Warning: This review contains spoilers for episode 5 of “Loki.”
The fifth episode of “Loki,” titled “Journey Into Mystery,” has been gifted upon us, and it was absolutely glorious. “Journey Into Mystery” is a fantastic episode, truly the best one yet. It’s an easter egg extravaganza with great cameos from other Loki variants; a true gift for any Marvel and Loki fan. Hats off to Kate Herron, who has directed each episode of “Loki” tremendously, creating quality content that is only elevated by Natalie Holt’s majestic score.
“Journey Into Mystery” starts with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki being greeted by…. himself. Or versions of himself at least: Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, Kid Loki and Alligator Loki. The standout among the group is Richard E. Grant as Classic Loki; he is utter perfection embodying an older Loki.
Loki has landed in purgatory for objects and people that have been pruned when they went against the TVA’s Sacred Timeline; a land where they have to avoid the monster, Alioth. And this is where the easter egg extravaganza begins; episode 5 can be repeatedly watched because there are so many easter eggs that will catch the eye on the second, third or even fourth viewing. As Loki follows the other Loki variants, one can spot everything from Qeng Enterprises to frog Thor.
The standout in this episode is the well-crafted dialogue, especially between Loki and Classic Loki, as they discuss what makes a Loki a Loki and why they all ended up there. Loki is bound and determined to escape, but the others are resigned to their fate. Unfortunately, the long-awaited President Loki was more of a gag than anything. Because Boastful Loki is revealed to be a traitor who teamed up with President Loki and then double-crossed him. And other Loki variants cross each other, leading to more chaos.
Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki shows off some impressive magic-more on that later- so he can escape from the Loki battle. However, a fascinating observation about the true nature of a Loki comes from an interaction between Loki, Classic Loki, and Kid Loki. Classic Loki notes that it’s in a Loki’s nature to betray and backstab, and Kid Loki affirms that when they try to change, they’re pruned. It’s an interesting thought that the TVA wants Loki to always be the villain of the story.
Meanwhile, Sylvie escaped from the TVA by pruning herself and is immediately saved from Alioth by Mobius driving a pizza delivery car. It’s the Sylvie and Mobius team-up that we didn’t know we needed. While running from Alioth, another beautiful sequence, Sylvie quickly enchanted the smoke monster and realized that there is something Alioth is protecting.
Loki reunites with Sylvie and Mobius, where they come up with a plan to take down Alioth. But Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki are resigned to their fate in this purgatory, so they opt-out of the mad plan. But not before Mobius tells Classic Loki that he believes people can change, planting a critical seed for later.
Mobius takes the TemPad to travel back to the TVA and “burn it to the ground” and tells Loki, “thank you for the spark.” Oh, the feels this episode.
Episode 5 ends with a movie-level action sequence where Sylvie and Loki take on Alioth. At first, Loki acts as a distraction for Alioth, and he even has Laevateinn, his ancestral sword. But the distraction only lasts for so long, and when the chips are down, Classic Loki emerges with beautiful, green magic, an illusion that’s building Asgard from the ground up. Finally, he succeeds in his mission to distract Alioth, and he goes out with a laugh and a smile on his face, crying out, “glorious purpose!” Because he’s finally reached it.
Loki and Sylvie succeed in enchanting Alioth, breaking down the barrier and revealing a castle behind Alioth. Then, hand-in-hand, they walk forward to face whoever’s inside.
The season finale of “Loki” is going to be amazing. My final theories for “Loki”: if it’s not Kang the Conqueror, aka Jonathan Majors, in that castle, then I think it’s a Loki variant. It would be fantastic if Jonathan Majors appeared in the show, but if his appearance is being saved for the movies, wouldn’t it be wonderful if another Loki variant was behind all of this?