Introduced in Season 2 of ‘Loki,’ time slipping is a novel concept that grants us a glimpse into Loki’s temporal journeys, traversing both time and space to specific moments in the past or future. Despite our belief that Loki had resolved his time-slipping predicament, the issue resurfaced in Season 2, Episode 5, triggered by the radiation emanating from the Temporal Loom, causing widespread destruction in the TVA. However, as the episode unfolded, Loki demonstrated his newfound ability to control this skill. The question arises: How did Loki acquire the mastery to control his time slipping?
Loki was plagued with a problem he thought he had solved several episodes ago
In the first episode of Season 2 of ‘Loki,’ the God of Mischief faced a significant challenge as he found himself slipping between the past and present. Ouroboros (OB) enlightened him about this issue, termed Time Skipping, and suggested a solution: using a Temporal Aura Extractor to anchor Loki at the Temporal Loom before needing to prune himself.
This approach proved successful, resolving Loki’s time slipping problem. However, in Episode 5, he discovered that the problem resurfaced. In Episode 4, the radiation emanating from the Temporal Loom was so intense that it posed a threat to the entire TVA. Strangely, Loki appeared to be exempt from its effects, reasons for which remain unclear.
Loki encountered an issue with his time slipping, frequently finding himself in various timelines. He discovered that this wasn’t limited to slipping into the past, present, and future; he was also traversing different branches of the Sacred Timeline. While this allowed Loki to reach diverse places and timelines, the challenge lay in his inability to control this newfound ability.
What was OB’s Theory?
In the aftermath of the TVA’s destruction, Loki discovered that the lives of his friends—Casey, Mobius, and Hunter B-15—had been reset. They were returned to their original timelines with their own names before being brought to the TVA. Loki’s understanding of his time slipping issue deepened when he encountered AD Doug, an OB variant working as a sci-fi author and physicist.
After encountering the OB variant, Loki attempted to convey the unfolding events. The positive aspect was that AD Doug believed him, given his background as a sci-fi author and scientist. Doug proposed that Loki might utilize his time-slipping ability by returning to the moment before the TVA’s destruction. However, Loki expressed his lack of control over the ability and doubted the feasibility of returning to an already erased point in time.
The OB variant imparted two crucial insights about science fiction to Loki. Firstly, science addresses the “what” and “how.” Secondly, fiction delves into the “why.” While Loki had a grasp on the “what” and “how” of time slipping, the missing piece was the “why.”
In an attempt to utilize his time-slipping ability, Loki focused on the “why,” believing it to be his goal to save the TVA and its inhabitants as a defense against the impending Kang variants. Unfortunately, his efforts proved futile.
AD Doug theorized once again that Loki’s time-slipping might be viable, allowing him to return to the moment before the TVA’s destruction by gathering all those present. With this idea, he persuaded the variants of Mobius, Casey, and B-15 to accompany him back to AD Doug’s lab.
Loki finally figured it out
After gathering all his friends, Loki recognized the necessity of including Sylvie in their endeavor, as she had been present before the Temporal Loom’s destruction of the TVA. Returning to 1980s Oklahoma, he discovered that Sylvie retained her memories of their shared experiences, facilitating a meaningful conversation about the TVA.
During their discussion, Sylvie prompted Loki to admit his selfishness in wanting to save the TVA solely to reunite with his friends. Loki confessed his aversion to loneliness, expressing that these were the first genuine friendships he had ever experienced. In response, Sylvie encouraged Loki to embrace the freedom to forge new friendships and requested him to leave her to the life she had chosen.
Loki returned to AD Doug’s lab without Sylvie, only for her to reappear when her timeline succumbed to the Temporal Loom’s destruction. However, as they attempted to rectify the situation, AD Doug’s makeshift Tempad vanished, and timelines began to unravel. Loki’s friends disappeared one by one before Loki time-slipped into the past.
In this moment, Loki grasped the essence of time slipping—it wasn’t a matter of “what,” “how,” or “why,” but rather “who.” He realized that he could utilize time slipping by anchoring himself to a specific person, allowing him to return to the TVA just before the Temporal Loom’s impending destruction.
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