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 President Loki and his gang of marauders in episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery” (Photo provided by @chrisdadeviant via Twitter) 

TV Review: Episode 5 of 'Loki' is a fantastic precursor to next week’s finale

Loki’s fifth episode picks up immediately where the last left off, with Loki being approached by four different variants of himself in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. From there, they have to work together to find a way out of wherever it is they are and, perhaps more importantly, find a way to survive a ginormous, all-devouring cloud monster. Meanwhile, Sylvie is forced into an uneasy alliance with Judge Renslayer and Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) to find out who’s really behind the TVA and the Timekeepers.

“Journey into Mystery” is the series finally giving into what the audience has wanted from the start: multiple variations of familiar MCU characters interacting and coexisting with one another. We see several radically different Loki variants interact, especially the main group of our main Loki, Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei) and Alligator Loki. All of them have interesting backstories for why they were taken and pruned by the TVA, whether embellished or not. Grant and Veal, as their respective variants, are particularly great in this episode.

The score and cinematography, as always, are fantastic in this episode. The first shot of the episode is an impressive and beautiful digital one-take bringing us to a few familiar locations from the series before showing us the dilapidated landscape and skyline of the post-apocalypse. The orchestral score also has many sweeping and standout moments, from subtle cues during character beats to loud and bombastic explosions of the series’ theme in pivotal and intense scenes at the end. All the technical aspects of this episode impress, aside from some visual effects that look like they needed just a bit more time in the oven; even those only stick out if you’re looking for them, though.

While this penultimate episode isn’t quite as great as its predecessor, it still contains the most epic and grand events of the series so far. This series’ stage seems so large at times that containing it seems impossible. That’s what makes this series so fun, that anything can really happen to any of these characters or places, and the repercussions can be either minuscule or massive. From the looks of it, next week’s finale will contain some of the biggest repercussions a Disney + show has had for the rest of the MCU going forward. 

With only the finale of this series left to go, there’s not a lot of questions left to be answered, other than the big one: who’s behind all of this? With the track record of the previous Disney + Marvel shows’ finales, I would tell you to be cautiously optimistic about where this show is heading. While the other show’s may not have fully delivered or somewhat disappointed, this show seems to be different. Loki has been the most consistently great of the lot, and I can’t help but feel that director Kate Herron and head writer Michael Waldron will deliver a worthy conclusion, even if I can’t see where this is all leading to at all.

With Black Widow and What if? on the immediate horizon as well as many other projects this year and beyond, it’s a great time to be a fan of the MCU. Loki seems to be heading toward a massive finale with wide-ranging effects, possibly opening the multiverse for projects like the aforementioned What if? and the next Doctor Strange and Spider-Man films. While this series’ characters’ futures are now uncertain, the only certain thing is that we’ll all have to come back next week and see how everything plays out, if they all make it out alive and if the series can live up to its fans’ massive expectations. 

@zachj7800

zj716018@ohio.edu

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