And here comes the obligatory reminder that this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously. I’m comparing my taste in books with that of actors and artists to see if we would be “compatible” on the basis of those reading tastes alone. There’s really no world in which my pseudo analysis holds any scientific value.
It’s Marvel Wednesday and it’s already time for the season finale of Moon Knight – Spoilers ahead for episode 6, which is rumored to be titled “Gods and Monsters”, although my Disney+ accounts just shows it as “Episode 6”!
What was it about?
Layla has to find a way to stop Harrow, while Marc has to make a decision about his afterlife.
Yes, it’s Marvel Wednesday and I’m kind of late to the party and almost forgot this was happening, but here we are! Without further ado, let’s get talk about Moon Knight – Spoilers ahead for episode 2 “Summon the Suit”!
What was it about?
Steven Grant has to face the consequences of digging into the reasons behind his crumbling life. Will this newfound information free him or trap him even more?
Yes, that’s right! Marvel Wednesdays are back, at least for the release window of its latest show Moon Knight! I will strive to release my reviews/recaps on the release day of the episode each week, but won’t always be able to do so right away. As you can see today, it might take me a bit longer from time to time. Anyway, let’s get started – Spoilers ahead for “The Goldfish Problem”!
What was it about?
Steven Grant works in a gift shop and doesn’t sleep so well, but that’s just the beginning of a world of problems heading his way.
So, before I get started, I need to clarify a few things. There’s a lot of Marvel content out there these days, but what I will be talking about in this particular post are the movies and TV shows that are considered canon part of the MCU. This excludes property such as Marvel’s Hit-Monkey and M.O.D.O.K., which is no judgment on their quality, it just falls outside of the MCU and therefore what I want this list to be. All of the titles must have been released in 2021 to qualify for the ranking. But now comes the really important part:
This list is entirely subjective! It’s my opinion alone and if you feel differently, that is perfectly alright too!
(Also, there’s potential spoilers for everything, so beware if you haven’t watched the properties.)
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.
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.