Since Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended in April, we have been experiencing a real MCU void on Disney+, but on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, we were gifted with the first episode of Tom Hiddleston’s new Loki series where each week we will be entertained by the shenanigans of the genderfluid God of Mischief.
The series, which was the most-watched Disney+ premiere, picks up where we last saw Loki alive, back in 2012 when the Avengers time traveled in the movie End Game to collect the Infinity stones in order to defeat Thanos.
This 2012 Loki had not exhibited the character arc we enjoyed between Thor: Dark World and his demise at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War and he is still the self-centered troublemaker trickster who was unknowingly under the influence of the mind stone during The Avengers and contributed to the planetary invasion attempt by the Chitauri.
2012 Loki witnessed 2023 Tony Stark drop the Tesseract and Loki takes advantage of the confusion, picks up the Tesseract, and uses it to teleport himself to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
The Loki series continues the story with a team of “Minutemen” troops from the Time Variance Authority (TVA) instantly appearing through a portal at Loki’s location. The TVA Minutemen locate the Tesseract and Loki demands that they leave it alone.
Before Loki even knows what is happening, the TVA arrests him for crimes against the Sacred Timeline. When he tries to overpower them, he is struck in the face with an unknown baton weapon, causing his body to move in slow motion. The agent, Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) tells him that he’s moving at 1/16th speed as she places some kind of power dampening control collar on him.
Loki is then escorted to the Time Variance Authority headquarters where he quickly learns how his collar works as he repeatedly tries to run from his captor, Hunter B-15, only to be rewound back to her. After checking in at a desk where the Tesseract is given to the receptionist (Eugene Cordero), he is put into a chamber where a robot incinerates Loki’s clothes from his body after telling him to “hold very still.”
He is then deposited through a trap door to the floor beneath him where he appears fully clothed in a grey prison-like jumpsuit labeled “TVA”.
Loki is greeted by yet another person behind a desk asking him to sign a document verifying that the stack of paper is everything he has ever said. Once he signs the document, he is thrust into another room where he is greeted by a dwarf who asks him to verify that he is not a robot before walking through an archway that would melt his insides if he was actually a robot. As he walks through the arch, a polaroid photo appears to have been taken off his “temporal aura”
Loki then enters a large room with stanchions set up as if the room could be filled with a long line of “Variants.” There is one man ahead of him in line who refuses to take a number. Loki is also instructed to take a number and he complies even though there are only two of them in line.
He slowly walks through the stanchions and shouts “this is a mistake, I shouldn’t be here!” which somehow triggers what appears to be a prerecorded announcement stating, “Hi there! You’re probably saying, ‘this is a mistake, I shouldn’t be here” and the voice (Tara Strong) continues on a tv screen where the Time Variance Authority is explained. Essentially a group of entities known as the TIme-Keepers reorganized the multiverse into a single Sacred Timeline.
The Time-Keepers protect and preserve the proper flow of time against “Variants” like Loki who veer off the path the Time-Keepers created. It is the TVA’s responsibility to fix the mistakes made by Variants and set time back on its predetermined path. The voice says to make sure you have your ticket and to stand by for the next available attendant.
Loki then witnesses what happens when you do not have a ticket. The guy in front of him argues with the guard who repeatedly asks for the ticket. The guard pulls out the same weapon used to hit Loki back in Mongolia and uses it on the man, which appears to incinerate him into nothingness. Loki then frantically checks his pockets for his ticket, finds it triumphantly and the opening credits roll.
After the opening credits, The story picks up in 1549 France where TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) appears to be investigating a Variant who has murdered A TVA Hunter and his Minutemen responding to the Variant’s nexus event. Hunter U-92 tells Mobius that he believes it’s the same Variant who has attacked TVA agents 6 times in the past week. A child happens upon the cime scene and when asked who committed the murders, the child points to a stained glass depiction of a horned devil.
Mobius notices that the child has blue teeth and the child shows Mobius Kablooie bubble gum. Just as Mobius, the Hunter, and the Minutemen set the charges to reset the Sacred Timeline, another agent of TVA appears through one of their portals to show Mobius that they have captured the horned God of Mischief, Loki.
Back at the TVA headquarters, Loki appears before Judge Ravonna Renslaye (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) to enter his plea and receive his sentencing. Loki refuses to comply with the hearing and attempts to use his magic in the courtroom, much to the delight and entertainment of the judge and TVA agents in the room.
Loki tries to blame the Avengers for his time travel and the judge informs him that the Avengers were always meant to time travel and defeat Thanos. As Loki tells the judge about the Avengers, Mobius enters the courtroom with files in hand and quietly takes a seat. After the Judge tells Loki that his time travel was “not supposed to happen” and is about to sentence him to be incinerated with their baton wand weapon, Mobius interrupts his execution and asks the judge to allow him to take custody of Loki. The judge grants Mobius’s request but tells him that Loki is 100% his responsibility.
