Loki: Journey Into Mystery (Episode 5) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Loki, Journey into Mystery, questions about the TVA’s true creators are on everyone’s mind as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) experiences pure chaos and confusion while in The Void.
The Void is quite a hellish landscape as it’s basically a barren wasteland filled with structures, creatures, and people that don’t belong in the sacred timeline. Anyone that ends up here is pretty much stuck here in infinite isolation and can only find escape in accepting a terrifying death at the hands of a gigantic smoke monster who’s face resembles an evil dragon named Alioth. On a more fun note, heading to The Void also gives the series the perfect excuse to stick in some fun Marvel references and Easter eggs as some things in the background are from other universes. Things like the delightfully corny Thanos copter, a giant version of Yellowjacket’s helmet, and a version of Thor as a frog stuck in a jar that can be seen as the camera passes. There are plenty of blink and you miss it references that will make any Marvel fan happy to be in such a desolate location. That’s not all though.
This episode immediately gets into what we saw during last week’s post-credit scene as we meet some other versions of Loki. Some of the versions we meet include a kid version (Jack Veal) that supposedly killed their Thor, a boastful Loki (Deobia Oparei) who tells false fables about killing Iron Man and Captain America, and an alligator everyone claims to be another Loki. While funny to see animal versions of Loki, the whole everyone being puzzled by an alligator joke runs dry quick. Most notable though is the older Loki in the classic garb (Richard E. Grant) and it’s not just because Grant plays him. Their story about surviving their interaction with Thanos and then leaving everything behind to try to change really hits an emotional chord. There’s something about their story that really sparks something in Loki and the fact that they got caught by the TVA as they were going back to make their wrongs right was really heartbreaking and incredibly fitting for the themes about destiny seen in Loki’s arc.
As they attempt to leave to work on their own plan, Loki runs into a bunch of other versions of themselves and after some expected backstabbing and plans falling through, absolute chaos ensues. It’s the usual killing and tricks we’ve seen our central Loki pull time and time again and it really hits him how he’s stuck in a loop. The idea that maybe they can’t really change and that they’ll always just be a bad trickster that’s meant to be unhappy really hits them. However, it’s this realization that creates this great direction for Loki’s character as they’re inspired to be the one breaks the cycle and change their destiny. This episode really feels like a triumphant change for Loki and provides a visual aide for them that puts things into perspective. Not to mention, they’re driven by their need to see Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) again.
Sylvie is dealing with her own problems as she’s once again deceived by Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and left with one option – to prune herself and head to The Void. Just to stay on Ravonna for a moment, she actually goes through some interesting beats as well with how her curiosity about her creator brings out another theme of this series. Throughout this whole journey, there have been these instances of wondering about life, death, and where we come from and it’s interesting to see people within the TVA, including Ravonna, question their existence since the cats out of the bag about them just being variants and the Timekeepers being a lie. Well, the Timekeepers aren’t exactly a lie since we know that Kang is on the way, but this questioning of existence is one of the more relatable aspects of the series and something that makes it unique and kind of deep. Ravonna’s just looking for simple answers though and even gets a well-deserved mocking from Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) about her not deserving the answers she seeks.
Back to Sylvie, she’s immediately on the run as soon as she gets into The Void but is rescued by a thankfully still around Mobius (Owen Wilson) driving a pizza delivery car. Mobius’ story is starting to come to a close and while nothing too substantial happens with him here, it’s fitting to see him reel from learning the truth and it’s going to great to see him burn the TVA to the ground next week. Sylvie’s reunion with Loki is just as sweet and even though this episode still leaves a lot of questions unanswered, it feels like a fitting calm before the storm.
Loki and Sylvie growing closer and gaining strength in their relationship while finding personal purpose is really great. Their battle in trying to enchant to Alioth is pretty epic with Classic Loki distracting Alioth with projections before meeting a powerful yet bitter end. Even them walking towards an unknown building in search of answers at the end of the episode is really satisfying and makes the wait for the finale so much tougher. There’s a great line Loki has when seeing Classic Loki distract Alioth along the lines of “we have greater potential and power than we even know.” This line perfectly signifies exactly what this series is about and the true culmination of Loki’s going through greater self-discovery – something that’s very empowering to watch.
Journey into Mystery sets the stage for its titular character to head deeper into the unknown while reaching towards the climax of its personal themes about existence and self-exploration and delivers some multiverse chaos that’s Marvel having some fun with its fans.