Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Spoiler-Free First Thoughts on ‘Loki’ — It’s Chaos and Mischief and Magic, Oh My!

The time has come. The long awaited Loki series is gearing up to drop on Wednesday, June 9, and I’ve got some thoughts on the first two episodes of the 6-episode series before its premiere tomorrow.

The series sees the triumphant return of Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief, Loki, after his very untimely death in Avengers: Infinity War. This Loki joins us after the events of Avengers: Endgame in 2012, so forget that nice redemption arc. Joining Hiddleston are some new players as well: Owen Wilson as Mobius, Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Judge Renslayer, and Sophia Di Martino and Richard E. Grant in unannounced roles.

Where WandaVision was set in sitcoms and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier brought back that MCU movie feel, Loki is set in a retro fever dream. A futuristic world lies outside the walls of the TVA, but inside, it’s a bizarre 70s-80s oasis complete with aged technology and that signature orange … you know the one. Yet it still has that sci-fi element needed to bring it all together. It’s perfectly jarring and unsettling as much as it is charming, making it very clear that this is a place immune to time, which is one of the most unnerving things that any who step foot there are affected by. And I must say, the music thus far has been nothing short of impeccable.

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One important thing to note is this series does not run like the two previous series. Each episode works as a standalone, within the same story, but episode 2 picks up some time after the final events of episode 1, and the showrunner has confirmed that this is how the series will play out for all six episodes.

Marvel Studios

Owen Wilson is certainly the breakout star of the series. I have to admit I was beyond skeptical when his casting was announced, but I trusted in Marvel to get it right, as they’ve rarely failed us in the past, and I was right to do that. He’s the perfect opposite for Hiddleston’s Loki. Mobius’ cool, calm and collected confidence, who can stroke Loki’s ego enough to make him listen, but mock him just enough to stoke that ever-present need to be superior, is the perfect partner to Loki’s chaos. When Kevin Feige said these two may be one of the MCU’s favorite duos yet, he was absolutely correct, and episode 2 in particular highlights just how incredible (and, well … endearingly buffoonish) these two are about to be together.

Loki is at his very best. Writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron clearly did their homework on the character — he is the embodiment of chaos and mischief, curator of lies, and fights for only one man, himself, and they’ve managed to capture this essence flawlessly. But even beyond that, these first two episodes have been a much needed dive into the psyche of Loki and what has turned him into who he is, and they prove that there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. Despite Loki’s tenure in the MCU having hit 10 years, the depth of his character hadn’t even begun to be explored until Thor: Ragnarok, and we all know what happened after that.

However, I think the greatest aspect of Loki thus far is that the TVA, Mobius in particular, has not set out to change Loki from his devious ways and make him into a triumphant hero. Understand him, yes, but change him? Not so much. Mobius has accepted Loki as he is, mischief, lies, horrible misdeeds, and all, and utilizes him for exactly who and what he is. Will there be some element of redemption for Loki in the series? Most likely, but it will be completely Loki’s decision. In these first few episodes, it’s a welcome element to Loki’s story that someone isn’t setting out to turn him into something he isn’t and expects nothing more of him than what he’s willing to give, which absolutely involves some signature Loki treachery. Mobius knows there’s more to Loki than what Loki is willing to let everyone see, and he’s playing on it, but Loki certainly has some tricks up his own sleeve for his new partner as well. It’s a fantastic give and take between these two characters, and actors, and they’re playing it beautifully.

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Loki is really gearing up to be Marvel’s best addition to their series roster yet. It’s got heart, mystery, comedy, action, and so much lore that will be pulled into the MCU for years to come. This is the MCU’s next step.

The series premiere of Loki is Wednesday, June 9 at 12 a.m. PST exclusively on Disney+. Stay tuned for our episodic recaps, deep dives into the episodes, and more as the series progresses!

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Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. Her main fandoms are Marvel, The Umbrella Academy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, with special emphasis on one vibranium shield-wielding Super Soldier. Contact: kaity@nerdsandbeyond.com

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