We ended last week’s chaotic EPISODE 4 with Loki pruned, the Time-Keepers unmasked as robotic frauds, and Sylvie taking charge over Judge Renslayer trying to get to the bottom of it all. Oh, and a mid-credit scene with Loki waking up to…more Lokis!
Our penultimate episode kicks off in the aftermath. We see a closeup of the decapitated Time-Keeper head and quickly cut to Loki meeting, according to the credits, Classic Loki, complete with original comics look; Boastful Loki, the dude with the Mjolnir-esque hammer, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki. Alligator Loki? “It’s best not to ask.”
The Lokis give us some insight on what exactly is going on. They’re in a void that all pruned people or timeline resets go to. It’s at the end of recorded time, no nexus events can occur there because there is nothing after the void. Within that void, there is a cloud creature known as Alioth. Alioth appears to have a sentience about it as it devours any matter sent to the void by the TVA.
Back in the TVA, Sylvie is interrogating Judge Renslayer, who claims having no idea the Time-Keepers were fake and wants to work with Sylvie to get to the bottom of it. Renslayer makes Sylvie an offering: Loki may still be alive. Giving her some of the information Loki received already from Classic Loki. Renslayer brings in Miss Minutes to go through TVA files looking for answers. Sylvie, used to the games people play, smells a trap and avoids Renslayer’s double cross.
Sylvie swipes a TemPad and prunes herself, ready to do what it takes to find Loki and find who created the TVA. Renslayer dismisses the pruning and shows her concern with the TVA as well here, asking Miss Minutes for all files regarding the TVA creation.
We go back to the council of Lokis, as MCU Loki is trying to get as much information as possible. Kid Loki is seemingly in charge with Classic Loki following his lead. The Lokis share war stories. Kid Loki killed Thor. Classic Loki projected himself in a battle with Thanos and disappeared after Thanos killed the projection. Boastful Loki insists he killed Captain America AND Iron Man, all while getting control of the Infinity Stones.
Our Loki wants to try to get back to Sylvie, get back at the TVA but is turned down when asking for help from the other variants. Upon leaving the hiding place, Loki encounters President Loki, leading a group that may or may not be composed of even more Lokis.
President Loki begins explaining his plan to take over the void: he had worked a deal with Boastful Loki for the location of the hideout, but being a Loki at heart, President Loki plans to betray Boastful Loki, only for President Loki’s troops to betray him, leading to an all out War of the Lokis, complete with Alligator Loki biting off President Loki’s hand.
During the melee, our Loki escapes with Classic Loki, Alligator Loki, and Kid Loki, leaving the rest of the group to fight it out amongst themselves.
We get our first look at Sylvie in the void as well. Waking up in an abandoned bus. Alioth quickly comes for her and nearly gets her before a pizza delivery truck comes driving up. The driver? Mobius! Remember, all things that are pruned are sent here.
Mobius and Sylvie work through their issues. Mobius apologizes for hunting Sylvie all those years and both characters are ready for revenge on the TVA.
Cutting back to our Loki and his comrades, they’re talking through plans to attack the Alioth, thinking killing it would open up travel to whoever is behind the TVA. As our Loki is about to attack, Mobius and Sylvie drive up. They all compare notes here, Loki’s plan of attack is mocked by Sylvie who has a better idea: she wants to enchant the Alioth and get control over it.
With a plan forming, Sylvie and Loki have a heart to heart, talk over the Mobius’ idea that their Nexus Event on Lamentis was them nearly admitting their feelings for each other. Their conversation ends with Sylvie asking Loki “How do I know in our final moments you won’t betray me?” to which Loki responds how he’s not that person any more and he will do what is right.
Mobius decides to use the TemPad to go back to the TVA to “burn it down” while Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki decide to stay in the void because it’s their home now.
Our Loki had planned on going to the TVA as well, but has a change of heart and stays with Sylvie as whatever they have to do, they have to do it together.
Loki and Sylvie see Alioth ready to absorb the next offering from the TVA and Loki tries to distract it so Sylvie can enchant the creature. Classic Loki conjures Asgard at this point too as an extra distraction when it looks like Sylvie and Loki were going to be overpowered.
Episode 5 ends with Classic Loki sacrificing himself, giving Sylvie and Loki enough time to combine their power and take control of the Alioth. The dark cloud clears and they both walk towards a castle as we cut to end credits.
What I Liked
I could have watched an entire episode around the Battle of the Lokis. Very much enjoyed the Lokis continually turning on each other and Alligator Loki’s attack on President Loki was a must see.
Snappy dialogue throughout. One of my favorite bits was MCU Loki asking the others if they’ve ever seen a woman Loki.
“No, sounds terrifying!”
Easter Eggs everywhere! While I lack the deep comic chops for many of the Easter eggs scattered in the void this week, I dug the inclusion of the USS Eldridge, a ship tied to several supernatural conspiracy theories of dubious believability.
What I Didn’t Like
Narratively I get wanting to pare down all the excess Lokis for the finale but it seems hard to believe all Lokis except for Sylvie and MCU Loki have been institutionalized and are happy living in the void. Even with Classic Loki’s sacrifice, he was mainly helping the main Lokis and didn’t seem interested in leaving the void or unraveling who put them there. Gods of Mischief, not complacency!
Mobius jumping through the TemPad alone seems a curious set up for the finale as well. He’s shown he’s resourceful but not a fighter, so going to the TVA headquarters seems a risk to do solo. I’m curious if a possible Renslayer/Mobius confrontation can have enough juice as well next week to keep my attention when Sylvie and Loki’s journey is the A story by far.
EPISODE 2 remains my only less-than-great episode of the run, even with complaints, Hiddleston and Di Martino’s work as Loki and Sylvie have added charm and depth to what can easily be one note characters in many other hands. I’m looking forward to the finale and while there are always Hype Machine rumblings about who or what may be behind the TVA, I think the showrunners have done a better job with this series not going overboard building expectations. (That or I’ve learned to better tune out the publicity side of the shows.) Sure, something big may happen tying into the greater MCU but the work they’ve put in can also just as easily lead to a smaller, contained resolution that I look forward to seeing either way.