Today, as most of the world did, I sat down to watch the first episode of the brand new Loki show on Disney+. Let me say, it did not disappoint.
As someone who is a fan of Norse mythology, I’ve always been rather familiar with Loki. I found his character fascinating, and though he is vastly different from the myths, I loved his characterization. Especially when they actually allowed him to lean into his mischievous persona. I, like many other fans also found it infuriating that he kept getting the short end of the stick. Yes, he was a villain, but he was incredibly sympathetic. He was someone scared, and desperate for love, and that showed through his actions, and especially his interactions with Thor.
But I digress, this is about the show, not my love for Loki.
The show picks up when the Avengers traveled back in time, the tesseract gets knocked to the ground, and Loki takes it and escapes, promptly getting arrested by the Time Variance Authority. The most powerful people I think we have seen on screen before.
Now, I am not going to get into the entire plot, but frankly there is so much I want to discuss that DOES go into spoilers. If this bothers you, you may want to turn back now.
Ok I warned you.
This show honestly does feel like a work of love from people who genuinely love and care about Loki’s character. Yes, because of the emotional moments, but also the humor as well. Frankly its nice to see Loki with humor again. Though even the humor can have layers of sadness, such as one scene where Loki has a small exisential crisis over whether he’s a robot and doesn’t know it or not. Which was incredibly funny, but also a bit sad when you remember about a year ago he thought he KNEW he wasn’t a frost giant and yet well, we know how that turned out for him.
Loki is brought by Mobius (whom I refuse to actually call that, in my mind its simply Owen.) to a room meant to show him pieces of his past and future. Where he is then essentially tortured with his past failures, and the future knowledge that he leads the dark elves straight to his mother. This was heartbreaking enough as it is, and Tom Hiddleston handled it masterfully, making you feel each emotion Loki himself was feeling. His desperation of wanting to see his mother, of refusing to believe it was real. To paraphrase, he even tells Mobius he knows what this is, an illusion cast by the weak to show strength.
This renews Loki’s desire to escape, wanting to convince himself none of it is real. So, with Loki’s cleverness, he manages to escape to another part of this strange place. Where, he tries to get the tesseract back, and discovers infinity stones, which according to the hilariously lovable office worker Casey, are simply used as paper weights, since there are so many here, and they are all useless. You read that right, the infinity stones we watched the avengers chase for years, are nothing to this agency.
This, finally shakes Loki. He goes back to the viewing room and watches how his life plays out. He watches his mother die, his father die, and him and his brother finally working together again. Once again, Tom Hiddleston’s acting blew me away here. I found myself crying with him, and for him, as he saw all the great, and all the bad, until at last it broke him.
Now, I need to discuss this, because already I have seen people criticize Loki’s next action as being out of character.
He proceeds to tell Mobius, he does not actually enjoy hurting people. He does it because he has to. because, it is an illusion cast by the weak, as a show of strength. Thus acknowledging he knows what he is. A terrified person desperate for some semblance of control.
I’ve seen people call this out of character, that Loki would have played his cards closer to his chest, but I highly disagree. Loki has just watched his entire life play out, and has essentially learned nothing he did, all of his failures, none of it mattered. Not really. He was there to bring development to the Avengers. To bring out THEIR best selves, not his own. He was never meant to be king. Once again, that was not his story, it was everyone else’s.
Of course this broke him. Of course he didn’t care if he admitted he’s weak. He has come across someone he cannot outsmart, he cannot run away from, and he cannot defeat. What else can he do, but admit the truth for once? It doesn’t matter anyway, his life was always meant to play out like this. This isn’t a case of bad character writing. It’s a case of good character writing. Knowing that Loki is smart enough to know when there’s nothing left. But I digress.
This first episode has shown a lot of promise for this series, and I am looking forward to more. So far this show has been packed with humor, fun and emotion. All things I had hoped would be prevalent. As a Norse mythology fan, I couldn’t help but love those little moments when Loki said something that sounded exactly like something mythic Loki would say. I am thrilled to see more of the actual mythological Loki being incorporated.
I truly cannot wait to see what happens next, but alas for now all we can do is theorize!
At the very end of the episode it is revealed the agency is trying to hunt a dangerous variant. It just so happens, this variant is Loki themselves. I must now mention theories, the biggest one, and my personal favourite, being that it will be lady Loki. What do you think readers? Any theories on what version of Loki this will be? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Now just before I sign off, I would like to let my readers know I do have a mailing list! On my blog you should see a box at the bottom, it will say subscribe to my mailing list. Please consider adding yourself so you don’t miss out on new content, or my review on the next episode!
This is Rev, signing off.