Loki S01E01 is the first instalment of the first season of a scifi superhero action-adventure drama set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The series stars Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the God of Mischief, Loki Laufeyson which Hiddleston had previously portrayed in the MCU, most notably as the main antagonist in The Avengers.
Entitled “Glorious Purpose”, Loki S01E01 picks up from Avengers : Endgame when a past version of the character gets hold of the Tessaract to transport himself away from New York in 2012 – during the events of The Avengers – to the Gobi Desert. This event catches the attention of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) who capture Loki for (illegally) altering the timeline. At the TVA, agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) takes an interest in Loki and recruits him to the TVA cause.
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Nothing much else happens in Loki S01E01 sadly. The pacing is ponderous and much of the episode is spent recounting events in Loki’s past that any MCU fan would be all too familiar with. Nothing new is revealed and the episode comes across like an introduction for non-MCU fans. A waste of time, essentially.
Which is a colossal letdown after all the signs were so positive concerning the Loki series. The alternate timeline trope, the stellar reputation of creator/writer Michael Waldron (known for his work on Rick and Morty) and the acting chops of Hiddleston promised much but this first episode was a bore!
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Worse still, the entire TVA premise seemed too close to the Temps Commission from Umbrella Academy for comfort. Although to be fair the TVA first appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1980s, way before Umbrella Academy but still, the similarities were hard to shake. Of course, this particular concept – of an authority in control of time or reality – is an good old scifi trope, famously utilised by Philip K Dick in his short story Adjustment Team (1954) and Frederick Pohl in Tunnel Under the World (1955).
Like WandaVision, Loki has not begun too well but hopefully, things will improve.
Now streaming on Disney+.
… still there’s more …