Loki is back and in a surprising turn of events, he is making us cry from the very first episode. I’m not alone in this, right? I went into this series with absolutely zero expectations and yet still excited, but I genuinely didn’t expect to be hit with any of the emotional beats we were given this early on. The penultimate or finale maybe, but definitely not the first and that in and of itself has amplified my excitement with this show.
Loki is going to be a chaotic whirlwind of a ride that is clearly going to continuously compromise us. Things aren’t going to make sense immediately, but there are plenty of glorious one-liners that we’ll also likely be quoting for a while. And most surprisingly perhaps, the performances are what have left me stunned the most. I knew Tom Hiddleston was a masterful performer—you watch nearly anything from his filmography because he’s just that talented, but I didn’t expect the series to give so many more layers to Loki in the first episode alone and watching this variant is already such a thrill.
As a reminder, highlights are meant to dig in to the top five scenes throughout the episode and when the choices are difficult, which in this case they were, it means we’ve got a solid season ahead of us.
Loki and the Glorious Purpose
As the God of Mischief, it’s almost as if that title alone already predestines his purpose—he’s going to create mayhem because it’s a part of his title. It’s a part of him. And it’s what has been carved out in him since the beginning of time. (Pun obviously intended.) But that doesn’t have to be the case and Loki somewhat realizing this now when the Loki of our timeline learned it upon seeing Odin is a really fascinating detail to dig into. Thor is the God of Thunder, but he isn’t the God of the hammer. He isn’t just that, and the same way, there is so much more to the mischief in Loki’s moniker.
Somewhere (very) deep within, he is just like the rest of us—searching for the glorious purpose. (We’re all doing this, right? Excluding all the terrible things he’s done.) Loki is searching for the thing to keep him going, to keep him breathing, to keep him happy, and to keep him loved. And after watching the progress he has made in the original timeline (this lingo, as per usual, will get super wonky), Loki finally tells us whether or not he’s enjoyed it all along, and Hiddleston bares it all exceptionally.
“I don’t enjoy hurting people. I do it because I have to. Because I’ve had to. Because it’s part of the illusion.” Carved by the weak to inspire fear. But I’ll add in that it’s not the weak per se, but the unloved, the broken, the wounded. Because that’s where so many of Loki’s demons have stemmed from, and this isn’t to defend any of the violence because to quote the legend that is Jake Peralta: “cool story, still murder,” but Loki isn’t weak, he’s just been broken. And we see that brokenness when he realizes that his plan killed Frigga—the one person he knew actually loved him.
This isn’t the showcase of someone who’s too far gone, but rather the evidence that he does in fact have a soul. His glorious purpose isn’t power, but it’s coming to terms with his own truth—his actions, his mind, and the demons that’ve time and time again swayed him towards the path of villainy.
It’s also necessary to note that choice doesn’t bring shame or uncertainty, but choice brings freedom, and isn’t that what Loki’s always wanted—the freedom to do as he pleases? Hasn’t he had the choice all along? If the series continues to explore this throughout its first season, then the glorious purpose revelation will be even more riveting than anticipated.
The Emotional Realization Amidst the Greatest Hits
You could (and we probably will) spend hours dissecting Loki’s face as he watched his life’s greatest hits. Tom Hiddleston was brilliant in that moment as he allowed this Loki the chance to understand just how much of an impact he’s not only had, but how much Thor and Odin have had on him, too. The realization that he was loved alone could cultivate 1001 words because that’s what tells us that it’s the one thing he has always wanted above all. He just wanted to be loved. He wanted to be appreciated. He wanted a family—real and true, and forever.
It’s the piece that has made this episode utterly enamorning, and one of the best things to happen to the Marvel Cinematic Universe because flashbacks in this world usually don’t have this effect unless the character is looking at it directly, and it’s also one of the things that made WandaVision’s “Previously On” such a memorable episode.
Watching him watch his life as a film made for such an emotional journey that works on a show like this that’s designed to force us to question so much.
Loki and His Formidable Love for the Tesseract
“It’s the tesseract! Be very careful with it!” It’ll always be a beautiful thing to see that there is consistency in Loki’s life. We might not always have all his actions figured out. We might not always believe the words that come out of his mouth, but we can be certain of the fact that his love for the tesseract will never waver. And I love this detail. I will always appreciate it. It’s ridiculous and it works. This is the greatest MCU love story, is it not?
You Should Be Going After the Avengers
Listen, he’s right and he should say it. If you aren’t new here, then you know how much I adore Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter. You know I always wanted them to get their dance, but I still have a thousand questions about why that doesn’t count and why Loki’s getting in trouble. There are theories that one of the women being brought in is Peggy, but until we see Hayley Atwell, I’m choosing not believe it. The details aren’t clear and I love what happened solely because of my own headcanons since nothing else is clear. If the Avengers were meant to do this, then was Steve always meant to grow old in the 40s timeline?
Make it make sense, Marvel. The multiverse makes very little sense to me and so I hope that starts to become clearer. But then again, really, I’m just here for the ridiculous ride. If I try to figure it all out, it’ll just be a messy and ruin the experience.
The Banter Between Loki and Mobius
I want to quote every single line from every word that Loki and Mobius (Owen Wilson) spoke from the moment they met, but then we’d be here for about 45 minutes because I’d have to include every line. The chemistry between the actors and their means of bouncing off one another was brilliant, and if this is the first episode, I can’t wait to see what else we get as we dive further into the story. Trust is for children, but maybe we can trust that whatever we’re seeing here will lead to something even bigger and greater.
Glorious Mischief and Further Thoughts
- “You’re just a little pussycat.” I actually screamed WHAT on my TV. That was genius. As was the glimmer of the real cat we saw while Loki was shirtless.
- The D.B. Cooper bit was also genius.
- Loki asking if this is the greatest power in the universe while in the control/infinity stone-ish room.
- MISS MINUTES!
- “Do a lot of people not know if they’re robots?” The actual confusion followed by Loki then questioning himself.
- I already need more of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer
- “I’ll do what I want to do” is the equivalent of “I take nap right here!” don’t ask me to elaborate.
What are your thoughts on Loki’s first episode? Tell us in the comments below.