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“Loki” Episode 5 Fills the Void We Didn’t Know We Had [Review]

Every week I think to myself, “‘Loki’ can’t possibly stay this good. I’m gonna need just a few big mistakes so I don’t sit here and repeat myself.” Of course, every week so far, “Loki” continues its trend of damn good television. The show knows its own strengths and capabilities, but is also acutely aware of its unrestrained nature, allowing each episode to continually escalate in creativity without detracting from the heart of the series. There is just so much to enjoy here in episode 5, so much that I’m not really even sure what’s left to say about it. Each week packs a gut punch of emotion and self realization while consistently delivering some stunning visuals and action sequences.

Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Since I can’t really continue to sing the same praises of “Loki” every episode, I think a good place to start here is Richard E. Grant. Seriously, god bless Richard E. Grant. A long standing character actor who always delivers and rarely disappoints, Grant is firing on all cylinders in episode 5. Props to the show runners for not only casting such a powerhouse of acting talent, but also not wasting a single frame with him. Grant chews through scenery alongside our series regulars, instantly becoming a fan favorite in a literal sea of Loki variants. Obviously Marvel spares no expense, but episode 5 does a great job utilizing each character to their fullest potential, regardless of their longevity.

(L-R): Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Alligator Loki and Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Loki” episode 5 doubles down on the heart, exploring the themes of who and what makes a Loki that has permeated the series from the jump. There is just so much self realization and reflection that Hiddleston brings to life effortlessly, and episode 5 does a great job balancing these themes out across multiple Loki Variants. The show puts the emotional weight of Loki front and center without every bogging down the plot or feeling forced. Everything Loki, Sylvie, Mobius, and the Loki Variants experience emotionally and physically feels organic. With so much to unpack before the finale, episode 5 deserves all the credit for doing that and doing that well. “Loki” has always ridden the line between mystery and revelation, choosing to pace themselves rather than rush to dumb it all down with exposition.

(Center): President Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

This allows “Loki” to remain firmly planted in a character driven show first, an MCU timey wimey action romp second. Episode 5 continues to make the characters priority number one. It seeks to make us care about everyone, villain, hero, and variant alike. We understand what drives everyone, from Sylvie to Mobius to Rennslayer. No one is filler, and even in episode 5 that adds a collection of Loki variants gives purpose to each of them, however brief that may be. It pulls on the heartstrings in just about every range of emotion imaginable, from sadness to thrills to excitement. The ability to consistently take viewers on such an emotional rollercoaster ride in such a short, concise episode is simply another testament to just how good this show is, and why making it a character driven show its number one priority is the driving force of the shows success.

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Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about the show once it all concludes. And to be fair, while episode 5 was another fantastic entry into an already solid series, I am most nervous about this final episode. Marvel shows seem to falter most when they try to stick the landing, and “Loki” being so consistently good sets the expectations as high as you can imagine. That’s not to say previous shows like “WandaVision” missed the mark completely, but one could argue that the finales are the most divisive, particularly with shows that are so consistently good. There are still a lot of answers to questions we need and a lot of character arcs to wrap up, so here’s hoping that “Loki” finishes as strong as it has been so far.

Alligator Loki in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Lastly, I want to make one final thing clear: I’m not on the shipping Sylvie and Loki train. I’m all down for their strong connection and watching them grow together has been a treat, but I really hope the show ends without a romantic conclusion. I know many are shipping that idea, and have been since episode 3, but it would sit much better with me if two of the loneliest beings in the whole of the multiverse find friendship in each other rather than be INTO each other. Not that episode 5 necessarily gives the indication that that’s what is happening, but there is most certainly a relationship there and will inevitably reach its conclusion next week. My hope is that it simply isn’t one where they kiss under the fireworks of the TVA collapsing into a time portal.

(L-R): Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) and Alligator Loki in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Whatever happens, one thing is for certain: “Loki” is a damn good show, and I cannot wait for next week!

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