course with Earth, Loki and Sylvie are forced to work together in order to find a way off the moon, and in the process, they learn more about each other.

A huge part of what’s made Loki so intriguing to me is the various nods to other sci-fi franchises. The Time Variance Authority feels extremely inspired by Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi masterpiece Brazil, while the themes of free will and time travel have been intertwined in The Terminator and Back To The Future. “Lamentis” clearly feels inspired by Doctor Who; a pair of British actors are on an alien planet, racing against time itself. Director Kate Herron and production designer Kasra Farahani also lean into the wild design of Doctor Who with Lamentis-1, which features a neon-colored hue and oblong-shaped buildings; there’s even a train with guards dressed in cold blue outfits and helmets with dark face shields. However, unlike the Doctor, the Lokis aren’t trying to save civilization but themselves—a large part of what makes Loki Loki.

The biggest draw of the episode is the conflict and the chemistry between Hiddleston and Di Martino. They dig into the insecurities and goals that both their respective characters have; Loki can’t exactly pin down what Sylvie is trying to accomplish by breaking the Sacred Timeline, and Sylvie is constantly frustrated by Loki’s schemes. Hiddleston and Di Martino trade choice barbs with each other, and even have a flirtatious nature to their dialogue; viewers will get the sense that both Loki and Sylvie might be into each other despite their seeming disdain. I’ve seen weirder relationships in genre film and TV, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually do hook up.

Di Martino’s performance as Sylvie also delves deep into the themes of identity that run throughout the series. She refuses to be called “Loki” or a “variant,” choosing her own name and having her own plans. Eagle-eyed Marvel fans will pick up on the fact that she can “enchant” others to do her bidding, a clear nod to one of Thor’s classic foes, the Enchantress. I’ve long wanted to see the Enchantress in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I’m glad that Bisha K. Ali, who penned the episode and also serves as story editor on Loki, managed to slip her into the series. Sylvie forging her own path also ties into the theme of identity that seems to be defining Phase 4 of the MCU; in the same way that WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw their respective protagonists forging new paths in their heroic careers, Loki wants to explore “what makes a Loki,” as Sylvie asks Loki early in the episode.

The episode also brings up a fact concerning the TVA that throws quite a bit of what they told Loki into question. Obviously, the organization is not what it appears to be, but this new piece of information casts them in a rather horrifying light. It also reminded me of what Loki told Nick Fury in The Avengers: “Freedom is life’s great lie.” It seems that the TVA agrees with him, which has to disturb him, and quite frankly disturbs me on more than a few levels.

Loki Episode 3 continues to build on the series’ time-twisting narrative and theme of identity, ending the first half of the series on a massive cliffhanger. I freely admit that this series has exceeded my expectations, and now that it’s hit the halfway point I’m ready to see where the cast and crew take things.

New episodes of Loki air Wednesdays on Disney+.

Loki Episode 3 - "Lamentis"
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    Rating - 9/10
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TL;DR

Loki Episode 3 continues to build on the series’ time-twisting narrative and theme of identity, ending the first half of the series on a massive cliffhanger. I freely admit that this series has exceeded my expectations, and now that it’s hit the halfway point I’m ready to see where the cast and crew take things.