What If … Thor Were an Only Child? Episode Review

Once again, I’m a little late, but I have written a review for the latest episode of What If …? titled What If … Thor Were an Only Child? From here on forward, there will be spoilers for the episode!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Thor, who never had to compete with or set an example for his brother, turned out quite differently – he became the Party Prince of Asgard!

My thoughts?

We’ve established by now that I’m not the biggest fan of the show, so I don’t think we need to harp on it much more. I was, however, actually looking forward to Party-Thor, just because I knew it would be a more light-hearted episode and it didn’t disappoint in that regard. Then again, much like last week, this episode didn’t feel too imaginative to me. Did not having a brother really change Thor all that much, or were his parents just more lenient? I almost believe it’s the latter, but let’s just break down the episode bit by bit.

  • In this universe, Odin never adopted/kidnapped Loki and instead returned him to his birth father. This must have also quelled the war/animosity between Asgard and the Frost Giants, as it doesn’t seem to be an issue henceforth. This led to Thor and Loki growing up as friends, however, never as real brothers.

More than battles won or lost, it’s relationships that truly define a hero. The people who shape them, their stories.

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back on Earth Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis notice a pattern from outer space, guessing an alien invasion is about to happen. While they are right about the visitors being from somewhere else in the galaxy, it’s actually just Thor and his friend group deciding to go on a bender while Odin is asleep and Frigga is off to visit her sisters.
  • I’m not going to go into detail, but Thor turns the entire planet into an intergalactic party central and apparently once partied so hard on Alpha Star, it destroyed the whole thing. Jane, who met and fell in love with Thor in this version too (they even got matching tattoos), worries that he will accidentally be the end of Earth. Death by party?
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The cameos in this episode are almost boundless. You have several characters from the Thor movies (Korg, the Grandmaster, Skurge, …), The Guardians of the Galaxy (Drax, Mantis, Nebula, …) as well as Howard the Duck again. Howard even gets married to Darcy. I’m not joking. That happened!
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Maria Hill, who is acting director of SHIELD after Fury had a run in with an overexcited Korg, is ready to bring in the big guns to fight Thor and calls in Captain Marval aka Carol Danvers. They have a fight around the globe, but ultimately it is Jane who stops Thor by ratting him out to his mother.
  • All the alien visitors help Thor clean up his mess on Earth, but he still gets caught. It nevertheless serves as a lesson to the God of Thunder to become more mature and he eventually asks out Jane on a real date. The end? Happily ever after? Not quite!
  • The final scene, because why would we ever just end on a happy note, showed an evil Ultron appearing with all infinity stones. What does it mean? Who even knows at this point …

I’m a little tired of the cliffhangers, BUT I am intrigued by this one in particular. The thing is, The Watcher seemed surprised by the end himself. So far, no matter how bleak the outcome, he always knew that it had to be the fate of that particular universe or character. However, at the end of the episode, he appeared to be flustered by the appearance of Ultron, possibly not expecting it. So, what could it mean?
I can’t help but wonder if this Ultron breached from a different universe, which would slowly fold into the Loki series storyline of the multiversal chaos we are about to witness. The only reason I’m hesitant to fully buy into this theory is that his infinity stones would effectively be useless if he were from another universe. At least in the comics, it is impossible for more than one set of infinity stones to exist in the same realm and remain powerful. It’s like they cancel each other out.
Another theory is that he might be from the future, which would still work, but not really explain the Watcher’s surprise. We might never get an answer, so this could potentially just remain another frustrating loose end, but there is a chance that this might be the first multi-chapter story within the What If …? stories. We shall see!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? Episode Review

Wednesdays are mostly our Marvel review days on the blog, so it’s time to talk about today’s episode of What If …? called What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? There will be spoilers from here on out, so proceed with caution.

What If ... Nick Fury
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

What if someone eliminated the candidates for the Avengers initiative before they ever had a chance to band together? 

My thoughts?

I’m really feeling like I’m having my ups and downs with this show. While I tremendously enjoyed the plot of last week, I was somewhat disappointed with this episode. It wasn’t just the way it felt rushed in the short run time, but it also seemed like the real story only started once it ended. Let us break down what the episode was about!

  • The episode covered the span of a week, with every day more or less featuring the death of one of the Avengers. It all started with Tony Stark’s demise, which Black Widow got framed for. Then, it continued with the assassination of Thor by the hand of Hawkeye, who, just like Black Widow, claims innocence, which was followed by his own death. After that the Hulk literally exploded and even Natasha got found after her escape from SHIELD’s capture and taken down. Nick Fury (alongside Agent Coulson) seemed to be the only one left standing.
Black Widow
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I was somewhat surprised to see Doctor Ross, which is silly, because of course she is part of Bruce’s story, but we haven’t seen her in so long. In fact, in the live action version with the character being portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, she has never even been mentioned.
  • I didn’t see the point of rehashing each death in detail, as few of them have lasting consequences within the episode, except for Thor’s passing. His death prompts Loki to arrive on Earth with an army, vowing to revenge his brother. Fury manages to strike a deal with him by offering him the real assassin in return for leaving the planet in peace.
Thor and his glorious hair
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Natasha, before her final battle, managed to give Fury a hint at who was behind the attacks. She called him and told him that it was all about Hope. We, as devoted MCU viewers, obviously knew right away that it had to do with Hope van Dyne, but she really couldn’t have just told him the full name instead of repeating her first name twice on the message? Seems inefficient to me.
  • In this universe, Hope was an agent of SHIELD, just like her mother before her. They both died on missions, which left a grieving Hank Pym unable to deal with his emotions. He, in his suit could manipulate all the situations without being seen, therefore being the real culprit. He got tricked by Loki, who disguised himself as Fury to coax out a confession, and eventually got taken in by the Asgardian army.
  • Loki wouldn’t be Loki if he didn’t betray someone. So, despite Fury honoring his deal with the trickster God, Loki decides to stay on Earth and without anyone stopping him and a full army to back him, he manages to take over the rule of the planet within a day.
Loki on Earth
credit: Marvel Studios
  • It was odd to see Fury and Coulson so non-chalantly dealing with the alien invasion. However, the episode ends with Captain Marvel showing up for back up and Coulson looking at the frozen shield of Captain America. Maybe in this universe he was never unthawed? We literally don’t find out more as this is where it all fades to black.
  • What I noticed within the episode was that the Watcher was present in the sky/background a lot more obviously than in previous stories. I don’t know why it stood out so much here, but it did. I still wonder if he will really just remain someone to tell us tales or if he will eventually be involved in something as well.

