Wednesday, September 22, 2021

‘Loki’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 1 “Glorious Purpose”

The time has finally arrived! Loki has debuted on Disney+ and it’s a doozy.

Opening with Loki’s final scenes in Avengers: Endgame (giving fans of our core six a little tug on the heartstrings seeing our three fallen heroes again), we relive Loki’s grand escape from custody in 2012. He ends up in Gobi Desert, Mongolia, shooting out of the sky like the falling star he is.

In a very Tony Stark-esque moment, Loki lands in the sand, ripping the Asgardian gag off as a few locals approach. It’s time to shine. He hops up, letting these locals know exactly who he is, which is Loki of Asgard, and that he is indeed burdened with glorious purpose … still. They aren’t impressed.

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Suddenly, a large orange portal opens and three uniformed individuals emerge, and surround the precious Tesseract not far from Loki’s pedestal (which is a rock). A fourth emerges from another portal, talking about sequence violations and branches before noting that the Variant has been identified.

On behalf of the Time Variance Authority, I hereby arrest you for crimes against the Sacred Timeline.

TVA Minuteman

It goes as well as you’d expect, Loki has had enough of “idiots in armored suits” and he’s as cocky as ever, but the TVA is a formidable opponent. The leader of this merry crew pops him right in the face with her baton, and sends him falling to the ground … very slowly as time continues to move normally around him. She slaps a collar around his neck and resets the timeline, grabbing the Tesseract on their way back through their orange portal.

That portal leads them right into a strange building indeed. Dimly lit, outdated technology, the gaudiest orange you’ll ever see in your life — this place is absolutely something out of Loki’s nightmares. He tries to run, but with a click of her remote his captor brings him right back to her side, twice. Another prisoner in the lobby is putting up quite the fuss as the Tesseract is checked in with a man at the front desk, and then Loki is shoved into a small little closet complete with a robot.

In a flash, Loki’s fine Asgardian leather is vaporized from his body and through the trap door he goes, falling into a very fashionable jumpsuit on his way down. In the next room, it’s time to sign off on every word he’s ever said, and then down again to verify that he isn’t a robot. He has his doubts for a moment, but his temporal aura gets its snapshot done and it’s off to a queue line. Take a ticket.

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He’s back with his fellow captive from the lobby, who did not take a ticket. Loki makes his way through the empty queue lines and gets a greeting from Miss Minutes, the TVA’s mascot. She tells him the story of the Time-Keepers and the Sacred Timeline, and how they’d managed to organize the Multiverses into one cohesive Timeline, thank God. But nothing can get in the way of the Sacred Timeline, and those guilty of creating a Nexus event (an interruption of the Sacred Timeline that puts everyone at risk for a Multiversal War) must stand trial for their crimes.

Well this is absurd, up until the other man in the room gets vaporized on the spot for not having a ticket. Panicked, Loki find his in his pocket. That was a close one.

Back in 1549, in Aix-En-Provence, France, the TVA is investigating a Nexus event and they seemingly know exactly who they’re after — they’ve been hunting him for awhile. A Reset Charge is stolen, on par with the other six attacks this week, until the agent in charge talks to a small child who bursts into the church. He charms the kid with his futuristic technology and asks who did this, and the child points to the stained glass art of the devil (it’s NOT a Mephisto reference … it’s not …). And this time there’s something else. The Variant has given away a gift — a package of Kablooie candy. While the Reset Charge is being set, that familiar TVA time door opens with a man bearing a file.

It’s time for Loki’s trial, and he’s absolutely not guilty, of course. He blames the Avengers, as he was tuned in to their little time heist from the start (one can smell the cologne of two Tony Starks). However, unfortunately, the Avengers time heist was something that was supposed to happen, Loki escaping was not. He tries to use his magic to escape, but oop … magic doesn’t work in the TVA. The court finds him guilty and sentences him to be reset.

It’s not your story, Mr. Laufeyson, it never was.

Judge Ravonna Renslayer
Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

The agent from 1589 has taken an interest in Loki, though, and manages to convince the judge to let him have him; he might be useful.

