Loki’s premiere set up an interesting promise and this week’s episode seems to maintain that promise albeit in some portions that are a little uneven. It’s still great to watch Loki squirm his way through the machinations of the TVA and have his schemes so thwarted each time. However, in terms of the characterization and development of this particular Loki there’s a disconnect between what the show is presenting us with and what it actually could do with his character.
This week’s episodes shows Loki and Mobius on a quest to capture the rogue impostor variant of Loki among different time periods. The show works great in its situational humor where we see Loki slowly trying to put his schemes into action only for the TVA to profusely not trust him. It’s quite comical, especially the scene where Loki tries to explain his actions to Mobius like a child justifying why he ate a cookie from the jar when he wasn’t supposed to. It’s a fun buddy cop dynamic between the two and when the show wants to be funny it certainly can be.
One of the issues I am starting to have with the show is in the characterization of Loki. This is supposed to be the Loki that at the height of his galactic conquest of Earth, he was defeated, stripped of his pride, and realized that the purpose he was fighting for (rule Earth and gain some Infinity Stones along the way) is utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. This Loki has only seen on video key events that happen to him in the future but not experienced them, and the show tries to have its cake and eat it too. The scene where he mourns the loss of Asgard here is powerfully acted, but it doesn’t seem to fit where this Loki theoretically should be in his timeline.
The drama isn’t as effective with that characterization and does hurt the shows potential arc it may be going for Loki. Fortunately, the conniving, scheming, eclectic Loki we all know and love is fully present here and I am loving every second of it. Seeing him cause chaos right before the volcano in Pompeii exploded conveyed just how much fun Tom Hiddleston can be with this character. That paired with the comedic timing he has with the TVA make the show enjoyable to watch week to week.
We also get some nice existential conversations between Mobius and Loki in which they discuss Chaos Theory, predestination and free will. It is interesting to see them discuss this and point out some of the absurdities Loki and even we as humans may draft up to make sense of the world. I would hope this show delves more into this subject matter now with the reveal of the villain and the continued elusiveness of the Time Keepers. Perhaps this Lady Loki is seeking to destabilize the Sacred Timeline to the point where people can have more free will not monitored by the Time Keepers, which would make for an exciting next few episodes.
The reveal of Lady Loki certainly is welcome, albeit we didn’t learn much about her in this episode. Loki was a woman for some time in the comics at a point so its nice to see Marvel bringing in and exploring these elements. The idea that Loki will team up with his female counterpart and potentially go against the TVA would be an exciting and bold choice, albeit one that takes away from the established comedic dynamic these first few episodes have had. Either way, I’m excited to see what happens next.
All though the characterization is a little weak at the moment, Loki never fails to entertain and is providing some much needed joy and life to these Marvel shows. After dealing with some heavy handed subject material in WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it’s nice to kick back and laugh while also being invested. Let’s just hope the show can only get better from here!
(B -) Funny