We need to talk about Frog Thor and the Thanos Copter.
New episodes of Marvel's Loki drop every Wednesday on Disney+ and each week, ET is breaking down the biggest moments from the God of Mischief, his new friends Mobius and Sylvie and the entire TVA. Make sure to also check out our recap of last week's Loki episode.
Before we get to the Throg of it all, dear friends, I want to recount a funny little anecdote for you: When I interviewed series director Kate Herron after episode 3, she told me she was following along with your fan theories, as she herself had taken her theories online as a fan of Game of Thrones and Lost. Offhandedly, mostly jokingly, I asked her, "If Loki is your Lost, who's your Smoke Monster?"
"Oh, I don't know," Herron laughed. "I don't know! I wouldn't want to say!"
Imagine my astonishment then as I'm watching episode 5 and there's a literal smoke monster! Or a temporal being, as it were, named Alioth, a smoke monster with a roaring beast face that consumes all matter discarded into The Void. That's where Loki was pruned to in last week's episode, a void at the end of time where "every instance of existence collides at the same point and simply stops."
I want to flag a bit of Alioth's bio straight from Marvel dot com: "Allegedly the first being to free itself from the timestream, Alioth grew in power, becoming the supreme time being over all realities from the dawn of life on Earth to the edge of Kang the Conqueror's dominion. A temporal barrier blocked Alioth from entering Kang's realm, Chronopolis, and conquering all time periods." (Jonathan Majors will play Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, if not sooner...)
Back to The Void, where Loki finds himself stuck with every other Variant deemed a threat to the Sacred Timeline: Chiefly, the melancholy yet wise Classic Loki; the Thor-esque Boastful Loki; Kid Loki, who is hailed as King Loki for once killing Thor; and Alligator Loki, who is an alligator. With his fellow Loki Variants, our Loki hatches a plan: Kill Alioth.
Now, a brief recap within a recap. As the breakout star of episode 5, what follows is a comprehensive list of everything Alligator Loki does: He talks to Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant, he heckles Boastful Loki, he is carried around like a little bitty baby by Kid Loki until he is jettisoned at enemies, he eats President Loki's hand. For those wondering, this is what he looked like on set:
Speaking of President Loki, he is himself a Variant (also played by Tom Hiddleston) who pops up for an interlude of fisticuffs that works to emphasize how much our Loki is changing. To overthrow Kid Loki and take his throne, Boastful Loki has wagered a deal with President Loki and his army of Lokis. But President Loki turns on Boastful Loki, and then President Loki's army turns on him, too. And on and on till the literal end of time. Lokis survive, and they betray.
Except not our Loki, not anymore. Sylvie, who self-pruned to The Void to rescue Loki and find out once and for all who created the TVA, has her own plan: Enchant the Alioth, who is acting as a barrier protecting someone or something beyond the end of time. And our Loki agrees to help, offering the promise that he won't ever betray her. That comes during one of numerous swoony moments between the two that will set Tumblr ablaze and had me rooting for these two freaks to kiss. To be fair, I was also rooting for Loki to kiss Mobius when those two parted ways, the latter still alive in The Void but patrolling back to the TVA to "burn it down." "Thanks for the spark," he tells his friend.
Can we take a moment to appreciate Richard E. Grant's (evidently) brief but absolutely worth-it work in the MCU? He's giving gravitas, he's giving character actor, he's giving thespian and he is doing so in a yellow onesie and horns. Brava, sir. Brava. With Classic Loki providing the assist -- basically sort of Chaos Magic-ing Asgard into The Void as a distraction -- Loki and Sylvie enchant Alioth and open a portal to... well, that's for episode 6. (But did anyone think it looked slightly Quantum-y?) Can you believe we're already at the finale? I'm not sure I'll ever get used to how short these six-episode seasons are.
◦ Episode 5 is titled "Journey Into Mystery," which is a nod to the comic book series that first introduced Thor, Loki and Marvel's take on Norse mythology. Thor made his debut in Journey Into Mystery #83 in 1962, with Loki appearing two issues later in #85.
◦ Alongside this episode's many, many Loki Variants, we got our first Thor Variant: Throg, aka Frog Thor. As the camera pans down to Kid Loki's bunker, you can see a brief shot of the amphibian God of Thunder trapped in a jar. Throg's comic backstory in actually far more in-depth than you'd expect, but basically, when he gets his tiny, green fingers on Mjölnir, he possesses all the powers of Thor. (There's also a throwaway line in Thor: Ragnarok to that one time Loki turned Thor into a frog. Who could've guessed!)
◦ As if Throg weren't deep-cut enough, the episode also makes the oft-memed "Thanos Copter" canon in the MCU. The Thanos Copter is, well, a helicopter that the Mad Titan once piloted while fighting Spider-Man in the '70s. (Spidey Super Stories #39) Like in the comics, the Thanos Copter seen in The Void is a yellow helicopter with "THANOS" written along its tail.
Is there an Emmy for Best Easter Egg?