Loki Premiere Delivers an Intriguing Start to the Anti-hero Series

(L-R): Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios' LOKI exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Wayne Rock, Comic to Screen Head Writer

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

After a long-ish hiatus from Marvel’s official MCU Disney+ series, my most highly anticipated series, Loki, is finally here. So, are Wednesdays the new Fridays, or are they the new Mondays? Let’s dive in and find out.

Just based off of promotional materials, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what Loki was going to be. Unlike WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which I would classify as epilogues of completed character arcs, I thought Loki would function as an answer to a question posed in Endgame: What happened to that 2012 version of Loki who absconded with the Tesseract? And for the most part I was right.

Episode one answers that question pretty quickly. Within the first five minutes in fact. Loki is apprehended by the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA), who safeguard the Sacred Timeline (basically they ensure what is supposed to happen in the timeline, happens). As this version of Loki is an anomaly (they call him a “variant”), he is set to be purged from the timeline. However, Agent Mobius, in a strangely grounded turn from Owen Wilson of all people, recruits Loki for a mission that we don’t get clued into until the very end of the episode. I was, however, not prepared for how much other questions and answers I was going to get just from this one episode, in what is shaping up to be one of Marvel’s most intriguing series and character pieces.

Episode one of Loki, much like the other shows, was pretty much setup for the rest of the series. But we do get some pretty concrete answers to questions that we fans were all asking ourselves. What happened to Loki after he disappeared in Endgame? See this episode. Why didn’t the TVA go after the Avengers for meddling with time? Well, because that was supposed to happen. It was part of the Sacred Timeline. Although the show doesn’t state this outright, this logic can be applied to Captain America’s detour to live out his life with Peggy Carter, hopefully finally putting to rest the various theories about it being another timeline (yes, I said it, the Russos are wrong and Steve was always Peggy’s secret husband, but I digress, please don’t prune me). Another huge revelation was the fact that the TVA is so powerful that it renders even the Infinity Stones powerless. I’ll admit that my jaw hit the floor with that reveal, even more than the final twist at the end, which I saw coming since the church scene.

This Judge Judy episode just got really weird

Visually, Loki Episode One isn’t an optical feast like WandaVision or even TFATWS, which I found rather surprising. I actually found the colour palette to be rather dull, and I’m hoping it’s just a first episode thing. The same can be said for the soundtrack. There was nothing especially noteworthy in the background, except maybe during a particularly emotional scene close to the end of the episode.

No, what makes Loki works is the excellent writing and fantastic character acting by both Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. Even though this first episode is largely expository, it manages to keep you engaged with the different methods used to deliver information and effective dialogue. One scene uses a cartoon to bring Loki and the audience up to speed, while another features a back-and-forth conversation between Loki and Agent Mobius that is funny, tense and heartfelt all in one. This scene also harkens back to the scene where Black Widow manipulated Loki in the original Avengers movie, which is amazing seeing as this is the same Loki from that film.

It’s pretty remarkable that the writers and creators at Marvel were able to distinguish this version of Loki from the one that experiences all the growth and heartbreak after the events of this film with such subtlety. This Loki has different body language and carries himself in a proud, haughty manner. Tom Hiddleston is acting his horns off here and he deserves a lot of credit.

There’s not much else to talk about as, well, not much actually happens in this first episode. The brief glimpse of the structure of the TVA was cool, but nothing we haven’t seen before given the scope of the Marvel Universe. This isn’t a bad thing though, as, unlike WandaVision and TFATWS, we’re pretty much assured that all of the setup is done with because the ball gets rolling before the episode is even finished.

And you’re positive you’re not from Nidavellir?

If the first episode is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat, and I can’t wait to see how deep the rabbit hole goes and how many different ways we will explore this character. Let’s just say there’s more than one reason why this series is called Loki (wink wink).

Wayne’s Score: A solid 7.5 out of 10

So what did you think of the Loki premiere? You can check out more MCU Disney+ content below:

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Sticks the Landing: Episode 5 and Finale Reviews

WandaVision’s ‘Disappointing’ Series Finale Breaks the Spell: Review in 4 Slices

Wayne loves to complain, and that was an unintentional rhyme. When I’m not watching movies, TV, anime or trophy hunting on PS4, you can usually find me deep in my thoughts preparing my next scathing review of a bad movie. I think Zack Snyder’s take on superheroes is terrible and that The Quick and the Dead is actually a decent movie. I re-watch Death Note every year. Unlike the other fine writers on this site, I’m not a critic, but I can definitely Rock a review…(Read More)