The following review contains spoilers for episode 5 of Loki.
“Although WandaVision isn’t without its fair share of issues holistically, what we get through this experience is unparalleled to anything Marvel has done prior.” I said this back in February during the height of WandaVision‘s excitement. We were all anxiously awaiting what the finale would bring and did that finale deliver? I’ve attached a song here to demonstrate my feelings towards the WandaVision finale. Now, it is July, almost five months since the finale of WandaVision and Loki is all the rage. Are we stomping into familiar grounds with Loki now that the finish line is in sight?
We start immediately where we left off in the last episode. Loki was vaporized (or so we thought) and we’re now in a world/void inhabited by Loki’s. As with any great TV episode, we get more development and character motives. I can easily dive into a recap, but that’s not what you’re here for. As a wise man once said “where’s the freakin’ gabagool?” and as a wise guy, I’m here to deliver that.
I’m going to start with my gripes because I have a handful. For a show that revolves around time, it does an excellent job at wasting it. I understand when you introduce new characters you need time to meditate and breathe these characters in. With that said, the people helming this show have taken a lot of time to digest these characters. We come out the gate strong in the first two episodes putting us through a trainwreck (not bad in this case) of information. The Infinity Stones (y’know, that thing that drove a 23 movie saga?) being absolutely worthless? What’s up with that?
With this much to digest, I wouldn’t have been opposed to getting the WandaVision length. In WandaVision, we spent a lot of time building anticipation. With Loki, WE GOT A FULL TRAIN RUNNING YEEHAW. Seeing as how it introduced us to all of these Loki’s, I wouldn’t have been opposed to taking a couple of episodes to stew in this world. There’s definitely a world to explore here, these Loki’s are all unique. Why deprive us of this world of the Loki alligator and Richard E. Grant?
I understand the length of episodes is correlated to the amount of cheddar Disney is willing to shell. So if you’re reading this, Sir Mouse, please give these more creative and experimental shows more money. As a person whose favorite Marvel project is Doctor Strange, I can definitely say when we get to the weirder side of superhero mumbo jumbo, I’m all in. WandaVision gave us little nuggets of weirdness, but they were all explained. By doing that, we lose that mystique we saw in early episodes of WandaVision. Ironic, considering the show is about witches and magic.
In Loki, we get a ton of information. Just like the Loki in the show, we have to digest this at an insane rate. No singular episode feels similar to each other. One episode ends in a supermarket succumbing to ravaging death just outside. Last episode ending in a smoky chamber inhabited by robot puppets. In this episode we have Owen Wilson reprise his character Eli Cash from The Royal Tenenbaums. Somehow this episode feels like a Marvel adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Yet with all of this nonsense, the show maintains a singular direction and feel.
In this episode of Loki, we take care of a lot of the business I was dreading we would get in the finale. By episode 3, I was afraid we would succumb to the typical Marvel formula. WHAM, BAM, *information dump*, CGI, KERPLOW. We have six episodes, one of which was a slow burn. We allowed time to meditate with Sylvie and Loki, but we needed progression. Now that we are where we’re at, I can confidently say any skepticism is gone. This episode took the time to shred through all of the extra filler and set the stage for a bombastic finale. Although I am concerned by the fact that the true antagonist has yet to reveal themself, we have enough time to flesh that out.
Personally, I think the Loki experience has been miles better than the WandaVision experience. Not to dog on anyone who made either show, as both have excellent execution. Loki though is more up my speed. I do believe we will get to the finale, get some WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM, then be left with something to relish until the eventual Marvel movie follow-up. Every episode leading up to this point was a fun and zany journey that I’m glad we were able to take. Give us the goods Marvel, give us the weirdo stuff too. – Jacob Mauceri
(My theory is that everyone, even the TVA employees, are Loki’s)
Rating: You’re going to watch it anyway/10
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.