Loki | Review


Photo By Kyra Motyka

In the past the character Loki has been portrayed as a side character and a villain, but in the show he has a more prominent role. Since the show premiered in June, it has gained a lot of popularity among all ages.

     As a Marvel geek raised in a Marvel family who named their dog Loki, I was more than thrilled when a Disney+ ad for Marvel’s newest show, Loki popped up on my phone as I scrolled through Snapchat stories. Loki is a brand new series based on the God of Mischief, Loki. Though he has been labeled “the villain” and “the bad guy” in past Marvel movies, this series has so far shown the good side of Loki, and how his true desire isn’t being evil, it’s being powerful.

     As Marvel releases multiple new series based on side characters in their iconic movies, both WandaVision and Loki have gotten all the hype they deserve. However, my family didn’t name my dog Loki just because we thought the name was cute; I am obviously more interested in the Loki series. WandaVision was definitely entertaining, but it took a long time to become more of an action-adventure series, as Marvel shows and movies usually are. Both of these shows have a completely different setting than any of the movies, but Loki was much quicker to explain how and why. The show begins in the time and place of Avengers: Endgame, but quickly switches into a brand new setting after Loki strays from the Sacred Timeline. 

     Now, what is the Sacred Timeline? It is a set sequence of events that makes up the past, present and future. It is our reality. The ancient Time-Keepers supervised it after an intergalactic war broke loose and almost destroyed everything the universe once knew. If someone unknowingly strays from the timeline, the multiverse police force that is the Time Variance Authority (TVA)  brings them in for a trial, which has so far proven to be a one-sided judgment of guilt vs innocence. When Loki strayed from it by grabbing the Tesseract during Endgame, he was brought into the TVA through a portal. He was almost declared guilty for crimes against the Sacred Timeline until Mobius, an agent at the TVA, stepped in. Mobius then took it upon himself to supervise Loki, rather than allowing the TVA to kill him. As Loki is interrogated about his actions, Mobius makes use of him. Our Loki is hired to hunt down a different Loki Variant from an alternate universe, who is wreaking havoc to the timeline. 

     We come to find out that this “Loki Variant” is a female named Sylvie. She too is the goddess of mischief, but her powers involve self-taught enchantment rather than mother-taught shapeshifting and telekinesis. Sylvie was taken by the TVA when she was just a child, but being the goddess of mischief, promptly escaped and has been running from the TVA ever since. As Sylvie grew up, her crimes against the timeline have only gotten more and more detrimental. She claims this is because she was never meant to exist.

     When a variant strays from the timeline, it creates a branch that can be electronically supervised and therefore tracked down. Each time Sylvie strays from the timeline, the branch she creates will give up her position to the TVA. 

     As she is constantly hunted down and escaping, she learns that if she creates a portal that goes directly into apocalypses (such as Pompeii or the total destruction of a planet), none of her actions will create a branch, as nothing she does can change the outcome of the apocalypse. For example, Loki proves this theory to Mobius by traveling to Pompeii in the time of its downfall and begins to cause chaos around the very confused inhabitants. Loki gives a whole entire speech in Italian, tips over food carts and ultimately makes a mess in Pompeii, but none of it creates a branch in the timeline because in a matter of minutes, all of the inhabitants will be killed by the volcano anyway. After this theory of Loki’s is proven correct, Mobius allows Loki to come along on missions to attempt to hunt down Sylvie. 

     Loki and the TVA quickly find Sylvie, as they now know where to look for her. At first, Loki stays loyal to the TVA and attempts to capture Sylvie as he curiously asks her questions. As Sylvie yet again escapes, Loki follows her through a portal she creates and the two Loki Variants bicker and fight and try to outsmart the other as they work together. Sylvie shares information about the TVA with Loki, and he learns that everyone who works at the TVA were all normal humans at one point. The workforce of the TVA is told that they were created by the Time-Keepers to maintain peace in the universe. People like Mobius and all of the hunters of the TVA believe it without hesitation, but Sylvie’s enchantment powers complicatedly show a few of the hunters that they had a life hundreds of years ago that was snatched from their memories. Why? Every single person that works at the TVA was once a variant. Their minds are wiped after their trials at the TVA and in their re-incarnation, they are told that they were created by the Time-Keepers and have one job: protect the timeline at all costs. 

