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Gleb Moses
Gleb Moses

Loki Season 1 - Episode 5

Only took five damn episodes, but we finally now know what was up with that President Loki teaser image from the trailer. What's funny about its reveal here is that it's a reminder of how wrong I (and perhaps others, but I'll only speak for myself here) was about what this show was going to be like, back when all we had were vague trailers and interview tidbits to go off. President Loki, in my head, felt like he was destined to be a really big part of the series...

Loki Season 1 - Episode 5

There, Loki makes some new friends, or as much as any Loki can be said to be friends with a Loki. As teased in last week's episode, we've got Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, Kid Loki, and Alligator Loki to show Our Loki the ropes of this strange new realm. After explaining the existence of Alioth, the "shark" placed in the void to consume anyone who might dare to escape, this merry quartet leads Loki back to their lair, which looks like Santa's Workshop and a bowling alley were caught mid-coitus.

The past four episodes of Loki have explored questions of identity, destiny, and self-determination, asking whether Lokis can change for the better or if something essential about their character will always keeps them mired in chaos and pain. In "Journey Into Mystery," Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finally realizes he has a choice in becoming who he wants to be, which helps him unleash the best parts of himself. But before that can happen, he must witness the worst parts of himself.

Has he been reigning over the TVA all this time? Or could it be someone else? Another Loki perhaps? Whoever it is, they now have more than one Loki to face, and as this episode proves, that is a powerful thing indeed.

Also picking up from the previous episode, Sylvie has captured Judge Ravonna and is looking for those sweet answers and explanations both she and all of us are desperately looking for. She throws out that Loki is not dead and that all pruned people end up in the Void, the point in time where all timelines converge and simply stop.

With the penultimate episode of Loki behind us, the end is just a mere week away. The Disney+ exclusive show and six-episode series will release its final episode next Wednesday where you can also catch our detailed recap shortly after.

"Journey into Mystery" is the fifth episode of the first season of the American television series Loki, based on Marvel Comics featuring the character Loki. It follows alternate versions of the character who are sent to the end of time by the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA) and must work together to survive. The episode is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise. It was written by Tom Kauffman and directed by Kate Herron.

Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki from the film series, with other versions of the character including Sophia Di Martino as a female variant named Sylvie, Jack Veal as a young version called Kid Loki, DeObia Oparei as a version known as Boastful Loki, and Richard E. Grant as an older version called Classic Loki. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Tara Strong, and Owen Wilson also star in the episode. Herron joined the series in August 2019. Filming took place at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, with location filming in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

"Journey into Mystery" was released on Disney+ on July 7, 2021. The episode was positively received by critics, with praise towards Grant's performance, the pacing, and the setup for the season finale.

By September 2018, Marvel Studios was developing a limited series starring Tom Hiddleston's Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films.[1] Loki was confirmed to be in development by Disney CEO Bob Iger in November.[2] Kate Herron was hired to direct the series in August 2019.[3] Herron and head writer Michael Waldron executive produce alongside Hiddleston and Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Stephen Broussard.[4] The fifth episode, titled "Journey into Mystery", was written by Tom Kauffman. The title shares its name with the comic book series in which Thor and Loki were introduced.[5]

Classic Loki's backstory was conceived after Waldron pondered the "what if" question of what would have happened if Loki had survived his death in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Calling the backstory a "thought experiment", Waldron added it was "just so sad" and a "tragic thing" when Classic Loki realizes he is meant to be alone.[6] Richard E. Grant's experience quarantining to join the production was "the key to plugging into who classic old Loki was" and allowed Grant to "zone in" for the character's speech explaining his backstory.[9] Alligator Loki, an original variant created for the series, stemmed from Waldron's initial pitch meeting with Broussard and co-executive producer Kevin Wright, with the reasoning for his including being that he was green; this is also a point of discussion that the Lokis have in the episode, trying to determine if Alligator Loki is actually a Loki. Waldron explained that the possibility of an alligator variant is "so stupid, but it also makes total sense... It's just the sort of irreverent thing that, in this show, we play straight and make the audience take it seriously."[10] A version of the script saw all of the Loki variants arrive to take on Alioth because they did not want the series' Loki to "outshine them" since they are all "narcissists",[11][7] resulting in their heroic attempt to talk with Alioth ending in disaster.[7]

