Fans knew they were going to be in for a strange ride when the after-credits scene of the last episode featured an Alligator Loki. And “Journey Into Mystery” certainly delivered when it came to that first impression.
Out of all the Lokis that found Tom Hiddleston’s Loki Prime on the ground after being pruned, Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki is definitely the favorite when it comes to how they were utilized in the episode. He also had one of the more interesting nexus events.
Classic Loki confirms that he was experiencing the same exact sequence of events as our Loki, but instead got away from his death thanks to an illusion. So he went away from everyone and everything, and it only became a problem when he tried to re-enter the world. Then, of course, the TVA did what the TVA does.
For only ever having been in one episode, Classic Loki got the privilege of having a complete character arc. Having once again relegated himself to surviving in Limbo, Loki and Sylvie’s attempt to overthrow Alioth spurred that calling for a glorious purpose.
Seeing Classic Loki conjure up an illusion of the entirety of Asgard was breathtaking, and proved to feel just as victorious to the audience as it was the Classic Loki—a feat since viewers have only spent a few minutes with him.
Of course, since his distraction was successful, Classic Loki sadly bit the dust thanks to Alioth, who seems to be probably one of the messiest eaters out there. I mean, he leaves stuff just lying around uneaten as he goes and chases things around like a distracted dog.
Anyway, I digress. When it comes to Alioth, he looked fantastic. Generally speaking, the VFX work in the episode as a whole was great. The scale of everything was held up very well and wasn’t bogged down by shoddy effects at any point.
The idea of this Limbo at the end of time, and its guardian, is such an intriguing idea. While obviously the finale hasn’t been seen yet, it does seem like the plot is set to move out of this new area into a whole new deal in the coming finale.
It just feels like the show could have used maybe one more episode spent in this Limbo, and with its resident Loki prunes, to really explore all of the ideas and concepts at play just a little more. Remember all that wasted time in the third episode? Yeah, that would have been better serviced here.
Now there was a lot of talk about Classic Loki, but there are plenty of other Variants to talk about. Such as Kid Loki. He didn’t quite receive the same attention that Classic Loki did, which is a shame really. With the Young Avengers project that Marvel Studios is not so subtly setting up, he is bound to play a role in it—pointing to his inevitable return in the near future.
A similar sentiment goes to Boastful Loki, who could have been easily used in a more meaningful manner. Instead, he was randomly thrown into the Loki brawl to simply be forgotten about. To the show’s credit though, the brawl, and the circumstances that led to it, were a hoot and were fun to watch unfold.
At the end of the day, the many Lokis were a blast—particularly Alligator Loki. But most of them didn’t amount to much of anything, besides Classic Loki. Given just a little more time, audiences could have spent more time with some of these other Variants and learned that much more about them. So instead of only caring about Classic Loki, audiences would care about far more of the various Loki’s and their band of misfits.
But what about our Loki? Loki Prime. Well, honestly, for the most part, he stayed in the background as the various other Lokis cycled through the spotlight. But, it was neat to see him take in all of the various things that he could have been or become. This led to that important conclusion that he makes at the end of the episode: “I think we’re more powerful than we realize.”
Sylvie got a nice focus this week, as the episode started with her fighting Renyslayer—and promptly pruning herself to not only find Loki but also potentially get closer to the truth. Sylvie pruning herself to find Loki speaks to how connected the two are.
Now, a lot of fans are against it being a romantic connection—but It’s important to stress what the fourth episode discussed. Loki is narcissistic and feels that the only person worthy of himself, is well…himself. So of course it makes perfect sense for him to literally fall for himself. There is always the chance that the writers make it more of a self-acceptance situation, with the two sharing a complete understanding of each other.
Let’s quickly talk about Renslayer. She’s become a very interesting character, as it’s pretty clear that after that whole Time Keeper debacle, Revonna doesn’t quite know what to think herself. While she still has plenty of questions about the truth, there seems to be a subtle admiration for this mysterious person behind the curtain. Someone she either doesn’t want to let down or upset, seeing as she’s doing everything in her power to keep the status quo and peace.
Last but not least, there’s Mobius. Seeing Owen Wilson’s Mobius in a completely new dynamic and scenario than we’ve ever seen the character in was fun, only made better by the irony of him hanging out with all the various Loki’s that he has helped to prune over the theoretical years. He didn’t get all that much time to do anything important besides saving Sylvie, but at least now he’s theoretically on his way to burn the TVA to the ground. So there’s that.
There’s something that has been bugging me as the show has progressed, and the further the show gets, the more it becomes noticeable. A good chunk of Loki has been exposition. Explaining concepts or stories to the audiences, and then getting to the plot after—or eventually. Especially in hindsight, it feels like it’s a bit much. Though, that’s obviously easier said than done, considering the intense scope and importance of everything the show’s plot is trying to hit upon.
At least within all of the explaining, the show is able to throw in Easter Eggs, and boy did they go hard in that area in this episode. This episode alone went above and beyond quite literally any Marvel Studios project to date. I mean, they had the Thanos Copter. You just can’t beat that. From Kang’s Sphinx time travel machine to Throg, and even The Living Tribunal. And that’s only about half of them.
At this point, if it’s not Kang the Conqueror in that Castle at the end of time, it would really be an issue in itself. With all the many easter eggs and ties that go directly to Kang, and the situation in general, there’s almost no other avenue the show can take—at least none that would make more sense than Kang.
“Journey Into Mystery” provided a mixed experience. The episode as a whole package was a little all over the place, but there’s a ton of neat stuff crammed within it that its hard to notice the flaws at points. If anything, the show keeps introducing some really intriguing stuff to the MCU lore. One can only assume that trend will continue as Loki and Sylvie transcend into the unknown.