Following the events of the fourth episode “The Nexus Event,” fans of the Disney+ and Marvel Studios’ series Loki had many questions about the fate of the titular character and the ultimate direction of the season as a whole. After Loki and Mobius both get pruned by Renslayer, it is revealed in a mid-credit scene that Loki has found himself in the void amongst other surviving Loki variants, yet Mobius is unseen. Upon the start of the fifth installment, Loki has found himself in the void of time with other surviving Lokis, including Boastful Loki, Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and even Alligator Loki, and begins a quest to find Sylvie once more and help her destroy whoever is behind the Time Variance Authority, or TVA.
After learning of the android state of the three Time Keepers, Sylvie and Loki are facing a brand new challenge in discovering what or who is ultimately keeping them at bay with the TVA. The episode delves into the identity crisis that Tom Hiddleson’s (The Night Manager) Loki and other Loki variants face. The battle of feeling alone, friendless, and unaccepted by others for wanting to change and be different is evident through each incarnation of Loki, even though Sophia Di Martino’s (Casualty) Sylvie. Rather, the writers utilize their placement in the void of time to explore the self-discovery for all Lokis and Sylvie upon her self-pruning after being double-crossed by Renslayer at the TVA.
“Journey Into the Mystery” presents new obstacles for Loki with the reestablishment of Renslayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror), embodying her villainous character while also looking to achieve the same knowledge as Loki, Sylvie, and even Mobius about the supposed TVA. Furthermore, the episode demonstrates the first instance of a devious side of the Miss Minutes character, voiced by Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans).
The penultimate episode of its first season demonstrates the growth of love that Hiddleston’s character has come to realize. Whether this is through the reconnection and further affirmation of friendship with Owen Wilson’s (Wedding Crashers) Mobius who turns up in the void or a deepening of a relationship with Sylvie, “Journey Into the Mystery” presents a journey into the unknown for fans of the God of Mischief. This episode witnesses the most vulnerable Marvel and television fans have seen Loki, followed by his previous tenure in a Time Loop where he can look back at his betrayal behavior. Loki is capable of publicly displaying and admitting to his care towards Sylvie as one of the more touching scenes of the series and as a character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The feelings of self-doubt and loneliness are strong themes for the Loki character and this episode displays the ability for different versions of Loki to understand this and overcome this obstacle that has seemingly hampered any prior attempts at completing a task in front of them. The acceptance of belonging and friendship are at the forefront of Hiddleston’s Loki and the viewer is capable of finding trust within his words for the first time since the introduction of the God of Mischief onto the big and small screen. The term anti-hero may not apply at all anymore towards Loki, at least in this version of Loki.
Despite combatting others with humor and tricks, Loki is often viewed as an afterthought when it comes to other MCU characters’ perspectives of him. Throughout this series, he realizes this about himself and openly admits it to characters that are either apparitions such as in the Time Loop or to his newly found friend Mobius. Rather, this episode serves as the first opportunity that Loki demonstrates this to Sylvie and ultimately the further entrenchment into the ongoing mission and relationship he has forged with his female counterpart or variant.
“Journey Into the Mystery” offers a lot of questions as Loki has still not introduced its true series’ villain outright going into its sixth and final episode of the first season. Theories have included that his storyline might ultimately lead to the introduction of the Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet it is still unconfirmed. The season finale is set to premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, July 14, and will hopefully bring answers to the TVA, Loki’s self-discovery, and what might be next for the MCU as a whole.