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Loki episode 5 ending: What just happened?

Loki episode 5 ending
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

The Loki episode 5 ending gave the series a big moment to conclude its penultimate edition, and boy was it a sight to behold. And so with still one episode to go, the final moments of "Journey into Mystery" ended (naturally) on a huge cliffhanger.

More than that, there wasn’t even a post-credits scene to give us some insight into what’s coming in Loki’s finale. So what the heck just happened? Spoilers for Loki episode 5 ahead! 

The final moments of Loki episode 5 saw Loki and Sylvie act out a plan that they believe will take them to the person who founded the TVA. A plan that involved enchanting the extra-dimensional being that consumes everyone in the void, in the hopes of finding a way to the TVA’s mysterious  and unknown ruler.

loki episode 5 ending

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

From the looks of things, the duo’s plan was a success, with Sylvie and Loki combining their powers to put Alioth under a spell - and opening a portal to a mysterious castle in an unknown location. Well, a mysterious location, because it may be somewhere MCU viewers have seen before…

The colorful warping background in that scene looks remarkably like the Quantum Realm, the micro-universe that we first saw in the Ant-Man movies and was utilized as a make-shift time machine during Avengers Endgame. Though the location is much darker than what we’ve seen before.

loki episode 5: quantum realm city in ant-man

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

A castle in the Quantum Realm seems far-fetched, but one was already featured in the background of a scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. So not only do things live in the micro-universe, they are capable of building complex structures and civilizations.

Obviously the city in Ant-Man and The Wasp is not the same place that Loki and Sylvie are heading to. They couldn’t look more different, after all, but it does open up some questions about the TVA and who is really behind it.

Could this be the home of Marvel’s next big bad?

Ever since it was confirmed that the Quantum Realm could act as a conduit to other times and places, it was speculated that the ruler of the city could be Kang the Conqueror - an infamous time-travelling villain from Marvel comics. As his name suggests, he has a habit of travelling to new time periods and taking over.

Speculation increased when it was confirmed Kang would feature in Ant-Man 3, and after the premiere of Loki’s very first episode last month. Fans were quick to notice that one of the Time-Keepers was a dead-ringer for Kang, generating theories that he would secretly debut in Loki. 

The fact that Judge Ravonna Renslayer’s comic counterpart was Kang’s lover only added fuel to that particular fire.

loki episode 5: time-keepers

Were these guys controlled by Kang-atha all along? (Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

While the theory that Kang was one of the Time-Keepers turned out to be bogus, it’s still be speculated that Kang could be working behind the scenes and ensuring the TVA stops any major deviations to the timeline that might impact his plans.

To make things even more compelling, Kang also has a history with Alioth in the comics, Though the comic book version of the entity is a conqueror in his own right, rather than, as Sylvie calls him, a mere guard dog for the TVA’s ruler.

loki episode 5: alioth

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

As we head towards the series finale, it certainly looks as though Kang will have a role to play before the end of Loki’s freshman season. The pieces certainly seem to be falling into place, and they all seem to point towards Kang — no matter how many times Kang-actor Jonathan Majors denies it.

It’s certainly more than mere wishful thinking, like the supposed Dr Strange/White Vision cameo in WandaVision’s final scene. Let's just hope the series' true big bad wasn't actually just another Loki.

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.