Over the course of its first three episodes, Loki Season 2 has tried to split its focus between several ongoing storylines and even more characters.
The season has introduced a few new figures, like TVA tech repair agent Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan) and Hunter X-5 (Rafael Casal), while also placing an even greater emphasis on the friendship between Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) than the Disney+ series’ first six episodes did. In its third installment, Loki Season 2 even turns its attention to Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Miss Minutes (Tara Strong), as well as a new variant of He Who Remains/Kang known as Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors).
But in its attempts to honor all of these characters, Loki Season 2 has shortchanged one of the show’s original leads, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino). The character has been largely left stranded by the series this year, which has hurt the endings of both of its most recent episodes.
The relationship between Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie is one of the core elements of Loki Season 1, but it’s been more or less pushed to the wayside in the show’s second season. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Loki has failed to come up with something more interesting for Sylvie to do. Indeed, in the very few scenes she’s had in Loki Season 2, Sylvie has done little more than take a random job at McDonald’s and talk at length about how much she wants to keep it.
At the end of the season’s second episode, she helps Loki and Mobius take down General Dox (Kate Dickie) before quickly (and spitefully) parting ways with them once again. The latter moment is, along with Dox’s sudden pruning of hundreds of timelines, one of Loki Season 2’s most underbaked dramatic beats to date. The same, unfortunately, is true of Sylvie’s climactic decisions to spare both Victor Timely and Ravonna Renslayer at the end of Loki’s latest installment, titled “1893.”
Sylvie’s choices in the final moments of the episode are, to put it lightly, jarring. At the end of Loki Season 1, Sylvie is so hellbent on getting her long-awaited revenge that she’s willing to destroy the only positive relationship in her life in order to do it. Since then, she hasn’t tangibly grown or changed at all, which is what makes her decisions to spare both Victor and Ravonna so shocking — and not in a good way.
To give credit where it’s due, “1893” does its best to subtly explain Sylvie’s merciful act toward Victor Timely. The latter character’s insistence that she doesn’t truly know what’s in his heart or what choices he will make directly connects back to Sylvie’s long-held, guiding belief in free will and every variant’s right to live. That doesn’t mean the notoriously vengeful character’s decision to spare his life is any less shocking, but it does make it somewhat easier to accept.
The same can’t be said for her decision to simply banish Ravonna Renslayer to the Citadel at the End of Time without even checking to make sure that the character doesn’t have the potential means (i.e., Miss Minutes) to escape. Loki Season 1 revealed that it was Ravonna who coldly pulled Sylvie out of her original timeline and condemned her to spend most of her life on the run, and the series hasn’t since given a single reason why she wouldn’t slay her when given the chance just like she did with He Who Remains.
Ultimately, neither of Sylvie’s decisions at the end of Loki Season 2’s newest episode land with as much weight as they should. The show simply hasn’t spent enough time with the character since the conclusion of Loki Season 1 for it to rely on her to be at the center of such massive moments. Unfortunately, if it continues trying to split its focus between as many characters as it has up to this point, then the odds are high that Loki’s current Sylvie problem will only get worse from here, too.