Episode 5 - Journey Into Mystery
Welcome back all you fellow myth nerds to another Loki episode breakdown! Lyra and I have dug deep into Episode 5: Journey into Mystery. As with last week, this conversation will be divided into three parts: The Episode, Marvel Lore, and Mythology.
Obviously, this entire conversation contains ALL THE SPOILERS, so if you haven’t seen Episode 5 yet, maybe give that a watch first. Unless, you are chaotic like Loki and spoilers are your bread and butter.
Don’t hesitate to give us a holler on social media to tell us what you thought! We’d love to know your takes on Episode 5.
Cat: This episode was a WILD RIDE. It played with so many things that I didn’t expect anyone to EVER do.
Lyra: You mean like Alligator Loki, God of Chomp? LOL! SO MANY NEW LOKIS.
Cat: Classic Loki isn’t my favourite of the bunch but is definitely the one who’s most self-aware. He makes comments like “He’s overly sensitive, like the rest of us” and knows exactly what he’s done and why he did it.
Alligator Loki is definitely the best character in this show, bar none, and the moment that he bites off President Loki’s hand might be the finest thing I’ve ever seen on tv. The SCREAM.
Lyra: Having to choose a favorite between Classic Loki and Alligator Loki is a cruel punishment for me. I’ve honestly not been able to stop thinking about either since I watched this episode.
However, Richard E. Grant just BLEW me away with his performance as Classic Loki and brought so much to this character we only get one episode with. AND WHILE WEARING THAT OUTFIT AND SHARING SCREEN TIME WITH ALLIGATOR LOKI. This man deserves an Oscar for that alone.
I loved that this episode gave us a self-aware Loki for once, and it’s heartbreaking to see him come to the conclusion he was the cause of pain for so many, and so removed himself from the equation.
BUT...Alligator Loki. I want an entire series on his adventures. I want the plushie. I want to love him forever and ever. When he went full-on Captain Hook Crocodile on President Loki...I lost it. I want that on a non-stop loop.
Also, he was willing to do “Get Help”...Just sayin...
Cat: The bowling alley setup feels so jestery and authentic to a band of Lokis, especially a Kid Loki. I love that.
Lyra: HIS CANDY CANE THRONE. It was like a combo of Candyland and mall Santa, and it worked. I also really loved the chaotic mess that was this setting, it really does fit the Loki Vibe.
Also, apparently there is an arcade urban legend easter egg hiding in the background with a game called Polybius. I thought that a fun addition to have this nod, as well as later on with another urban legend/conspiracy theory with the battleship of the Philadelphia Experiment.
Cat: I feel a bit cheated by the Boastful Loki part of the show. I found that he didn’t bring as much to the table as the rest, and I guess everyone can’t share the spotlight equally, but I honestly feel like he could’ve used more space for people to be interested in him.
Lyra: I agree with this. At the end of the episode I was scratching my head as to what purpose he actually served the plot, besides instigating the most amazing scene in cinema history. I wish they’d given him an arc, or at least kept him going along with the Loki gang. I just wanted more Boastful Loki, okay?
Cat: Classic Loki telling his story and our Loki being very interested in it is quite touching. It reminds me of those prompts like “if you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell them?” If I got the chance to meet Old Cat, what would she say? What could I learn? Imagine having that opportunity. I think the point that’s most touching is Classic Loki admitting that he got lonely and just wanted to know if anyone ever missed him. What a deeply sad sentiment and one that’s on theme with the show’s interest in friendship.
Lyra: And this is where I’m swayed further to Classic Loki vs Alligator Loki (forgive me, God of Chomp!).
This was incredibly moving and deep when he admitted missing Thor. Wanting to know if he mattered...
As we already mentioned earlier, Classic Loki is self-actualized, and the only one so far to be so. He understands that all Loki’s are broken.
He also understands that blades are a dumb choice against Thanos. YES. THANK YOU for this service, Classic Loki. I loved he actually claimed to have done what a lot of fans kept thinking 2012 Loki did, which is trick Thanos with an illusion.
NOW...I will say, this is what set up what I found incredibly beautiful and impactful at the end of the episode. That being, Classic Loki is the ONLY Loki to have escaped their fate of dying at the hands of Thanos. This also makes him the ONLY Loki to have never become a hero…
...until the end when he faces Alioth. When he finally faces his fate. I’m still getting chills from that scene.
Cat: The contrast of this band of Lokis compared to our Loki stands out starkly when ours wants to take action and be brave, whereas the others have either never been brave or have lost their will to be.
Lyra: Exactly! Again, they all have finally shown bravery/heroism once they face Thanos...all except Classic Loki, that is (well, until the end).
2012 Loki is different from the rest, however, in that he is starting to believe in himself. He wants to kill Alioth, something none of the others will dare do.
And I totally loved how none of the other Lokis were having 2012 Loki’s sales pitch for killing Big Scary Hungry Cloud. Maybe President Loki could have swayed them as the group’s main politician?
