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Review

LOKI 1×01 “Glorious Purpose” Review

Matt reviews the first episode of Disney+ and Marvel Studios’ LOKI saying “Tom Hiddleston once again shines brightly” as the God of Mischief.

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Loki (Marvel Studios)

Loki stars the returning Tom Hiddleston alongside Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Richard E. Grant and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The series streams on Disney+ from June 9, 2021. The six episode series will then debut new episodes every Wednesday.

Synopsis

Marvel Studios’ Loki features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new Disney+ series that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

Review

Here we are, back into the MCU for a 3rd time this year.  First, we saw the fallout of Wanda losing Vision and how the world coped when The Blip was undone.  Next we saw the journey of Sam and Bucky over the loss of Steve Rogers and the weight his legacy carries. Plus the socio-economic fallout which The Blip had on society.

Now the MCU is going in a much lighter direction. Here we find Marvel Studios answering one of Endgame‘s lingering questions. What happens Avengers Loki after he is able to escape through the ‘Endgame-Avengers’ meddling… oh boy are we in for a ride!

Taking place literally seconds after Loki escaped we are just as lost as he is. Quickly taken off the field by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), Loki is put on trial for messing with the timeline, albeit by accident.  As he descends through the bureaucratic agency signing papers, joining queues and confirming he is in fact not a robot he stands trial for crimes he had no idea he was committing. Eagle eyed viewers will spot a Skrull who has been messing with time travel at the main reception. I love how they are now legit popping up throughout the MCU since Captain Marvel came out!

The design of the TVA gives off strong Fallout vibes with its retro/futuristic tech littered throughout, it’s a very unique aesthetic not yet seen in the MCU and makes the TVA familiar while also unexplainable. 
Loki vs the court was just full of laughs ranging from Loki’s ego being largely ignored by everyone and his ‘performance’ issues when he could not use his powers (as the TVA easily turns off Asgardian powers!) They also quickly cover off the potential plot hole from Endgame when the Avengers messed with Time Travel by pointing out they were supposed to do that as per the timeline.

Loki is saved by Mobius (Owen Wilson) who is a field agent for the TVA.  He is dealing with a particularly dangerous Time Criminal and feels Loki is his best bet to stopping him, clearly he has influence as the court grudgingly agrees for him to take Loki away. Owen Wilson is a perfect pick for Mobius, his near imperceptible enthusiasm to working with Loki, tied neatly up with his ‘seen it all’ attitude, you could easily see this man being completely unfazed by the events throughout history.  He is a man of order, and I feel Loki is going to completely derail this every chance he gets.

However Loki is not called the God of Mischief for nothing. He manages to get away from Mobius and hide away from the TVA security while he looks for a way to escape. It’s only then that we’re shown the first sign of how the MCU is changing. Throughout all the previous movies we’ve been told how important and powerful the Infinity Stones are.  They were ultimately the reason half the universe vanished and then returned to us.  This new stage of the MCU has them as mere paperweights filling the top drawer of a desk in the TVA.  It’s a very funny way to show the sheer power of the TVA while also showing they are no longer the MCU’s most powerful MacGuffin.

Using some advanced (but also retro?) tech Loki is shown his future. Including events from Thor: The Dark World, Ragnarok and Infinity War where his original self met his end by the hand of Thanos.  He is shown the man he became in the original timeline it’s a hard pill to swallow for a Loki still aggrieved with the Avengers actions. All credit to Tom Hiddleston for showing us a remorseful Loki, particularly once discovering it was his actions which caused the death of his mother. Seeing his father, Odin, pass away also hits him hard. 

Despite trying to take over Asgard and overthrow Odin, he ultimately finds that if he were to succeed he would not be satisfied. Accepting that the TVA is more powerful than Asgard, Michael Waldron’s brilliant story ultimately has Loki accept his situation and agree to work with the team. It perfectly sets up the story which follows in episode two.

However before we bow out we get a glimpse at Loki‘s big band, albeit from the shadows. They are quickly able to take out a group of TVA agents and swipe their gear before making a clean getaway.  This Loki variant is clearly on a mission and the TVA need a Loki, to catch a Loki.

Throughout watching Loki I felt I was seeing a part of the MCU we were previously not allowed to view.  If you examined all that we have seen of this universe thus far, contained within one screen, we are now seeing beyond the limits of that screen. Here the TVA maintain the continuity and events that must happen, it’s a brilliant analogy for the work of Kevin Feige steering the MCU to success.

Verdict

Tom Hiddleston once again shines brightly as Loki, complimenting him with Owen Wilsons ‘seen it all’ Mobius we have the makings of the MCU’s answer to the Buddy Cop Comedy. 


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