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Loki Episode 5 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episode five of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. How does it compare to the other recent MCU series? Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

Crossing the divide

Loki has racked up 731 million minutes of viewing time, according to ratings service Nielsen. Its ratings have almost certainly benefited from the two series preceding it. People are getting used to the idea of the Marvel Cinematic Universe straddling the divide between the small screen and the silver screen. I’m sure its record-breaking figures are at least in part down to this being the most rounded series of those released by Marvel this year.

Erased

The episode title, ‘Journey Into Mystery’, is a reference to the title of the first Marvel comic that Loki appeared in.

We pick up the action directly after the conclusion of Episode Five. With Loki erased and sent to The Void while Sylvie is demanding answers from Renslayer about the TVA and The Sacred Timeline.

Loki tries to get his head around the fact that he is surrounded by a phalanx of Loki’s. All sent to The Void from different timeline branches.

The Void

The Void is a dystopian, apocalyptic wasteland at the end of time. Where all of the timeline branches are sent in order to keep the purity of The Sacred Timeline. It doesn’t seem to have a set location. We can see in the background almost destroyed versions of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and The Acropolis in Greece. Those unfortunate enough to be sent there are expected to scavenge for survival. Or they’re absorbed by The Alioth, which is an enormous cloud monster able to absorb anything it touches.

The meeting of The Loki’s is very amusing, particularly as they all seem to be able to understand the roars of Alligator Loki. The Alligator ends up getting into a fight with Boastful Loki. He claims he managed to gather all of the Infinity Stones after overpowering Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. Young Loki reveals that his Nexus Event was killing Thor. While Classic Loki sits and thoughtfully watches on while trying to keep the peace.

Their peace is disturbed when another version of our Loki arrives with an army at their underground hideout. He wants a battle about who will be President Loki. Our Loki watches on bemused as it all kicks off. President Loki loses his hand when it is bitten off by Alligator Loki and Boastful Loki’s betrayal in revealing their secret lair is uncovered.

Still with me after all that? Good!

Getting answers

Back at the TVA, Sylvie is double-crossed by an increasingly desperate Renslayer. Who is frantically trying to keep the TVA functioning. She decides to erase herself and lands in The Void, where she is saved from the clutches of The Alioth by Mobius. Having been inches from being absorbed by it, Sylvie was able to partially enchant it and see inside it to discover what it is protecting.

They locate The Loki’s (a good name for a band if no one has yet used it) and Sylvie tells them she has discovered that The Alioth is protecting the citadel that protects The Sacred Timeline. She and Loki truly realise their love for each other as they contemplate how to escape The Void and uncover the truth. She concludes that the only way to beat The Alioth is to go through it to reach the citadel and discover who controls the timeline.

Kid Loki provides our Loki with his own sword The Laevateinn to assist him in his battle. The Laevateinn is similar to Thor’s Hammer in that it will only work and unleash its full power in the hand of someone who is deemed worthy. Classic Loki initially decides not to help. But ultimately sacrifices himself by creating a version of Asgard to distract The Alioth while Sylvie and Loki enchant it. They manage to overcome it and open up a schism beyond it on which they can now see The Sacred Timeline and the citadel on the rock in front of it on which it sits.

Wanting more

This series has become increasingly epic as we’ve watched each episode. Richard E. Grant as Classic Loki was fantastic so I hope we get to see more of him in future series. Also, we definitely want more Alligator Loki.

We’re certainly heading for the biggest climax of the three series so far this year. Hopefully, we’ll be given some teasers for series two of Loki as well as a link back into the new cinematic releases now Black Widow has started the avalanche of Marvel movies heading our way.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode five. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our Loki episode four review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Cobra Kai Season Four image
Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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