This article contains spoilers
In Loki season two, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) doesn’t have much interest in saving the TVA, and why would she? After all, at the end of season one, she was the one who made the decision to kill the very man in charge of the bureaucratic institution, effectively destabilizing TVA control over the Sacred Timeline, and unleashing the multiverse.
Despite her hatred for the TVA, Sylvie does ultimately help Loki stop General Dox and her crew of loyalists from completing their plan to prune all the new branching timelines in episode two, but she doesn’t want to help beyond that, viewing the TVA’s efforts as misguided, and Loki as a fool for entrenching himself in their midst.
What Does Sylvie Have In Her Hand at the End of Episode 2?
The God of Mischief finally catches up with his variant in a branched timeline in Broxton, Oklahoma, circa 1982, where she’s working at McDonald’s and keeping herself to herself. As the episode comes to a close, we can see that she is fiddling with He Who Remains’ TemPad – an advanced piece of technology that could solve a few mysteries in upcoming episodes.
Sylvie uses the trophy she took from He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) several times during the episode, and it’s a very special bit of kit – the kind that Loki, Mobius, and OB don’t have access to. HWR demonstrated how it works in Loki’s season one finale, where it was clear that it was quite different to the ones that the TVA regularly use. It has several abilities, in fact, one of which incorporates the effects of the Time Collar that the TVA slap on their prisoners.
What Does He Who Remains’ TemPad Do?
Beyond its ability to open time doors, Loki season one director Kate Herron got into more detail about He Who Remains’ TemPad with The Hollywood Reporter a couple of years ago.
“It’s meant to be a futuristic version of the TVA tech,” she said. “When He Who Remains tells his story about his other variants meeting, you see bits of the TVA technology. So our idea was that [his TemPad] does both things. With the TVA technology, you see that the Time Twister hooks into the TemPad, but it’s these two separate, clunky things. But whereas with He Who Remains, he has more advanced technology than the TVA so it has both functions, basically, which we see him use. The difference is that he’s in control of the twist; it’s twisting him. Whereas when we see the TVA use the Time Twister, it’s with a Time Collar as they’re controlling a prisoner.”
Indeed, the TVA’s Time Collar is used to control movements by rewinding time, but only for the person wearing it. Those around them stay in the present. If you recall, Mobius used Loki’s Time Collar to hilarious effect in the first episode of season one, time-twisting him to earlier moments so he couldn’t attack Mobius, or escape when he was questioning him. He Who Remains later used similar time twists with his advanced TemPad, rewinding himself to be out of Sylvie’s reach. This is how Sylvie was eventually able to kill him: he simply set aside the TemPad that would let him avoid her blade, and allowed it to happen.
How Could the TemPad Be Significant in Season Loki 2?
He Who Remains’ TemPad could be the real reason that Loki was “time slipping” in episode one. Sylvie first used the TemPad to push Loki through the Time Door in the season one finale, and as a result he emerged at a version of the TVA many hundreds of years in the past. Was that particular time pre-set or “bookmarked” into the TemPad? Did He Who Remains often travel to the TVA at this point in time, and if so, why?
Given that he was a very visible leader of the TVA in the past, it may have allowed him the comfort of social interaction with his employees to break up the time he spent alone at the Citadel. There may also be other, more specific, reasons that he was fond of this era – we did hear him interacting sweetly with Ravonna Renslayer during this time on the TVA tape. Perhaps he often visited this past era to spend time with her? In the pages of Marvel Comics, the two have a romantic history, but that certainly hasn’t been explored yet in Loki.
Regardless, possession of He Who Remains’ TemPad could put Sylvie at an advantage in the future. If she has spent some time tinkering with it in Broxton, and finding out how exactly it works, she could twist time herself in dangerous situations, just like HWR. What other functions does this advanced TemPad have? Could they help Loki, Mobius, and OB fix the TVA’s temporal problems? We shall have to wait and see, but Loki‘s end credits definitely highlight a shot of the unique-looking TemPad as a clue to this season’s big mysteries.