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Review

LOKI 1×02 Review

Matt reviews the second episode of Disney+ and Marvel Studios’ LOKI praising the episode for its game-changing reveal.

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Loki (Marvel Studios/Disney+)

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

Loki, the God of Mischief, finds himself out of time and in an unusual place and forced – against his godly disposition – to cooperate with others.

Review

Picking up soon after the previous episode Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been forced to watch various tutorial videos and read instructions on how to be a TVA Agent.  The once powerful Asgardian God of Mischief is now a simple desk jockey!

Through this we get our first interaction with what I had assumed was a mascot for the TVA, Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong).  Turns out she is to some degree sentient and quizzes Loki on the TVA rules.  Once again giving off vibes from Fallout and their Vault Boy mascot. Before we know it though Loki gets his jacket and is now going on his first mission with Mobius (Owen Wilson). 

The briefing they get about their target gives us a brilliant little visual of several Alternate Lokis.  From what I could make out we have a Cycling Loki (Lance Armstrong?), what looked to be a ‘Frost Giant/Hulk Loki’, what looked like a hippie big bearded Loki and a mix between Thor and Loki (Thoki?). They are taken to a crime scene where we witness the Loki Variant slaughter a bunch of TVA Hunters and kidnap one of them before making their escape.

Side note: the TVA hunters and agents could make more of an effort to blend in, those guys stick out like sore thumbs no matter where they go! 

Loki spots various clues that they are in danger of the Variant Loki and if they step outside of the crime scene, the Variant will kill them all except… Loki is lying once again! Being the trickster that he is, Loki is keen to meet with the 3 timekeepers that maintain control over the main continuity and he seeks an audience with them. Mobius clicks and this is a great example of them working as a team as he won’t let Loki walk over him.

Back at HQ Loki is tasked with researching all the Variant Loki’s previous attacks to try and find a lead that will help them, after numerous attempts to find more info on the TVA he reluctantly begins searching for information before stumbling onto an idea of where he would hide if he was running from the TSA. This is some more timey wimey stuff which I enjoy as makes sense… a certain extent. So Loki’s theory is that his variant is hiding in apocalyptic events, noting that he could do anything there and with the extinction of everyone and everything in that time, no branching could branch off.

They test the theory but travelling to Pompeii and Tom Hiddleston laps up the entire scene much to the stress of Owen Wilson’s Mobius but despite freeing the goats, proclaiming himself as a god and scaring the locals nothing he does causes a branch in time thus proving his theory correct.

Mobius brings this to Revonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who reluctantly approves of their next field op to bring down the Variant Loki.

Fast forward to 2050 Earth and the TVA arrive at where they believe the Loki Variant is hiding out.  Some notable character moments are how disconnected and cold the Hunters are to the people and how compassionate Mobius is.  I feel this might play a larger role down the line when some dark truths of the TVA come to light as I believe not all is what it seems within the infinite walls of the TVA.

Loki finally comes face to face with Variant Loki (sort of?) when they somehow possess TVA Hunter B-15.  Loki follows his alternate self around and attempts to trick them into joining forces but thanks to another two possession jumps he ends up being thrown around by a possessed large man.  Variant Loki has set up all of the stolen Reset Grenade Devices across the entire shopping mall and set them to go off at the same time.

 Loki cannot gain the upper hand in time and the TVA agents cannot get there in time before the curtain is unveiled and the Reset Grenades are all teleported to various points in the fixed timeline causing mass hysteria within the TVA headquarters. Variant Loki reveals their true body, showing it is in fact a Female Loki!  Something many people predicted from the trailer and set photos.  She steps through a portal and just as Mobius and the others arrive Loki takes the leap and joins his female Variant.  

There we have it, the timeline is broken to hell and two Loki’s are running around causing all sorts of trouble with Mobius left to pick up the pieces.  

Episodes one and two of Loki should have been aired together to really give us the stakes at once, having an early review copy of both episodes gave me all the set up that was required but by only giving us the first episode potentially left people thinking “why am I here?” when combined with this episode would be “well time to cancel all Wednesday night plans” which I hope many will remain tuned in for this episode to really get the set up pay off. 

Despite being only two episodes in, I am easily placing this above WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier at least with as far as introductions go. In no means do I claim the previous two to be bad but Loki is just so much more fun to watch.  In the same vein as Thor Ragnorok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and 2, it’s a unique set up and other worldly stories that draw me in more than the other two shows did. 

The build-up to the reveal of the true identity of the variant Loki was great, seeing this far more murderous and goal focused Loki hiding in the shadows was great although obviously it was a female due to the build. 

Verdict

Sophia Di Martino has some big shoes to fill taking on Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief but one could argue she is more successful as she was able to outsmart the TVA which original Loki failed to do.


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