Well, “Loki” is finally here. And episode 1 isn’t that bad.
Of Disney Plus’s live action Marvel shows, “Loki” was the one I was the least excited for, right after “Hawkeye,” mostly because Loki (Tom Hiddleston) already had a pretty good arc that ended in “Avengers: Infinity War,” in which the God of mischief, having learned to finally be his own person, and come to an understanding with his brother, Thor, died in a selfless act. Given that this death, unlike many other times when he appeared to die, was final, the only way for Marvel to bring his character back was to use a past version of him, which worked out conveniently, because “Avengers: Endgame” was a film all about time travel. But this also meant that, for this “Loki” series, we’d get a far inferior version of the character, from 2012’s “The Avengers.”
Because of this, this series was going to have to inevitably retread the ground the films did, as this version of Loki is underdeveloped, selfish, and just not as interesting as the later versions of his character. Thankfully, they contain, more or less, the retread to this first episode.
Episode 1 “Glorious Purpose” sees Loki land in the Gobi Desert after his “Endgame” escape from 2012’s Stark Tower with the Tesseract, but he is immediately apprehended by agents of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), a cosmic entity that makes sure the universe’s one timeline — the Sacred Timeline — stays intact. Sporting old-timey looking futuristic technology, they are exactly like the Commission from “The Umbrella Academy”, making sure everything that’s supposed to happen, happens, as they fear timeline splits might destroy the universe. Loki is a variant, and is almost reset, if not for the obstruction of TVA Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), who thinks he can use Loki’s help tracking down an even bigger variant that has been killing their agents.
Loki, of course causes mischief, but in the process gets caught up as to how his timeline is supposed to go, up until his death in 2018. The show also plants some key questions to think about, that will probably be explored in greater depth later in the series, such as: Why does Loki do what he does? Does he like hurting people? What does it feel like to know that, in your whole life, you were meant to fail in order for other people to be their best selves? What was the point of your life?
Episode 1 manages to catch Loki up in terms of character development, but it also changes him in a way different than the films, as for the first time, he has some agency over his life and where it goes. And it questions Loki seriously about what he wants, revealing that — at least in 2012 — Loki really didn’t have any idea what he wanted outside of ruling all the realms and gaining control over his life.
Episode 1 is a very good introduction into this series and world, though I do have my doubts about it as a whole, as like “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” “Loki” Season 1 has six episodes, which might not be enough to fully pull off what this show wants to do. I get wanting to do your own thing, but Netflix has really proven that eight-episode seasons are the way to go.
Still Episode 1 was incredibly strong. In my opinion, it’s the strongest premier of Marvel’s live action Disney Plus shows so far.
“Loki” Season 1: Episode 1 “Glorious Purpose” gets a 9/10