Prepare yourselves for “Journey Into Mystery” and the fifth and penultimate episode of Loki. If that title sounds familiar, that’s because Journey into Mystery is an iconic and classic series title that launched Thor. It’s an episode filled with cooky ideas like spaceships that can withstand the end of time, quirky Loki variant personalities, and great nods to the comics too. Fair warning, this review gets into some spoiler territory.
The big threat in this episode is revealed early on when we cut to Loki getting a hand from his variants seen in the last episode in the mid-credits scene. It’s a giant cloud in the sky that kills everything and it goes by the name Alioth. Created in 1993, it’s a being that broke free from the constraints of time.
The real fun of this episode resides in the various Loki variants. Teased earlier in the series, getting to know Kid Loki, warrior Loki, and old Loki helps us understand our main variant Loki a bit better. They’re all a bit sad, failed in some way, and have decided to give up on trying to do anything besides saving themselves. Simply put, they are cowards. There’s also an alligator Loki and a Loki straight out of Vote Loki too.
The b-plot to the episode involves the female Loki variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and her new mission to save Loki. One problem with this episode is how it spends a good deal of time moving characters around. While seeing Sylvie make her way to Loki is interesting, it takes a bit of time to get there. The same is true of Loki confronting his Vote Loki self. Because of this, the episode doesn’t get to where it wants to be for its main fight until 25 minutes into the episode.
That fight brings all our key characters together so as to show their true heroic colors. It’s a cool battle, albeit it leans on a lot of CGI to accomplish its goals. It allows a few of the variants a chance to contribute while giving Loki the opportunity to finally prove he’s worthy of something. Or maybe someone.
This last chunk of the episode also firmly establishes Loki’s relationship with Sylvie may be possible. In a shorter scene, Loki and Sylvia chat, share a blanket, and talk about betrayal being a part of who they are. It serves as the culmination of everything Loki has learned along the way and how he has truly changed from a villain who seeks glorious purpose to something a bit more attainable and real.
The climax of the episode certainly is exciting and closes things out in an entertaining way. There’s a touch of the common CGI fight scene problem in how characters are gritting their teeth like Jedi to control digital things on screen, but it looks cool at the very least. This leads to the cliffhanger of the episode which is similar to episode three in that it doesn’t give us much to go on. We can assume it’s a trap of sorts, the conflict can’t be over with one more episode to go, but a little more information would go a long way in making us more interested in where this goes from here.
Loki episode 5 “Journey Into Mystery” is a fun episode once it gets started. It utilizes the various Loki variants in interesting ways, brings Loki to some kind of developed and happier version of himself, and ends in a big climactic battle. It’s also slow to start and ends in a way that has you questioning what could possibly come next. In a way, this show is episodic like a comic book, but one of its biggest weaknesses has been so-so cliffhangers.
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