SPOILER WARNING: This review covers all 6 episodes of Loki, so obviously contains massive spoilers!
Loki, featuring the return of Tom Hiddleston to the MCU, has escaped with the tesseract, and is subsequently caught by the TVA. He agrees to help Owen Wilson’s Mobius track down a variant that is conveniently a version of himself. What ensues is a painful setup for Iron Man with Magic… oh, sorry, Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
On one hand, my ma always told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But on the other hand, I haven’t been this pissed off at a major franchise since Star Wars: The Last Jedi. My visceral, negative reaction was caused by many things.
First, this series did not need to be made. Loki had a perfect ending to his overall arc, and it really didn’t need to be messed with. I am a huge Tom Hiddleston fan, I went to NYC to see him in a play, waited outside, freezing my butt off to meet him, all of that. I was so glad when Loki was killed off, so he’d be free to do other things, and not just be known for Loki. Alas, that did not happen.
This series was made for two subsets of fans: the fans that can’t accept the death of their favourite character, and the fans that are absolutely, irrationally obsessed with having their favourite character paired up romantically. I fall into neither of these categories. ‘More Stories to Tell’ was the tagline… it should have been ‘More Money to be Made’.
After watching the same movie in a different flavour for over ten years, I realized that maybe the MCU wasn’t for me anymore. But, when Loki was announced, I was promised something new and weird! I thought, maybe this will be the show to get me back into the MCU. That was not the case. I cannot believe the rave reviews about this series; did we all watch the same thing?
The first warning sign for me was when it was announced that Michael Waldron, who was a writer for Rick & Morty was going to be helming this series. Rick & Morty is funny… if you’re a dude-bro, drunk, or high. When I read a few of his interviews prior to the release of Loki, another warning sign, this guy kind of sounded like a huge douchebag. I was then calmed and reassured that maybe it wouldn’t be a train-wreck because Hiddleston was heavily involved in the series.
As I’ve mentioned before, we were promised something new, different, and weird. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, creative team behind Loki.
Episode 1 was cheap; did I need to see clips from previous movies used in a very uncreative way? No, I did not. There was also something just off about the casting of Wilson. Now, this may be on me because my teen years were spent quoting Owen Wilson films. There were a few things I liked about Episode 1, like the Blade Runner robot reference. There was a red flag in this episode though. Pro-tip: never, EVER have a character verbalize/confirm that they’re smart. Because it’s probably not the case.
Episode 2 was the bright spot, it was my favourite, by far. It was fast-paced, amusing, and the most interesting episode out of the whole series. The Mt Vesuvius/unleashing of the goats thing was the sort of thing I was looking for in this series. I actually chuckled a little, which rarely happens. It moved the story along, and we get the big reveal of the Loki variant that’s causing all the havoc.
Episode 3 was, for lack of a better word, boring. The pace slowed, and it was the infamous Disney+ show filler episode. We’re introduced to Mary Sue, sorry, I mean Lady Loki. But not really, Sylvie, the Enchantress, right? No, wait, she’s a completely different, new character. Probably shouldn’t have opted for the name Sylvie in that case. She’s a brand new, *strong* female, that shows her strength by punching people and has no personality (see: Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel, Hope van Dyne – Ant-Man). Y’all, you told me you were going to give me something different, new, weird. A Mary Sue isn’t new, different, or weird. This episode was a get-to-know-each-other, and build a pseudo-sibling relationship, right? Because anything else would be weird in a bad way, not an interesting way. There was a considerable shift in our TVA ‘Smart’ Loki character evolution, he opened-up, announced that he was a member of the LGBTQQIAAP nation, progress! First bi-sexual character in the MCU, way to go, Disney, getting with the times! It was still a filler episode though, and while the stakes seemed high, you knew that there were three more episodes to go, of course, they would live.
Again, I was reassured after this lacklustre episode by Hiddleston, that 4 and 5 were his favourite. That fact is now disturbing.
Episode 4 was the death knell. I think the response from the creative team afterwards was also incredibly tone-deaf, and, quite frankly, insulting. The 4th episode was so bad, I legitimately had to go cleanse my eyes and brain with a GBBO marathon. The fact that the creative team had no idea that the insta-love (see: Jane and Thor – Thor) between two characters that had seemingly formed a pseudo-sibling relationship wouldn’t come off a little incest-y is really strange to me. If a pseudo-sibling relationship was not the intention, then it was poor writing, directing and acting by all parties involved. Sometimes, when a Mary Sue punches our main character, he falls in love with her (see: Hope and Scott – Ant-Man). The whole narcissism thing was hilarious, I’m glad our TVA ‘Smart’ Loki was cured of that by Sylvie and another *strong* personality-lacking woman (see: Sif -Thor/Thor: The Dark World) kicking him between the legs was what he’d needed all along. If a small portion of this episode was actually utilizing the myth of Narcissus, then I’m glad they followed it through to the dying part. This is when everything clicked for me. Our TVA ‘Smart’ Loki’s character evolution made him a big ol’ bowl of mushy, overcooked oatmeal. HOW and WHY would you take one of the best anti-heroes in the MCU, or any superhero franchise, and make him so mushy? More importantly, I didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters, except B-15. Normally, that’s my cue to stop watching a show, but I wanted to see if they tried to convince audiences that this Oatmeal Loki was actually smart and logical.
Episode 5 was when things slightly improved. Again, I couldn’t forgive the events of Episode 4, and I totally fast-forwarded during whatever talk Loki and Mary Sue, sorry, Sylvie, had with a blankie around their shoulders. All of the other Lokis were better in their tiny amount of screen time than Oatmeal Loki and Mary Sue Loki. Alligator Loki had more personality than Sylvie. Richard E Grant is the superior Loki in my opinion. This episode also reintroduced hand holding with CGI colours swirling around characters (see: Guardians of the Galaxy).
Episode 6 was our finale. Thank God. We’re introduced to the real head of the TVA, which was who everyone was expecting. This episode was a little slow-paced, with a lot of interesting chit-chat. Oatmeal Loki actually seemed like he had a brain cell or two for a few brief, fleeting moments. He even showed off some of his powers, which, by the way, we were told we’d see more of… but didn’t. Then, our Oatmeal Loki was distracted by his Mary Sue, went for a kiss, and plopped right on his ass, looking like a fool. I almost snorted my coffee as I watched. Then, they confirmed a Season 2.
Honestly, I was hoping Oatmeal Loki and Mary Sue Loki would get killed off. Sadly, it didn’t happen, and they’re getting another series and an appearance in Iron Man with Magic. I’m so glad this series was something new, different, and weird, not just the bog-standard, MCU drivel we normally get. Oh, wait… I probably don’t even need to state that this wasn’t my cup of tea, and, again, solidified the fact that I’m over the MCU. I also know that I should avoid anything Michael Waldron and Kate Herron touch. Eventually, I’ll stop feeling betrayed by Hiddleston, but it may take a while. Is that ridiculous? Probably.
I’ll stick with Loki’s original story arc.
Individual Ratings: Ep 1 (3), Ep 2 (5), Ep 3 (2), Ep 4 (0), Ep 5 (3), Ep 6 (2.5)
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I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.