     Loki and Sylvie run around through time and space, and eventually find themselves in a situation where they can not escape. They had traveled to a planet that had about 12 hours left of life until another planet crashed into it and killed everything. In most situations, they would have been able to create a portal and go into a different setting in time and space. But, the piece of technology that allowed them to do this (a Tempad) ran out of battery and was shortly after crushed. As the two Lokis stare at the face of death with no way out, feelings are shared between the two of them with nothing but a touch. Although variants are almost always untrackable in apocalypses, the power of the feelings behind Loki and Sylvie create a Nexus Event, which is a massive branch from the timeline. As the planet takes its final hit, the TVA is able to hurriedly track the variants down because of this Nexus Event. The TVA snags the Lokis just before they are buried in rocks. 

     The two variants are taken back to the TVA and face the choice of explaining themselves or being killed. Eventually, Loki and Sylvie are taken to the Time-Keepers to be questioned and ultimately murdered. But, if you put two gods of mischief together, they will find a way out. The upper hand in the situation is quickly switched to the Lokis, and Sylvie decapitates an all-powerful Time-Keeper, only to find out that they are simple pieces of machinery. Loki and Sylvie become frustrated and hopeless and are confused as to what their next move should be, as they thought their work was done: kill the Time-Keepers. As the two sit in shock, a very powerful member of the TVA sneaks up behind them and “prunes” Loki. Although the audience is not sure where one goes after being pruned, we can so far only assume it is the equivalent of death. Sylvie shows off her hand-combat skills and threatens to kill this member of the TVA if she doesn’t start answering some questions.

     As the audience is left with this cliffhanger, we have nothing to do but wonder: who created the TVA if it wasn’t the Time-Keepers? What happens when you get pruned? How is Sylvie going to show all the members of the TVA that they have been stripped of their normal lives and their supreme leaders were just pieces of machinery controlled by someone else? Where is Loki?

     The show has done an absolutely fantastic job of keeping the plot rolling; you never feel like the show is stuck on the same objective. As for the plot itself, I didn’t love it after watching the first episode, but as questions got answered, I have come to really enjoy it. My favorite part is how it’s an action-adventure series with the main character fighting “the bad guys,” but our main character/”good guy” has always been known as the troublemaking, mischievous bad guy. It is a great plot and the 10 years we’ve spent waiting for our beloved God of Mischief to get his own show only made it better now that it’s finally here. The (very long) wait has benefitted this series because we were able to form our own opinions on Loki himself for 10 whole years before the show was even introduced. I think I speak for many Marvel fans when I say that we began with a love-hate relationship with Loki, and finished with adoring him… much like Sylvie did. Even in the very first opening scene of Loki (the scene from Endgame), I can confidently say we all enjoyed how well Tom Hiddleston plays the role of God of Mischief.

     In the show, we get little hints of each supporting character, which is a phenomenal addition considering many series tend to push supporting characters to the side. The audience is never left wishing that we could see more of a supporting character because they’re all highlighted so well, which Marvel has always done a good job of. Of course, the graphics are mind-blowing, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from Marvel. I am excited to see Sylvie’s and Loki’s powers in full-scale action, because we haven’t gotten a whole lot of it yet. Ever since the first Avengers movie, I’ve been entranced with Loki’s powers, so I can’t wait to see his, and his female version, Sylvie’s. 

     The episodes are the perfect length, ranging from 42-54 minutes (so far). Unfortunately, Loki fans can’t begin their binging just yet because we have to wait a week for new episodes, as one is released every Wednesday. The first season will have six episodes, and so far we have four. Although that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, there is plenty of thrilling information to unpack; in fact, fans are already brewing up some conspiracy theories.

      I would highly recommend this series to Marvel fans, and can only say that you might want to have some Avengers and Thor background knowledge before you begin. Despite a little confusion, this show would be enjoyable even for someone who isn’t a Marvel fan. This is the perfect show for family nights or watching with friends. For the sake of the beauty of the show, don’t leave it on as background noise as you stare at your phone.