The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not known for bringing their characters back from the dead and they haven’t started now. Loki’s merely causing mischief in a whole different life.
The series, created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, features Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the Asgardian prince of mischief Loki as he navigates a whole different set of challenges than were present in his previous life. The series follows this version of Loki after he escaped with the all-powerful Tesseract in “Avengers: Endgame” after the Avengers traveled through time to stop Thanos. Loki is apprehended by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and as the time police force’s mascot Miss Minutes says, “stands trial for his crimes.” Loki is shuttled through an overly bureaucratic agency and nearly sentenced to death before being plucked from danger by TVA officer Mobius M. Mobius played by Owen Wilson. The pair begin the hunt through all of time for another version of Loki who has been killing and looting TVA officers and leaving no trace wherever they go. To preserve his life, Loki must join forces with Mobius and get answers about the nature of the universe.
A point that can be argued (although I believe unsuccessfully) is that Marvel’s success comes from their cinematic endeavors. I, however, have to disagree. Marvel has absolutely hit their stride with TV shows, and I think they need to invest as much if not more into the small screen. Disney acquiring Marvel in 2009 has to be one of the most productive mergers in cinema in recent memory. “Loki” is just the latest steppingstone in this slow march to victory at the end of the line (which is far from sight at this point).
“Loki” as a TV show is structured beautifully. Each episode encapsulates a universe in which Loki is the center. It doesn’t complicate things with an ensemble cast. Instead, it puts its pennies into a small central cast, all of whom are phenomenal actors. When they do bring in supporting characters, their appearances are brief and truly supporting. This first season is released as a mini-series, meaning they can’t really afford to have branching side stories. If Loki is blessed with a second season (which I have strong feeling it will be), it might follow a more traditional TV season structure with arcs and more drawn-out character development.
The most glaring issue with the series is that it introduces a plot hole that many stories that involve time travel introduce. It fails to explain why exactly a certain timeline would be more worthy of continuing than another. The TVA eliminates timelines according to the direction of the ominous Time-Keepers but there’s no explanation as to why some get deleted and others don’t. This leads to some interesting ethical explorations throughout the series.
Ultimately, “Loki” is great television. Hiddleston lights up the screen and plays off so well with Wilson. Wilson’s performance shows he can succeed in serious settings as well as comedy. “Loki” receives an A-plus rating.