As Loki and his saving grace head out to get to work, they stop at a window. Outside the retro walls of the TVA lies an incredibly futuristic world, and Loki is baffled that none of it was created using magic. He calls this place a nightmare, to which he’s told that’s another department (Easter egg!). Loki’s second chance introduces himself as Agent Mobius, and we see that Mobius already has Loki figured out. He tells Loki time passes differently here in the TVA, which means what exactly?

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

The duo heads into the Time Theater where Mobius is ready to try and reason with the unreasonable God of Mischief. All Mobius wants is cooperation for now, and he asks Loki his plans should he get his freedom. Loki intends to become King of Midgard, then Asgard, then the Nine Realms … then space, maybe? Mobius gets right under Loki’s skin and into his head (and we’re so here for it), asking if Loki enjoys hurting people and destruction. Mobius has receipts, too — tapes of what has happened before … and also what’s to come for this Loki sitting before him.

Well, it turns out Loki was the famed hijacker D.B. Cooper after losing a bet to Thor, too. (Turns out the TVA liked that little stunt, though.)

Mobius just wants to know why Loki does what he does, what makes him tick. He continues showing Loki the Best Hits of Loki tapes, where Loki ensures him that he still doesn’t buy anything the TVA is selling him. He is the creator of his own story. That is, until Mobius begins showing Loki his future, including Loki’s hand in the death of his mother, Frigga.

Loki is rightfully furious, yet Mobius still just wants to learn if Loki enjoys hurting people, killing people. He’s very interested in this little tidbit …

You weren’t born to be king, Loki. You were born to cause pain, and suffering and death. That’s how it is, that’s how it was, that’s how it will be. All so that others can achieve their best versions of themselves.

Agent Mobius

The Avengers in the Battle of New York flash on the screen, a stark reminder of another of Loki’s failures. The two are interrupted and Mobius steps out to talk to the Minuteman who had brought Loki in, Hunter B-15.

Hunter B-15 is very against Mobius using Loki. She wants him reset, but Mobius holds strong to his intuition that Loki can help. However, another unit has been lost to the Variant they’re hunting. When Mobius heads back inside to tell Loki they’ll have to pick everything up tomorrow, he’s gone.

In a move no one even considered Loki would try, he’s off to try and locate the Tesseract. And he finds it, along with dozens of Infinity Stones the TVA has stashed in an office drawer, and they’re using them as paper weights. Loki establishes that this place is absolutely the greatest power in the universe. It has to be …

Hunter B-15 finds him, and he takes off before she resets him with a spin of his trusty Time Twister and heads back to the Time Theater. He tearfully watches the rest of his life play out before him — the death of his mother, his father, the repaired relationship with his brother, and then finally his death at the hands of Thanos. The same Thanos he was still loyal to at this time in his life.

Marvel Studios

End of File. That’s it. Loki now knows the result of his glorious purpose.

Hunter B-15 finds him again and he manages to get his collar off and onto her, where he absolutely toys with her and the Time Twister, sending her back and forth numerous times spinning through time before away for good. Mobius returns shortly after, and Loki now knows he can’t go back to his timeline. Then, we get something we never thought we’d see: Loki being honest. He tells Mobius that he doesn’t enjoy hurting people, he does it because it’s part of the illusion.

It’s the cruel, elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear.

Loki

Loki calls himself a villain, but Mobius ensures him that’s not how he sees him. Mobius asks if Loki tried to use the Tesseract, and Loki admits he had numerous times. Even Infinity Stones don’t work at the TVA. So they are formidable, it’s time to admit that. Mobius makes Loki an offer. He needs Loki’s help to find a very dangerous variant. The Variant? Loki.

A time door opens in a field in Oklahoma in 1858, and they’re still hunting for this Variant Loki. They find him, and he sets fire to the field, killing all the Minutemen in the process and stealing their Reset Charge.

Catch the next episode of Loki on Wednesday, June 16, exclusively on Disney+. Make sure to follow along with our weekly episodic recaps, deep dives, theories, and more.

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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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