‘Loki’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Loki Learn How To Control His Time Slipping?


The fourth episode of Loki Season 2 revolved around Mobius, B-15, Sylvie, and the titular god of mischief trying to fix the destruction of the Temporal Loom with the help of Victor Timely. It involved getting Timely’s temporal aura, which would open the blast doors that’d give them access to the Loom, and then increase the capacity of the Loom so that it could accommodate all the branching time-based information that was trying to turn into physical time. Renslayer, Miss Minutes, and X-5 kidnapped Timely to save the TVA and fix the Temporal Loom. As far as I could deduce, after learning that He Who Remains betrayed Renslayer by erasing everybody’s memories, Minutes and Renslayer wanted to kill Timely and every version of Kang because they thought that he wasn’t integral to the survival of the multiverse. But they didn’t kill him off instantly and sat him down in a room to learn about the Temporal Loom. Loki and Sylvie pruned Renslayer, returned Minutes back to her factory settings, left Brad in a state of utter confusion, and rescued Timely. However, all that amounted to nothing because when Timely tried to go out into space to fix the Loom, it killed him and then exploded, thereby seemingly killing everyone else in the multiverse, or at least in the TVA.

Spoiler Alert

Loki Slips Through Time

Episode 5 of Loki Season 2 opens with him standing in the control room for the Temporal Loom. No, everything isn’t destroyed yet. The Loom is still unfolding. That said, nobody is in the room, except for Loki. He walks through the empty corridors of the TVA, and when he gets to the holding cell, he time slips, thereby proving that the explosion has brought back his dysfunction. It means that, at some point in time, the explosion has happened and wiped off everything, but Loki has managed to go back in time, to a point that is still unaffected by the effects of the explosion. However, given the widespread impact of the explosion of the Loom, every time period begins to turn into threads, thereby limiting Loki’s avenues; as in, there aren’t enough time periods for him to slip into and stay alive. If all of time is gone, then there’ll be nothing for him to go to when he time slips. 

The narrative shifts to a branched timeline in San Francisco in 1962, where Casey is escaping from Alcatraz with two other guys, played by the creators of the second season of Loki, i.e., Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Loki interrupts their escape and does that thing again, where he assumes that Casey will recognize him. I mean, Loki is slipping through time and meeting people who haven’t met him yet. He has done that before, in the first episode of the show. Why is it so hard for him to grasp that he is meeting versions of his friends who can’t possibly know who he is? He nearly does that with B-15 too, who lives in a branched timeline in New York in 2012, but he doesn’t stay there long enough to pester her. Loki does go to Ohio in 2022 and tries to explain everything that has happened to a clueless Mobius, who is a dad and sells jet skis. The only person who kind of gets what he is saying is OB, who lives in Pasadena in 1994 as a Ph.D. holder in theoretical physics and an author of sci-fi novels. OB basically says what we all know: Loki’s time slipping isn’t random. He is going to specific points and places in time where his friends exist. So, he has to learn how to control it.

Sylvie Convinces Loki To Leave Everyone In Their Own Time Periods

Look, I am calling all the characters by the names that we are familiar with instead of calling the names that they have in their original timelines to avoid making things confusing. OB tells Loki that he needs to get all the people who were in the room during the Temporal Loom explosion together again. Apparently, their temporal aura will match the temporal aura of that control room, and that will allow them to go back to that point in time with the help of TemPads and fix the Loom. However, they don’t have any TemPads. So, Loki hands over a copy of the TVA guidebook to OB and hopes that he’ll learn everything that he needs to learn from it and build a TemPad. Loki time slips to the timeline that Mobius exists in and does that thing again, where he tries to explain who he is even though he knows that Mobius won’t understand a word that Loki is saying. OB builds the TemPad, and they show Mobius how time travel works.

Loki convinces Mobius that if he doesn’t come away with him, then there’ll be nothing left to save. He does the same with Casey and B-15. After that, he goes for Sylvie, and he assumes that she isn’t going to remember him because everyone else’s “lives got reset.” Sylvie didn’t get reset because she is a variant of Loki, and she is just chilling in the timeline that she loves. She argues that the resetting of time is a good thing because the aforementioned characters get to live a normal life where they can make normal or abnormal choices, i.e., things they couldn’t do because they were ripped from their lives and shoved into the TVA. Loki talks about killing Kang, saving everything in existence, and battling his loneliness. Sylvie says that none of that matters and that he should let his friends (who aren’t exactly his friends right now) live the lives that they want to live. So, Loki returns to OB’s office, apparently with the intention of sending everyone back to their lives.

Did Loki Learn How To Control His Time Slipping?

Sylvie goes to her favorite record shop and listens to The Velvet Underground’s song, Oh! Sweet Nuthin as she watches her timeline break down into threads. The phenomenon doesn’t instantly affect her, physically speaking, and she slips out of there with the help of her TemPad because her timeline has become an empty void. At the end of Loki Season 2, episode 5, a dejected Laufeyson says that he is wrong for forcing Mobius, B-15, OB, and Casey to go on a journey that only he wants to go on. He says that all of them should live the lives that they want to live. That said, when Sylvie enters the office and tells Loki she’s wrong and that his friends won’t have anything to go back to if they don’t fix the Temporal Loom, Loki realizes that they finally have the temporal aura of the control room of the Loom. Now, they can go back to the point in time before the Loom exploded and try to fix it again. However, for some reason, Loki and OB start accusing Casey of stealing the TemPad, even though it’s a massive computer-like thing. Maybe it’s the show’s way of padding the runtime before turning everyone into threads. Loki tries to hold onto them, but they slip through his fingers. This time, even Sylvie doesn’t survive. That prompts Loki to use his time-slipping to go back in time. He lands back in the room with everyone intact. He says that he needs to do that again, except this time, he has to pick the Temporal Loom control room as his desired location. By the looks of it, he successfully does that, and he goes to the point in time where Timely walked through the blast doors and got obliterated. And that’s where today’s episode ends.

I think the words “frustrating” and “irritating” don’t exactly help in describing the experience of watching this episode. We should come up with new words that’ll explicitly underscore the hollowness and repetitiveness of Loki Season 2. As someone who has watched Benson and Moorhead’s filmography, I am familiar with this style of storytelling, and it does fit the tone and themes of their movies. However, it doesn’t work in the case of a story where a character can slip through time, there’s a multiverse that’s unspooling, and there’s a villain whose infinite variants are scripting an uprising. Yet, this whole season has been oddly centered around the fixing of the Time Loom, while dealing with the most banal and predictable repercussions of its destruction. I don’t know if it’s a good comparison, but movies like Sunshine or Underwater are great examples where the plot is centered around fixing a device or a machine that can either save them or kill them. Those stories have a sense of urgency, tension, and chaos. Loki Season 2 has none of that. It has wasted five whole episodes going in circles while bluntly stating how the characters are apparently “developing.” With one more episode to go, I can’t wait for this nonsense to end.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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