Let’s Talk about Loki Episode 1-5
When a Loki loves a Loki, he can’t keep his Mind Stone on nothin’ else.
Yes, we’re apparently going there this week. It’s been a not-so-long, strange ride on the MCU series, and things only get weird now.
Let’s talk about Loki 1-5, the one with the Great Loki War.
What Is Dead May Never Die
Okay, when we last left Loki, Mobius had died, Loki had died, and Lady Loki was ready to kill Ravonna Renslayer.
Oh wait, that’s slightly inaccurate. Loki survived his atomization, as he actually got teleported…somewhere.
When he looked around, he noticed several other Lokis, including a young one, an old one, and an alligator. Those are all canon now in the MCU, I swear.
This week’s episode title is Journey into Mystery, which makes me hope that Ozzie Smith will appear:
We start the episode with a sweeping shot of a hellscape, another apocalypse with some sort of guardian monster.
Classic Loki, the oldest of the group, indicates that they’re in The Void and that the horrifying smoke creature is Alioth.
At the TVA, Renslayer cowers at the mercy of Lady Loki. However, she quickly talks her way back into a position of power.
Renslayer possesses the same curiosities as Sylvie. The two women don’t know who is pulling the strings here, and they’d like to know more.
The enemies form an obviously doomed temporary alliance. Renslayer asks for trust from the former child whose life she ruined. It’s a big ask.
Back in The Void, (main?) Loki delivers a brilliant line of dialogue that perfectly encapsulates the chaos of the moment.
“I suggest we take a breather, so I can ask several thousand questions.” It’s been that kind of day for the God of Mischief.
The other Lokis share the same plan, “Don’t die.”
Oddly, Child Loki leads the group, and we quickly discover why. He…killed Thor.
This unforgivable act of betrayal differentiates him as the most successful of the Loki Variants in The Void.
Fittingly, all the Lokis despise one another. It’s the universal opinion!
Last week, Boastful Loki appeared to be the most intriguing character due to his possession of a Mjolnir-looking hammer.
Well, that opinion collapses after further review. It’s clearly a forgery, and the man himself lies a lot, even by Loki standards.
He claims to have killed Thor and Iron Man and taken all six Infinity Stones, which the other Lokis know is absurd. He’s every bit the laughingstock that the kid isn’t.
One of the subtle, impeccable aspects of this episode is that killing Thor has prematurely aged Child Loki…and made him miserable and filled with regret.
At the TVA, the temporary Renslayer/Sylvie alliance lasts all of one scene. Miss Minutes provides some backstory while really stalling for security.
We do learn that Sylvie suspects that The Void isn’t the end of time as suggested. Instead, she thinks that there’s something past that.
Renslayer and Miss Minutes exchange uncomfortable glances, as their enemy knows too much.
Miss Manners lies (!) about “The Void spacecraft,” a timecraft that doesn’t exist. Sylvie sees through the ruse but gets overwhelmed by security.
At this point, Sylvie possesses only two items, a TemPad and an electric pruner. She…self-prunes.
Lokis are exceedingly weird and unpredictable beings.
Hold that thought.
At Loki headquarters in The Void, we learn some about the others. Classic Loki survived the Thanos neck snap by casting a magical projection.
This dude is a bona fide illusionist on a par with the Sorcerer Supreme. Kid Loki and Gator Loki seem to have a human/pet relationship and the respect of the others.
The Best Pixar Easter Egg
As for Boastful Loki, well, he betrays them in near-record time. President Loki and his troops invade the base.
Soon afterward, President Loki turns on Boastful Loki, proving once and for all that Lokis cannot even trust themselves.
A scuffle ensues in this underground bunker, while (main) Loki looks on in disgust. For that matter, Classic Loki and Kid Loki hate their other selves, too.
Loki had asked if any of them had encountered a female Loki in The Void, to which they all answered no. Cut to…
Sylvie awakens in The Void, and Alioth, the Smoke Monster, notices her immediately. She is a walking Nexus Event, after all, and it’s drawn to those.
Cue the greatest Pixar reference ever!
The Void functions as the junkyard for all forms of society, the place where the TVA dumps the pruned and the doomed.
There, Alioth devours them, ending their existence. We notice a Thanos helicopter (a real thing from the comics!) and a spaceship amid the ruins.
At one point, a 1940s battlecruiser teleports into the void, only for Alioth to disintegrate its soldiers almost immediately.
This place is where you wish all your worst enemies would go. So, it feels right as the home to so many Loki Variants.
However, this series has established that Sylvie acts differently. She’s not about selfish survival and bad plans.
