Although it's always been something that's been more or less a certainty, this week's episode of 'Loki' confirmed that the character is in fact bisexual, something that was a part of the character's backstory in the comics and now layered into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Picking up from last week's episode, Loki jumps into the time-wall and follows the Variant - who is later revealed to go by the alias Sylvie (cute name, tbh) - in her plan to destroy the Sacred Timeline. Before that, however, the episode opens with Sylvie and the TVA guard in a crappy restaurant drinking awful margaritas and discussing potato skins. Sylvie, it turns out, is actually interrogating the guard and using her own memories against her to get to her to reveal the layout of the TVA and who's protecting the Timekeepers.
From there, it jumps back to the cliffhanger and sees Loki and Sylvie have a brief scuffle at the TVA before they jump blind into the timeline and land on Lamentis-1, another planet on the verge of complete destruction and the wealthy inhabitants therein are escaping on a train while everyone else is left to die. What with the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos happily heading into space while their companies destroy the planet, it looks pretty much the same here in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The wealthy destroy the planet and swaddle off in luxury to somewhere else, while everyone else is left to die because of their greed. Yet, instead of delving into the class warfare aspect of Lamentis-1, the story shifts to Loki and Sylvie, with the two characters examining one another for weakness and exploits.
Tom Hiddleston and Sophia DiMartino bounce off each other exceptionally well, Hiddleston's refined and poised while DiMartino is rough around the edges and far more caustic. Yet beneath both of their exteriors, there's something quite broken about of them. Loki never recovered from learning of his adoption and felt himself a lie and unworthy of his mother's decent love, while Sylvie had to survive on her own and presumably, this has made her distrustful of anyone. She even admits that she's never had a relationship that's stuck, other than a fleeting one she kept up with a postman in the middle of all her nefarious schemes.
A key moment, however, is when Loki comes clean about his own entanglements with love, freely acknowledging that his bisexuality and that Sylvie, he correctly presumes, is the same. It's done in such a casual, nonchalant way that you'd almost miss it if you weren't paying attention. Even the colours all around them on the planet Lamentis is bathed in bisexual pinks and deep blues. Yet, that broadness and that wide-ranging identity is something that's been part of Loki for years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe came into being. It's only now that it's finally been acknowledged on-screen for the first time. Here's Kate Herron's tweet about the moment, along with Sophia DiMartino's quote-tweet about it too, complete with bisexual love hearts.
Back to the episode. So, after they finagle their way onto the train and get into a scuffle with the guards after Loki gets sloshed and starts singing Nordic folk songs, they realise that the time-pad - the thing that allows them to zip around the timeline - has been squished beyond repair. It's always been an issue with Marvel that the concept of the characters being in real threat is hard to manage. After all, it's Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man, Captain America - they're superheroes. When are they ever going to be defeated? When are they not going to save the day?
'Loki', however, isn't about a superhero. It's actually about a supervillain. We know supervillains never win, but in 'Loki', we know it's a TV miniseries so the idea that they're going to be stuck on Lamentis-1 and be destroyed is a little bit hokey. Even though there's a cracking (and very expensive-looking) final sequence where they're rushing through a neon-drenched town as it's being pelted with meteorites, the doom-laden cliffhanger rings a little hollow. The question we're left is not if they're going to survive, but how are they going to survive? Odds are Owen Wilson - who was completely absent from this episode - is going to show up and capture both of them and bring them back to the TVA. As much as misdirection is part of the fun of Loki the character, the show 'Loki' doesn't appear to have it. Still, we're clearly going to tune in next week because this is too much fun to ignore.
- The end credits song for 'Lamentis', if you're wondering, is called 'Dark Moon' by Bonnie Guitar. Here's a YouTube link.
- Big shout-out once again to the bisexual lighting through this episode
- Since when do margaritas look orange? Also, potato skins are lovely, please don't knock them
- Did anyone else think 'Snowpiercer' when they saw the train? That TV show based on the movie is supposed to be pretty good...?