Hey! Hallie here!
The first episode of ‘Loki’ just dropped today! Loki has been my favorite MCU character since I was in high school. I credit this character for helping me through some very difficult times. My attachment to this character, for better or for worse, has put my expectations for this series much higher than I usually like to keep them. And somehow this first episode managed to exceed them. There’s so much I was worried wouldn’t work that ended up blowing me away. There were things I feared wouldn’t be addressed that they covered in this very first episode. And there were even some surprises I didn’t see coming at all. There isn’t much I dislike here, so as I’ve done on some occasions before, my categories for this post will cover what I liked and what I have questions about. Let’s look into it!
What I Liked:
Loki: I’m talking about the character here, not the entire series, though it’s definitely off to a good start. This episode, aside from setting up some of the major plot points, was a giant analysis of Loki’s character. Loki starts out this episode with the arrogance expected of Loki after the first ‘Avengers’ film. He announces his “glorious purpose” to everyone he can, he refuses to admit any wrongdoing for taking the Tesseract, and he shows extreme disregard for any official he comes across in the TVA. He even makes it obvious that he doesn’t believe in the Timekeepers or the singular timeline they’re seemingly in charge of. After trying to escape several times, as is expected, he is taken to what is basically an interrogation room by Mobius. In the interrogation room Mobius shows Loki his recent past to press him on why he does what he does. Loki at first resists his questions by giving answers that reflect his view of himself, but not his actual beliefs. These answers sum up to what he says in the majority of his speeches in ‘Avengers’. His goal is to rule Earth. He wants to rule Earth because he’s born to rule. He feels that the harm he inflicts on others is necessary because they will be much happier under his rule. He feels they will be much happier under his rule because freedom oppresses everyone and ultimately disappoints them. After Mobius peels back these answers he continues to ask Loki if he enjoys harming others. Loki dodges the question, prompting Mobius to show Loki his future. Loki is particularly shaken by Frigga’s death as a result of his own actions. This is a traumatic event that majorly changed Loki in the MCU. Seeing him deny this reality and lash out at Mobius was raw and heartbreaking.
Afterwards he attempts to escape once more, and he has all the means to succeed. He steals the remote that controls the collar in charge of holding him captive and awkwardly threatens someone into returning the Tesseract to him. But after seeing that the TVA has so many versions of the infinity stones that they are rendered basically inconsequential, he realizes that his arrogance blinded him to the power of the TVA. He then returns to the interrogation room to watch the rest of his file. Through watching Frigga’s death again, Thor’s disappointment in him, and then his own death, the audience gets to watch him come to the realization that his quest for power was always fruitless. It resulted in him harming both himself and the people he cared for, despite the fact that he always insisted that harming others was necessary for everyone’s eventual happiness. Mobius finds him defeated (After a hilarious scene where Loki places his collar on Hunter B-15 and takes his frustrations out with the time altering feature). In what is probably the most influential moment of this episode, Mobius asks Loki a final time if he enjoys harming people. And Loki finally says no. He admits to his insecurities and how his harmful actions were only a desperate grab for power to fill a void. There’s still a lot to see from Loki when it comes to character development considering this is only the first episode, but Loki is already experiencing major change. He goes through several emotional highs and lows in just one episode, and the way it all changes him and possibly gives him an option to have a better outcome than the MCU Loki makes me excited for more.
Mobius: I really like Owen Wilson. But Owen Wilson also has the tendency to play pretty campy characters. Because of this, I had no idea how Owen Wilson would even work next to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Mobius is such a good character. In just his first scene, where he interacts with a small child to get some information, we see that he is both wise and incredibly kind. He also immediately sees the potential in Loki. But his kindness does not translate to meekness. He immediately takes control of Loki’s interrogation and it isn’t just because he has the remote to control Loki’s collar. He’s harsh with his questions and he isn’t afraid to call Loki out on his bullshit. He makes fun of a lot of Loki’s actions in order to reveal Loki’s insecurities. Whenever Loki displays false confidence, he points out Loki’s failures. He even notes that Loki only ever forced others to become the best versions of themselves through his failures, never actually reaching his own full potential. Which is a horrible truth that forces Loki to reflect. Mobius is so incredible at what he does that he sets Loki onto a path that may cause him to actually fulfill his true potential. He’s one of the most intelligent characters I’ve seen in the MCU and I love his inclusion.
DB Cooper: There’s one incredibly fun scene in this episode that actually implies Loki is responsible for a real life crime. This scene calls back to an unsolved air piracy case from the early 1970’s. In it, a man identified as DB Cooper got onto a plane and claimed he had a bomb in his briefcase. The plane was forced the make an emergency landing to let every passenger off the plane except for him. Once back in the air, the man asked for about $200,000 dollars and jumped off the plane. He was never seen again. The show’s explanation for these actions is that Loki did all of this on a dare and that he was picked up by the Bifrost immediately after jumping from the plane. This type of mischievous fun is something I want to keep seeing from the show as it goes on.
What I Have Questions About:
Is Loki Really the Mysterious Villain?: Throughout this first episode we see some horrific deeds done by someone bouncing around the timeline. Some members of the TVA even end up brutally burned to death. Mobius is in charge of this case, but he takes a break from it to see Loki’s trial and personally interrogate him. Why? Because, apparently, a variant of Loki is responsible for all of these horrible deeds. Which raises so many questions. Is it really Loki? If it is, what kind of Loki would do these things? What variation of his timeline could have pushed him to such a dark place? It will be interesting to see how Loki has to explore himself to get to the bottom of all of this.
Is the TVA Friend or Foe?: The TVA seems somewhat shady. They’re willing to kill anyone without the slightest warning. We’ve already seen some particularly questionable moments in the trailers with Gugu Mbathta-Raw’s character, Ravonna Renslayer. Is Mobius an outlier in the TVA? Will Loki and Mobius end up at odds with them? And should the Timekeepers even be trusted with the timeline?
What Happened to Loki’s Hair?: This isn’t super important, but how did Loki’s hair get suddenly short? I don’t think this will be answered, but I still found it kind of hilarious that Loki ended up with a new haircut with no explanation.
I loved this episode. It highlighted everything I love about Loki and even addressed some of the issues I had with Loki in the past. While Loki might have been pushed slightly by Thanos into his actions in ‘Avengers’, ultimately his decisions were his own. The fact that he must own up to his actions gives him the control parts of his writing lacked and it makes him an even more complex character. On top of that, the show admits Loki’s death in ‘Infinity War’ was pitiful. He never reached his full potential in the MCU, but he’s being given that opportunity now. And then we also get Loki kicking ass, showing off how intelligent he is by admitting he knew the Avengers were time traveling, and his general fun arrogance. I couldn’t have asked for a better intro to this series.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!