As you can see, I kept that a lot shorter than with previous Marvel reviews or recaps, but I really wasn’t that impressed by the episode. Wouldn’t the meat of the story be about how Fury has to find alternate Avengers team members? How did Loki manage to conquer Earth in a day? There seemed to be exactly zero pushback from anyone as he spoke in front of the UN, which could possibly be because of his large armada, but come on. That was way too easy!

I have no idea what next week’s episode will be about, as I think they’ve only revealed the first three in advance, but I hope it will be something I can be more enthusiastic about again. Not even the funny quips about Thor’s glorious hair could keep me entertained for long here. Maybe I just also didn’t want to watch all the Avengers die … again. See you for more next week!


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like it? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!

July 2021 Wrap-Up

July went by super fast for me! It almost feels like I blinked and suddenly the month was over and I’m well aware I pretty much said the same thing last month. Somehow times just accelerated and I hope the rest of the year won’t fly by as quickly. Where even is time going? But … before this all gets too deep, let’s take a look at the books I read during the past month.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  The Taking of Jake Livingston  God Pharm  Like a Love Song  The Course of Love

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

July was good? There’s really nothing in particular that stood out as either amazing or bad. I DID finally get my vaccination and while I felt a bit tired and sore, it went over pretty decently. Other than that, I’m really struggling to think of anything noteworthy to mention. I may have returned to social media a bit more, but am still not spending nearly as much time on it as I previously did. I just feel calmer not thinking about it too much and mostly focusing on my DMs. So, if you need me, that’s where you can still easily contact me.

However, one thing I did appreciate this past month is that my lengthy commute to and from work gives me the perfect excuse to read more again. Since I’m not glued to my phone to check various timelines, I can just read and/or enjoy the landscape going by. I’ve really managed to get through quite a lot of books compared to the past, where I just got distracted by other devices or things I could do instead.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As excited as I was about last month’s reading experiment, I was just as pumped to share another one in July. Comparing my reading taste with that of Chris Evans was once again super fun and also surprising in many ways. I’m so very glad this is a whole series now, because it forces me to read outside of my comfort zone, while simultaneously wetting my appetite to go back to books that I want to read. I’m not sure I’ll manage to post one every single month, just because it’s very time and labor extensive, but you can definitely expect another reading experiment post in August! Feel free to guess who the next person will be!!

I have to admit that the Loki finale didn’t blow me away as much as I had hoped it would. While I loved so many of the new characters, I felt a bit torn about quite a few other aspects. The show felt a bit like an emotional downer, not portraying that spirit of mischief at all, but I did like how it really changed the entire MCU to come. However, something I did obsess over was this Loki fic with a reader insert that made you feel like you were part of the show. If you are ever bored and/or interested check it out here!

dang, I’m the one that needed a hug after the finale …

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Once again, I’d like to point you all to some awesome posts on my fellow bloggers’ pages. I hope you’ll give them a visit, because they deserve some love as well!

MY OTHER POSTS

LOKI REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a pleasant July as well! Here’s to a great and relaxing August for all of us!

Loki: Episode 6 “For All Time. Always.” Season Finale Review

This is my review/recap of the Season 1 finale of Loki, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read on! You have been warned!!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Sylvie and Loki finally meet their match at the Citadel at the End of Time. Can they trust each other to make the right decision?

My thoughts?

Well, this was different than what I expected and at the same time, not that unexpected at all? I think “For All Time. Always.” offered a lot of explanations and information by just plain telling us, just to end on a freaking cliffhanger. I think that what such a cruel thing to do, because what does it mean? Where are we going from here? We don’t have more episodes and I don’t know which movie this story continues in, HOWEVER, we now finally have a Season 2 of the series officially confirmed!

Before I talk myself into a rage though, let us break down what we learned:

  • We start out with a lot of cosmic chatter, almost as if all of Marvel and real life history were happening at once. We got iconic lines from characters as well as actual people from history and it really made the entry into that place beyond time or at the end of time really special.
  • While Miss Minutes did make a brief (jump scare) appearance in the Citadel at the End of Time, I have to disappoint fans of the theory that she is the big bad guy. Instead, we meet “He Who Remains”, who is never introduced by name, but is definitely a version of Kang. Many people have guessed it and therefore I don’t think it was a massive surprise moment for the majority of viewers, but still a neat introduction of the character.
  • Back at the TVA, Mobius and Hunter B-15 work together to reveal to the other agents that they’ve been lied to. Ravonna (who seems to be called Rebecca and works as a school principle on Earth when she’s not deviating from her timeline) is still convinced that all her work wasn’t for nothing. That is real dedication to the cause. She fights Mobius, but doesn’t prune him again, telling him that she feels betrayed by him. Miss Minutes/Kang supplied her with some interesting files and now she’s off trying to find free will … whatever that means.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • At the end of time, Kang explains how the TVA started, why it is still up and running and that there are only two ways all of this will end. Either the Lokis kill him and the timeline will branch indefinitely, paving the way for other multiversal selves of Kang to conquer this reality. Or, Sylvie and Loki could take over the TVA and run it as they see fit in order to prevent cataclysmic chaos.
  • The portrayal of Kang was very interesting. It had a silly madness to it, but didn’t seem menacing or threatening at all. For someone who lived eons, mostly by themselves, to preserve cosmic peace, he was a bit loopy but not necessarily unkind. I’d almost say he was goofy, which wasn’t at all how I imagined meeting him, but it was a pleasant change of tone.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • When Loki asked Sylvie to contemplate what Kang had said for a second, I thought that was actually very reasonable. They didn’t know if he was lying, but Loki had a solid point in not wanting to unleash something even worse by killing him. In the end, Sylvie could not trust Loki and Loki could not be trusted. It is their eternal cycle. So, Sylvie tricked Loki and pushed him through a portal that led back to the TVA before killing Kang. She did not seem happy afterwards, just slumping to the floor crying, all alone at the end of time.
  • Sylki is now canon … I suppose. Even at the end of the season, I have no idea how feel about that, although I did want them to clarify the kind of relationship they had. They kissed, but they also betrayed each other. Tough call to say if this is salvageable, then again, they’re Lokis … betrayal is in their blood.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back at the TVA, Loki rushes to find Mobius and Hunter B-15 contemplating what to do about the branching timelines and I cannot lie, that was one of the most heartbreaking moments. He was so remorseful, terrified of what they had let happen, just to learn that neither of them knows or remembers him. The statues of the Time-Keepers we’ve previously seen at the TVA are replaced by one of Kang. Either this isn’t his/our reality, or the branching timelines changed history? I don’t even know, but I’m taking it as confirmation of the fact that we’ve entered the multiverse.
credit: Marvel Studios

This season of Loki was action packed and emotional at times. I can’t say I fully understand the ramifications of what we have watched and I’m not too happy about the fact that we ended on a cliffhanger. I’m not a patient person and I need some sort of graph telling me which movies and shows will carry on with this narrative now and how long I will have to wait to see them.

All in all, I loved the characters we got introduced to in Loki. I didn’t like every choice they made, but I’m so very curious where we’re going to go. This final episode was a lot more calm than I expected it to be and I actually appreciated that. There were fights, but they were much more understated than some of the big CGI blow-ups we’re used to (although I suppose that got covered with Alioth last week). Again, I feel like we just got sat down by the showrunners and they tried to explain some of the logistics to us, while only giving way to small emotional moments in between. Tom Hiddleston’s face at the end was heartbreaking, but in some regards I needed more. More Sylvie/Loki exploration, more background information on the mutliverse issue, more time with Mobius and Hunter B-15, more episodes to watch … Maybe I’m just greedy that way, but I just wish it hadn’t left us with more questions than answer.

credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUS LOKI REVIEWS

MORE TOM HIDDLESTON CONTENT FROM ME


What are your thoughts? Are you happy with the season finale? Are you sad it’s over? Let’s talk!

Loki: Episode 5 “Journey Into Mystery” Review

Another week, another Loki review is right ahead. “Journey Into Mystery” was a wild episode, so please don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched it yet. This was your obligatory Spoiler warning!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Loki tries to survive after his pruning to get back to Sylvie, while she continues her mission to find whoever is behind the TVA. 

My thoughts?

For whatever reason, I keep thinking that this show will calm down for a bit, but they really deliver new insanity every single time. While I think that a lot of the theories people had after “The Nexus Event” came true, there was still so much tension, especially in the final minutes. It’s odd to say that it was exciting and yet, it also felt very familiar.
Only one more episode to go and I’m a little sad. We always get the “big bad” showdown in the finale and I’m just a teensy bit disappointed that they stuck to that format again. All three Marvel shows have been very formulaic in their build up, despite being very different in terms of style and content. Just think about it, episode 1 and 2 are always here to reintroduce the characters, then we get to know to the major players and problems of the season, the twist/reveal comes around two thirds into the show, followed by a penultimate episode that ends just before the big fight with the enemy. You can literally apply that to WandaVision, TFATWS and Loki every single time. It’s nice to know what to expect, but it’s also not that innovative the third time around?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s break down what this episode showed us:

  • Loki is now in the Void. It’s a place at the end of time where all pruned people and reset timelines get dumped to be devoured by a cloud-monster named Alioth. He quickly gets taken in by a band of Lokis and learns abut what caused their respective Nexus events (which ranged from killing Thor to simply not wanting to be alone). As per usual, a bunch of Lokis cannot co-exist without betrayal though, so there’s even warring factions. It was hilarious to see Loki be exasperated at how annoying Lokis can be.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Sylvie and Renslayer have a talk, which ends with Sylvie pruning herself to escape. Ravonna is far too calm and casual about her worldview crumbling for my taste. No matter how often it is mentioned this episode, I don’t feel like she is seething or angry at the reveal. To her, it doesn’t really change anything about her purpose, just who she reports to and obviously she wants to know who that person is.
  • In the Void, Sylvie runs into Mobius, who managed to not get eaten by Alioth thus far. He picks her up in a car and brings her up to speed. In every conversation Sylvie had, be it with Ravonna or Mobius, saving Loki never seemed like a priority to her. Instead, she is single-mindedly focused on getting back at whoever is behind the TVA. As B-15 put it, Ravonna wants it, but Sylvie needs it.
  • It doesn’t take long until we get a Sylvie-Loki reunion, where I’m pretty sure he had to stop himself from just running into her arms, while she stood there. I wish this episode had finally put a label on what their feelings for one another are, because I feel like that is single-handedly the most controversial topic of the season. Loki trusts and believes in Sylvie, which is rare and monumental for him. She puts her faith in him as well and they prove that they are stronger together, but … what are those feelings? They stare into each others eyes all lovey-dovey, hold hands with intertwined fingers, share a blanket (and yes, they are both technically Jotun and shouldn’t be able to feel cold and might have both pretended to be cold to get closer? Or we have major story inconsistencies …), but at the end of the day Sylvie still said “I never had a friend before”.
    I don’t enjoy prescribing romantic feelings to people that don’t actually share them, but not even Herron (director) and Waldron (showrunner) managed to not contradict each other on what the Sylvie-Loki-relationship is. One of them said it doesn’t have to be romantic and the other one confirmed it is. Now the fandom invented a whole term just for Loki (“selfcest” has been in my mentions way too much since) and no one knows what to think anymore. Some clarity would be nice, because this back and forth (“I’ve never done this before”/”I don’t even know what we’re doing”) is getting on my nerves to be honest.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The Mobius and Loki scenes on the other hand couldn’t have been more heartfelt and clear. It was so lovely to see them reunited and hug. Mobius calling Loki his favorite will sustain me until next week and I just cannot wait for him to burn the TVA to the ground.

