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After six glorious weeks, Marvel’s Loki series concluded last Wednesday. And though I had my issues with the show, overall, I enjoyed the new dive into the god of mischief.
At first, I expected the series to be a self-contained therapy session for the trickster god (and to be fair it starts out that way). However, the true story of Loki questions if Free Will actually exists or if everything in The MCU is predetermined. And to answer this question, the series dissects its title character (and his many variants) to show the chaos of Free will and the pain total order will cause.
Loki & The TVA
The first episode of Loki was a brilliant recap of his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the series picks up immediately after the mischievous god escapes with the Tesseract in Avengers Endgame.
However, this deviation from the norm draws the attention of The Time Variance Authority (“The TVA”- more on them in a minute) and the group soon arrests Loki, and take him to their citadel for judgment.
I’ll confess, prior to the Loki TV series, I wasn’t aware the TVA even existed.
Tasked by three celestial beings known as the “Timekeepers,” the group monitors and maintains the continuity of a single timeline in the MCU. And they achieve this, by resetting and pruning (destroying) anyone that deviates from their assigned role.
Over course of the season, Loki meets several prominent members of the TVA, many of whom leave a lasting impression by putting him in his place. Cue Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Hunter B-13 (Wunmi Mosaku). But the one person who gets to Loki the most is his new best friend, Mobius.
Owen Wilson was a perfect addition to the MCU, and his character Mobius goes above and beyond to help Loki become a better person.
Despite Loki’s standard lies and backstabbing, Mobius never truly gives up on the Asgardian, and he tries his best to help Loki realize that all his plans for world domination have just been one massive cry for help. (Which, let’s face it we’ve always known).
But while Mobius’s touching therapy session with Loki might seem altruistic, his real goal was to enlist Loki in hunting a more dangerous variant of himself.
Sylvie & The Loki Variants
The Loki Variants were probably everyone’s favorite aspect of the show. Despite having the same self-centered personality as the original, no two Lokis were ever the same.
Over the course of the series, we meet Kid Loki, Classic Loki, President Loki, and even Alligator Loki. And it soon becomes clear to our Loki that every version of himself is broken. And they will betray anyone (including themselves) to gain even an iota of power over others.
But not Sylvie.
Taken from her timeline for causing an unknown nexus event, the female Loki variant escapes the TVA before she’s pruned. And then dedicates her life to bringing down the time organization.
This plan almost comes to fruition in episodes 2 and 3, when Sylvie bombs the scared timeline to draw the TVA agents away from guarding the Timekeepers and so she kills can the Time Lords herself. However, decades of planning go down the drain when our Loki interferes and gets both of them stranded on a dying world called Lamentis.
Now, had anyone told me that Loki would fall in love with one of his variants, I would have believed it. Being one of the top narcissists in the MCU, it was totally on-brand for him and Sylvie to fall for each other.
Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie was every bit as amazing as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. And the two characters often brought the best (and worst) out of each other.
However, despite finding “true love,” Sylvie never loses sight of her true goal of destroying the timekeepers. And after a narrow safe by the TVA, she gets a second chance to end the Time Lords. But in a twist that everyone saw coming, the series reveals the timekeepers were fake and the real person in charge of the TVA was hiding elsewhere.
He Who Remains & The Truth Behind The TVA
From the very beginning, The TVA’s origin story seemed sketchy at best.
The story of how the timekeepers erased all other timelines, just to maintain order in the universe seemed too perfect. And with two mischievous gods determined to uncover the truth, they cause enough chaos to earn an audience with the organization’s real leader.
Enter He Who Remains
Jonathan Major’s Kang The Conqueror was an unexpected but very welcomed surprise. And he gives a fantastic performance as the laid-back and all-knowing, future version of Kang, known as Immortus.
Immortus reveals that the TVA’s true purpose was to prevent a multiversal war between his infinite number of variants. But after eons of dictating the universe’s fate, he presents Sylvie and Loki with a choice.
Take over the TVA and continue his good work of maintaining one timeline. Or Kill him and unleash a Multiversal free for all.
A dictatorship with Order. Or Free will and Chaos.
Where one would have expected our Loki to accept control for the sake of becoming an emperor of Time. He chooses it instead to prevent an all-out war. However, blinded by her own rage, Sylvie chooses chaos to ensure no one else suffers the way she did. But in doing so, she unleashes an infinite number of universes.
And this is what makes the Loki series so good.
After spending all season building trust between its two protagonists, the series then throws in a grey situation, knowing it will leave them on opposite sides. But what’s even better, is how the show doesn’t resolve this conflict within the first season but instead leaves it open for Loki and Sylvie to clash not only in season two but also in future MCU movies.
Save for the terrible action scenes, I really enjoyed the Loki Tv series. The show had a strong cast, and it does a brilliant job of using its characters to debate the need and consequences of Free will.
- Excellent Acting
- Great Concept
- Good Storyline
- Poor Action Scenes
- Requires Some Knowledge of Previous Marvel Movies