Loki: Journey Into Mystery

You must be Loki too, or you wouldn’t have come here.

The Loki series is racing towards its conclusion. We’ve seen building threats, confusing mysteries, and a lot of odd characters developing strange relationships. Now we see what comes after being “pruned,” a lot of Loki Variants, and a scattering of Easter Eggs here and there. Taking its name from the comic where Thor (and later Loki himself) first appeared in Marvel Comics back in the 60’s, Loki goes into the Void to learn a lot more about what’s really going on in “Journey Into Mystery.”

Last episode had several big surprises, including Loki being pruned right before he could make an emotional confession to Sylvie, and then waking up surrounded by variants of himself. That scene replays and we get a brief tour through the Void, including a ruined Avengers’ Tower, just to show how high the stakes are. The Variants with Loki are called Kid Loki (who we’ve seen in the comics), Classic Loki (looking much like his early version in the comics, including when he accidentally caused the Avengers to come together), Boastful Loki (who holds what looks like a magic hammer), and Alligator Loki (I have no idea).  There’s a huge dragon-ish looking monster that appears to be made of purple smoke, and the very confused Loki has a lot of questions. Leaving the confusion behind, the show moves to the TVA. As most of the workers go about business as usual, behind closed doors Sylvie and Ravenna talk about goals, the TVA, and history. Each one seems to have an agenda and they might even align. There’s some very reluctant steps toward cooperation between the two women.

Back in the Void, the collection of Lokis (a mischief of Lokis? A scheme of Lokis?) hurries through the ruins, passing a few more Easter Eggs from various comics and leaving our Loki very much in need of answers. He gets to give a great ranting mini-speech that doesn’t really make an impression on his other selves. Loki gets a few answers that seem to go with what Ravenna has told Sylvie, and the giant smoke monster gets a name (Alioth, from an Avengers miniseries years ago). There are some strained analogies, a bit of explanation, and Loki is shocked when he learns what Kid Loki’s Nexus Event was. As the Lokis get to their hidden lair, we see a Thanos prop from an old comic book appearance, Mjolnir, and a Thor variant from the comics that’s at least been alluded to in the MCU. After a joke about Loki’s “glorious purpose,” it’s back to the TVA. Sylvie shows how impressively smart she is, and Ravenna adds a few details. Miss Minutes chimes in with a few ideas as well, and it looks like the start of some teamwork. Naturally, this all falls apart with an expected betrayal followed by an unexpected resolution to the confrontation.

The Lokis share drinks (most of which are also nods to other stories or ideas) and we hear about some more Nexus Events, ranging from the epic to the ridiculous. Classic Loki gets a bit more time to tell his tale, and it’s a sad one, showing where and how he diverged from what we’ve seen in the MCU. Classic Loki calls them the God of Outcasts, and they drink. Loki tries to enlist them in his quest to return to the TVA and get back to Sylvie, but is greeted with laughter. He tries to leave, and gets another big surprise as he gets to the entrance. Sylvie has her turn to awaken in the Void, meet and run from Alioth, and then run into another TVA reject- Mobius, alive and well (but really, who didn’t see that coming after Loki survived?). The two make their escape in an unlikely vehicle and Mobius gets in a few more entertaining lines.

All manner of chaos erupts in the Loki lair as there’s god to god combat, a whole line of betrayals and lies revealed, and some impressive illusion work. A somewhat smaller group of Lokis make their way out and agree to give some limited help to Loki’s quest. Sylvie and Mobius both express some regret for their pasts, and she shares her current plan, which Mobius doesn’t appear to buy into. Loki comes up with a plan his allies don’t like, and then we get a sudden appearance of a ship famed by and among conspiracy theorists which demonstrates how dangerous Alioth is. Both groups meet up amid snark and explanations. There’s some disagreement about what to do next, and Sylvie’s stubbornness prevails, with some low-key backing from Mobius.

Ravenna dismisses her guards and has a private meeting with Hunter B-15, who has definitely changed sides after Sylvie’s revelation about the Hunter’s past life. Ravenna keeps pushing for information about Sylvie, and it’s fair to say that B-15 has both admiration and respect for the variant. The Hunter mocks the judge about their respective motivations, and I think she’s right. Not having what she’d hoped, or at least not all of it, Ravenna sends Miss Minutes off to retrieve some classified files. In the Void, Mobius muses about Loki variants, con games, and respect. When the Kid asks what Mobius is going to do next, the former TVA agent gives an answer I expected, although I don’t know how well that’s going to go for him. Changing pace and tone, the next scene is Loki and Sylvie outside. It’s an emotionally awkward yet believable exchange between the two of them. They discuss their future, some plans, and what might come after. Sylvie gives a throwaway line about her costume that’s never followed up on, even though it wouldn’t be that hard.

Gathering up their resolve and resources, Team Loki (plus Mobius, who must count for an honorary one at least by now) put their plan in motion. Mobius has gotten a pad from somewhere or other and uses it to go back to the TVA, after telling them what he plans on doing and circling back to some of his earlier lines in the series. Loki and Sylvie prepare to confront Alioth, while the Kid and the Classic say they’re going to stay here in what has become their home. The Kid gives Loki a parting gift, and things kick into high gear. The confrontation with Alioth is draining, and powerful, and costs them dearly. They get some unexpected help from someone who shows he’s more powerful than they realized. Finally, as the episode ends, Loki and Sylvie step forward into new territory and maybe, finally, are about to learn who or what is behind the TVA. It’s a big cliffhanger for the gap between this and the final episode, due out next week.

What I liked: The offbeat humor of this show is great. The Variant war was fun to watch, and learning all the different Nexus Events was interesting. I really enjoyed all the little Easter Eggs thrown around in the Void. Clearly, the set dresser and or effects department had a lot of fun. The scene between Loki and Sylvie was well-written and well-acted. I’m curious as to what Ravenna is up to and why.

What I didn’t: Not much, really. I didn’t like the death of the character near the end of the episode, but it made sense. The season is about over, and I’m not sure if there will be another one or not. That seems to be a mixed bag from past projects- WandaVision is one and done, while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be back, I’m just not sure exactly in what form or forms.

This was an enjoyable episode that was fun to watch and left me thinking a lot about how all this is going to end. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5, and I’m looking forward to the finale, even if I don’t really want it to end.