Disclaimer: I do NOT know Chris Evans. All the information is taken from various tweets and interviews and could potentially be outdated.
Welcome to the second installment of this very special feature! For those of you who missed the first one or don’t really know what’s going on, I’d recommend heading over to Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible readers? I put a lot of work and passion into that post as well as this series as a whole, hoping it will bring you as much joy as it did to take part in it for me. You’ll definitely be able to see an explanation of the reading experiment at the beginning of the last feature, but in short, I read celebrities favorite books and determine if we would be a good match. All of that in good fun, obviously!
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!!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve watched shockingly little as of late, so it took me quite a while to garner enough material for another post of What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching. I decided to leave out the backdoor pilot for All American: Homecoming and the pilot for Gossip Girl, but if you want to talk about those – I’m all ears in the comments! Now on to what I actually planned for this post.
Elite (Shorts before the start of S4)
I still haven’t watched the actual Season 4 (as I said, I’ve barely been watching anything as of late), so please no spoilers for that just yet. I’ll definitely post about it once I got around to it though. As for the shorts, I think there was an order in which to watch them, but I just went by who I liked most … anyway, I tried to talk about them in the order you should watch them below though. At least I think so.
Honestly, those two always bored me a little. The fact that their short story started with one of my most dreaded tropes (the “chase to the airport before the love interest leaves” will never be something I enjoy … having worked at an airport and all) didn’t exactly help me warm up to them. Can’t say much more than that, but if you’re a fan … maybe you’d like them more?
I like Omar and Ander, but they are messy and this was such a sad short for them. I guess it helped ease the viewers into something that will happen in S4 (from what I heard), but I wasn’t 100% sure if the short was the right format for the emotionality of it all. It worked for me, but I think it could have been even more effective with more time.
Can I just say that this was the oddest trio to pick? I mean, I don’t remember a single scene where these characters had shared the screen in a meaningful way before, so it was just odd. Their short gave off major chaotic energy, which was probably supported by the fact that they were high for a huge part of it.
This was the one short I came for and I loved it. Their relationship was always so interesting to me, despite also hitting a few clichés on the way and I love to see them continue to work on it. Long distance is hard, but it can work and they’d be good candidates for it.
Good on Paper
It’s still so wild to me that this is based on Iliza Shlesinger’s (the lead actress) actual real life experiences. You might be familiar with a lot of the themes and some of the scenes from her stand up programs, I mean, the woman really milked that break up, but the movie was still fun and just good for her. You have to watch it to understand just how messed up it all is.
This movie is … about five years too late. Like, literally most of the movie takes part right after Civil War and that’s when we should have all been able to watch it. I stand by that opinion and don’t think I will change it anytime soon. However, that doesn’t make it any less great of a film.
As much of the phase 4 productions have proven, the cinematography of this era of Marvel content is just on a whole other level. Everything feels grounded, natural, obviously beautiful and yet doesn’t hold back on the spectacular fights and grand-scale visuals we are used to. The casting was also impeccable, especially the younger versions of Natasha and Yelena were the perfect lookalikes.
I honestly do not know how Nat made it through the entire movie, because her injuries and recovery were surreal. However, all of this was still such a lovely tale about (found) family, proving that Nat had more than “just” the Avengers and that she deserves her badass status. I’m going to look forward to seeing some of these new characters appear again in the future. The post-credit scene promises great things!
Have you watched any of the things I mentioned? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
What was it about?
Suspicions grow among the TVA agents as the two Lokis are captured.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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?
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.
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.
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).
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?
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!
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!
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?
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.
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).
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.
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!
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 …
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!
This is the review/recap for the season finale “One World, One People” of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. As per usual, the following post is full of Spoilers and meant to be read after watching the show. Proceed with caution!
What was it about?
Sam takes on the mantle of Captain America and faces off against the Flag Smashers in one final battle (with the help of more than just his trusted friends).
Let me tell you, this episode was a rollercoaster of emotions for me! I cheered, I cried, I was in awe. In all sincerity, I don’t remember the last time I was so proud and appreciative of a character as I am of Sam Wilson. What Anthony Mackie brought to this role and what they allowed him to explore on this show was such a fantastic feast to watch and I’m forever grateful they chose these characters to dig deeper.
However, as much as I loved this journey I also have some small quarrels with the finale and as per usual, a lot to talk about. Without further ado (and because I know how lengthy these posts get) let’s dive in!
Sam Wilson is now officially and without a doubt in the world Captain America. I think that’s the most important part of the episode, so I just needed to get that right out of the way. Not only did he get new wings from the Wakandans, but also a badass Captain America suit to go with it and I couldn’t be happier. I love how he called himself Captain America when he showed up, how the cc captions called him Captain America the entire episode and even bystanders, because he truly is everything Cap stands for. I’m not exaggerating when I say I squealed with joy every single time it was said.
From last episode, we pick up again with GRC being on lockdown and getting evacuated but in actuality kidnapped by the Flag Smashers. Bucky is already on scene, Sharon is also there as support (for a second I thought she was a skrull, but she just wore a mask) and you can be sure that John Walker is on his way as well. As always, the fight choreography is outstanding and the action really goes on for the majority of this episode. There’s fights on different fronts and between different people, they really tried to cover their ground with everyone here. I don’t really see the point in rehashing all of them, but here are some noteworthy developments:
Sam vs. Batroc: It was interesting to see Sam actually use the shield to fight for the first time. Not all moves worked perfectly yet, but he had a really good handle on it and that training montage from last week paid off.
Bucky will always prioritize saving people over fighting someone and it was so nice to see him smile when people thanked him for that. He’s a good guy and the winter soldier no longer has a grasp on him.
