Loki Season 1, Episode 3 (Disney+)
Written by Bisha K. Ali
Directed by Kate Herron
This week, there was some fervor over the revelation that Loki (whether in male or female form) is pansexual. However, it doesn’t stop my continued annoyance with Disney over its seemingly incessant queerbaiting. Yes, the character said they were attracted to men and women, yet we will never see Loki engaged in a romantic relationship with a man on screen. Disney loves to add lines of dialogue or knowing glances but actually showing two people of the same sex in a relationship together where at least one of them is a main character will simply not happen. Disney is a global corporation run by people whose key drive is to amass money; they will exploit people’s desire to feel represented by giving them the tiniest crumbs while never giving them authentic representation. Meanwhile, actual independent LGBTQ creators make films, comics, etc., and are completely ignored because they aren’t big-budget mass market entertainment. You will never find self-fulfillment with a megacorporation.
Loki and Lady Loki end up back at the TVA HQ, where they fight some guards before Loki shunts them both away at random. They end up on Lamentis-1, a moon colony that is being torn apart by its planet. Unfortunately, the TemPad device is out of charge, so they can’t simply hop to another point in time. Instead, the duo begins a search for an energy source and find the colony’s population in the process of evacuating in a space ark. The Lokis hop aboard a train headed to the ark and must employ their illusory skills to avoid detection, not always successfully, though. The two characters clash & bond only to be met with another impediment on their way to some semblance of safety.
I think this episode of Loki was pretty good. It’s clear that the series isn’t going to follow the procedural format of Doctor Who and is sticking to being a serialized story. Owen Wilson’s Mobius was absent this week, a bit disappointing as I like the combo of him and Loki. However, Sophia Di Martino is a great actress, so learning more about her character was enjoyable. It’s clear we aren’t dealing with the Lady Loki of the comics, but an MCU take on the Thor villain, The Enchantress.
The first Enchantress was Amora, an Asgardian whose shtick was jealousy over Thor & Jane Foster’s relationship. It was the 1960s, so comics were chock full of tired & outdated tropes like women catfighting and being jealous over male protagonists. Over time Amora was tweaked to try and remain relevant, but she’s never really commanded a vital space in the Thor mythos. Then, in the late 2000s, Asgard was temporarily moved to Broxton, Oklahoma and its magic began having effects on the townspeople. Sylvia Rushton was one of these people and woke up one morning having the same powers as Enchantress. She created a costume inspired by the villainess and teleported to New York, where she became involved with a villainous version of the Young Avengers.
Later it’s revealed that Loki in his female form gave Sylvie these powers, making her a sleeper agent of chaos. Sylvie has become resentful towards Loki for using her this way. The character would lean into villainy and even use her enchantments to pose as her namesake. However, the real Enchantress appeared eventually enraged at this mortal pretending to be her. Sylvie was banished to one of the Ten Realms as punishment, and she hasn’t been seen since. That was 2016, and it’s a clear Marvel wanted to create a new character using these elements for the Loki series. Obviously, they couldn’t adapt the original Enchantress, and this is the best possible reworking of that idea. I’m curious how much of Sylvie’s backstory we will get in the series and if there will be an explanation as to why she will not be called Loki despite dressing like him. The TVA has already stated that she is a Loki variant. However, we learned that the TVA doesn’t understand themselves fully.
Sylvie revealed that the TVA agents & bureaucrats are not, in fact, manifested by the Timekeepers, but they are variants themselves. This would mean they are mindwiped in some way and given false memories by their masters. We’ve reached the halfway point of the series, and I imagine the TVA will be gone by the end of this season. That sets things up for the potential Multiversal craziness that may come in Spider-Man: No Way Home and definitely for what will be happening in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I’m hoping we get a look at some of the variant timelines being created due to Sylvie’s schemes, but with a limited budget and time, we may only get small peeks.