Loki: Glorious Purpose

Guilty of being the God of Mischief? Yes.

When the incredible Loki somehow manages to escape the bonds of time, he's targeted by an agency with incredible powers and a sixty year old orange-centric fashion sense.

Every one of the Marvel series opening episodes has been a home run for me, and Loki is no exception. Tom Hiddleston brings high level magic to every scene and nearly carries the entire show by himself. Owen Wilson also brings presence to his role as Mobius, as does Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15. Still,  this is definitely the title character's chance to shine.

The premise of the show is a lot of fun–that, way back in 2012, Loki escaped the Avengers with the Tesseract. In the process, he actually changed the future – rendering him a Variant, vulnerable to the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for Crimes Against the Sacred Timeline. They look like ordinary security officers with fancy costumes who have an office with designs formerly featured in the 60's–now with the added ability to disintegrate you painfully, make you blip back and forth through time, and, thankfully for many of us, provide very, very interesting views of Tom Hiddleston.

I loved how they portrayed the TVA office, especially the take-a-ticket waiting room with Miss Minutes and the bizarre old-time cartoon training video explaining the Timekeepers and the Sacred Timeline. This is all icing, though. As with the TVA, which surrounds itself with seeming humor but whose task is deadly serious, so too with this episode. Pretty soon Loki's bizarre journey takes a much more serious turn as he's forced to analyze his decisions and reactions both real and would-have-been – and justify the deaths he's caused – to a seemingly high-ranking TVA officer, Mobius (Owen Wilson). Mobius is an expert on hunting dangerous Variants, and he looks sort of like Rip Hunter without the chin hair.

The exploration of Loki's psychology – and the perfect way it's resolved, only by Loki freeing himself and using all the data available to convince himself of the truth – is glorious to watch. Seeing him react as he watched his own life in a movie almost made me cry. Loki of 2012 matures and grows really fast in a short time. Even the moment of fury Hiddleston channels and the subsequent desire for revenge on Thanos burns out quickly as Loki finally realizes the exact dimensions of his situation. It's a relief when Mobius finally makes his offer.

At the end of the episode, Loki's freed himself from the TVA on his ownsome and looks likely to join them – and it seems as if the series antagonist may be another Loki, hiding out in 1858–and showing far, far less remorse at causing lots of death. Knowing Marvel, however, there's going to be a lot more to this failed-God-King drama - and we have five more episodes of Loki glory to bask in.

Little bits of Infinity Stones

The slo-mo-face-slap when Hunter B-15 nabs Loki had me on the floor.

I kept trying to identify the drink Mobius was sipping – Josta cola? Josta was a discontinued energy drink from way back when, according to the internets.

There's no magic in TVA-space, but technology seems to work just fine.

Loki playing with Hunter B-15 after turning the tables on her was also flat out hilarious.

And then two minutes later you have Hiddleston saying, "I don't enjoy hurting people, I don't enjoy it. I do it because I have to," and uttering these lines with his amazing conviction. Great acting here.

Heard in the Sacred Timeline

Loki: I know what I am.
Mobius: A murderer?
Loki: A liberator.
Mobius: Of eyeballs, maybe

Hunter B-15: He should be reset!
Mobius: You think everyone should be reset.

Loki: Give me the tesseract, or I'll gut you like a fish, Casey.

In the End

This was a great introduction to a totally new story in the Marvel Universe. I'm here for it. 5 out of 5 Josta Colas.

10 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I giggled throughout nearly the entire thing, which I consider a very good sign.

CelStudios said...

I really enjoyed this premiere! It's offbeat and weird, and I gained a lot of respect for both Loki and Hiddelston's acting here. The whole thing gave me serious Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy vibes which is possibly the highest praise I could give it.

JRS said...

Ha! Yes the humor and irony was very like Douglas Adams.

Mikey Heinrich said...

I love the amount of time, energy, and screentime devoted to telling us that Loki was D.B. Cooper.

What a fantastically absurd sequence - I loved every second of it.

An Honest Fangirl said...

This was overall a very funny episode that then took a very sudden turn for the dark in that last scene. I absolutely loved it. I don't even like Owen Wilson, but I still enjoyed what he did with Mobius. Also, I loved the cartoon explanation. Felt very Jurassic Park.

Mikey Heinrich said...

That had to be deliberate, right?

Like - you don't give your animated exposition cartoon a southern drawl if you're not deliberately tipping your hat to Jurassic Park, do you?

Yeah, Owen Wilson appears to be segueing into 'distinguished older gentleman' phase of his career and it's a good look for him. I'm not usually much of a fan either.

Billie Doux said...

The DB Cooper bit was indeed terrific. Almost like they needed to put something in there that didn't involve that hideous beige jumpsuit or a flashback to Mom dying.

Josie Kafka said...

This was delightful. I wish I could binge it all at once!

Stupid moderation.

Anonymous said...

Josie, I'm so with you...except I am kinda enjoying actually having to look forward to the next episode. After 14+ months of binging everything under the sun, waiting feels "normal" again.

I'm not sure I'd even miss it if they just kept doing this and forgot about the big movies with huge LOOONNNGGG action sequences. I like this format for their story telling.

Sooze

Josie Kafka said...

Sooze, that's a good point! I also really like that we get to chat about the episodes as they air here on the site, rather than everyone watching at a different pace.