Cat: Loki’s made such a significant psychological leap in this series. “And then I’d finally be happy” is so self-aware. Many of us suffer from this and it hit me like a brick.
Lyra: SAME. Seriously, so many Lokis having so much self-awareness at once nearly put me in cardiac arrest.
Cat: The Lokis finding the idea of a female Loki to be terrifying and formidable pleases me greatly. She is terrifying and formidable and the MCU better keep her around.
Lyra: YES. She is kickass and unstoppable and all other Lokis know this. This is also what sets Slyvie apart...she IS a hero, and I believe this was her nexus event as a child. She has always been a hero where all the other Lokis are cowards, well, until Thanos.
Cat: The conversation in the car between Sylvie and Mobius intrigues me. We’re all the heroes of our own stories and we do the things we think are right. But just because we mean well doesn’t mean other people aren’t getting hurt in the process. It’s the story of the human condition since the beginning of time.
The scene where Loki’s reunited with Mobius and Sylvie, you can tell by his body language that he wants hugs but doesn’t know how to open himself up to that.
Lyra: YES. I noticed this as well. You could see him waver, and then be like “No. Contact. Emotions. AHHHH.” I thought this a nice touch, and made it all the more important when he DOES go in for that hug with Mobius later on.
He so wants love, but is afraid. And, as he said in episode 4, this is all new to him. Actually, when was the last hug he ever had? This show continues to hurt me in the best possible way.
Cat: On a similar vein, Loki and Sylvie’s VERY AWKWARD moment sitting in the grass definitely reinforces last week’s discussion about friendship that EVERYONE WAS SO UP IN ARMS ABOUT. The creators of the show are challenging our preconceived notions of what a friendship looks like and what cues are for love stories alone. The media has convinced us all that friends don’t sit under blankets and cuddle, only lovers do. Physical contact isn’t for friends. And those ideas have made the world worse, in my opinion. If you were a person with no concept of how friends work because you’ve never had one, and you had the chance to make casual touch and comforts and cuddles part of your friendship, why the fuck wouldn’t you? Now I need there to be a Loki Enchantress movie where we watch them romp around the universe.
FRIENDSHIPS CAN CHANGE YOUR DESTINYYYY
Lyra: THEY CAN AND I COULDN’T HAVE SAID THIS BETTER.
It’s absolutely disheartening that we have been conditioned to think physical contact = romantic love. Or that tenderness and acts of kindness for someone means they are in romantic love. You can do these things purely out of friendship and platonic love. As I said last week, THERE IS MORE THAN ONE KIND OF LOVE AND WE ARE SEEING THAT SHOWN HERE.
I think it’s very brave of them and they are doing a great service in showing how love between friends can manifest without any kind of romance.
Normalize cuddles for friends please.
Cat: Also, whoever was like “yes pizza delivery car” deserves all the awards.
Lyra: This made me think automatically about Harry Potter, with the Weasley’s coming to rescue Harry from the Dursleys. Also, the pizza car also had a little bit of Toy Story vibe to it?
Cat: I think the mega double cross scene was simultaneously the best and most cringe part of the whole episode. Like whenever you’re watching a movie and they’re clearly double-crossing the other person, but then that happens about 10 times in one scene. Like which of them REALLY thought that any of this was ever going to work? Watching our Loki be entirely embarrassed about himself and everything he’s ever done in any timeline is just magical.
Also, President Loki calling his minions Scrubs really makes my day. So many Low Rent Lokis.
The phrase Glorious Purpose is such a joke now.
Lyra: I LOVED THIS SCENE. I was cackling throughout the entire thing. It really was the weirdest, wildest, greatest cinematic masterpiece I’ve ever seen. This was PURE chaos, and totally what would happen if all Lokis were grouped together. It would be endless double crossing and triple crossing.
It also speaks to Kid Loki that he was king over all of them, and also seems to have retained his throne at the end?
Cat: It really seems like he has XD
As we’re getting closer to the end of the episode, I’m so disinterested in Ravonna’s part in this. Sure, it’s going to be important to the plot and the MCU but I also just……..please fill all the plot with Loki variant antics please.
Lyra: Yeah, I don’t even know what she is up to or doing. Maybe she is a Loki variant, haha! But does she ACTUALLY want to take the TVA down? Or is it exactly how she wants it? I found myself a little bored with her in this episode just because she is all over the place, although I guess that’s keeping the mystery about WHO she really is going.
Cat: Just as they’re about to go up against Alioth, we see Loki backing away a few steps, which would be typical Loki style when he’s starting to run away. And that shot as he deliberately chooses Sylvie even when her back is turned is masterful cinematography.
“I think we’re stronger than we realize.” Take that line in, absorb it, believe it, move forward. You are stronger than you realize.
Lyra: THIS. This entire scene was a highlight for me, and again, CHILLS. He was choosing to be a hero along with Sylvie, and so finally did Classic Loki when he looked back over his shoulder at what they faced together.
