Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki, holding a timer and looking worried

I’m So Proud of [SPOILERS] After ‘Loki’s Latest Episode

Even though the drama between Victor Timely, Ravonna Renslayer, and Miss Minutes may have been center stage in Disney+’s Loki season 2 episode 3, “1893,” the most important moment of character development came from someone who had much less screen time.

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Despite getting the second-most airtime out of anyone last season, Sylvie has been used sparingly in the first half of Loki season 2. She was barely in the premiere, only showed up towards the end of episode 2, and had just a few brief scenes in episode 3. Last week, Sylvie said she’d simply kill any variants of He Who Remains if they were to pop up, and this episode saw her determined to kill Victor Timely, a man living in the late 1890s who, in at least one timeline, eventually becomes He Who Remains himself—after figuring out the others are after him. (I guess He Who Remains’ TemPad she held onto after killing him last season has some extra special features that allow her to track people?)

When Sylvie is on a mission, she puts everything she has into it, to the point where she doesn’t always listen to reason. This was a big contributor to her and Loki tearing away from each other at the end of last season, and they have a similar fight in this week’s episode, this one much more hostile (at least on Sylvie’s end) and causing more damage to their surroundings. When these two combine their powers like they did last week, they’re a force to be reckoned with, but when they’re at odds, their magic can go haywire, as in this episode.

Sylvie shows up again as the episode is coming to a close, interrputing a tense moment between Renslayer, Mobius, and Loki as they argue about what to do with Timely and how the TVA should be handled moving forward. She’s not on either side here, simply there to fulfill her mission and kill Timely, but just as she’s about to do it, Timely pleads for his life, making the case that she doesn’t know what he’ll do with his life or what choices he’ll end up making.

This is a core theme of Loki as a whole—people being who they want to be rather than following some obligatory destiny from the mind of someone else. For the most part, that’s been variants being punished for unknowingly going off the beaten path of the Sacred Timeline, and the protagonist variant of Loki figuring out whether he can be a hero instead of the villain everyone seems to think he is. Much like He Who Remains wanted Loki and Sylvie to be pruned because her existence could possibly lead to bad variants of himself emerging, now it’s Sylvie—who has been fighting for her right to live on her own terms—preparing to kill Victor Timely because of who he could potentially become in the future.

It seems like Timely’s pleas make Sylvie realize this irony, because she then pulls her blade back and allows Loki and Mobius to bring him back to the TVA, in hopes that he can fix things for them. This leaves Sylvie alone with Renslayer, who assumes Sylvie is about to kill her and tells her to just make it quick, but Sylvie surprises her by not going for it. She tells her she’s fantasized about brutally killing her many times, but instead sends her to the Citadel where she and Loki confronted He Who Remains in the season 1 finale and says that she’s starting to see the negative effects of the kind of obsession that’s been driving her.

This is huge growth for Sylvie, since last season she was so hellbent on killing He Who Remains that she refused to stop and consider the options and consequences with Loki. While I personally maintain that she did the right thing, it’s clear that she did so for at least some of the wrong reasons; while she was surely in support of the notion of free will for variants, her primary motivation for wanting to find and kill He Who Remains was clearly revenge for what he did to her on a personal level. And now she’s realizing that while those feelings are valid, vengeance doesn’t tend to bring the sort of satisfaction she so desperately craved.

Now, Sylvie is trying to move on with her life but is getting sucked back into the TVA drama. While I suspect Sylvie isn’t quite as satisfied with her life on the timeline as she claims (listening to sad music while lying alone on her car doesn’t exactly scream “happy” to me), I feel for her having to be around the place and people who caused her so much stress and trauma. However, I do think some of them have much better intentions towards her than she thinks (like Loki, Mobius, and probably the other main characters save for Brad Wolfe), so hopefully they’ll all be able to talk things out before the end of the season, and Sylvie can finally be on the other side of the McDonald’s counter, enjoying a meal with friends.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Author
Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel (she/her) is a contributing writer at The Mary Sue and has been doing freelance entertainment coverage for five years. She loves diving into film, television, and theater, especially Marvel, DC Disney, and animated content, particularly taking a hard look at their character development, storyline weaving, and place in the pop culture pantheon.