The penultimate episode of Loki was released on Disney+ Wednesday. In what has become my personal favorite of the post pandemic Marvel properties released thus far, this installment is setting the audience up for probably the most important piece of MCU produced content since Iron Man.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead. You’ve been warned.
The Void and The Variants
‘Journey into Mystery’ begins with a winding shot of the TVA headquarters with a zoom in on the decapitated head of a “TimeKeeper”. The scene seamlessly transitions to the desolate landscape we last saw Loki during episode four’s mid-credits scene. All four new variants are introduced and it’s off to the races. Classic Loki hastily answers our Loki’s inquiries: They are located in the Void and the looming, angry cloud in the sky is Alioth, he’s hungry and the Lokis are what’s on the menu. The Void is described by our band of mischievous gods as the place where all things reset by the TVA are sent to spend eternity. Alioth keeps the smorgasbord of the pruned from ever leaving The Void.
The gang arrives at their apparent dwelling and hides out. Our Loki tries to rally the troops in an attempt at killing the sky beast. Loki is laughed off and decides he does not need the group. Exiting the hideout, Loki is confronted by a vagabond army, led by President Loki, straight from the comics. Pleasantries are exchanged and a full on Loki battle ensues. The escaping Variants are that of ours, Classic, Kid, and Alligator Loki. The three variants are finally persuaded in assisting Loki on his mission to destroy Alioth.
Back at the TVA, Sylvie is tangled up with Revonna Renslayer. The TVA judge is suspect as she tells Sylvie she too wants answers, and that they should work as a unit. Reluctantly, Sylvie obliges and Miss Minutes is summoned to help answer questions. In what turns out to be a stalling tactic, Renslayer and Minutes bide time until TVA agents arrive to apprehend. In a final back and forth between Sylvie and Judge Renslayer, the former decides against trusting the empty promises of the frustrated TVA judge and prunes herself to The Void.
Back to The Void
Sylvie arrives in The Void and is immediately chased by Alioth. Just in the knick of time, a fully alive Mobius pulls up in a pizza delivery car for the rescue. Off the pair go with one goal in mind: Figure out who’s behind it all.
The recently pruned duo luckily run into our quartet of variants. A plan is devised to enchant Alioth and hopefully get answers to who is pulling all the TVA strings. Mobius heads back to the TVA headquarters, however not before embracing Loki.
During the battle to enchant Alioth, Loki attempts to sacrifice himself in order for Sylvie to gain control of the smoke monster. Right before our Loki gets devoured, Classic Loki creates a diversion of immense power by replicating all of Asgard. This draws the attention of Alioth and allows the protagonists to join forces to enchant the beast. Although a success, Classic Loki is erased from existence as the combined forces of Sylvie and Loki to enchant Alioth. The duo then proceed to the castle hidden within the enchanted sky beast and the episode ends.
As setup episodes go, this one takes the cake. Chalk full of action from start to finish, I could not come up for air. The overall feel of the episode was that of self realization. Loki comes to the conclusion that he is not destined to just survive, as Classic Loki states early on in the episode. Once you truly figure out what you are capable of, the possibilities laid out before you are limitless. The character progression of our Loki throughout the series comes to a head this episode. In my opinion, he becomes the caring, actual selfless character that’s been hinted at during his entire MCU tenure.
Episode Six is sure to change the landscape of the MCU as we know it. Hopefully the big bad will be revealed. Some signs point to Kang the conqueror, however this could just be another well devised play fake by Marvel, a la Mephisto. As has already been laid out, the events here are bound to set up highly anticipated titles such as Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
‘Journey Into Mystery’ was fully loaded with fun Easter Eggs. Listed below are the ones that my amateur eye caught.
- While descending into the Loki hideaway we catch a glimpse of Mjolnir and Throg. In the comics Throg was a version of Thor that Loki turned into an amphibious version of the God of Thunder.
- On the desolate plains of The Void lies The Thanos-Copter. This vehicle was used by the Mad Titan in a 1970’s iteration of Marvel stories.
I was entertained from start to finish. For next week's final installment of Loki, I leave you all with one sentiment: Don’t cry that it’s over. Smile because it happened.