She has overcome the worst parts of fundamental Loki programming. That’s what makes her such a threat.
For this reason, Alioth seems to hate her the most. She’s in real peril as the smoke monster chases her.
Suddenly, she hears a honking horn as a pizza delivery car appears…just like in every Pixar movie ever! I marked out at this!
The Various Lokis and Their Stupid Plans
The driver’s face remains hidden at first, but it’s Mobius! He, too, has survived the pruning while avoiding Alioth.
Mobius and Sylvie drove across the road-less countryside while the smoke pursues.
Meanwhile, the three remaining human Variants (and Gator Loki!) converse on the hill. They all lament their inability to grow and evolve. All Lokis do is survive.
Sylvie and Loki’s bond has differentiated the two of them somehow. They’re learning to love…themselves? This entire series is a self-help seminar!
Loki tries to find Sylvie by killing Alioth, an idea that seems patently absurd.
Sylvie confides in Mobius that she pruned herself to find Loki. Her modified goal is to escape The Void and find out who or what is behind the TVA.
In perhaps the least likely event in the history of the MCU, the pizza delivery truck drives straight up to the other Loki Variants.
The odds of this happening in this vast, desolate landscape are roughly the same as you getting struck by lightning while buying a winning lottery ticket.
I guess that once we accept an alligator Loki, we’ll buy that the Pizza Car possesses some sort of Loki GPS.
Sylvie reveals her plan to her counterparts after dismissively deriding Loki’s murder plan. She plans to cast an enchantment spell on Alioth.
I wouldn’t say that’s an ideal plan, but it’s better than trying to kill smoke.
At the TVA, Renslayer tells Miss Minutes that she needs all files regarding the organization’s founding.
The virtual assistant starts to stonewall her before the judge states that the founders are in tremendous jeopardy. At this point, Miss Minutes springs into action.
The Lokis at The Void all like Mobius, a nice touch. They press him on what will happen when he returns to the TVA.
He acknowledges it won’t be great but that people need to know the truth. He later adds that people are never too old to change.
Classic Loki perks up at this. A noble sacrifice is evidently in the offing. Then again, he’s a Loki, so…
Meanwhile, Loki and Sylvie sit on the hilltop and “talk.” He stutters, she plays with her hair, and their feelings are unmistakable, despite what the showrunner has stated.
Perhaps the most significant moment on the show to date occurs when Loki conjures himself a jacket, thinking only of himself.
Immediately, he realizes that Sylvie is cold, too. Soon afterward, he manifests a blanket for her as well. It’s not quite Sir Walter Raleigh, but it’s a solid first step.
Loki confesses to Sylvie that he recognizes and understands the things that he has done that were wrong. He’s not that person anymore.
We should all demonstrate that level of personal growth and introspection.
I joked earlier about the self-help seminar, but we really are watching Loki overcome all his insecurities and accept the things that he’s done.
At this moment, the series has redeemed Loki after a decade of misdeeds. Color me impressed.
What’s Behind the Curtain?
Action drives the final segment of the penultimate episode. Fighting a formless monster ain’t easy, folks.
Loki stays to aid Sylvie with the enchantment. He’s ready to sacrifice everything for his friend.
The other Lokis, including the alligator, choose to stay in The Void, but they aren’t helping. However, child Loki does hand Loki the dagger/sword that presumably killed Thor.
Mobius takes the TemPad and returns to the TVA, acknowledging that Loki will escape justice. The two of them hug, with Loki calling him a friend.
Mobius whispers, “You’re my favorite” in Loki’s ear during the hug…but he’s looking at Sylvie.
Afterward, the enchantment process begins. Unfortunately, Sylvie isn’t strong enough on her own, as Loki attempts a distraction.
Recognizing the precarious nature of their predicament, Classic Loki does what was foreshadowed earlier. He’s the old dog learning the new trick.
Classic Loki manifests an eerily realistic Asgard – to scale! – in the heart of The Void. (Main) Loki says, “I think we’re stronger than we realize.” Seems important.
What are the man’s final words? “GLORIOUS PURPOSE!!!”
Moments later, Alioth swallows Classic Loki whole, but it’s too late. Loki joins Sylvie in the second enchantment attempt.
He tells her that he doesn’t know how, but she counters that he does because “we’re the same.”
The spell takes hold, and Alioth succumbs. The curtain of The Void has opened.
Next week, Loki and Sylvie will walk through it and learn the secrets of the TVA!
This was a terrific episode that thoroughly entertained me from start to finish.
I’d give it an A+ anyway, but it gets bonus points for sticking Frog Thor in a jar as an Easter egg!
Feature Image Rights: Marvel