Fun fact: There were SO many Easter Eggs in the Void. If you saw that jumping figure in the mason jar when the Lokis descended into the underground bunker, you just got a tiny glimpse of Throg (=Thor + frog). They really did him dirty with that cameo, but it was a nice comic book reference. Other references included but aren’t limited to a giant Yellowjacket helmet, the Helicarrier, Chitauri Leviathans, Mjolnir, the Thanos Copter, …

  • When Sylvie decided to enchant Alioth, I knew it was going to be hard. The VFX team did an outstanding job though and it looked absolutely epic. All the Lokis really did the most with their powers and they truly are so much more powerful than we knew. They have such a broad variety of powers.
  • Classic Loki really was the MVP this episode. He went out with a bang, laughing like a maniac and fulfilling his very own glorious purpose – the way he was supposed to!
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Finally, who is behind the veil at the end of time? Many people think it has to be Kang, but I believe Jonathan Majors when he says he’s not in the show yet. It would be a great link to Ravonna and potentially Ant-Man 3, but there’s still one more option – King Loki. If I remember correctly, he was shown in the trailer, but didn’t appear yet. (We had Classic, Kid, Boastful, President and Alligator Loki though). Obviously, there could still be someone behind King Loki and that someone could be Kang (kind of like Thanos was behind Loki’s actions in the first Avengers movie), but I’m just trying to lower expectations. We don’t want another Mephisto situation … and the pattern in previous Marvel shows proved to us that the “big bad” isn’t someone new (It was Agatha all along and Sharon Carter was the Powerbroker).

So, I liked that we were right about pruned people and things ending up in the Void. It was an easy guess and therefore made some scenes last week less impacting. Knowing that Mobius and Loki were likely fine really took out the severity, but it’s still always nice to be right. I’m not sure if I prescribe to the idea that all Lokis are the same, but I can get behind the idea that Sylvie is the only truly different one. Maybe that’s what makes her so special? We shall see, but I definitely love her by now. The truly sad thing is that (no matter if I believe in the Sylki relationship or not) I have a feeling that Sylvie might not make it past this season … they can’t actually let a Loki have nice things.

I feel ready for the finale now, but at the same time I dread that it’s over. I found myself very attached to the Marvel shows this year and to know there’s “only” movies coming in the near future doesn’t exactly have me at ease.


PREVIOUS LOKI REVIEWS

MORE TOM HIDDLESTON CONTENT FROM ME


What are your thoughts? Share them with me in the comments below!

Loki: Episode 4 “The Nexus Event” Review

Once again, I’m coming to you with an all new Loki review/recap! Beware of spoilers for this week’s episode “The Nexus Event” moving forward!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Suspicions grow among the TVA agents as the two Lokis are captured.

My thoughts?

My head is still spinning a little bit, if I’m being completely honest. I keep thinking that I know what’s going to happen, just to be surprised by some (albeit not all) developments. As with previous Marvel shows, we’re really getting into the nitty-gritty parts of the series in its second half. I like that I at least know to expect that much from the narrative.

Now where to start with this week’s breakdown? How about the beginning!

