Loki Episode 5 Review and Ending Explained: ‘Best in the series, though still has problems plaguing the show’

Loki episode 5, the penultimate episode before its finale next week, sees the God of Mischief becoming acquainted with other variants of himself while Sylvie continues her quest to bring down the TVA and the mysterious entity that created it. With the great threat still having yet to be established, new characters to be introduced, and even more TVA lore to sift through, there was a lot for this episode to sift through. So did it manage to achieve it?

Loki Episode 5 Review: ‘Continues to pitch Loki as a lovelorn puppy despite his many atrocities’

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Loki episode 5 can’t be accused of the slow pacing earlier episodes in the show have suffered from. This short six-episode series has had tons of exposition to get through, from establishing various timelines to transforming the once-villainous Loki into a believable protagonist. At its worst moments, Loki has felt as though it’s reading out a Marvel Wiki entry to the viewer, with it trying to adequately explain the confusing multiverses that will serve as the backdrop for MCU’s Phase 4. However, while episode 5 still had plenty more to establish, it did a much better job of tying that in with its action and character development.

The awkward Loki cosplayers shown at the end of episode 4 are predictably revealed to be other variants, sent to The Void at the end of time as a result of their own Nexus events. The standout among this quartet of oddballs is future Loki, portrayed by Richard E. Grant, who further proves he should be given every available opportunity to chew the scenery in any film or TV series. Grant’s typically over-the-top performance manages to overshadow the inherent ridiculousness of his outfit, and it’s a shame we apparently won’t get to see more of this Loki in the future. Alligator Loki also deserves a reappearance, and the implication that he may not be a Loki at all but an alligator that is instead lying about being Loki was the series’ first belly laugh.

Trust (and the lack thereof) has been a major theme in Loki thus far, with there having been plenty of back-stabbing between the title character, the TVA, and Sylvie. This is exemplified by the best scene in the episode, in which another Tom Hiddleston Loki (who seemingly won the US election in his timeline, given the campaign badges adorning his jacket), looks to take the throne of child Loki before being backstabbed by everyone in the vicinity. This series has sometimes stretched the boundaries of belief when it comes to characters trusting one another, so this comical play on just how untrustworthy Loki is was welcome.

Loki and Sylvie’s relationship has also been hit and miss. While Hiddleston is always affable and Sophia Di Martin is a charming addition to the MCU who’s seemingly destined to become a fan favorite, the exposition dumps suffered by previous episodes haven’t given us a whole lot of time to convince us of their fledgling relationship.

Episode 5 continues to pitch Loki as a wide-eyed, lovelorn puppy despite the many atrocities he only recently committed, so viewers are once again left to think of this Loki as the one who sacrificed himself in Infinity War, not the one who murdered swathes of innocent civilians in New York. This is further highlighted by his relationship with the returning Mobius, who he refers to as a “friend” despite the pair never really doing anything particularly friendly with one another. Perhaps Loki just finds it as difficult to not love Owen Wilson as the rest of us.

Loki episode 5 ending explained

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Loki and Sylvie’s relationship strengthens in episode 5’s ending, as they get closer to uncovering the origins of the TVA hidden behind the imposing smoke beast Alioth, which is revealed to be hiding whatever is situated beyond The Void. Marvel fans are always hungry for developments that have a larger impact on the MCU, and there’s a real sense here that whatever is discovered in Loki’s finale will have long-standing ramifications for the cinematic universe. Thus far, this has helped elevate Loki beyond WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which both get their title characters to a point that was expected by their fans but felt somewhat underwhelming in the grander scheme of things.

Unless there’s a last-minute bait-and-switch similar to WandaVision’s deflating finale, Loki looks set to offer up a brand new villain not just for this series, but for the entire MCU. Considering that the fortress hidden beyond The Void is apparently at the very end of time, it seems highly likely that Loki isn’t going to pull a fast one on us a la Pietro/Ralph Bohner, and that whatever’s inside that fortress is going to be a major threat.

Loki episode 5 concludes with Loki and Sylvie set to pass beyond The Void after enchanting Alioth, thus revealing who’s behind the creation of the TVA. The odds are in favor of Kang, who has ties to Alioth, the multiverse, the timelines, and is a huge threat that the MCU has yet to tackle. While Marvel is known for subverting expectations, sometimes the audience doesn’t need to be shocked for the sake of being shocked, so I really hope the fan theories about the leader of the TVA being Miss Minutes remain just that — theories.

Loki episode 5 is the best in the series so far, though still has the problems that have been plaguing Disney Plus’ latest MCU show. With its big bad villain still having yet to be revealed, I hope that the rug isn’t once again pulled out from under us following WandaVision and that there’s a suitable payoff to what is likely set to be another one-off MCU series.