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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Loki Episode One Review: Time Flies

Remember how much fun Wandavision was? Every week it seemed like everyone, on Twitter at least, was tuning in to see how the sitcom-turned-magic shitshow would turn out. It was so much fun! And I miss it every day. Then directly after that, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier came out, to try and soothe the hurt of losing such a great show. In my view TFATWS was not as successful at capturing the minds and imaginations of its viewers, barring a few die-hard Bucky Barned fans.

This week is Marvel’s third debut of a new show on Disney +, and while I’ve only seen the first episode, I can already imagine just how much fun this show is gonna be. It’s weird, it's high concept, it’s confusing and it’s magical. But let’s pull back a bit first.

This show actually takes place at two separate times at once, the end of infinity war, where a trick in the timeline allows Loki to escape, and 2012, when Loki is caught, but then escapes, but then is caught again by the Time Variance Authority or TVA.

So, this Version of Loki that we are getting now is 2012 Loki, right from the Avengers. Bastard Loki, if you will. He’s fresh off the defeat of the battle of New York, but he still thinks he is burdened with glorious purpose. This isn’t the Loki who grew and learned to be kind-of-sort-of good over the course of a decade, this is still Bastard Loki, with no remorse and not a lot of love for his brother either. (Which is tragic considering the beautiful arc he had.)

So Loki, newly arrested, is now in the custody of the TVA, a new group in the MCU but familiar to comic readers. The lore goes that once upon a time the timelines of the universe competed for dominance until three Time Keepers grabbed the timelines by the balls and brought them to order into one, celestial timeline, the one that all the MCU events have been happening on. Then these Timekeepers set up the TVA, and here we are.

Now the most interesting part about this episode, is that Loki goes through over a decade of blockbuster character arc in the span of about fifty minutes, in order to sort of catch up. With the help of an incredibly soft-spoken, grey-haired, moustachioed Owen Wilson.

He fills Loki in on what’s going on and saves Loki from being destroyed as an unwanted time-variant. Wilson’s character, whose name is Mobius M. Mobius, interviews Loki.

There’s so much nuance and layers to Tom Hiddleston’s performance in these scenes. He’s angry at being caught, that he didn’t conquer earth, he’s sad because he sees in a clip what his future would have looked like if he had not used the Tesseract. But he’s always roguish and mischievous, that overly confident smile shining through after every emotional whiplash.

So why do I think this show is so special compared to the past two Marvel Shows? Firstly, it’s weird. Any show about time-bending and timelines is bound to get confusing and freaky, and that’s what I think was missing in TFATWS, that weird, playful side that comes with most MCU movies. There’s lots of references to time, a time court and an animated clock that gives TVA detainees a history and tour of the facility. The weapons are all time related, there are handcuffs that can keep you suspended in time, and batons that when they hit you slow down, your time. That’s a lot of time! Not to mention in this weird office building out of time, ornaments like the infinity stones mean and do nothing. Take that Thanos.

Then there’s the concept of the Time Keepers who I believe will be a big addition to the MCU, especially with upcoming flicks like Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. There could be conspiracies and hints to larger villain reveals too I am looking forward to seeing what goes down.

Thirdly, Tom Hiddleston is a tremendous actor, and I think given six solid hours of, heh, time to play around in we’re going to get a great performance out of him. It’s also about time he got a solo show I mean it’s been like 12 years. We get great lines like this one, to describe why he attacked New York in the vicious way that he did.

“(Hurting people) “It’s part of the illusion… it’s the cruel elaborate trick…. Done by the weak to inspire fear.”

He’s already growing and learning that what worked for him in the past, won’t work this time.

So what I’m saying is, if you watch Loki you won’t regret it, and if you’re one of those people who feel the need to wait until the entire series is out before watching… I DARE you to watch episode one and not get addicted.

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