This week on Loki, we went back in time. All the way back to the 19th century, in fact. While the first two episodes of Season 2 have primarily dealt with the direct fallout from the Season 1 finale, this episode actually moves the story forward in a meaningful way. It just so happens that in order to move forward, they had to go back. Really makes you think.
Warning: This article contains many detailed spoilers for the third episode of Loki Season 2.
This week, Loki swapped out the drab, brutalist hallways of the Time Variance Authority for the retro charms of 1800s Chicago. Just as importantly, however, is that we finally get to check in with Renslayer, making her first appearance of the season in the opening scene. She’s in Chicago in 1868 with Ms. Minutes, who tells her she’s supposed to deliver a package to a certain house.
That package is the TVA field manual, and the house is the home of a child who will grow up to become the man called Victor Timely–a version of He Who Remains, who allegedly set this plan in motion before Sylvie killed him last season. Then, Renslayer moves ahead to 1893, and it’s not long before Loki and Mobius show up in pursuit.
Things are busy in Chicago because the World’s Fair is in town. In our world, this was the World’s Fair that everyone thinks of when that term is used–the World Columbian Expo, as it was actually called, was one of the biggest cultural events the New World had ever seen.
Victor Timely (played once more by Jonatan Majors) is a participant in the fair, naturally. He’s presenting to an audience what looks and sounds like a small version of the Temporal Loom that’s breaking down at TVA headquarters, and he sells it as a time-powered energy generator. A bidding war starts in the audience after the presentation, and Mr. Timely sells the machine for $1,000. But this Loom is just a trick–Timely is swindling these guys, and they get pretty mad once they realize it.
And so we end up with a multi-pronged chase, with Renslayer, Loki and Mobius, and some 1800s crime guys all trying to get to Victor Timely. And, of course, Sylvie also shows up because she wants a piece of any variant of He Who Remains. After some shenanigans on a pretty cool looking old ferris wheel, not to mention a rather large distraction by Miss Minutes, Timely ends up with Renslayer and Miss Minutes at his lab in Wisconsin. Miss Minutes gets a little unhinged–she clearly had a thing for He Who Remains, and is having a meltdown over meeting this new variant of him. So Renslayer shuts her down.
And then Loki and Mobius finally catch up, with Sylvie close behind. Sylvie decides to spare Timely since he hasn’t done any of the bad stuff yet, and then she sends Renslayer to the end of time so she can see that whole mess with her own eyes. And now Loki has to explain all this madness to Victor.
This episode is a lot to take in, and we’ve got several really interesting Easter eggs and hints about what’s going on here while we wait to see what happens next. Let’s dive in.