Loki – Initial Thoughts (Episode 1 & 2)

Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15 and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki – Courtesy of Disney Plus.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now pacing full steam ahead as we arrive at the third Disney+ show with Marvel’s Loki. The character of Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, has been established since 2011’s Thor and has had a total of three deaths (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Infinity War) so trust me for being skeptical. Well, I can confirm that somehow, Loki remains a relevant piece of this universe and is subject to a larger piece of it as it may just lay the foundation for what comes next.

Loki may feel like an overused character that we have seen enough of but he has never really been under the spotlight and truly explored as a character. Loki operates on his own self-interest, making him a compelling anti-hero and Loki is a demonstration that there is still more character of Loki to delve into. While, it is tough to truly gage Hiddleston’s performance in such a small sample size – he clearly has a chance to truly display his range as he sinks deeper into the character. Owen Wilson, while an interesting choice, feels like a pitch perfect casting choice to pair alongside Hiddleston. Besides an instant buddy-cop(esque) chemistry, Wilson provides a mature but sarcastic temperament that creates a nice on-screen dynamic between the two characters. One thing that does allow for a pause of concern is that Loki may simply be used as a means to introduce such an integral piece of MCU storytelling that may overshadow character development. The Time Variance Authority teases that it has an integral part in this universe and particularly in Phase 4 of the MCU which risks being the focus of this series titled Loki. The concern is valid as this applied for WandaVision as the concept of the show cloud any true character development that was happening. 

Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki – Courtesy of Disney Plus.

On a technical level, Michael Waldron has immediately established a captivating aesthetic – this is done through a golden colour palette and set-design that covers different time periods. It is likely that episodes 1 & 2 only touch upon the vast set-pieces and technical execution but they provide a nice voice of confidence – a trend that has remained consistent on the other MCU Disney+ series. 

A common criticism of these MCU Disney+ series is how they close them as WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier received their share of criticism. Whatever the case may be, Loki sets itself up with an opportunity to dissect topics such as the nature of free will, the power of self-determination and the effect of time – it just needs to commit to the execution of it.

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