The episode features many Easter eggs in the Void from the comics, such as Thanos' helicopter, Throg,[5] Qeng Tower, a tower associated with Kang the Conqueror,[12] and the Living Tribunal's head,[13] as well as from the MCU, such as Yellowjacket's helmet,[5] Mjolnir,[14] a Helicarrier, and the Dark Aster. Real-world Easter eggs include the USS Eldridge, Polybius, and the Ecto Cooler.[15]

Beginning with this episode, composer Natalie Holt incorporated a 32-person choir into her score, in addition to the other elements.[29] An arrangement of the song "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner appears in the episode when Classic Loki is creating his Asgard illusion.[30]

After the episode's release, Marvel announced merchandise inspired by the episode as part of its weekly "Marvel Must Haves" promotion for each episode of the series, including Funko Pops for the Loki variants, a President Loki Hot Toys Cosbaby figure, apparel, accessories, and jewelry.[31] Marvel also released a promotional poster for "Journey into Mystery", which featured a quote from the episode.[32]

"Journey into Mystery" was released on Disney+ on July 7, 2021.[33] The Simpsons short film The Good, the Bart, and the Loki was released alongside the episode on Disney+, which sees Loki teaming up with Bart Simpson in a crossover that pays homage to the heroes and villains of the MCU. Hiddleston reprised his role as Loki in the short.[34]

Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone said in the comic series Journey into Mystery "anything was possible... which makes it an apt moniker for an absolutely wonderful episode of Loki where the same holds true". He stated the episode was reminiscent of the series Lost, and believed what made "Journey into Mystery" special was "the way that it explores the untapped potential of Loki himself, in his many, many variations". Other highlights were the hug between Loki and Mobius and the expanding of the relationship and connection between Loki and Sylvie. Sepinwall concluded his review by hoping for a strong final episode, something he noted had not been the case with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, though Loki "feels different so far" and "everything up to this point deserves" a good ending.[5] Giving "Journey into Mystery" an 8 out of 10, IGN's Simon Cardy said the episode did "a great job of keeping up the pace set by last week's final revelations. It displays impressive scale, ranging from stunning apocalyptic threats to tender character moments for both new and returning cast members. And while it may not move the overarching plot along to the same extent as Episode 4, it's an enjoyable ride and one of Loki's strongest episodes yet." He noted while all the Loki variants featured had their moments, Grant's Classic Loki and "the absurdity of Alligator Loki" made a "particularly strong impression", and the "standout scene" was Loki and Sylvie expanding their feelings for one another; Cardy felt Hiddleston and Di Martino "play the moment out beautifully, bringing a touching sense of humanity". Cardy did, however, call it "a shame" that Renslayer was still an underdeveloped character, given the audience still did not know much about her. Concluding his review, Cardy pointed out there was "a lot left to do" in the final episode, and hoped the series "manages to end on a stronger note [than WandaVision] and deliver an ending as thrilling as the mystery weaved throughout deserves".[36]

The episode then shifts back to Sylvie at the TVA. Sylvie is able to deduce that when the TVA prunes people they are sent to the end of time where The Void is. She also suspects that whoever is behind the TVA is hiding at the end of time in order to avoid detection. However, while this theory might have been plausible before the last episode, the nexus event when Loki and Sylvie were about to kiss seems to throw a kink in that theory as you had a nexus event within a nexus event.

Overall, this episode was far superior than the past two episodes despite still struggling with a number of very boring and quite stupid scenes. The graphics especially the recreation of Asgard and Alioth were what you expect from Marvel. The scene with the cruiser was top notch. The alligator was put too good use as well for comedic effect. Both of the scenes he was featured in he stole.

If you were not convinced of the complexity of the Loki character before this episode, you should be now. Yes, Loki is manipulative, conniving, and self-serving. But he is also insecure, and deep down, wants to be good. 041b061a72


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