  • We finally learn how Sylvie got involved with the TVA. Although we never find out what Nexus event caused her to be taken in, we start off the episode with a little flashback. Ravonna, still being a Hunter back then, tracks down Sylvie when she was just a child to arrest her for crimes against the sacred timeline. At court, Sylvie manages to steal Ravonna’s TemPad and flee into the timeline, having jumped through place and time ever since. It’s so heartbreaking to watch, because Sylvie literally never did anything wrong. She just existed and was a mere child, who then got to grow up during the ends of a thousand worlds. I’m honestly surprised she isn’t more messed up.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • While everyone at the TVA is scrambling to find the Variants, Loki and Sylvie have one more essential bonding moment as the world around them is ending. Sylvie shares her past, Loki genuinely seems to care about her. It’s now evident that I wasn’t imagining the heavy romantic undertones last time, because them holding hands and developing feelings for one another causes one of the biggest and most drastic Nexus events – ultimately leading the TVA to them and saving them before they perish on Lamentis.
    HOWEVER, according to Kate Herron, this relationship is “not necessarily romantic”. I think people will find it difficult to not see that side, just because Mobius straight out calls it a crush later on in the episode, but I do see her point. It could all just be an elaborate tale of self-love and acceptance. Then again, Michael Waldron (showrunner) said they were falling for each other. No clue anymore. I will have to see future episodes to really tell, because not going to lie to you all, I still haven’t decided how I fell about a possible romance. It 100% makes sense with Loki’s narcissistic nature, but it’s also twisted.
  • Loki and Sylvie get separated, with Loki being put in a Time Cell. In there, he has to relive a bad memory with Lady Sif (what a fun and unexpected cameo and very on brand with the actual mythology) and it was really interesting to see him come to realizations about himself throughout that looped bad interaction. I think his feelings for Sylvie (whatever they may be) really clicked in that cell as well, because he kept being told that he was alone and always would be, but with Sylvie he really found someone who understood him.
  • Throughout the entire episode, we can see the growing suspicion about the TVA with several agents. Mobius’ doubt is fueled by his budding friendship with Loki and the desire to want to believe the trickster. B-15 got to experience memories while she was enchanted by Sylvie and even temporarily breaks her out to see more of her previous life. All the while, Ravonna becomes more and more shady as she hid the real reason C-20 passed away or why she wants to keep Sylvie isolated.
  • It all comes to a head when Mobius tries to side with Loki and gets pruned by Ravonna. You could see they had a special relationship and that it wasn’t easy on her, but she didn’t hesitate to have him erased. Her character seems to grow darker with each bit of information we learn about her. And losing Mobius … that was tough to watch, especially because Loki had grown really attached to him and so have we, as viewers, in the short span of time.
  • Ultimately, Loki and Sylvie both get brought in front of the Time-Keepers to get pruned themselves. B-15 shows up in the nick of time to bring Sylvie her trusted sword and a fight ensues. It looked like the Lokis were doing well, having defeated almost everyone and facing the Time-Keepers, just to find out they are fake and mindless androids. So, who is truly behind the TVA? Is Ravonna working for the real masterminds? Your guess is as good as mine.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • In what looked like Loki trying to confess his feelings for Sylvie (again, let those be whatever they are?), us viewers get dealt one final blow – Ravonna prunes Loki. I knew he wouldn’t be gone. This is his show after all, but … that moment hurt. He came such a long way.

We got our first post-credit scene! I was waiting for it, because I knew it was going to happen in the second half of the season. I’m glad they didn’t leave us with too much of a cliffhanger as to what happened to Loki after he got pruned, but rather with more excitement and even more Lokis! (We have a spectacular Richard E. Grant in classic Loki attire, a kid Loki, boastful Loki AND alligator Loki!) I’m currently loving the theory that they are at a place where all the things that get erased go.

credit: Marvel Studios

When Tom Hiddleston said that episode 4 and 5 were going to be game changers, he wasn’t lying. Aside from the fact that the body count went up considerably … so much just happened! While the suspicions towards the TVA were always warranted, I have an incredibly hard time imagining where all of this is supposed to go. No matter where we end up though, I keep enjoying the ride! All these characters are so well developed that I don’t even mind a couple smaller plotholes here and there.

For all time! – Always! – Until next week!


PREVIOUS LOKI REVIEWS

MORE TOM HIDDLESTON CONTENT FROM ME


What are your feelings concerning all these new developments? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Loki: Episode 3 “Lamentis” Review

I’m writing this under a bit of a time crunch, so I really hope this won’t be too much of a mess. Either way, please beware of spoilers for Loki’s episode 3 “Lamentis” moving forward!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Loki and the Variant find themselves in a life or death situation and have to work together to get out of it.

My thoughts?

What an interesting change of pace for Loki (and not just because it was 10 minutes shorter than episodes 1 and 2). While I thoroughly enjoyed the Loki-Mobius-dynamic prior to this episode, I must say I really am into this exploration of Loki and the Variant. I must say that this show keeps reminding me more and more of Doctor Who the further we get along. I don’t know if it’s the nature of time travel or the Doctor/companion vibes I’m getting, but it definitely feels reminiscent of the classic sci-fi series.

But, first things first, is Sophia Di Martino playing Lady Loki? I think the question was a bit difficult to answer before, but Lamentis shed some light on the situation. She is credited as Sylvie, which led many people to believe she is actually Enchantress. Well, I feel like they may have blended the two characters together. From what we’ve learned, she used to be Lady Loki, but prefers being called Sylvie now. Her powers are effectively described as “enchanting people”, so it makes sense to think she is a mix of the two and honestly, why not? I know they were both iconic in their own rights, but these MCU shows really need to keep things fresh in order for the content to not get too predictable. Also, it just makes reviewing so much easier when they don’t have the same name.

Now, let’s break down the episode:

  • We start off with a little flashback of how Sylvie extracted the information she needed about the Time-Keepers from C-20. Her powers allow her to invade strong-willed minds by creating a fantasy from their memories. This, later on, leads to a huge reveal concerning the TVA. All the employees, which were supposedly created by the Time-Keepers, were once regular people and are just variants as well. Although, some brain fog prevents them from knowing that information. Loki was quite shocked to find out that bit of information and I am seriously intrigued how that revelation will play out for characters such as Mobius. This annihilates their entire world view.
  • After the exciting end of last week’s episode, we learn that Sylvie simply portalled back to the TVA. There, her plan is interrupted by Loki, who got his hands on his beloved daggers again. They fight, get disturbed in their bickering by Renslayer and, in an attempt to flee, end up on Lamentis – a doomed planet.
  • Because the TemPad they used is out of juice, they are now stuck in an apocalyptic event, having to work together to either find a new power source or get off the planet before a moon crashes into it.
credit: Marvel Studios

For once, I don’t think I need to go into every little detail the episode provided, as it was clearly focusing on the Loki-Sylvie-relationship. They know virtually nothing about each other, despite being a supposed version of one another. I had a hard time knowing the intention behind their interactions, which is untypical for me. Usually, I can sense where a dynamic is supposed to go, but I got odd flirtatious undertones and I felt weird about that. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t want to judge. Obviously, there’s a lot of mistrust and trying to get useful information out of the other, but they also had some genuine bonding moments.

