Original series streaming now.
Loki is a 2021 superhero sci-fi series created by Michael Waldron. It is now streaming exclusively to Disney+. It will run for six episodes until July 14, 2021. The show stars Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. It is based on various Marvel comics. The series runs parallel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acting as the third original Marvel series and a sequel to both The Avengers and Avengers: Endgame. It was preceded by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and will be followed by What If...?.
"I'm gonna burn this place to the ground." -Loki Laufeyson
After stealing the tesseract from the Avengers during the events of Avengers: Endgame, Loki Laufeyson escapes from Earth's Mightiest Heroes, disrupting the proper flow of time. He is then arrested by the TVA (Time Variance Authority) and taken to their headquarters, where he stands trial. He is taken in by Agent Mobius M. Mobius, who believes that Loki can help them with a variant that has been murdering agents of the TVA.
The best thing about Loki is the chemistry between Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. Tom Hiddleston has always been great as Loki. He's always charming and brings a fun energy to the screen, and none of that is lost here. Owen Wilson is a welcome addition to the MCU. He acts as an ally as well as a foil to Loki. Wilson's dry humor bounces perfectly off of Hiddleston's usual ambitious, villainous Loki. I loved watching the two fo them on screen together, and I think that that will be something the show has going for it throughout the season.
The episode also gets right to the point. I think that, while the episode itself is not the best we've ever seen, it will be better for the season as a whole. I'll talk about this in the negative, but the episode does do a lot of setup and a lot of exposition. Which is both a good and bad thing. This individual episode suffers from the setup, but the episode is not wasted. We now know what we need to know for the season, so the next five episodes can continue to develop the story.
The problem with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was the slow start. WandaVision's first three episodes were all sitcoms. No story. You had no idea as to what was going on. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wasted its first episode by just showing our heroes in normal life. Both of these shows didn't end on the highest note, and I thought it was because of the slow start. Loki hits the ground running, and that means that this show has the highest potential to finish off with a banger.
While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may have been typical MCU, Phase Four is a very unusual phase of the MCU. WandaVision was quirky and weird. Black Widow is the first movie of Phase Four, and it's a prequel about a dead character. Shang-Chi and The Eternals both look wildly different then anything we've seen before in the MCU. And Loki fits into that category. It's a fresh look at a side of the MCU that we have never explored.
I enjoyed the world-building that went along with exploring the TVA. The instructional video from Ms. Minutes was my favorite part of the episode. I love the different security checks that Loki has to go through. I thought that the production design was fabulous. Each new location inside of the TVA was super cool to look at. That's another thing that made the show fun and that it has going for it. The TVA will be a really cool location to center this series around.
Unfortunately, I was a little bit underwhelmed by Loki. My biggest issue is what they actually do with Loki's character. From The Avengers to Infinity War, his character had undergone significant change and had one of the best character arcs in the Infinity Saga. And he's able to undergo that change again...in fifty minutes. There are some reveals made about the villainous side of Loki that I was not a fan of. Instead of having him be a villain that became a hero, he's been a misunderstood anti-hero this whole time. And I feel like that lessens his character.
Along those lines, I felt like he acted out of character through this episode. He has this newfound sarcastic sense of humor that hasn't been present in the ten years that he's been in the MCU. Some of his lines are clunky and awkward, because he's never been that much of a comedic character.
I also think that the jokes in this episode don't really land all that well. There are certain quips that are funny, but there's a certain running joke throughout it involving a fish that I found simply dreadful. The desk clerk is meant to be a comedic character, but, unfortunately, I just didn't find him very funny.
Finally, the episode can be pretty hard to follow at times. It gets really psychological as the TVA tries to mess with Loki's head, and I think that that was good, but in doing that, they didn't make everything as crystal clear as it could be. If you have not seen Thor: The Dark World or The Avengers recently, you will be confused. They reference both of those films a lot. Another thing that makes it convoluted is the pace of the dialogue. They move very quickly. There's a lot to digest here, and they keep feeding you information. There's no time to stop and breathe, which can make it hard to follow at times.
Loki's pilot episode may not have been the best thing ever, but it will be better overall for the show. While I did put the spotlight on the negative, I still enjoyed this episode. It's a fun, new, intriguing Marvel project that I'm excited to watch.
Fun Factor: 7.5/10
Created by Michael Waldron
Rated TV-14 for sci-fi violence and action, disturbing themes and images
Released on June 9, 2021
Tom Hiddleston as Loki Laufeyson
Owen Wilson as Mobius M. Mobius
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer
Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15
Eugene Cordero as Casey
Tara Strong as Miss Minutes
Jon Levine as Paperwork Clerk
Derek Russo as Hunter U-92