Loki sits at a bar, talking to Sylvie, who's off camera.

Let’s Unpack That Loki/Sylvie Scene in ‘Loki’ Episode 5

After a season that’s been pretty loaded with technobabble and confusing plot lines, Loki season 2 is finally getting down to basics in episode 5, “Science/Fiction.” What basics are those? Difficult conversations with the messy people you love.

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Especially Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), the most difficult person in Loki (Tom Hiddleston)’s life!

Spoilers for Loki season 2, episode 5 ahead!

To recap: Loki survives the explosion of the Temporal Loom, but finds that he’s time slipping again. Why? It seems like something is guiding him to the friends he’s made at the Time Variance Authority, who are each living lives on the timeline. After a heart to heart with O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) in his previous life as a struggling science fiction writer, Loki realizes that his time slipping might be happening for a reason. He travels through the timeline, plucking each of his friends from their lives so that he can recreate the conditions that might get him back to the TVA.

When he gets to Sylvie, though, he’s astonished to find that unlike the others, she recognizes him. After he time slips in front of her, she orders him to get in her car so that she can buy him a drink.

Loki has had plenty of dates with Mobius. Now he gets to go out with Sylvie!

Let’s get the obvious point out of the way first: Sylvie fans (and Sylki shippers) have been waiting all season for this date. It was first hinted at in a leaked set photo of Loki and Sylvie standing by her truck, and teased again in a trailer. All we want is Loki and Sylvie knocking back a couple of bourbons together!

But what makes the scene even better is that it finally, finally gets us to the emotional core of this season’s story. After Loki tries to convince Sylvie to help him bring everyone back to the TVA, Sylvie quizzes him on what exactly he wants. He cycles through a million different answers—to save the TVA! to bring it back!—but she sees through every single one. Finally he admits it: he wants his friends back. He doesn’t want to be alone.

Loki just doesn’t want to be alone

That line is, of course, a powerful callback to season 1, in which Loki admits to Sif (Jaimie Alexander) that he craves attention because he’s afraid of being alone. Loneliness is Loki’s deepest fear, and now that the closest friends he’s ever made have been cruelly taken away from him, it’s his reality. He doesn’t even have the benefit of Sylvie’s company, since even though she shows him some compassion during their talk, she wants nothing to do with him.

This scene has the pathos that made me fall in love with Loki’s character during season 1. What drives a god to commit evil acts? What drives him to atone and try to do better? Turns out it’s the same human desire that we all have: to be loved and accepted. It’s a shame that we only have one more episode to explore this aspect of Loki’s character more, but I’m glad the story eventually got us there.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>