Owen Wilson “wow” noise.
Whenever I watch the Marvel Disney+ shows, there’s a constant buzz in the back of my mind asking and answering one simple question; what is this setting up for future movies. Because if we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that the Disney+ shows are partially vehicles for minor plot developments that Marvel would rather not take time out of a movie for.
I’m waiting for that moment in an upcoming Marvel film where an established character like Thor looks at the new Vision and says “you’re looking quite alive” to which Vision or Wanda will make the quip “it’s a long story…well not that long if you binge it in a day” with a wink at the camera and a pause for applause. Loki is no different by setting up new characters, new plot points, concepts, etc.
Episode 4 and 5 feel like Marvel telling Tom Hiddleston that he’s replaceable, by basically opening up a lifeline for an infinite possibility of Loki to come in and fill the slot. Alioth’s appearance in this episode strengthens the ties and likelihood that we’ll see Kang the Conqueror as the big baddie, since the two characters are pretty well tied in the comics.
It also opens the possibility that the standard timeline Loki is still out there. This week’s episode gives us backstories for the variant Lokis we saw at the end of Episode 4, and Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) explains that he survived his fight with Thanos by conjuring an apparition of himself so realistic it even fooled Thanos into thinking he had killed Loki. This Loki goes into hiding and only comes on the TVA radar when he shifts from the timeline by leaving his planet of solitude.
So is the audience supposed to take that the main timeline Loki we assumed was dead is alive and self-exiled to a planet somewhere?
There’s a bunch of references to nerd culture in this episode including the Polybius arcade machine and the Thanos copter. Polybius is an urban legend that popped up on the internet a long time ago, claiming that a mysterious arcade machine appeared in an arcade in Portland back in the 80’s and was some sort of CIA experiment. The Thanos copter is a reference to a time when comics regularly went into the absurdly stupid. There’s also the USS Eldridge, the ship apparently at the center of the Philadelphia Experiment, a conspiracy related to the United States government experimenting with teleportation.
The star of the episode of course is Gator Loki, who plays its part magnificently. Topping last episode’s reveal of three additional Loki, we see that a lot more Loki have survived in the end of time apocalypse and are just as eager to backstab one another for their own gain. I want to see Kid Loki appear in future Marvel movies just because he killed Thor in his timeline, and I’d like to see his banter with Chris Helmsworth.
So what do we have left to learn in the final episode? Who is running the TVA? Will the timeline gobbledygook set the stage for Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness? How many Loki elements will appear in the What If? series?
And will Mobius ever get his jetski?