‘Loki’ episode #1 review

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

Out of all the characters to get their own Disney Plus series, Loki was definitely a given as he’s easily one of this universe’s most popular characters. With his dynamic history and his constantly changing allegiance, there’s a lot that can be done with a show like this. So how do they pull it off? Let’s see…

We’re taken back to the middle of the Avengers time heist during “Avengers: Endgame,” where the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from that timeline steals the Tesseract and escapes the Avengers’ custody. His freedom is short-lived as a mysterious organization called the Time Variance Authority (T.V.A.) apprehends him and takes him to their headquarters. It is revealed that it is the T.V.A. ‘s responsibility to protect the “Sacred Timeline,” as any branches in the timestream could lead to a multiversal conflict. While most of them want to have Loki “reset,” an agent named Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) takes him aside to see if he can help their agency protect the Sacred Timeline from future threats. 

A lot is riding on this series as it has a lot of great talent behind it. Tom Hiddleston is back in the iconic role, the time travel premise has a lot of potential, and it’s been confirmed that the series will have the most impact out of all the Marvel shows seen so far. Which makes sense as this is a series that deals with different timelines and could lead to a lot of large events in the future. 

Knowing all that going in, there are a few things to take note of that to give an idea of the direction this show is going in. One major distinction is that the Loki here isn’t the same Loki we’re all familiar with in the main Marvel timeline. Instead, we’re following a version of the character who hasn’t experienced the character growth the original did in the films. This leads to a lot of great moments as we’re seeing Loki in his original state of desiring conquest and world dominance. Which juxtaposes perfectly with the environment he’s been placed in that always seems to be one step ahead of him. The humor of this episode stands out as most of it comes from the situation with Loki being understandably defiant, but being forced to comply as he’s not given many options. He’s the god of mischief, and yet he’s constantly being sidelined by people in a place that even he can’t get a grasp on.

The standout aspect of this episode for me is the chemistry between Loki and Mobius which leads to a lot of great interactions between the two. This scene plays out like a classic interrogation where one character is trying to understand the other’s motive. It also helps that this scene is aided by a holographic clip-show that shows us Loki’s past history. These clips range from his defeat in New York by the Avengers in 2012, to it being revealed that he masqueraded as D.B. Cooper during the famous plane heist in 1971 after losing a bet to Thor. While these scenes are entertaining to watch, I like how this part of the episode allows us to understand why Loki does what he does. Is he motivated by his ego or insecurities? Does he hurt people because he enjoys it or is it because of something more personal? While fans feel like they have a good understanding of the character from his devious acts in the films, most people never thought to ask what was really driving this character. 

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

The T.V.A. and their headquarters is an interesting change of pace from the other setpieces in this universe. The best way I can describe it is if you took the agency from “Men in Black” with their advanced technology and characters, and combined it with the aesthetic of an old-fashioned office workplace. This might feel odd as, on paper, these seem like two entirely different ideas. But when you see how it’s portrayed in the show, you see that the way this organization works is akin to an average business place, albeit with a lot of outlandish elements. 

I love environments where people do large-scale missions but treat it more like it’s an everyday job. I have heard some people say that this episode is heavy on exposition in certain parts. While I can understand this, it doesn’t bother me because it’s in an environment that’s very inventive with a concept that holds a lot of potential. The idea of tampering with time is relatively new to this universe as it’s only been used in a few films so far such as “Doctor Strange” or “Avengers: Endgame.” While it played a major part in both movies, it wasn’t done in a setup like this where time is the main focus of the narrative. This episode is only an introduction so we have to wait and see where they go with it, and if this leads to the multiverse concept which is something fans are highly anticipating. 

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

They make the world of the T.V.A. stand out as it’s made apparent that this place exists on a power and plane that we haven’t seen before. To give you an idea, they have a filing cabinet filled with multiple versions of the Infinity Stones. You remember those ancient relics from the past films that whoever holds them can alter reality on a universal scale? Well here, they hold no power in this dimension and are used as common paperweights. I love this idea because it’s not only a funny joke, but it also lets the audience know that we’re in uncharted territory with this series. 

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

The episode eventually resolves itself when Loki returns to the interrogation room to see how his future would have gone had he stayed in the main timeline. The way this scene is portrayed is very poignant as we see Loki visually react to all the events that we’ve seen in the prior movies. We see him sorrowfully react to the death of his mother Friga in “Thor: The Dark World,” his father Odin’s death and the renewed bond he has with Thor in “Thor: Ragnarok,” and eventually his own death at the hands of Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Hiddleston’s performance deserves a lot of credit as you’re essentially watching a character look over the growth and tragedy he was gonna experience. Thankfully they don’t go overly emotional with this scene and let it play out visually, as this is a character that’s meant to be seen as the anti-hero of this show. This episode’s series of events eventually causes Loki to realize that his path of cruelty and mischief would have led him to nowhere and he agrees to help Mobius and the T.V.A.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

The episode ends with a surprise revelation that a new threat has emerged in 1858 Oklahoma, and it’s none other than a rogue version of Loki himself. While we don’t see this version of Loki’s face on-screen, we watch as he brutally attacks and burns multiple Minutemen alive before they can fix the timeline. This episode definitely raises a lot of questions. Where did this version of Loki come from? How many people know about the T.V.A.? Will this series lead to the much built-up multiverse? With so much happening on screen, it makes sense to have the conflict of this series be as chaotic as its titular character. These Marvel streaming shows have gone in numerous directions in the past year, so I expect we’re in for a wild ride with this one.

Rating: 5 / 5 Spinnaker Sails.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].