Martin Carr takes a Journey Into Mystery with a review of the penultimate episode of Marvel’s Loki….
After that mid-credit sequence last week, the internet went into meltdown. Multiverse doors were thrown open, everything was called into question and Loki kicked into another gear. Leading on from that, writer Tom Kauffman continues to ensure that all bets are off with ‘Journey Into Mystery’. Billowing clouds of time-consuming matter prowl a barren wasteland, Lokis are no in short supply and the TVA is under threat.
What ‘Journey Into Mystery’ does is broaden the playing field, offer Richard E Grant another plum role and underline how essential Tom Hiddleston is to this franchise once again. Wandering amongst the detritus of deconstructed timelines, pursued by an unknown entity and buddying up with multiple versions of yourself feels like purgatory. What transpires however, is an existential romp that feels both invigorating and cohesive.
DeObia Oparei, Jack Veal and Richard E. Grant all channel variations on our central protagonist that make this the most abstract tag team ever put on screen. Individually distinctive, rambunctiously unique and yet so obviously a Loki persona. They represent just one of numerous curveballs which get tossed out as this episode progresses. Elsewhere there are plenty of Easter eggs up on screen for the fanboy comic book faithful.
While replica cities, mind melding enchantments and Mobius shaped shenanigans are kicking off, Marvel continue to quietly lay their foundations amongst the distractions. Now more than ever, Loki feels like a segue into something more substantial, where disparate elements are converging. Sophia Di Martino has quickly become a formidable force alongside the leading man, and really ties this show together. Character is once again at the forefront, even if the whistles and bells of VFX are upping Loki’s entertainment factor.
As the fabric of time begins to fray, combining forces pull together towards a common cause and one hell of a light show kicks off; there are more questions. For the savvy Marvel fan, there are a cornucopia of clues packed from floor to ceiling in this superior episode. So many in fact, that as the clouds part and our protagonist steps into a new day, audiences will be rivetted. Unruly fist fights might have kicked off, new allegiances may have been forged but there is still a fear of the unknown as that finale beckons.