Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Loki: Episode 1


1. Glorious Purpose
2012. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) escapes with the tesseract and lands in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert before being arrested by Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) of the Time Variance Authority. Long ago in the brink of a multiversal war, a trio of all-knowing Time-Keepers established the TVA to ensure the existence of a single sacred timeline, preventing branching ones from diverging to threaten the main one. Loki is now referred to as a Variant a.k.a. those who escape their set timelines and are then considered a danger to the temporal order of the universe. He is taken before Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a former TVA hunter who has risen through the ranks and now serves as a judge. He is saved from being reset or eliminated from existence by Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), a TVA agent who focuses on dangerous Variants. Faced with a series of time crimes leading to the death of TVA's Minutemen, he strikes a deal with the God of Mischief to catch a particularly dangerous time criminal currently on the loose: Loki.


Wandavision dealt with grief. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tackled politics. Loki delves deep into the MCU bureaucracy, at least on the surface. Dig deeper, however, and you are sure to find existentialist undertones all of us can relate to. What is the purpose of life? Is free will real or is everything we did, do, and will do part of some predestined formula governed by a higher being gaming all of us in one sophisticated simulation? That is what Loki realizes as he indulges in a video summary of his life concluding with his neck being snapped by Thanos in Infinity War. The pilot establishes the premise quite well while giving you enough leeway for familiarization with the new time-related concepts. The biggest intrigue the episode presents is the villain. Mobius literally declares that he is asking Loki for help to chase a dangerous Variant whom he explicitly names as Loki. Now that is a clever way to introduce a Man vs. Himself conflict. If this means that another Loki is on the loose, where and when the hell did he actually branch out from?

“You ridiculous bureaucrats will not dictate how my story ends!” –Loki

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