I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical about a show centered around Loki. I enjoyed the finality of his character in Infinity War and the idea of bringing back an alternate version of him could downplay his demise. Thankfully, this show does put some of those worries to rest with a excellent re-introduction to the character and a brilliant showcase of Tom Hiddleston’s acting range that further proves why he is one of the MCU’s best characters. Not only that, this show successfully builds enough intrigue without feeling like its holding back allowing for an enjoyable premiere that has me excited for what’s to come.
The show pretty much picks up where we left him in Avengers: Endgame with the Loki from the 2012 Avengers escaping with the tesseract. Not soon after does he find himself captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and charged with being a rogue “variant”. This first episode does a great job of introducing us to this new other worldly organization and filling in some of the questions and gaps we would start to poke at it.
I can already tell that this show has a different flavor than that of WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier making it all the more intriguing to see how everything plays out. The introduction of the TVA allows us to venture into new territory with the MCU and gives us our first real hint of the larger multiverse at hand. The idea that this organization controls the entire flow of time and ensures the predestination of certain events is a bit of a stretch, but its a fact that Loki himself loves poking holes in and questioning its absurdity. I’m interested to see what more of this organization will be revealed in the coming episodes and how the role will impact the larger MCU as a whole.
Where the show begins to excel is in its reintroduction of Loki and actor Tom Hiddleston. Loki is by far one of the best villains in the MCU and one of the most well developed characters. It is interesting that here we have a Loki that hasn’t gone through some of the big character moments that we have seen him gone through in other movies such as the death of Frigga and Odin as well as his encounter with the Thanos. That allows Loki to be even more mischievous, unpredictable and a joy to watch on screen. His dialogue with Mobius was great at beginning to peel back the layers of this character and find out more about what drove him to make certain decisions.
That self-actualization could be the beginning of a bigger and more profound character arc for the God of Mischief in the coming episodes. While the movies certainly painted a small redemption story for Loki, he was sidelined in Ragnarok making him feel a little less than half baked given his overall tenure in the MCU. This series essentially gives a bit of a fresh start for the character and allows us to see a potentially more personal and reflective journey as opposed to one being told through his brother Thor. It will be interesting to see where the show does take Loki given the fact that the TVA has stated that he is “destined to die”. Maybe it could add weight to events we have seen in previous movies, but that end goal is far at this moment.
I also enjoy the fact how Marvel essentially tells the audience that the Infinity Stones don’t matter anymore and they are moving on to new and hopefully bolder ideas. It was a good realization for Loki but also a nod at the audience that the threat has now moved on and there are new areas to explore. Given that WandaVision, Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness, and Spider-Man: No Way Home are all confirmed to have some sort of multiverse component to it, I am guessing that the new threats will pertain more in line with that for Phase 4 and beyond. Only time will tell at this point.
Where the show is going to be heading is what remains the most exciting aspect of the show. The idea that Loki will be going up against a rogue variant of himself will allow for a profound character journey while allowing Tom Hiddleston to flex his acting chops as he alternates between Shakespearean melodrama and comedy. The TVA serves as an intriguing organization that provides just enough information for us to feel invested and not stringed along. While it is only the premiere, Marvel definitely started this show on some strong footing and hopefully it can only get better from here!