When they see Classic Loki using his massive powers of sorcery and illusion to recreate Asgard, a place that links ALL of them together...It was beautiful for them to see what all they are capable of. They all have this power in them. They are “stronger” than they realize.
It also helped 2012 Loki know he could do enchantment along with Sylvie.
Cat: There was no other ending for Classic Loki to have. He had to die in order for his redemption arc to be complete, and to show, as Mobius said, that it’s never too late to change. I think it’s also the visceral spiritual death of Classic Loki as a concept. The Loki that we grew up with either in the golden age of comics or anything pre 2012 Avengers is no more. That arc is dead, and now Marvel is committing to this damaged, broken Loki who is a symbol for hurt people everywhere and has created more of a connection with viewers/readers than most of their heroes. Because people who think of themselves as heroes in real life are not usually doing it out of the goodness of their heart and no one wants to hang out with an egotistical asshole.
Lyra: The theme of this episode was definitely Cowardice vs Bravery. Classic Loki even mentions this several times, and I think that’s because he knew he WAS a coward. He RAN away from Thanos instead of becoming a hero and “dying.”
Classic Loki going back and facing Alioth was him finally meeting his fate head-on, literally, and becoming the hero he was always meant to be.
When he laughs in Alioth’s face...it’s literally him laughing at death and that scene will live on with me forever.
I also found this reminiscent of Loki’s fate in the actual myths, where he is also fated to die in Ragnarok, and *spoiler* does.
However….last week’s episode had Loki saying that Lokis don’t die, so...where did Classic Loki actually go?
The Marvel Lore
Cat: Kid Loki saying he killed Thor is actually something that happened in the comic series Fear Itself. There’s a story arc that involved Jormungandr aka the Serpent, in which Loki helps Thor be able to kill Jormy but also dies himself. It’s unclear if this tv moment refers to that or not, but it’s possible.
Lyra: Oh! I’d be curious if this was the case. I guess it would make sense that’s what they would be referencing, but either way, it made Kid Loki sound way more menacing and he earned my respect in 2 seconds.
Cat: And on the topic of Kid Loki. It’s probably pretty likely we’ll see him again for the Young Avengers arc we seem to be building to, which features Wiccan and Speed from Wandavision, Patriot from Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and several characters listed in upcoming movies. Kid Loki is one of my favourite comic arcs, which is connected to Agents of Asgard, so yes, yes please.
Lyra: I’ll admit I’ve not read Agents of Asgard yet, but this makes me want to change that immediately. Kid Loki fascinates me just with the little bit we see of him on screen. I also liked that there was a “kind” side to him when he gave 2012 Loki his sword, which I’m guessing is Laeveteinn. Also, how he cradled Alligator Loki...my heart. What a fantastic duo!
I want Kid Loki to have all the Hi-C juice boxes he desires. I will even pack them in little lunch boxes for him.
The Norse Lore
Cat: The God of Outcasts feels very much like some of the thoughts I’ve seen in Lokean communities. Loki as a deity tends to attract people who feel cast out, who feel unseen, and there’s often a lot of overlap with the LGBTQA+ community. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but very little in this show has been a coincidence yet.
Lyra: YES. This line immediately struck me as incredibly Lokean and of the mythology. He *IS* a god of outcasts, taking those in who have been stripped of a place. I was very happy to see this included.
I like that they also seemed to include the flaming sword Laeveteinn, which crosses Marvel and Norse myth. In Norse myth, Loki forges a sword/magic wand named Laeveteinn, which means Damaged Twig, or Wand of Destruction.
Cat: Kid Loki giving the sword/dagger to our Loki isn’t just a possible myth reference, it’s also very akin to the Zelda meme “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.” Which like...Lokis have been going it alone for a very long time, so feels very monumental to me.
Lyra: Oh! I didn’t catch this! I absolutely loved this moment.
Overall Thoughts on Episode 5:
Cat: While this is probably one of the most entertaining episodes in the series, I wasn’t as emotionally drawn to it as some other episodes. Perhaps that’s because I was super tired the night it aired and perhaps that’s just because the most value for me was in the clash of all my Loki worlds colliding. I had a great time with it though, and I’m excited to see what the next episode is going to look like.
Lyra: This episode is a top fav for me, but probably because it had another of those tropes I’m a sucker for...character’s showing a moment of bravery, using all their power in an effort to help their friends, and self-sacrificing. Gets me every time. It was a great mix of fun, chaotic whimsy, and deep emotion. I’m really curious to see how this gets wrapped up in the final episode next week. I sense a cliffhanger, if I’m honest...
Glorious Conclusion - What we want to see in Episode 6
Marvel’s plans for Kid Loki
A path for Sylvie and Loki that brings them into the MCU and not away from it.
Something disastrous that these two cuties have to fix, which would be very Loki/Trickster catalyst style
Mobius in the 90s
What happened to Classic Loki...is he really dead?
Who the true villain is, and what is their deal?