Review: Loki Episode 5 – Journey into Mystery

It’s been a particularly chaotic redemption arc for Loki but despite the inevitability of making Loki not just likeable but good, I enjoyed almost every minute of this. Love, friendship, teamwork, camaraderie, sacrifice, boss fight against CGI monster — these are the classic virtues of Marvel shows. Inserting Loki into that mould is an unwise idea but if you are going to bring him around to love and friendship then doing it with a whole bunch of other Lokis is one way to attempt it.

The direction the episode took, runs the risk of taking all the bite out of the character. Short term, it made for a very entertaining episode. Kid Loki, Boastful Loki, Classic Loki and Alligator Loki were not the greatest superhero team but certainly one of the most novel ones of the MCU but I’m heading into spoilers…

We still don’t know what is going on but we do learn that the TVA isn’t literally killing people or at least not directly. Instead, the “pruned” people are set to the end of time, which would be fine if it wasn’t for a giant storm monster. Imagine Lost meets Into the Spiderverse but odder.

The resulting world is chaotic and in ruins but of all the variants sent there, mainly Lokis have survived. Whether that makes any practical sense is neither-here-nor-there, we are off into something more like a dreamscape. The good news is that Sylvie and Mobius end up there as well and after several weird and touching moments we head off into superhero showdown territory. We even get a bit of Wagner into the bargain (although technically that would be Loge not Loki and he isn’t in Die Walküre).

We are nearly at the end and this is still a hard show to sum up. It still rests more on charm, super actors and great visuals rather than big themes or narrative momentum but it really doesn’t need any more than that. There is rarely a misstep and Hiddleston, Di Martino and Wilson all have great chemistry (Wilson is going to turn out to be a mind-wiped Loki as well, right?)

There’s less to talk about than WandaVision, less to moan about than Falcon & the Winter Soldier but if it sticks the landing this will be my favourite 🙂

20 thoughts on “Review: Loki Episode 5 – Journey into Mystery

  1. If you want to be really pedantic, Wotan summons Loge at the end of Act 3 of Die Walküre to guard the sleeping Brünnhilde — he doesn’t show up in person in the opera, but he does in, say, P. Craig Russell’s comic book adaptation. (Russell also shows Wotan stabbing Loge at the end of Götterdämmerung, as described by the Norns in the prologue.)

    That being said — with the caveat that I haven’t actually watched the Disney+ series — the MCU Loki and Wagner’s Loge strike me as being quite different people. I don’t really associate the former with fire….

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I laughed out loud almost through the entire first half of this, especially when Alligator Loki chomps “President” Loki’s hand off.

    As far as making Loki “good,” I doubt he’ll ever be the straight-up hero like his brother, even at the end of this redemption arc. After all, since we started out with 2012 Loki, this is basically a six-episode version of what he went through in the films, up to his demise at the hands of Thanos. But I think they’ve added some different, more fascinating layers to it.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. When Alligator Loki bit the hand off, I thought “Well, that’s revenge for Tyr, innit?”

      Future Loki (Grant) said he tricked Thanos with a projection, so maybe he got pruned for not dying properly?

      There were many more amusing things in this episode than one usually finds in scenarios involving the end of the universe and an all-devouring creature. Lots of fun Easter eggs, like Kid Loki’s Hi-C, the Polybius video game, and the USS Eldridge.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Based on “TVA went after me the moment I left”, I’d say that they did indeed go after Future Loki (I’d possibly go with “Classic Loki”, based on “his looks like Loki’s did in the comics in the 80s”) for the temerity of not dying and then flaunting his not-deadness.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. (Wilson is going to turn out to be a mind-wiped Loki as well, right?)
    As someone who has been supporting the “they’re all going to turn out to be mind-wiped Lokis” position since the start, I really hope that Mobius at least turns out to be true.
    And there’s been so much speculation about who is “behind” the plot, but a Loki seems like both the easiest and most satisfying explanation now, especially after this episode.
    Sure, they might suddenly bring a new character in at the last minute, but so far they’ve been quite good about not doing that, and I’ve been quite impressed at how they have shut down a lot of avenues quite effectively, meaning that I am pretty optimistic that they will indeed stick the landing. And yes, they’ll have to mess it up incredibly badly for this not to be my show of the year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If he’s not a Loki, he’s certainly sympathetic to them. And he knows them, their thinking, and their pattern really well.

      It was pretty darn Loki-esque that as soon as he got to the end of time, he managed to find a working car and rescue Sylvie, then meet up with the Lokis.

      “He’s not all bad”/”He’s not all good” is very suggestive.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. There’s a lot of files and a lot of people, so I’m thinking they aren’t all Lokis. Probably enough people have done something to upset the One Sacred (to who?) Timeline to become variants and then brainwashed into TVA employees. Like the Hunter who was killed, she probably wasn’t a Loki, just a gal who liked margaritas and did something “wrong”. And the Hunter who’s in a cell now likely wasn’t — but she was happy.

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  4. One thing that actively angered me in this was Loki asking “have you ever heard of a female variant before?”

    No. Even in the comics (and intentionally putting aside mythology because the comics did) Loki shapeshifts and has been female before. Being female us not a rare or unusual trait. They only want her to be unique so they can play with the “the girl on screen (who isn’t an antagonist/boss) is the romantic lead”.

    It also looks like trying to put a stake in the “everyone is Loki” theory just because the other two whole women in the entire series* are the least likely characters to be Lokis AND we just got told Loki isn’t the shapeshifter “he” should be.

    * unless you count a subservient computer program

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That irritated me a bit too (not the statement per se, but the situation). It’s a bit like the Smurfs really. You have all these ‘characteristic’ Loki’s and then ‘Girl Loki’ like ‘girl’ is a characteristic 😦

      Liked by 3 people

  5. The proliferation of Loki’s kind of allows Loki to retain his chaotic nature even as ‘our’ Loki evolves into a good guy.
    I am a bit worried that Sylvie didn’t echo any of the nice promises that Loki made to her, and that she’s going to turn on him at the end (or possibly just choose revenge over happiness).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I wondered about the monster, Alioth. Given that the cloud seemed to form a sort of wolf-head when it was getting ready to devour stuff, shouldn’t it have been obvious that it should be called Fenrir?

    Well, Wikipedia suggests this may be a deliberate Easter egg for anime fans: in the Saint Seiya anime (which I’ve never personally watched), there is in fact a character called Alioth Epsilon Fenrir (which Wikipedia linked to, the only way I would have found it).

    Alioth is in fact a star (Epsilon Ursae Majoris), but there doesn’t seem to be any other connection to a world-devouring monster, given what the name means: ‘Arabic alyat al-hamal (“the sheep’s fat tail”).’ (WikiP)

    Liked by 1 person

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