The Nerd Report
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The Nerd Report

The Fifth Episode of Marvel’s Loki Prepares Audiences for the Finale

An entire group of Loki variants have to cope with one another and push forward as the fifth episode of Marvel’s Loki prepares audiences for an exciting finale.

“I am Loki. God of Outcasts.”

That’s a quote from Daniel Kibblesmith’s Loki Issue #5, and it’s certainly an important concept of Loki’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Classic Loki — portrayed amazingly by Richard E. Grant — recited it in the fifth episode of Marvel’s Loki when he claimed that Loki Variants have one, singular part to play in the universe: the God of Outcasts.

But throughout the course of the Disney Plus series, Loki has had to come to terms with all his horrible, evil, mischievous flaws. And right now, he’s certainly tired of the experience. From the God Mischief to the God of Outcasts, Loki is exhausted — so incredibly exhausted — of himself. He’s also beginning to fall in love with himself, so there’s that.

“Wherever you go, there you are” is equally fitting for Loki’s fifth episode theme, as Loki got to understand variants of himself while trapped in the Void; their mistakes were evident. Kid Loki killed Thor (you could’ve heard a pin drop during this moment), Classic Loki survived Avengers: Infinity War. Alligator Loki ate his neighbor’s cat. Boastful Loki defeated both Captain America and Iron Man and went on to collect the Infinity Stones.

It’s difficult to pick an MVP from the various Loki variants. It’s incredibly tempting to choose Alligator Loki (practically every single shot of him ruined any serious moment in favor of a comedic laugh) or Kid Loki, who I am looking forward to hopefully joining a future Young Avengers team, Classic Loki had the most intriguing impact by showcasing what would’ve happened to Loki if he had escaped death in the sacred timeline: sadness, loneliness, and regret. Loki genuinely had the opportunity to see where all his worthless baggage was taking him, etched in the lines of Classic Loki’s face.

While there was a lot of emotional components and thrilling action to be had in this particular episode, it did suffer from the stereotypical issues of a penultimate episode. It had “one large, final boss to fight” in Alioth before Loki and Sylvie pushed ahead to duel against the big bad, and we also had to go through the process of “coming up with a plan of attack,” all of which fostered enough excitement for the finale but didn’t completely get us any closer to the end of our journey into mystery. Overall, after last week’s surprises, there was certainly going to be some calm before the storm, but I’m certainly not the only one who was hoping for a little bit more information among the incredibly distracting yet amazing collection of Marvel Easter eggs.

It was certainly great to see that Mobius had managed to stay alive in the Void after being pruned by Judge Renslayer. Thank you to Marvel for having its own “Lightning McQueen to the rescue” moment. Although it wasn’t a jet ski, the moment was still awesome. It seems that Loki has gained a real friend in all this craziness, and I hope this will be a friendship that we continue to explore in future MCU installments. Owen Wilson has been an astounding addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it seems he really enjoys playing the character.

Though it was great to get to spend some time with Mobius, the Loki variants, and their backstories, was the best part of this episode. There was some awkward screen time with Loki and Sylvie that I could have done without. I will restate that I really wish this romance wasn’t happening; it just feels incredibly strange and weird. I enjoy Sylvie as a character but making her a love interest to Loki feels unnatural and far too rushed.

In the end, Loki and Sylvie were able to defeat Alioth by combining their power, but unfortunately it was too late to save Classic Loki. Yes, of course the two characters were able to open a portal to the place beyond the Void in an effort to the individual who may truly be behind the creation of the TVA, but would it have killed them to get the job done sooner?

Who will be revealed as the villain of the series next week? My first thought was that Loki and Sylvie were about to meet the MCU’s version of Doctor Doom. The castle we see in the distance looks a lot like the Doomstadt of Battleworld. However, many Easter eggs in this series have teased Kang the Conqueror.

However, in the back of my mind is another, potentially more realistic truth: this is the third Disney Plus and Marvel series, and in the first two there were “big bad” questions that were resolved without introducing a new, important MCU villain at the end. In WandaVision, it was not Mephisto. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the Power Broker turned out to be Sharon Carter. In Loki, it is therefore just as likely that the person behind the TVA will be someone we’ve already met before: Loki himself.

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