Mini highlight of the episode for me: Tom Hiddleston drunkenly singing a song in Asgardian (which just sounded Norwegian in part to me) about “when she sings, she sings come home”

Aside from them constantly fighting and bickering, Loki and Sylvie more or less compared powers, childhoods (Sylvie knew she was adopted and only has a hazy memory of their mother – did she pass away sooner?) and love lives. I was so very happy that Loki is now finally a confirmed queer character by admitting to having had past relationships with men and women, despite none of them lasting. The MCU is slow in that regard, but I can see them trying to implement more LGBTQIA+ rep in the next phases.

credit: Marvel Studios

As the two were discussing the meaning of love “Love is hate/love is mischief”, I think Loki was actually on to something with his comparison. It seemed fitting somehow:

Loki: Love is a dagger. It’s a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. You can see yourself in it. It’s beautiful. Until it makes you bleed. But ultimately, when you reach for it …
Sylvie: it isn’t real. It’s just an imaginary dagger.

I always enjoy the callbacks to Frigga, because she was such a beautiful character and shaped the lives of Loki and Thor so much. I’m glad she is not forgotten, although, as I hinted at above, I would really like to know what happened to her in Sylvie’s world.

Anyway, what I took away from “Lamentis” was that Sylvie and Loki would make an excellent team if they just actually worked together. Loki can’t go off and get drunk in the middle of a mission and Sylvie needs to let him in just a tiny bit. Trust is a rare good when it comes to the tricksters, but if they can’t even trust each other, then who is left? They fight really well together (someone get all the MCU stunt coordinators a raise and all the awards!) and their powers compliment each other, although I suspect Loki will try learning some enchanting magic himself soon.

credit: Marvel Studios

While the episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Sylvie and Loki seemingly being stuck on a Lamenits, we know that the show continues, so there must be a way out of it somehow.

It’s so strange to me to think this show is already halfway done again. It feels like just yesterday that my Marvel excitement was spiked up again, yet here we are. Tom Hiddleston said in one of the many interviews preceding the season that he was most looking forward to episode 4 and 5 airing and I feel like that has been the main consensus with all Marvel shows so far. These episodes seem to be the most intense in terms of character depth and development, so I can’t wait for next week! (which will once again be a late review and not out immediately after it airs!!) Let’s see what the show still has in store for us – it’s been a wild ride so far!


PREVIOUS LOKI REVIEWS

MORE TOM HIDDLESTON CONTENT FROM ME


How do you feel about having reached the halfway point of the season already? Do you like the way the show is progressing? Let’s talk!

Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Tom Hiddleston. All the information is taken from various interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the first of hopefully many installments in this brand new feature! I’ve already teased this “little” reading experiment in my May Wrap-Up post and am so excited to finally share it with you. When I was trying to think about something new and fresh that would fit well into the theme of the blog and also be a very me-thing to do, this was the very first thing that came to mind.
It basically boils down to me picking an actor or actress of my choice (Tom Hiddleston in this case), doing a little deep dive on their favorite books and then comparing how I feel about them. I think that a person’s taste in books reveals a lot about them and turning it into a sort of compatibility test felt like a neat idea. So, I hope you will all enjoy reading this as much as I did creating it!


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Loki: Episode 2 “The Variant” Review

So, as I’ve mentioned last week, I won’t be able to post reviews or recaps of Loki as soon as the episode airs each time, but I will always post on the day it releases. I hope you’ll all bear with me on those days and beware of spoilers moving forward!!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Loki is integrated into the TVA as a special consultant. No one trusts him, but can he still weasel his way into their hearts?

My thoughts?

I’m having a blast with this show. I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to keep up these episodes that are on the long side or not, but I think it really works for the format. There’s a lot of new information, considering the timelines, variants, new characters and so on, which makes me glad they aren’t rushing it or making me, as the viewer, feel overwhelmed. Yes, there is always intrigue and a bit of a cliffhanger, but that is only suitable for a show that airs weekly and needs to keep people hooked.

Let’s break down what we learned and found out this episode:

  • Loki did a little TVA training session with Miss Minutes and got to watch more educational videos. I think it’s funny that they put so much effort in him, considering that they don’t have any faith in him. He’s a smart guy though, so even if he was bored by most of it, he clearly understood the key teachings and information.

credit: Marvel Studios

  • After the Variant has struck again and taken a hostage for the first time (C-20, as all hunters seem to only have designations instead of names), Mobius takes Loki to the scene, where he tries to cause chaos. He clearly has ulterior motives in helping the TVA, but Mobius sees through him. I continue to really enjoy their dynamic, because Loki needs someone in his life who doesn’t buy into his bullshit and knows how to counter his behavior effectively.
  • During a meeting with Ravonna, Mobius has to justify why he wants to keep Loki on. He feigns to not care, but I, just like Loki, can’t help but wonder what sparked that intense interest in the trickster. He really is a specialist on him and I don’t know if it’s because he had to deal with so many of his variants (which were hilarious by the way) or because this Loki is his favorite and he actually feels a hint of sympathy. Either way, it’s fun to watch and try to figure out.
  • Loki is tasked to study the previous variants and that’s when he finds out about the destruction of Asgard. He is such a familiar character to me and I keep forgetting that he doesn’t know about most of these events. Even in the memory theater, he barely watched any scenes, but you could see the genuine emotion in his eyes, despite him covering that all up real quick. I don’t, in general trust Loki, because he is arrogant, deceptive and always has a hidden plan, but I love it when Tom gives us these moments of vulnerability with Loki.

credit: Marvel Studios

  • Through the research, Loki comes up with the theory that the variant they are looking for hides within apocalypses, because whatever you do there won’t be noticeable as a time disturbance. He tests that theory with Mobius in Pompeii and I was kind of bummed that this wasn’t a bigger scene. Sometimes I think back to the trailer and how they showed so many things that turned out to be just tiny moments in episodes. It was still fun, but brief.
  • After getting the theory confirmed, Mobius and Loki try to find where the Variant could be hiding. They have a very interesting bonding moment together, as they take a break, where they talk about actual deep life questions. Loki clearly has his quarrels with the blind faith people put in the TVA and the Time-Keepers. I think it’s fair criticism, because as he said “No one bad is all bad and no one good is all good” and there must be a catch. They both ponder their lives and how ridiculous their existence sounds if you spell it out, but yet they do exist. It really makes you think about your own life, despite not being a magical person at all.

