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Marvel Studios’ latest series, Loki, takes fans one step closer to Marvel’s focus on the multiverse and the madness that comes with it (hint: the next Dr. Strange movie).
The premiere episode of the series introduces viewers to the Time Variance Agency (TVA) and their mission to eliminate Nexus events, which create alternate timelines.
Screenwriter Michael Waldron really outdid himself in this episode. The Rick and Morty writer also took the reigns of the screenplay for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston have brilliant chemistry. The two were meant to share the screen together.
The episode begins during the scene in Avengers: Endgame when Loki gets his hands on the tesseract and escapes Avenger’s Tower.
The Tesseract sends Loki to the Gobi desert where he immediately gives a speech to the locals that don’t understand him. Seconds later, the TVA agents appear in the desert to arrest Loki for crimes against the sacred timeline.
Loki is now a Variant – a time criminal.
In one of the episode’s funniest moments, Loki tries to attack the TVA agents, but Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) hits him with a club that slows time for Loki only.
Loki’s cheeks and face slowly ripple from the hit and I couldn’t help but laugh.
Hunter B-15 puts a neck collar on Loki that enables her to rewind Loki to a position where he used to be.
Next, Loki gets thrown into an elevator and experiences something similar to what Thor went through when he was captured by Valkyrie and sold to The Grandmaster in Thor Ragnarok, excluding the haircut.
In the following scene, viewers enjoy an explainer video in the form of the JurassicPark Mr. DNA video. It’s a fun way to explain and answer a ton of questions in a short amount of time.
After the video ends, Loki observes the only other person in the winding line he’s in ‘reset’ (aka, killed) with the touch of a TVA agent’s wand. That event makes Loki realize how serious his situation is.
Loki finds himself in a courtroom with judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and TVA Hunter B-15 facing trial for violating the timeline, which will likely end in certain death.
One funny moment occurs when Loki attempts to use his powers, but magic powers don’t work in the TVA. Loki is found guilty and ordered to be ‘reset’ (aka, killed).
Fortunately, Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius steps in and tells the judge that he needs Loki to track the dangerous Variant he’s hunting.
Mobius takes Loki into an interview room and this is where the show gets much more interesting. There’s a retro projector device and Mobius plays some of Loki’s greatest hits.
Mobius M. Mobius: I can’t believe you were D.B. Cooper. Come on!
Loki: I was young and I lost a bet to Thor. Where was the TVA when I was meddling in these affairs of man?
Mobius M. Mobius: We were right there with you.
Loki is D.B. Cooper? Fantastic. Simply fantastic.
The whole interview between Mobius and Loki takes a serious tone. Especially when Loki sees the future that should have been, where his mother dies – because of Loki’s own actions.
You weren’t born to be king, Loki. You were born to cause pain and suffering and death. That’s how it is, that’s how it was, and that’s how it will be. All so that others can achieve their best versions of themselves.
Mobius M. Mobius
At that point, Loki and Mobius are interrupted and Loki escapes. The excitement and humor pick back up.
Loki finds his way to an administrative office where Loki threatens a TVA clerk named Casey. He threatens to take Casey’s life if he doesn’t hand over the Tesseract. Inside the drawer where the Tesseract is, Loki sees a bunch of Infinity Stones.
Casey tells Loki that they have a ton of them and that they use them as paperweights, implying they have no power inside the TVA headquarters.
That’s when Loki assesses his situation and realizes the TVA is the greatest power in the universe. You can see his mental wheels spinning.
Loki finds his way back to the interview room, now alone. He brings up the image of his dead mother and nearly breaks down in sadness. Then he fast-forwards a bit further and sees his father’s death, and he can barely keep from crying.
Next, he sees Thor and himself, with Thor complimenting him and showing him affection. Finally, he sees his death at the hands of Thanos.
(The inside of the interview room appears to have a rule with the writers of the show. Everything that happens is serious and somber, whereas the rest of the scenes outside of the room are more lighthearted and action-packed.)
The Hunter B-15 makes her way into the interview room and fights Loki. Loki bests her, removes his neck device, and puts it on her, allowing Loki to send her away.
After a while, Mobius heads into the interview room and he and Loki have a supposedly honest conversation. Loki admits he doesn’t like hurting people, that it’s part of the illusion. Mobius refers to it as a desperate play for control. Loki calls himself a villain but Mobius doesn’t agree.
Mobius finally tells Loki why he’s there: he needs this Loki’s help to hunt down another Loki variant that escaped and has been wreaking havoc with the sacred timeline and killing TVA agents.
In the next scene, we see TVA agents responding to a time variation. Presumably, the bad Loki attacks them and steals the Reset Charge and the episode ends.
There are quite a few easter eggs in the first episode of Loki. Most take the form of a nod to other moments in Marvel Studios’ MCU history.
1. Iron Man Crash Landing
The scene where Loki crash lands in the Gobi desert was an homage to Iron Man (2008) when Tony Stark escaped the caves in his first suit of armor and crash lands in the desert with his suit scattered around him in pieces.
2. Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers
Apparently, Loki director Kate Heron is a big fan of Wallace & Gromit. That’s why she included the scene where Loki falls through the elevator and has new clothes on.
3. Kang the Conqueror is Coming
At the end of this episode, during the scene where the TVA agents discover a weapon/device lodged into the ground that glows orange, they state that it has signatures from the 3rd millennium.
Also, Kang appears as a Time-Keeper in Miss Minutes’s animation and as the middle face on the walls of the TVA.
One final tidbit that alludes to Kang – the judge, Ravonna Renslayer, was a love interest of Kang in the comics.
4. Josta Cola – “Better do the fun stuff now”
Josta is a brief yet failed attempt at an energy drink from Pepsi that used the slogan “better do the good stuff now.” In a commercial for Josta, an old man speaks to a younger man. The older man tells the younger man about his life as a youth, and how he wished he had more fun.
5. D.B. Cooper
We already discussed this one briefly. Loki lost a bet to Thor and as a result, he had to hijack a plane, steal a ton of money, then parachute out, just like the real D.B. Cooper did in 1971.
6. Is That a Cat or a Flerken?
In the elevator scene, Loki descents into an office where a cat idles by a food bowl. I don’t know about you, but I suspect this isn’t a cat, but rather a flerken first introduced in theCaptain Marvel movie.
7. Is That the TVA or Coruscant?
Fans of Star Wars may have recognized the cityscape of the TVA that looks eerily similar to Coruscant in the Star Wars universe. It’s a nice nod to one of Disney’s other major intellectual properties.
8. Did the TVA Arrest Peggy Carter?
If you look closely when Loki first escapes the TVA and rewinds back to the main entrance of the TVA, you’ll see a door open and a TVA agent walks through with a woman that looks suspiciously like Peggy Carter, Captain America’s love interest.
What Does it All Mean?
Marvel is clearly “all in” with the multiverse now. Heck, even Sony’sInto the Spiderverse got in on the multiverse action. We know Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is coming soon, and we know that the Scarlett Witch is involved in the plot. Plus, the next Antman and Wasp movie is called Quantumania and will feature Kang the Conqueror.
Although everything seems to be getting more complicated in the MCU, I suspect everything will intertwine nicely when this phase (phase 4) is complete. Perhaps we’ll even get a multiverse tie-in with the Marvel’s What If? series, soon to be released on Disney+.
What do you think? Did you enjoy this episode as much as I did? Did I miss any easter eggs? If so, leave a comment down below so I can add it to this post!