Appropriately for a series chronicling the further adventures of its eponymous master manipulator, Loki has had multiple twists and turns to keep us enthralled throughout its brief run, but none were more unexpected than the reveal of the Time-Keepers’ true nature. The episode’s writer Eric Martin has now stated that Marvel were hesitant about the timing of the twist.
After the fourth episode “The Nexus Event” dropped, Martin began a watchalong commentary revealing various anecdotes from production. When it reached the climactic moment where Sylvie decapitated one of the Time-Keepers only to merely reveal the robotic innards of an animatronic fake, he had this to say about it.
But they saw where we were going and trusted us. So…we got to make a total barn burner with this episode. #LokiMidnightTheater
— Eric Martin (@MrEricMartin) July 1, 2021
Despite the concerns of the studio higher-ups, the climax of the fourth episode of a six-part miniseries is – narratively speaking – the ideal time for such a revelation. Coming off the back of the reveal that the TVA’s agents were not created by the Time-Keepers but snatched from their lives and wiped of their memories, it’s perfectly placed as a false resolution that only ends up uncovering an additional layer of mystery. This way, the story is left with just the right amount of time for the final piece of the puzzle to be searched for, thus allowing its import to be felt and the impact of its discovery to have meaning, each without dragging out the denouement of the plot.
There are multiple ways that Loki can progress from here, although whether or not Ravonna actually has the answers Sylvie demands of her remains to be seen. Refreshingly, there are few clues that can be gleaned from a working knowledge of comics lore, so you can guarantee that this won’t be the last of the shocks that the series has waiting in store for us.