Fun fact: Roxxcart has been mentioned several times within the MCU before and seemed to have been some sort of evil corporation. Considering that they now seemed to have caused the apocalypse in 2050, they really did proper foreshadowing with it before.

  • Eventually, Mobius gets an idea and a mission quickly forms. They get to go, but B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) is still there to babysit Loki, because there is no way that woman will ever trust him (as she shouldn’t).

credit: Marvel Studios

  • During the mission, the team splits up!
    • Mobius and some hunters find C-20, who was taken hostage and seems completely out of it. She claims she gave away how to find the Time-Keepers, which peaked my interest. Mobius, a presumably quite high-ranking analyst, has never even met them. Do hunters know where the Time-Keepers are? Ravonna is supposedly in contact with them, and they are very eager to get the Loki matter resolved, but all the information on them is highly classified.
    • Loki “meets” his Variant, who can possess people and move from one body to the next by touch. I’ve never seen “our” Loki do that, so it was really interesting to see a different power. They talk, they fight, they clearly both think they are the superior Loki. Eventually, my suspicions from last week were confirmed though and the Variant was revealed to be Lady Loki. (Although she doesn’t bare much resemblance to her comic counterpart and doesn’t like to be called Loki. Maybe there’s still more there!) She sets off all the reset charges she collected over time at once and therefore bombs the sacred timeline, causing it to split into multiple streams all at once. In short, this means we are definitely getting a multiverse. I think?

credit: Marvel Studios

  • In a final scene, we see Lady Loki disappear through a portal and Loki contemplating whether he should follow her or not. Mobius comes running and doesn’t want him to go, obviously, but I could have sworn I saw actual hesitation on Loki’s part. It seemed to me he was warring with himself on whether to earn the trust the TVA had put in him, or seize his chance at whatever ploy Lady Loki was involved in. He chose the latter and followed Lady Loki through the portal just as the episode ended. 

The show continues to juxtaposition deep existential questions with bouts of humor. I think Loki is the perfect character for that kind of content and the TVA the perfect setting. I honestly didn’t expect them to reveal the whole Lady Loki thing so early on, but it was massively satisfying to have been right on the matter. I can’t wait to see what happens next week and the rest of the season, because they just unleashed pure chaos. I’ve tried to keep this review a bit shorter, as I’ve really just recapped most things in previous posts and they got a bit out of hand, but I hope you still enjoy them and I’ll see you again next Wednesday!

Ravonna Renslayer insert: Last week, I mentioned that Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character was not mentioned by name, but a couple hours after the episode aired, it was confirmed she was portraying Ravonna Renslayer. I thought it would be fun to imagine her bigger part in the MCU based on comic information, even if she supposedly is quite different here.
The thing is that Ravonna definitely isn’t a purely “good” character, so it’s fascinating to me that she is a judge within the TVA. Through tumultuous events, she was often associated with Kang the Conqueror, who is scheduled to appear in Ant-Man 3 (Quantumania), which could mean a link for future appearances for her outside of Loki!

credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUS LOKI REVIEWS


What did you think of this week’s Loki episode? Are you enjoying the journey? Did you guess the reveal? Let’s talk!

Loki: Episode 1 “Glorious Purpose” Review

As you can see due to the existence of this post, I have decided to review Loki on a weekly basis (as I did with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier). I won’t always be able to post right after the episode has aired, but will do my best to get the review out on the day of the release. Now, here’s your traditional warning that the following review/recap does include Spoilers and is meant to be read after watching the episode!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

After stealing the tesseract during the Avenger’s time heist, Loki finds himself captured by the elusive TVA. What do they want from him and will he comply?

My thoughts?

Loki, God of Mischief, has always been one of my favorite characters in the MCU. Tom Hiddleston has made the role his own early on, garnering a lot of sympathy from the viewers. I personally always enjoyed that we got character growth and depth to him, but it never felt like he was truly redeemed. It was always, always, always clear that Loki was unreliable and untrustworthy, even if he made better choices towards the end. With this show, we start back at square one though, because all of that development hasn’t happened to this version of Loki yet. He had just tried to conquer New York City and was stopped by the Avengers, so much of what we know about him was still to come, but then he escaped with the tesseract during the botched time heist.

Much like Loki, we get thrust into things without any prior knowledge of the Time Variance Authority or TVA (at least not within in the MCU). I’m going to do my best to break down what we have learned throughout the episode:

  • After having escaped from NYC, Loki is quickly found by the Minutemen – field agents of the Time Variance Authority who capture variants (people deviating from their supposed time stream) throughout time. They have gadgets and technology that we get to learn more about throughout the course of the episode, but that also keep you guessing as to how exactly they work and what they do. Here are a couple examples:
    • a device that slows down the person to 1/16th of their speed, although they continue to feel everything in real time.
    • a reset charge, presumably used to reset a rogue time stream. We later find out that this is a device sought out by a particular variant, who doesn’t hesitate to kill in order to get them.
    • a collar that allows the agents to control the person via a time switch.
  • Our introduction to the TVA and their purpose was done quite humorously. In a brief educational video, which was beautifully animated in a nostalgic style of comics back in the 60s, the TVA’s “mascot” Miss Minutes – a talking clock – explains what’s going on. To summarize, the world was once in chaos, with various time streams in the multiverse all battling for dominance until the Timekeepers took it upon themselves to merge them all and create the sacred timeline.
    Deviating from said sacred timeline could create a Nexus event, which could lead to madness and another multiversal war. If all of that doesn’t ring a decisive bell for WandaVision (Wanda being a nexus being) and the upcoming Doctor Strange movie (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) then I don’t know. We’ve been burned before by speculating too much, but this does seem like a convenient set up for future MCU content.