When Walker showed up, I wasn’t on his side. That man is deranged and needs psychological help. I am still shocked his DIY shield didn’t crumble to pieces, but I did feel sad when he confronted Karli and she said that Lemar’s life didn’t matter. It showed just how far she was gone and, once again, her willingness to sacrifice people for her cause made her inner circle waver in their trust and loyalty to her. They still went with her plan, but she was beyond jaded at that point.
Walker was presented with a similar dilemma as Bucky. He could either go after Karli or save a convoy of GRC representatives and I was not sure what he would do, but he ultimately also opted to help people rather than fight. I honestly wasn’t sure that’s what he would go for, but I also don’t know how I felt about that “redemption arc” for Walker in general. As I said above, he is an incredibly unstable man and that’s due to untreated PTSD among other things, but his “team up” with Sam and Bucky just felt off. I get that they had a common foe in that moment, but it made me feel so uncomfortable to have him on the good side?
I almost called it one of the biggest reveals of the episodes, but it really was pointing towards it all along, so, I’m going to call it one of the confirmations of the season and that’s the fact that Sharon is the Power Broker. I know that a lot of people will not be happy with that development and it is far removed from comic book Sharon’s persona. I don’t think it’s out of character for MCU Sharon, but I can definitely see fans being upset that a character they liked wasn’t treated right by the movies/shows … again.
In a heart to heart with Karli it is revealed that Sharon is indeed the Power Broker. She had taken Karli in because she reminded her of a younger self, but whereas Sharon wants to control the world that hurt her, Karli wants to change it, making their differences irreconcilable. I don’t think we got a lot of Sharon’s reasoning in that scene, the audience rather has to piece that together on assumptions what she had to go through while in exile. Believe me, I don’t fault Sharon for what she did and making the most of her skillsets, but I would love more depth to it.
In a last battle between Karli and Sam, he refuses to fight her. No matter how much she wants him to hit her back, he stands firm, but in a stand-off, Sharon takes it into her own hands to save Sam and kills Karli in the process. I’m sure this hurt Sharon, because she was her protegee, but I can also see her doing it as an insurance policy so that no one knows her identity as the Power Broker (just like she presumably killed Batroc because of the same reason – I phrase it like that, because we never saw a body after the lights went out).
Karli ultimately dies in Sam’s arms, apologizing with her last breath. I’m sad that’s how Karli’s story ended, making her a martyr when other characters were given redemption instead. All the while, Bucky and Walker use the Flag Smasher app to round them up and arrest them.
One of the most beautiful and meaningful moments of the episode and the first real emotional scene after the fighting is done comes when Sam talks to the GRC. His speech is live-broadcasted everywhere as he presses for the GRC to reconsider their stance and does so masterfully. His words really hit home and I was with him every single second of that scene. It all boiled down to how you use the power you are given, a message that has been woven into the series as a whole.
As the Flag Smasher super soldiers were supposed to get transported to the Raft, we can see their car explode. It was caused by Zemo’s butler, who ultimately made sure that Zemo’s plan to not let any super soldiers (aside from Bucky) live was being seen through. I honestly didn’t expect to see him again this episode, but oh wow, did he look happy when he heard that they did not survive the explosion. I can’t help but wonder what he would do if he knew that Walker had taken the serum too. Does he know?
Valentina also came back this episode and is still as mysterious as ever. I cannot tell who she is working with, but she officially made John Walker U.S. Agent and I did not like that one bit. I suppose it was always going to go this way, but the fact that he gets to operate officially as U.S. Agent after what he did as Captain America is wrong on so many levels.
Bucky really listened to Sam last week and made some more amends. We can see him telling Yori the truth about his son and then gifting his notebook with all the names crossed off, accompanied by a thank you card, to his therapist Dr. Raynor. It was brief, but none the less emotional and I am happy to see Bucky on a journey to healing.
Whenever Anthony Mackie and Carl Lumbly (as Isaiah Bradley) have shared the screen this season, they have given us amazing scenes together. This finale was no exception and my heart soared when Isaiah admitted that Sam was someone special. You could really see that glimmer of hope returning to his eyes and it made me so happy. Even more emotional was the moment Sam showed Isaiah and Eli an installation in Steve Roger’s museum, which was specifically dedicated to Isaiah’s life and good deeds. Him returning his history to him, making sure people would never forget what he sacrificed ever again – I love when a story comes full circle!
The season ends with Bucky in Sam’s hometown, joking with kids and letting them play with his arm and people fawning over Sam. The music, the atmosphere, the imagery – everything was so much brighter, happier and more hopeful and I adored that as a conclusion! Also, I could have just interpreted too much into it, but I liked that Bucky was on Sam’s right in that final shot, because Steve is always going to be on his left.
Post-credit scene: Once again, the final episode had a post credit scene where we see Sharon Carter getting her full pardon, as Sam promised he would make sure she’d get. It’s clear that she is going to use her reinstated title to further her business as the Power Broker, setting her up to be a future antagonist.
I think it was clear that I loved a lot of moments in this final episode. I do have my quarrels with the lack of depth for Sharon as the Power Broker, because that was all very vague, but could also be a potential set up for future seasons/movies. And in addition to that, I didn’t like this attempted “redemption” for John Walker. I’m not sure that really conveyed the right message there, but then again, they didn’t say he was good … for now. I’d much rather focus on the character development we got for Sam and Bucky and how much I’m going to miss them for now. I am sure we will see these characters again in some of the upcoming movies, but even more so, I hope we see them once more for a season of
Captain America and the Winter Soldier
(although I think it should be Captain America and the White Wolf, but baby steps)
PREVIOUS THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER REVIEWS
Now, let me bid you goodbye with these weekly Friday reviews for now! I might see you again when Loki comes around. Please let me know in the comments if that is something you would be interested in! And of course, let’s talk all things Captain America and the Winter Soldier!