[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Loki, Season 1, Episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery.”]
Only took five damn episodes, but we finally now know what was up with that President Loki teaser image from the trailer. What’s funny about its reveal here is that it’s a reminder of how wrong I (and perhaps others, but I’ll only speak for myself here) was about what this show was going to be like, back when all we had were vague trailers and interview tidbits to go off. President Loki, in my head, felt like he was destined to be a really big part of the series…
Of course, that’s hardly the most important thing to occur during the penultimate episode of Loki, as first things first we follow up on the reveal that Loki did not actually die after getting “pruned” by Ravonna — instead, he was sent to “the void,” a place at “the end of time” which appears to basically be a garbage dump of alternate realities that contains more Easter eggs than can probably be fully identified ever.
There, Loki makes some new friends, or as much as any Loki can be said to be friends with a Loki. As teased in last week’s episode, we’ve got Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki to show Our Loki the ropes of this strange new realm. After explaining the existence of Alioth, the “shark” placed in the void to consume anyone who might dare to escape, this merry quartet leads Loki back to their lair, which looks like Santa’s Workshop and a bowling alley were caught mid-coitus.
Back at the TVA, Sylvie’s doing her best to get answers from Ravonna, who despite Sylvie taking her Tempad and pointing a pruning wand at her plays it like she wants to help Sylvie, even asking Miss Minutes to chime in by pulling up some files… But wouldn’t you know it, Ravonna’s just stalling for time. So, when guards swarm in, Sylvie decides to take a chance on what Ravonna said about the void being true, and self-prunes herself.
Loki, hanging out with the other Lokis, learns a bit more about their respective nexus events (including Alligator Loki, who got snatched by the TVA for “eating the wrong neighbor’s cat”), but he’s resolved to not surrender to the charms of boxed Roxxiwine — because Sylvie’s out there somewhere and “she needs me.” So he storms off to kill Alioth, which the other Lokis find hilarious… though they find it less hilarious that there’s a whole new pack of Loki variants at the front door, led by President Loki himself.
Turns out Boastful Loki betrayed the core quartet so that he could take the throne (…of what, exactly?) but President Loki betrays him… followed by President Loki’s army of Loki variants betraying him. Not to stereotype Lokis, but this feels like a pretty predictable outcome. In the ensuing melee, Classic Loki (gonna just start calling him Richard E. Grant Loki now, and let’s just take a moment to appreciate the fact that holy shit, they got Richard E. Grant for this!), Alligator Loki, Kid Loki, and our Loki escape, and reluctantly agree to bring Our Loki to Alioth — though he’s on his own when it comes to the attempt to kill it.
Meanwhile, after self-pruning, Sylvie does in fact arrive in the void, and while fleeing from Alioth she gets a bit of a rescue from Mobius! (Yay, Mobius is still alive!) Making their getaway in an abandoned pizza delivery vehicle, the pair are united in their determination to figure out who’s behind… well… everything.
They encounter Loki and the gang just after they’ve watched Alioth consume an entire battleship (the USS Eldridge, FYI, the ship purported to be at the center of the Philadelphia Experiment). Loki is delighted to see Sylvie and Mobius — clearly holding back the urge to hug — but is skeptical about how Sylvie also plans to take on Alioth: by enchanting it.
While Mobius and the other Lokis chat, Our Loki and Sylvie have a nice moment that even descends into a little bit of snuggling beneath a blanket, agreeing that it’s “total rubbish” to believe their bonding created a nexus event and there are more important things to consider. “I don’t know how to do this,” she says. “I don’t even know what we’re doing,” he replies. But they seem quite cozy together, despite the inherent awkwardness of, well, everything, and Loki pledges that he won’t betray her, because he’s not that kind of Loki anymore. They even have the sort of conversation that portends doom, talking about what they’ll do when “all of this is over” — something they might just try to figure out together.
It’s time for action, as Sylvie declares her plan and hands over the stolen Tempad, and Loki declares his decision to stay with her. Mobius heads back to the TVA solo, planning to burn it to the ground, but not before getting a hug from Loki! It’s very nice.
Man, does Marvel love its characters-face-off-against-its-giant-CGI-cloud climaxes. Without saying it, Loki runs off to create a distraction so that Sylvie can try to enchant Alioth, but it’s not super-effective. What is effective is the massive Asgard illusion that Richard E. Grant creates — the effort leads to him being absorbed by Alioth, but he’s laughing all the way to oblivion.
With his help, Sylvie and Loki have the time they need to create the enchantment, which turns that purple cloud green, and opens a gateway to what looks like a strange mansion in the middle of nowhere. Holding hands, they walk forward into… whatever awaits them! Stay tuned for Episode 6! I continue to have no idea what’s coming next! But boy, what a fun ride.
“Don’t Die Isn’t a Plan!”
- “Do you have any good memories?” “Just one really.” This is where my shippin’ heart assumes that’s a reference to Sylvie bonding with Loki on Lamentis, but maybe there’s a less obvious answer… Nah, that’s probably it.
- The way the Loki variants take care of Alligator Loki is actually quite sweet to see. When Alligator Loki isn’t biting off hands, that is.
- Not only does Mobius live, but so does my dream of seeing Owen Wilson on a jetski before the end of the season! Time is running out on this, yes, but I still have hope.
- A full breakdown of Easter eggs is coming, but for right now here’s Collider’s own Vinnie Mancuso, ready to explain what was going on with the Thor-in-a-jar.
- Loved composer Natalie Holt’s Wagner riff when Richard E. Grant Loki creates his illusion. Exactly the right time for it.
- I like to make my Emmys jokes from time to time but seriously, Tom Hiddleston deserves serious consideration for both the deep-seated empathy he displays in his more tender moments with Sophia di Martino and President Loki’s deliciously girly scream. Been a while since an MCU character lost a hand! I’ve missed it.
- Oh, and if Richard E. Grant doesn’t get at the very least nominated in 2022 for Outstanding Guest Star, then the Emmys should really give up pretending to be relevant.
New episodes of Loki premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.
KEEP READING: Did ‘Loki’ Episode 5 Slip In a Chris Hemsworth Cameo?
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