Mobius walks Loki to his office and Loki is mesmerized by the intricate structure they are on and says, “I thought you said there was no magic here” and Mobius replies, “there isn’t.” Oblivious to the fact that Mobius saved 2012 Loki’s life, he asks Mobius if he’s taking him somewhere to kill him. Mobius tells Loki that’s where they came from and that he’s taking him somewhere to talk. Hiddleston and Wilson display their undeniable chemistry as their two characters banter comically in an elevator scene.
Prior to entering another room, Mobius take a baton, person incinerating weapon from the guard at the door, and then the two enter the large room together. Loki reiterates that he thinks Mobius will kill him and the two continue to banter as Mobius sets up a playback machine to show Loki that they know everything he has ever done, up to and including everything that happened to him since 2012. Before Mobius has the opportunity to show Loki his life, Loki attempts to attack Mobius, but is unable to do so thanks to the control collar and a remote control in Mobius’ control.
In the screening of Loki’s greatest hits, we are shown that the mysterious 1971 highjacker DB Cooper, who parachuted from a 727 aircraft with $200,000 was the God of Mischief after losing a bet to his brother Thor.
After more banter and a mild Loki tantrum, Morbius shows Loki what happened to his mother and implies that her death is his fault for accidentally sending the Dark Elves to his mother’s chambers. Loki is heartbroken and accuses Mobius of lying.
Hunter B-15 comes in to interrupts the two to tell Mobius that they “have a situation” and Mobius then leaves Loki unattended as Mobius and B-15 argue over Loki in the hallway. B-15 informs Mobius that they lost yet another unit in the field. When Mobius heads back in to talk to Loki, he’s disappeared.
Apparently, the God of Mischief was able to get a hold of the remote control for his collar and he’s running in the long hallway in an attempt to gain access to the Tesseract so he can use it to leave the Time Variance Authority. Once it has been discovered that Loki has escaped Hunter B-15 demands that the Minutemen “prune” or “reset” Loki on sight, meaning they have been instructed to incinerate him with their baton ton weapons. Mobius disagrees and there is a race to find him before B-15 has her way and obliterates Loki out of existence.
Loki follows the receptionist Casey and demands the Tesseract returned to him. Casey takes Loki back to his desk and gives him the Tesseract. Loki is then shocked to discover there are several Infinity stones in the desk. When he asks Casey about them he tells Loki that they have so many of them that they use them for paperweights.
Shocked and disillusioned, Loki wanders the room and asks if it’s the greatest power in the universe. Before Casey can answer that question, B-15, Mobius, and a handful of armed Minutemen enter the room and B-15 fires her weapon, narrowly missing Casey who is upset she fired so close to him. Loki avoids death by using his remore control collar to get him away from the situation.
Loki ended up back in the room with the machine that showed him his life and he decides to keep watching by himself. He sees the death of his father, the bonding of himself to his brother Thor, and his own demise at the hands of Thanos. It is in this moment that MCU fans are given clear evidence that when Thanos killed Loki, he really killed Loki and the Trickster God was really dead. B-15 comes in to aprehend Loki moments after he watched his own death and he manages to overpower her and put the control collar on her. He easily uses the remote control to keep her away from him.
As the receptionist Casey appears to be making a formal complaint to a couple of men with gold sashes, Hunter B-15 appears in front of the three and walks away from them with a heavy sigh.
Mobius finds Loki and approaches him with a charged baton weapon. Loki shares that he’s aware that he can’t go back and finally tells Mobius that he doesn’t actually enjoy hurting people and that he only does it for show. Loki tells Mobius that he tried to use the Tesseract but Infinity Stones are useless there and that the TVA is formidable. Mobius tells Loki why he spared his life and that they need his help hunting a Variant — Loki.
The episode ends in 1858 Oklahoma, where the TVA exit a portal in a grassy field where they discover an object from the early third millennium and they surmise that someone used a time machine to go back in time to get rich discovering oil. As they set up the charges to reset the timeline, they realize that someone is there and before they can do anything, the other person sets fire to the oil on the ground and the entire team is engulfed in flames, leaving one of their resetting devices in the hands of the killer.
The Disney+ MCU series are all so entertaining and remarkably different from each other that it’s difficult to compare each one to the others, yet they are all still consistent with the already existing storylines and seamlessly fit directly into the “Sacred Timeline.”
We just can’t wait to see what kind of hilarity Loki and Mobius will induce as they track the mysterious Variant throughout the Sacred Timeline each Wednesday on Disney+
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Los Angeles and Chicago.