Following on from my reviews of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki is up next! Just as highly anticipated as the previous shows, Loki has long been wanted by fans of the character. Sometimes a villain, sometimes a hero or antihero but always cocky and self-serving in one way or another, Loki has been a favourite of many fans since the comic books, and even more so since his introduction to the MCU. Portrayed by the devilishly handsome Tom Hiddleston, Loki’s sly and snide personality opposite his do-gooder brother Thor has actually won people over more than you would expect a character like that to do.
Loki will consist of six episodes and follow the titular character as he faces the consequence of creating an alternate timeline after stealing the Tesseract during Avengers: Endgame. He then faces the choice of erasing himself from history or helping to fix the timeline to stop yet another greater threat. Either choice is seemingly selfless but which will he choose to be the next most selfless thing he’s done since “sacrificing” himself to save Thor at the beginning of Endgame?
Episode 1: Glorious Purpose
The first episode of this series focuses on establishing what has happened – Loki has been apprehended by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for violations against meddling with time as a “version” of himself has escaped with the Tesseract and is ready to try and cause mischief. Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks as Mobius M. Mobius (I ask you) played by Owen “WOW” Wilson, grills him on his past crimes and interrogates him as to why he seems to enjoy killing and hurting people. But we also see what looks to be a “future”, in which his adoptive parents are dying or being killed – as a result of Loki’s doing. This appears to shake Loki up and stir some human feelings within him as he finally admits that while he is a “mischievous scamp” who has done a lot of awful things, he doesn’t enjoy doing them but says he “has had to”.
It is revealed that the TVA and the self-contained universe in which Loki is now trapped and cannot use his godly magic or the Tesseract and is powerless in comparison to the TVA “Hunters”, oversees all of space and time and timelines across the galaxies. But it is not coincidental that they’ve captured Loki. For the bombshell they drop is that their Hunters are being killed – by none other than another variant of Loki.
This start to the series is a lot more of a thriller sci-fi in its vibes and tone, akin to Guardians of the Galaxy as it deals with themes in the MCU that stray beyond Earth and the realms of reality that we know. It’s a strange episode that doesn’t really go anywhere but clearly sets out the premise of the show. Loki’s naivety and his first thoughts about the TVA in which he laughs it off as if it’s a far-fetched joke resonates with us though – as we raise eyebrows at Marvel’s continuous ability to create crazy theories, exploratory plots and entire concepts to expand the its universe that are both baffling in their weirdness yet seem to make perfect sense and fit in with the rest of what we already know. Episode 2 will no doubt focus on the Loki variant that is causing all the real trouble across space and time, in which our unlikely has-to-be hero Loki has to go up against.
Episode 2: The Variant
I’ll be honest, episode 2’s many talks and theories of time travel and manipulation was rather confusing to follow. As I mentioned about the first episode, Marvel are geniuses at coming up with new branches of their universe to help explain and support new areas different shows and films cover and explore. Time travel is not a new concept to the MCU after it was a major part of Avengers: Endgame and the theoretical possibilities of going back in time were made a reality. In Loki, even more theories regarding time travel and variants of the so-called “sacred timeline” are discussed, which all that aside led to one groundbreaking plot reveal – this new variant of Loki is “female”.
Loki, being Asgardian, has special “magic powers” himself, but this mysterious new variant also has the ability to shapeshifter and possess others. After much teasing and playing like the God of Mischief Loki is, as well as self-burning the main Loki variant (who is not the original Loki – at least I don’t think so, if I’m correct… see, it’s confusing!), before revealing herself to be a female version of him. Our Loki is only slightly half-surprised, half-impressed but mostly unfazed by it all, and although news of a female Loki had been circulating the entertainment news outlets for a while leading up to the show so we all knew she was coming, it was still a very much intriguing reveal.
But, is this Disney/Marvel’s continued attempt at being on-topic/”woke” with the concept of a so-called “genderfluid” Loki that everyone has been excited about? In the comics, Loki is indeed often portrayed as such, however this is more attributed to his – or their – ability to shape shift, most notably into “Lady Loki”, who this new variant appears to be. So while Loki is of course not “genderfluid” in the real sense of the word, it is still an interesting issue to cover and one that will no doubt be continued to be delved into as the series progresses.
Check back here every Wednesday evening (or Thursday, depending on how busy I am) for my review of each episode after they’re released!