Warning: Potential Spoilers Imminent
Loki spends the first two episodes setting up the new normal for the MCU: Infinity Stones are nothing but paperweights and the universe is about to get multiplied. We’ve seen Loki from The Avengers taken down a peg by the monolithic Time Variance Authority (TVA), and adopted as an errand boy/grifter intern by the guy from Drillbit Taylor. Now, after the Big Picture has been established, Loki’s been let off the leash (or more aptly cut himself free), and my oh my it is beautiful.
Loki has escaped his desk job, chasing him(her)self through a time gate and into a delightful buddy comedy inspired by the aesthetic and charm of Thor: Ragnarok. Loki shines as he attempts to extract information from his counterpart and in turn divulges his softer side. Hiddleston and the writing work together to explore aspects of the God of Mischief that have only been hinted at in previous films. Loki recalls memories of his mother and his first lessons in magic, information that supplements his reaction to Frigga’s death in Thor: The Dark World and illuminates his need for attention (Daddy issues). We also get to see Loki use new powers (new to us rather) that are both fun and exciting, especially when you think of future opportunities for usage.
This episode delivers on giving us more to our protagonist by excavating his motivations. There is a brilliant moment (multiple moments) on a space train (yep) that sees the Lokis (plural) discussing their childhoods and lessons in magic. Loki (ours) is even given a moment to consider he may not have had it as bad as he thought. This proves an interesting idea to explore as Loki is intrinsically tied to his perceived ostracism. There is a truly beautiful moment in a bar where Loki sings a song from Asgard, showing sentiment for his home that has up until now been understated.
If the last two episodes have been creating the infrastructure for the future MCU, then this episode has narrowed its focus to give us some heart. We feel for Loki, and the breaks in his facade serve to show us the complexity of character that is prided in the MCU. Sophia Di Martino (Lady Loki/Sylvie) is a star in this episode, matching Hiddleston in brevity and wit as they play off of one another in comedy beats that soon ascend to something akin to understanding and friendship (probably not though).
Plot-wise it is safe to say that not much exactly happens in terms of dynamic action or reveals, save for one BIG revelation that I will not spoil (though I will say the true antagonist is becoming quite clear). This episode is purely for Loki to face him(her)self and discover what it is they want. I’m excited to see where the next episode goes and what mischief lay around the corner.
Check out new episodes of Loki every Wednesday on Disney+!