“Loki” Season 1 – Time, Destiny and Choice Explored But Lacks Impact

“Loki” was a good show that had the potential to be great, and still does depending on how next season goes. This is a fun series that explores ideas of time, choice and destiny and has some great leads. I wish certain characters had been explored better though and the ending needed to do a lot more than it did. Still, Marvel did it again and this show is worth your time.

Michael Waldron is the creator of the show.

The story follows a Loki Variant from “Endgame” (Tom Hiddleston) who is recruited by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) by Mobius (Owen Wilson) to hunt another Loki Variant who is trying to take down the TVA.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros:

The Premise – The premise is cool as we mess with timelines, time travel and the corruption of the Terry Gilliamesque organization of the TVA. Who is in charge of them and what the Lokis will do is compelling. You have a recipe for lots of drama and chaos.

The Time Variance Authority (TVA) – The TVA is a fascinating organization as they prune variants to keep the timeline as one “Sacred timeline” and we don’t learn why until the end. We learn all of the people are variants with their memories wiped and the truth of why they exist and the complete chaos they truly do hold at bay. Hunter B-15 and Renslayer are alright characters as B-15 rebels while Renslayer believes even after learning the truth but both needed more exploration.

Miss Minutes – Tara Strong is amazing as the A.I. Miss Minutes who knows the truth of the TVA and keeps it from all members. She idealizes her creator and has a kind but threatening demeanor in how she acts around others. I’m curious to see how season 2 uses her given the information she gives Renslayer at the end.

Mobius – Owen Wilson is fantastic as Mobius, he is the handler of the Variant Loki who later becomes his friend. He goes from a believer to rebel against the TVA but loses his memory of his time with the Lokis after Renslayer goes back in time. So I’m curious to see what next season brings. He has yet to ride the jetski like he always wanted. So hoping that still happens.

The Loki Variants – The Lokis are the best part of “Loki.” The least explored are Boastful Loki who betrays Kid, Alligator, Classic and Endgame Loki. Kid Loki killed Thor and that was why he was pruned from his timeline but we never learn why. I’ll list the best Loki’s below. Also President Loki was a lot of fun. They are all in the Void after being pruned by the TVA and facing off against the treats of the Void and the beast Alioth.

Alligator Loki – Alligator Loki is best Loki. He’s an alligator with Loki’s helmet and he is sassy to the other Loki Variants. He also bites off President Loki’s hand. I hope we see him again and get his story. He was so much fun.

Classic Loki – Richard E. Grant plays Classic Loki who is in his classic comic yellow garb. He is an old and sad Loki who finds his reason to be to help Endgame Loki and Sylvie enchant Alioth to reach what it is beyond the void. He does this by recreating an illusion of Asgard. It is a powerful scene and awesome death.

Sylvie – Sophia Di Martino is great as Sylvie. She is the female Loki who has been on the run since escaping the TVA as a kid. She doesn’t trust anyone but comes to love Endgame Loki. She kills “He Who Remains” in the end as revenge wins out over her love of Endgame Loki so curious where her story will go now that she is now the only one at the castle.

Endgame / Variant Loki – Endgame Loki’s arc is learning how to love and trust as Sylvie and Mobius become his friends. He has truly become the closest he can be to a hero by the end and when Sylvie pushes him back into the TVA them not knowing who he is sad. Tom Hiddleston is again amazing as the main Loki and plays the complex protagonist extremely well. I loved seeing his arc over the course of the show.

Destiny and Choice – A major theme is destiny versus choice. The TVA exists to enforce destiny while the Loki’s represent choice and this clash happens throughout the show with “He Who Remains” and the Lokis as that final exploration of it. Now to see where full reign of choice leads after Sylvie killed “He Who Remains.”

Okay:

Lamentis – For Sylvie and Loki having a lot of time together we don’t get much about what she’s learned or how Endgame Loki has changed. The world looked cool but there was no depth or exploration of it. Like the Lokis it felt like it was just existing.

He Who Remains / Kang – “He Who Remains” is Kang and we learn that he founded the TVA to stop other versions of himself from making war. Jonathan Majors does a good job but it was hard to take him seriously with how jokey he was. I also would have liked him to reveal more knowledge about the Lokis but he doesn’t beyond what they are going to say. Like Lamentis, a missed opportunity to setup a bigger threat. I liked the sadness of the character at least. He saw everything as inevitable and that made him interesting.

The Cons:

Cliffhanger Ending – The cliffhanger ending was a bit annoying as we are left with more questions. I mentioned Renslayer changing the past but I could be wrong. This could be a whole new timeline Endgame Loki was thrown into. The cliffhanger ending felt like it was going more for shock than giving a rewarding finale.

“Loki” season 1 is still worth checking out, though I would consider it the weakest MCU show so far. It felt afraid to fully explore Sylvie and her motivations or “He Who Remains” and why he decides what he does. The cast and concepts carry this show though and I can’t wait to see what season 2 explores and what it will bring to the amazing MCU multiverse.

Final Score: 8 / 10 Good but very flawed.

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