Everything from old to young to animal to politician -- there's a Loki for everyone as the stage is set for next week's epic finale!
For weeks now, fans have been wondering just when RIchard E. Grant would be making his appearance in "Loki," and with only two episodes left to go this season heading into this penultimate installment, they finally got their answer.
In fact, the action this week picked up immediately after Ravonna "pruned" Loki from the timeline. As it turns out, that's not quite the death sentence we all thought it was, which is good news for Loki and Mobius.
That knowledge also set up a last-ditch effort of desperation as Sylvie, betrayed by Ravonna (and how did she not see that coming a mile away?) and facing certain annihilation anyway, she opted to simply prune herself.
While our action stayed mostly where the pruned go, and it's a lovely place to be certain, we did follow Ravonna enough to know that she, too, is interested in finding out exactly who runs the TVA if the Time-Keepers were just robots.
What we don't know is how much of any of this she already knew? She was certainly ready to prune her friend (Mobius) and everyone else, and betray Sylvie, even after finding out the Time-Keepers weren't real. Was her world rocked, or was she in the know at least somewhat?
Hopefully those answers come next week as we expect a rather big confrontation, and possibly a big reveal as to who's really behind the curtain at the TVA, in next week's big finale.
But first, we had the matter of getting our players where they needed to be, and that meant surviving the Void and the giant purple smoke monster (are you "Lost" yet?) that appears to guard it.
While people who were purged simply vanished, only to appear in this desolated New York City landscape, it certainly looks as if a close encounter with purple and fire kills them dead. So what's the point of sending them here via purge if they're just going to die? Is it to feed Alioth, the smoke monster's name?
Also, for all the concern about the timeline, no one seems all that concerned with the state of affairs here on the Void. After all, as we quickly found out, there are a whole slew of Lokis running around.(and perhaps one Thor in a jar).
We did kind of like the explanation that Lokis are survivors, so of course they could survive Alioth when no one else seems capable of it. We say seems because in a fun Easter egg cameo, we do see what appears to be Frog Thor in a jar buried in the ground, hopping fruitlessly toward his hammer.
Seems is also the case, because as soon as Sylvie arrives, she catches a ride with another survivor of the waste, Mobius, sent here moments before Loki. Ravonna was on a roll that day.
While Sylvie was hanging with Mobius and concocting her own plan to try and get past Alioth to whomever he's guarding, suspecting that's the real mastermind behind the TVA, Loki was hanging out with himself and planning simply to kill it.
By himself, we of course mean other Lokis, including Richard E. Grant. For comics fans, this episode was a cornucopia of delights, including Grant playing "Classic Loki," the old grizzled mischief-maker from the Silver Age of Marvel Comics. He even wore the classic costume.
Alongside him were Kid Loki, a rather boastful Loki and even an alligator Loki. But it actually turned out this was just one crew, with President Loki (he went political in the "Vote Loki" comic mini-series) heading up another crew.
For no reason other than the sheer fun of it, we got to see a full-on Loki battle after it was revealed the boastful Loki had betrayed his compatriots to President Loki only to be betrayed himself by the Prez, only for the Prez to be betrayed by his entire army.
That was actually a key part of the conversation between Loki and Sylvie, as well. She again seems concerned he'll just betray her at the end, with him insisting he's not that guy anymore. But if she's a Loki, what's to stop her from betraying him?
The fan theory that she's really the Enchantress certainly gets toyed with a lot, as her plan was to "enchant" Alioth. At another point, when Loki offers to conjure Sylvie a blanket, she suggests he conjure her a whole new outfit. Can she not do it?
Is that about all these different Lokis having different manifestations of their abilities, or is she not a Loki? Certainly Classic Loki, who said he'd never gone in for knives and daggers when magic would work, proved himself stronger and more adept at it than any of the others.
Loki noted that might mean they're stronger than any of them even realize. It's like seeing all these different facets of who they could be is opening his eyes to who he could be. One of those things is a genuine hero.
Classic Loki conjured up a full city (Asgard?) to distract Alioth and it was magnificent. When his will finally faltered, he shouted "Glorious purpose!" having finally achieved meaning in his long life of hiding and isolation. And it worked, as Sylvie and Loki were able to link and enchant Alioth.
So if Loki can enchant, too -- he had no idea until this moment -- does that make it less likely she's the Enchantress and more likely she really is a Loki? As Mobius headed back to the TVA to "burn it to the ground," Loki and Sylvie uncovered what was hiding behind Alioth and the Void. And that's where the episode ended.
It was so much fun seeing all those Lokis going at it, including Tom Hiddleston clearing enjoying playing full evil again as President Loki, and we are absolutely in love with Alligator Loki -- who bit Prez' hand off in one of his more memorable moments.
The sense of fun that has permeated this series has kept it interesting and uniquely divergent from both "WandaVision" and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." It's impressive how Marvel has continued offering such diversity in its superhero genre on the big screen and now with these Disney+ series. They're each such unique creatures.
This one is almost ready to say goodbye, as "Loki" wraps up next Wednesday on Disney+.