In the first episode of Loki Season 2, we saw the titular god of mischief figure out how to stop himself from slipping between the past, present, and future of the TVA. The repairman and writer of the TVA guidebook, Ouroboros, and Mobius, devised a plan where they had to use the rapidly malfunctioning Temporal Loom to unify Loki’s “temporal aura.” The complicated maneuver almost failed, but at the last moment, Loki managed to come back to the present and put an end to his time-slipping shenanigans. But in a brief moment from the future, he caught a glimpse of Sylvie and said that they had to get a hold of her. They were in a race against a faction of the TVA, led by General Dox, who was hellbent on not only capturing Sylvie (because she blamed her for the multiversal atrocity) but also pruning all the branching timelines.
Loki and Mobius Arrest X-5
Loki Season 2, episode 2, starts with Laufeyson and Mobius walking into 1977 London. Loki immediately wants to leave because he senses that the time and the place aren’t chaotic enough for Sylvie to hide there. Mobius says that they got a hit on Hunter X-5 TemPad, and since he and some other Hunters were looking for Sylvie, they should at least take some time to scout the place. Now, here’s the thing: X-5 has left his life of hunting variants and has taken on the persona of Brad Wolfe. His latest movie is called Zaniac, which is a reference to a misogynistic villain from the Marvel comics. Unless X-5 has pulled off some kind of weird trick to make himself famous, this means that quite a lot of time has passed between the first and second episodes. This time jump isn’t really explained because time works differently inside the TVA. We are expected to assume that that’s how long it is taking for Loki and Mobius to track Sylvie while the Temporal Loom continues to deteriorate.
Anyway, Mobius and Loki catch up with Brad (or X-5), but Brad runs away. Loki pulls off some sweet illusions to nab Brad and drags him back to the TVA to question him about Sylvie’s whereabouts. While Brad is kept in a holding cell, Mobius and Loki go to OB to talk to him about Brad’s modified TemPad. Since OB has to focus on preventing the Temporal Loom from exploding, he gives them the TVA handbook so that they can figure out what’s up with the TemPad for themselves. As they get to work on Brad’s TemPad, unsuccessfully, of course, Casey and B-15 come to them with a revelation that we were already aware of: Miss Minutes is helping Renslayer. Given how the attempt to figure out the TemPad has failed, Loki and Mobius head over to the holding cell to interrogate Brad. Mobius says that they need to know just two things: Sylvie’s location and the function of the rigged TemPad. Brad gets under Loki’s skin as well as the otherwise calm Mobius. I mean, Mobius straight-up slaps Brad, and that disturbs Loki so much that he has to usher his friend out of there.
Loki breaks X-5
In order to help Mobius calm down, Loki takes him to the pie center of the TVA and has some of his favorite key lime pie. It’s sweet to see Loki taking care of Mobius, and Mobius admits that he is starting to lose his cool because everything is in shambles. But then Loki hits all of us with a callback, and the way it’s worded, it seems like a reference for the audience and not something that Loki is trying to remember. I understand that for Loki, a lot of time hasn’t passed between the New York incident and now, but talking about it, like “remember that time when I spearheaded a genocide as well as an alien invasion,” seems weird to me.
Coming back to the conversation, Loki asks Mobius why he never wanted to know about the timeline he was ripped from, and he says that it’s highly possible that he had a good life, and the life he’s currently living is worse than that. And he doesn’t want to weigh himself down with the knowledge of his own past. That’s some heavy stuff and a sad way to rationalize the erasure of his memories. Before watching Mobius and Loki take another swing at X-5, we briefly see OB trying to open the blast doors and use the device which will probably allow the Temporal Loom to weave multiple branches. However, one of the computer displays shows that his access has been denied due to an invalid temporal aura, and OB looks worried because of that. Then, the focus of the show goes back to X-5, and this time, Loki properly intimidates him by threatening to squish him with the help of a device that creates malleable and translucent blocks out of thin air. When Brad realizes that Loki is probably going to turn him into a bloody puddle of muscles and bones, he reveals that he actually knows where Sylvie is. Mobius joins them, and Brad tries to strike a deal where he’ll be set free if he takes them to Sylvie, and Mobius replies with the most sarcastic “Yes, sure.”
Did Mobius, Loki, and Sylvie Stop Dox From Pruning Timelines?
B-15 takes Casey to OB in the hopes that they’ll be able to help each other with the Temporal Loom situation. OB reveals that they can do nothing until the blast doors are opened, and the blast doors will only open with the temporal aura of the one who made the TVA, i.e., He Who Remains. But he’s dead, and hence, there’s seemingly no way to get this done, and that’s why OB feels like everyone is going to die really soon. Brad, Mobius, and Loki are obviously unaware of this. So, they travel to 1982 Oklahoma, where Sylvie is working as an employee at the local McDonald’s. Yes, that is some egregious product placement. Anyway, Brad and Mobius wait in the diner while Sylvie and Loki go outside to talk. After some awkward silence, because the two departed on pretty awful terms, Loki finally musters up the courage to ask what she was doing in the future in the TVA or what she would be doing in the TVA in the future. He basically wants to know if Sylvie has any intention of going back to the TVA, and if she does, what’s the reason behind it. Sylvie assures Loki that she doesn’t want to go back to the TVA, while Loki tries to convince her that they need to protect the TVA because if they don’t, everything will be destroyed. As all this is going on, Mobius realizes that X-5 knows more than he is pretending to know. X-5 is aware of General Dox’s activities. She is apparently pruning all the branched timelines. It makes sense because Dox and her team didn’t need all that ammunition just to catch Sylvie. Brad’s warning comes too late because Dox has already started pruning the branches.
So, at the end of Loki Season 2 episode 2, Mobius sends Brad back to the TVA, locates the spot where Dox and her team are operating, and heads over to that place along with Loki and Sylvie to stop her. They put up a good fight, and they arrest Dox and some of her team members while pruning the rest. But it’s not enough because the damage has already been done. The team returns to the TVA and helplessly looks at what Dox has done. Before they can reconcile with this atrocity, Casey reveals that the search for Renslayer has finally yielded a result, and he has a lock on her location. Sylvie reprimands Loki for failing to save all those branches and returns to the branched timeline where she lives. We see her chilling in front of her workplace, and before cutting to the credits, we see her holding He Who Remains’ TemPad—you know, that amulet-looking thing. Sylvie has a bone to pick with Renslayer because she is the one who ripped her from her timeline after her Nexus event. We don’t see her learning about Renslayer’s location, but I guess she took a peek over Casey’s shoulder, and she is going to use that TemPad to get to Renslayer before Loki does. Loki doesn’t have murder on his mind. He only wants to find a way to stabilize the TVA and stop the temporal meltdown. The same can’t be said about Sylvie. If she gets to Renslayer first, she is definitely going to kill her.