Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Loki - Glorious Purpose

The new Loki follows the adventures of the version of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), a "variant" from the normal passage of time, created during Avengers: Endgame. However, from the perspective of Loki, the events of his new series take place immediately after the events of The Avengers. This is an important distinction as this version of the character hasn't had the growth of over the years as the one seen over the remainder of the MCU. Loki is almost immediately captured by agents of the Time Variance Authority tasked with preventing branches in time and resetting variants such as Loki. Despite the TVA's plans to reset Loki, one agent sees the mischievous and untrustworthy character as a potential ally who they can use to track down a much more dangerous variant who has been killing members of the TVA while working towards some hidden purpose.

The first episode of the series is an awful lot of set-up, with characters sitting around rooms talking and Loki learning about both the TVA and what his future holds for him. The show takes advantage of the concept of the TVA to also tease some unseen pranks Loki has played on Midgard in the past. Owen Wilson, basically playing himself, is Agent Mobius M. Mobius who attempts to understand and make use of Loki rather than simply reset him as so many of the other agents wish. Loki's time with Mobius, and inside the TVA facility outside of time where magic doesn't exist, changes the character enough that he's neither the Loki from The Avengers nor the Loki who dies in Avengers: Infinity War. He's a different version of the same character, now quite aware of his mortality and how his grand plans all end. Of course, that doesn't mean this version won't get into some mischief or plot when it suits his purpose.

Loki's introduction to the TVA, and his growing understanding of the idea that another version of himself has lived out a life on the preferred timeline, makes up the bulk of the show's first episode. The writers do what the can to try and have some fun with Loki's initial introduction to the the TVA, his short trial, and his learning just what the organization is responsible for through humor (including throwing the prisoner around in the first few scenes, keeping him off balance, and through a series of information films about the TVA's history and mission). After watching the first two episodes of the series, it's obvious that the focus is going to shift quite a bit from one episode to the next. The show's premiere sets the stage for all to come, as Loki is offered a chance to do something more with this life than what history has written (and perhaps plot a new grand plan as well).

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