Loki: The Subtle Significance of Loki and Sylvie’s Team Up in Episode 5

Loki: The Subtle Significance of Loki and Sylvie’s Team Up in Episode 5

While perhaps not as mind-blowing as Episode 4 “The Nexus Event”, last week’s fifth episode of Loki, “Journey Into Mystery”, left Marvel fans with a lot to, well, marvel over. There were plenty of interesting Easter Eggs, Alligator Loki (apparently the internet’s favorite Loki variant) in action, and just enough reveals about the Void to have fans wondering if it will be Kang at the end of things in Episode 6 or if maybe even Miss Minutes is the real villain of the Disney+ series. The episode also gave viewers a powerful moment in which Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) teamed up and while it led to an impressive display of power, there was a lot more communicated in that moment.

In the episode, Sylvie deduces that the real force behind the TVA is hiding beyond the Void in a space where they cannot be detected, something of a variation of her own strategy to hide in apocalypses. After pruning herself to get into the Void, Sylvie soon encounters a cloud-like creature, Alioth, and briefly enchants it. After meeting up with Loki (as well as Classic Loki, Alligator Loki, and Kid Loki), she decides to attempt to enchant Alioth again in order to get to that place beyond the void as she suspects Alioth is what is standing in the way. However, she’s unable to do it alone and while Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) distracts the creature, Sylvie grasps hands with Loki so that they together get the job done.

What’s interesting, however, is that simply combining forces with Loki by holding hands with him isn’t enough initially. After a moment, Sylvie changes her grip on Loki’s hand, lacing her fingers with him, tightening her grip, and keeping her hand in a “palm up” position with Loki’s hand being “palm down” on top of hers. This is actually a subtle, but interesting detail. While there have been plenty of conversations about the merits of “cupped” style hand-holding and “laced finger” style hand-holding in terms of the use of magic, there are actually some body language-based meanings behind the positions of Loki and Sylvie’s hands in “Journey Into Mystery” that explain why Loki was finally able to tap into the power to enchant.

When Sylvie and Loki first hold hands in the scene, the general hand position is a cupped style with Sylvie’s hand on the bottom in the palm-up position. This position can be indicative of the person whose hand is on top taking a protective stance (something we have to an extent seen Loki do, with his concern for Sylvie when the TVA apprehended them). However, when Sylvie tightens the grip and interlocks their fingers fully, not only does it change the dynamic by showing a deeper connection, but by keeping her palm on the bottom in this new configuration, she’s also communicating to Loki that she trusts him and that he has power in the situation. Considering that the series has well-established that Sylvie is the expert at enchanting, this demonstrates a balance in their power dynamic overall and a great deal of confidence. She trusts her own assessment of Loki and, thus, trusts him.

And as we can see, the shift in body language isn’t lost on Loki. It’s soon after the shift in hand position that Loki is able to tap into enchantment powers, the pair able to work together to enchant Alioth and see past the creature to what is really lurking beyond the void.

What will happen with Loki and Sylvie’s dynamic and relationship as Loki goes into its last episode remains up in the air. There are plenty of theories out there that suggest that Loki will ultimately betray Sylvie, that Sylvie will betray Loki, you name it, people have thought about it. That’s one of the fun things about Marvel projects – the theories and the guessing. But whatever shakes out in terms of actual plot, Loki as a series has gone a long way toward fully developing Loki as a character, showing both the character and the viewer that he is more than just Odin’s adopted son or, as Classic Loki called all Lokis, a god of outcasts. Sylvie’s subtle shift in hand position during their team up to enchant Alioth tells Loki he’s someone worth trusting and believing in, a message that is especially powerful considering she’s in every sense a self-made person who simply doesn’t need him. It’s a major moment and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.


New episodes of Loki will drop on Disney+ on Wednesdays. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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