Last episode left the Time Variance Authority in tatters, as it was revealed that the lizardlike Time Keepers were fake, and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) got pruned by the TVA’s disintegration weapons, but instead of dying, he woke up in a strange place with Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Alligator Loki, and Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant). In this episode, we learn that Loki, as well as everything else that’s pruned, are sent to the still-developing end of time, which the TVA cannot see past, and is dominated by a giant cloud-monster named Alioth that eats all variants.
Meanwhile, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) has captured TVA head Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who seems to be just as interested as Sylvie as to who created the TVA, though rather than wishing to kill them, she wants to protect them. Ravonna eventually gets the upper hand on Sylvie, forcing her to prune herself to assist Loki at the end of time.
Kid, Classic and Boastful Loki lead Loki to their bunker, and apparently Kid Loki is their leader, as his nexus event was supposedly killing Thor (though we don’t know if he’s lying). Classic Loki apparently created an allusion so convincing, he tricked Thanos into thinking he killed him in “Infinity War”, and then he spent a long time hiding and reflecting. We never learn of Boastful Loki’s nexus event, as he lies about it and betrays the group early on, selling them out to another group of Lokis, who quickly back stab each other, allowing Alligator, Kid, Classic and standard Loki to escape.
Sylvie meets up with Mobius (Owen Wilson) at the end of time, but she manages to read Alioth’s mind before they narrowly escape from it. She learns that it’s guarding something, and quickly finds standard Loki to help her enchant it, knowing that whoever is hiding behind Alioth is behind the TVA. They meet up, and do exactly that, but not before Classic Loki supposedly sacrifices himself (though I personally think that he created an illusion as real as the one that he used to trick Thanos on Alioth). The episode ends setting up a final encounter between Sylvie and Loki with whoever is behind the TVA, while Mobius goes back to the TVA to confront Ravonna and burn the place to the ground.
Overall, this episode did not disappoint, with Kid Loki and Classic Loki being the standouts of the episode. Both are wiser Lokis, having had time to reflect on their mistakes, with Kid Loki having a few moments where he is compassionate and thoughtful towards Loki and Sylvie, as he is generally fed up with the fact that the TVA sends any version of themselves that try to fix themselves to die at the end of time, and Classic Loki serves as the wise elder of the group, as he spent years in isolation reflecting on where he went wrong — and he is also the most powerful Loki we’ve ever seen, as he honed his magic to its full potential.
Who is behind the TVA is anyone’s guess, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kang the Conqueror from the comics was behind it, but it could conceivably be any Marvel villain — including another Loki variant.
I do have a feeling the show will end in a way where Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Sylvie will be free to continue their adventures in future seasons of “Loki”, but Kid Loki and Classic Loki (if he’s still alive) will be able to join the mainstream MCU films — and I hope that this is the case, because both were wonderful, and it’s clear that Jack Veal’s Kid Loki should be the successor to Tom Hiddleston’s version in the films, especially if Marvel plans to eventually do a Young Avengers film.
So far, “Loki” is on track to surpass “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” in terms of quality, as it has made much better use of its 6-episode format, as it has focused on character development, ignored clutter, and properly set up its finale with little to no pacing issues.
“Loki” Season 1: Episode 5 “Journey Into Mystery” gets an 8/10