Featured image courtesy of Marvel
Marvel’s “Loki” (available on Disney+) is centered around the God of Mischief, Loki, after stealing the Tesseract to escape captivity during Avengers: Endgame. Because of this, Loki is arrested by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an organization responsible for maintaining order and preserving the sacred timeline as created by the all-powerful Time Keepers. While his first plan was to overthrow the Time Keepers, Loki discovers that there is something very, very wrong with the TVA and how it is run. Joining forces with a TVA Agent, Mobius, and another Loki variant, Sylvie, they seek the true powers of the TVA and for freedom for all.
After the success of Marvel’s last two TV series (“WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) and the fact that Loki is one of the most beloved villains in the Marvel cinematic universe, there were high expectations for “Loki”. My bar was set pretty high when I started the series and I am pleased to report that Marvel not only delivered but exceeded expectations.
Loki is such an interesting character because he has so much going on under the surface. In previous Thor and Avengers movies, we got a glimpse into his painful past and inner-conflict between good and evil. Having a TV show for Loki to star in gave us a more in-depth look into Loki’s character. At the start, Loki was very much guarded and selfish. But each episode shaped and molded Loki into someone unrecognizable compared to the first time we met him. The writing in this show lended itself so perfectly in shaping Loki into a multi-dimensional, complex character.
Aside from writing phenomenal characters, the writers also managed to maintain a high level of suspense and mystery while making constant reveals throughout the episode. In “WandaVision”, there was one, major, looming mystery that was evidently solved in the end. However, Loki revealed a multitude of its mysteries relatively quickly and constantly had new ways of surprising us, like when Loki and Sylvie discover that the Time Keepers aren’t real. Loki truly is a show that keeps you watching.
Something notable about “Loki” is its cinematography. Just as we saw in “WandaVision”, Marvel has really started utilizing the power of camera movement and cinematography to better tell their already brilliant stories. My favorite cinematic moment in “Loki” was the opening shots of the TVA and Time Keeper’s quarters in Episode 5 “Journey Into Mystery”. The camera started upside down and spun slowly in a circle as it showed the TVA and the severed-android head of one of the time keepers to create a dizzying effect that left me feeling tense. It’s a camera motion I’ve not seen often, especially in a TV series, and it was incredible to watch.
However, the show is not without its controversy. The Marvel fan base seems very jaded about the romance between Loki and Sylvie. Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan at first considering the fact that they are basically the same person. However, after Mobius’s interrogation of Loki about Sylvie in Episode 4 “The Nexus Event”, I changed my tune. Logically-questionable reasoning aside, the relationship between Loki and Sylvie was essential to Loki’s character development. The fact that he fell in love with a version of himself highlighted his narcissism and selfishness that later drove him to reconsider what he desires. The very fact that Loki was able to fall in love, be vulnerable, and trust Sylvie was something Marvel fans didn’t know he was capable of and Loki became a more interesting character for it. To me, their connection was vital to telling the story and didn’t take away from it being an action-based TV show at all.
While the first season of the show was phenomenal, there are still a lot of lingering questions, especially with the finale episode being so shocking. The excitement for Season 2 is undeniable and has been created for good reason!
It seems like the fans Marvel has generated over the years are here to stay. For all of time. Always.