Glorious purpose! How does this show do it? Every week I expect a little bit of a lull in the action, the reveals and the massive revelations, but somehow the show delivers heaps more than the last with every new episode.
This episode gave us the freakin' Thanos Copter and Frog Thor among a literal dumping ground of deep-cut easter eggs in an episode that is itself already heaped with character development, action, and wondrous farce! If Loki sticks the landing next week, this is the episode that turned the show from contender into champion of my favourite MCU show. It's nothing short of glorious.
The first ten seconds of the episode waste no time introducing us to the void and to Alioth, a sentient, temporal cloud who eats the time-displaced matter that ends up here. The Lokis we met in the post-credit scene of episode 4 explain to our Loki that all they can do here is survive; this is the TVA's dumping ground, and everything here is just prey to Alioth. They lead Loki past the Thanos Copter - a reference to a wacky comic book produced by Marvel in conjunction with the Electric Company back in 1979, Spidey Super Stories #39 - and into an underground bunker, close to which we also see a buried Mjölnir and a tiny Frog Thor attempting to escape a glass jar. Frog Thor, or Throg, is a man... transformed into a frog... who weilds a fragment of Mjölnir in the comics, giving him the powers of Thor. Yeah, weird; I just love that Marvel are going all in on weird!
So Loki explains to the variant Lokis that he intends to kill Alioth and escape in order to get back to Sylvie and bring down the TVA. He is laughed out of the room, but before he leaves he is introduced to yet more Lokis, a whole group of them led by President Loki - yet another comics reference. President Loki is here to claim the throne in this underground bunker, which is... a very Loki move. So narcissistic, so backstabbing he'd fight all other Lokis to be ruler of this wasteland. But he too is in the presence of Lokis, so backstab leads to backstab and an all out Loki brawl breaks out which is... maybe right now one of my favourite scenes in the entirety of the MCU. Our Loki manages to escape with Classic Loki, Kid Loki and Lokigator, all of them seemingly embarrassed by the nature of Lokis. These three who have escaped with our Loki agree to help him with his cause, to kill Alioth.
Meanwhile in the TVA, Sylvie has interrogated Renslayer to find out enough information about the end of time to trust that that is where Loki has been sent. When Renslayer and Miss Minutes wait out the clock and a group of TVA hunters arrive to apprehend Sylvie, she self-prunes and sends herself to the void at the end of time. There, she realises that she might be able to enchant Alioth and meets up with Mobius who has also been managing to survive here. She explains her plan and they, as well as the other Lokis, converge on Alioth's position.
We get a few lovely moments here between Loki and Sylvie, Loki and Mobius, and... Mobius and Sylvie, I think. Loki and Sylvie discuss their complex feelings, whatever it was that caused their apocalypse-disrupting nexus event - we'll probably find a complete answer for that next episode - and Loki conjures them a blanket to share. They're still kind of coy about their feelings...
I don't have friends. I don't have anyone.
Well, there are more important things, right?
Right? Yeah, like bringing down the TVA.
I mean saving the universe, when you think about it.
Well, there's no need to be dramatic but yeah, kind of!
Sylvie gives a stolen tempad to Mobius with which to return to the TVA. Loki hugs him before he leaves, and Mobius - whispering in Loki's ear but looking to Sylvie - says, "you're my favourite". I'm not entirely certain who he is speaking to here. Maybe Sylvie, who has been his greatest challenge as a TVA agent... maybe Loki, who has become a friend to him... Maybe he means both of them. I think maybe he means both of them.
Mobius leaves for the TVA, and Classic Loki, Kid Loki and Lokigator go their separate way as well. Loki and Sylvie are left standing, ready to face down Alioth and hopefully enchant the creature to have it lead them to whoever is behind all of this.
To enchant Alioth, Sylvie needs to make physical contact... and to not get eaten, so using a flaming sword gifted to him by Kid Loki, Loki aims to cause a distraction. Alioth doesn't go for it, and threatens to go after Sylvie. Loki rushes to her side, but before she is consumed by Alioth there all of a sudden appears in the void a fresh new meal for Alioth and a big one at that... Asgard! Classic Loki has returned to assist and conjures up an illusion of the Lokis' former home in all its magnificent glory, set to a score featuring Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Classic Loki sacrifices himself while shouting "GLORIOUS PURPOSE!" and Loki tells Sylvie, "I think we're stronger than we realise", while together they finally enchant Alioth. Alioth opens a passage to a castle atop an asteroid, presumably still somewhere here in the void at the end of time. And Loki and Sylvie step through to the other side together.
Amazing episode! This is the second time we've seen Loki achieving something stronger than we realised he could. We saw it in episode 4, where he telekinetically prevented a building from crushing Sylvie and himself, and now we've seen it directly called out with this magnificent illusion of Asgard. I think next episode we're going to see Loki do something absolutely fantastic to conclude that thread. It's possible their great feat is just enchanting Alioth, but Sylvie already believed she could do that, so I think we're to expect a big power play from Loki in the finale. And it's almost here! The finale is next week, and there is no big villain for the series yet explicitly shown or stated. That's bold. Could the big bad behind the TVA be Kang the Conqueror or one of his forms, or could it be another Loki... My expectation is that it's too late in the series to introduce a new character to general audiences, so we'll probably see a worst version of Loki, a King Loki perhaps who won and who sees other Lokis as his main rivals in all of time. But we'll see.
This series has been wonderful and constantly surprising. I cannot wait for the finale!