credit: Marvel Studios

  • With the TVA, there’s also an onslaught of new characters. We don’t really get to find out most people’s names, although Wunmi Mosaku, as a relentless agent, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, as a TVA judge, are sure to continue playing important roles in that universe. I loved how Wunmi Mosaku’s character was having none of Loki’s nonsense and I could detect a certain entanglement of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character with Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius (the only one we get to know by name).

credit: Marvel Studios

  • Mobius is introduced by being on a case in France 1549. Another routine mission of Minutemen ended deadly for the agents and the TVA seems to know who was behind it. Incidents like this seem to have become a regular problem as of late, with the variant responsible always taking the reset charge after their crime (often characteristic stab wounds). When they interrogated a kid who saw what happened and he pointed towards a glass stain window depicting a devil, I thought they were trying to misdirect us to once again think Mephisto was behind it, but all of the previous comments they had made, pointed towards Loki being the culprit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

credit: Marvel Studios

  • Back at the TVA, Loki isn’t very cooperative. It makes sense, because he doesn’t understand what’s going on and he didn’t knowingly break the proper flow of time. When he accuses the Avengers of being the real culprits during his hearing, it turns out they were always supposed to travel back in time, but Loki just wasn’t supposed to escape. He is found guilty and sentenced to be reset, until Mobius steps in and recruits him as his asset (against his colleagues reservations).

Interesting fact: During the trial, the TVA refers to Loki as Loki Laufeyson, while he called himself Loki Odinson in the final movie he appeared in (Infinity War). It took him a long time to come to terms with his identity and to see it all reversed was a little sad.

  • From here on out, this is where we go deeper into Loki’s psyche. He tries to use all his old tricks, but Mobius is an expert on Loki’s life and not so easily fooled. Instead, he slowly takes the God of Mischief apart, questioning his life choices and showing him memories of Loki’s life, despite him not having lived those yet. It all accumulates in a couple fascinating realizations:
    • There’s no magic at the TVA and even infinity stones are useless. Somehow, the TVA is the most powerful thing in existence and that humbles even the a god. There were several instances where he seemed in awe and impressed by the agency, which is no easy feat.
    • Mobius told Loki that he was born to cause pain and suffering, so that others could achieve the best versions of themselves and that broke my heart. When Loki watches the death of his mother and father, his heart to heart with Thor and finally his own demise, you could see how it clicked in him that the “glorious purpose” he had always envisioned for himself was nothing but a scam. Losing your purpose like that, however silly it might have been, is usually an experience that changes you fundamentally.
    • When Loki finally admitted that he didn’t enjoy hurting people, but used it as an illusion to mask his weaknesses, you could really see that Mobius understood Loki. He knew that about him all along and just wanted him to admit it so he could truly recruit him for his mission. They are going to be an interesting duo!

credit: Marvel Studios

  • One of the memories shown from Loki’s life, to especially convey his talent for extraordinary escapes, reveals that he was actually D. B. Cooper, a man who hijacked an aircraft in the 70s between Seattle and Portland and was never caught. While I’m sure they thought this was a little fun addition to Loki’s lore, it made little sense to me. He claimed that he did that stunt due to a lost bet with Thor, but when we first meet Thor, he doesn’t seem to know much about earthly customs or anything of the like. Why would he dare Loki to steal a bunch of earth cash?
  • Ultimately, the big reveal was that the variant Mobius needs help with is a version of Loki. I guess he believes that only Loki can outwit Loki, but I didn’t find that reveal to be very shocking. As I mentioned earlier, I already guessed that he was the one they were looking for. When they then showed another team of Minutemen getting attacked in 1858 by a cloaked figure, I briefly thought “What if it’s Lady Loki?“, but they did use male pronouns to describe the variant. Then again, they also used male pronouns for the Power Broker and we all know how that turned out and that I was right …

credit: Marvel Studios

Fun fact: The show made sure to honor Stan Lee by including him as one of the time keepers in a painting. If you pay attention to the background a lot, it also looks like an agent brings in Peggy Carter (or someone who resembles her quite a bit) at one point.

While there was a lot of humor in the episode (I truly can’t get over Loki questioning whether he was a robot or that one agent not knowing what a fish is), it was also surprisingly emotional. Tom Hiddleston knows how to bring a certain gravitas to his roles, even if they are eccentric and deeply troubled gods, which makes his more reflective scenes all the more believable. I really felt for him when he had to deconstruct his life and realize that his oh so glorious purpose was all just a big illusion. I’m so glad we get to see more of him on our screens.

With 52 minutes (including credits), the episode was on the longer end of what we have come to know from the Marvel shows. I don’t know why, but I somehow expected it to be shorter and along the lines of WandaVision, but you won’t see me complain about more content. The start of the series definitely has caught my attention, although it’s very clear that it was used to set up what we will be facing in the weeks to come. Much like with TFATWS, we had to establish where everyone’s head is at before we can jump into the real action, so I’m sure the best is yet to come. However, I also think this will work for the many new viewers, who might not be familiar with every movie, because we rehashed a lot of previous events.


What are your thoughts on the first episode of Loki and its new characters and premise? Let’s talk about it!