The God of Mischief meets various versions of himself in Loki episode 5, the penultimate episode before the show’s end next week, while Sylvie continues her mission to bring down the TVA and the mysterious entity who created it. There was a lot for this episode to go through, with the big danger yet to be defined, new people to be presented, and even more TVA mythology to sift through.
Loki episode 5 does not suffer from the sluggish tempo that has plagued previous episodes of the series. From establishing multiple timelines to converting the once-villainous Loki into a convincing protagonist, this brief six-episode series has a lot of material to get through. Loki has seemed like it’s reading out a Marvel Wiki page to the audience at times, as it tries to fully explain the complex multiverses that will serve as the backdrop for Phase 4 of the MCU. While episode 5 still had a lot of ground to cover, it did a much better job of bringing it all together with the action and character development.
The awkward Loki cosplayers shown at the end of episode 4 are predictably revealed to be other variants, sent to The Void at the end of time as a result of their own Nexus events. The standout among this quartet of oddballs is future Loki, portrayed by Richard E. Grant, who further proves he should be given every available opportunity to chew the scenery in any film or TV series. Grant’s usual over-the-top acting manages to transcend the outfit’s inherent absurdity, and it’s a shame we won’t be seeing much more of Loki in the future.
Mobius is skilled at detecting deception, which is why his relationship with Loki works so well. Owen Wilson adds so much to the character with every small detail that it’s great to finally spend more time with him as he takes command at the TVA. During his inquiry, Mobius mentions Titans, Kree, and the first confirmation of MCU Vampires, who may debut in Moon Knight next year and will most likely feature in Blade. Wilson is given the opportunity to give his greatest performance of the series, which is capped off by a devastating tirade about wanting to return to his former life, which he can’t remember, shortly before Ravonna has him “pruned” to death. While it’s extremely improbable that Mobius is truly dead (as shown later in the episode), owing to an honorable Wilson, the moment is nonetheless painful.
So far in Loki, trust (or the lack thereof) has been a big topic, with lots of backstabbing between the main character, the TVA, and Sylvie. The greatest moment in the episode shows another Tom Hiddleston Loki (who appears to have won the US election in his timeline, based on the campaign emblems on his jacket) attempting to usurp the kingdom of young Loki before getting backstabbed by everyone in the vicinity. This series has pushed the bounds of believability when it comes to characters trusting one another, thus this lighthearted take on Loki’s untrustworthiness was refreshing.
The connection between Loki and Sylvie has likewise been hit or miss. While Hiddleston is always delightful, and Sophia Di Martin is a sweet newcomer to the MCU who appears destined to become a fan favorite, prior episodes’ exposition dumps haven’t given us much time to persuade us of their budding romance. Despite the numerous crimes he has just recently done, Episode 5 continues to portray Loki as a wide-eyed, lovelorn puppy, leaving viewers to believe that this Loki is the one who sacrificed himself in Infinity War, not the one who slaughtered swaths of innocent citizens in New York. This is emphasized even further by his connection with Mobius, whom he refers to as a “friend” despite the fact that the two have never done anything especially amicable with one another. Perhaps Loki, like the rest of us, finds it difficult to dislike Owen Wilson.
After bewitching Alioth, Loki and Sylvie are ready to cross beyond The Void in Loki episode 5, exposing who is behind the TVA’s construction. The odds are in Kang’s favor, as he has links to Alioth, the multiverse, and several timelines, and is a major threat that the MCU has yet to confront. While Marvel is notorious for defying expectations, sometimes the audience doesn’t need to be surprised simply for the sake of being surprised, so I’m hoping the fan theories about Miss Minutes being the TVA’s leader stay just that.
Loki episode 5 is the strongest so far in the series, yet it still suffers from the issues that have plagued Disney Plus’ latest MCU series. With its big evil enemy still a mystery, I’m hoping that the rug isn’t yanked out from under us again after WandaVision and that there’s a satisfying ending to what will most likely be another one-off MCU series.