Low Key Ending
Loki - Season 1
June 9th to July 14th 2021
Warning: Slight spoilers.
Wow, you know, this one was almost a great TV show, it has to be said. It has one huge problem which, at least temporarily, kinda puts a damper on things but, yeah, for the most part this was highly entertaining and a much more interesting, if paranoid, take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe... or, you know, the Marvel Dodgy Internet Streaming Universe as it’s now become, as Disney try and milk and dilute all their newish acquisitions to squeeze the maximum profit out of them (although I did appreciate the oblique reference to Captain Hook in one of the episodes in this show).
Loki follows the further antics of the ‘split away’ variant version of Loki, played once again by Tom Hiddleston, after he diverges from the established timeline during the addition to the epilogue scene, so to speak, of The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble, reviewed here), as shown in the time heist sequence in Avengers Endgame (reviewed here). It reruns some of that scene and then continues after Loki escapes, thus branching off into a new variant timeline, before his future adventures leading to his ultimate demise at the hands of Thanos ever happened. But then, straight away, he is captured by agents of the seemingly all powerful TVA (the Time Variance Authority) and it gets all ‘Brazil at it’s most Kafkaesque’ for a while as he is processed and, unlike many of his allies, instead of being disposed of in ways I won’t mention due to spoilers and things we find out later in the story, he instead gets recruited to help Agent Mobius, played by Owen Wilson.
So a ‘dangerous variant’ of Loki, one of many it turns out, is taking out various TVA agents through time and stopping them from fulfilling their ultimate purpose... which is to police the one true timeline and prune any variances which might branch off into alternate timelines. After working through some trust issues, Loki and Mobius team up with the wonderful, troublesome variant they have been pursuing... Sylvie, played brilliantly by Sophia Di Martino. The chemistry between these three actors and their co-stars is absolutely amazing, I must say and the writing on this show is, mostly pretty good too... with a caveat.
Okay, so one of the things I liked about this is that it’s a heavyish look at the concept of time travel and how you would police such a thing. It’s pure science fiction and, unlike a lot of the Marvel films, which to be fair aren’t always all out explosion fests, this one doesn’t have a heck of a lot of action. Which is not a bad thing because this still has some pacing to it and there’s usually one fight or chase per episode, for those who crave such things.
There are also some very nice moments which depict other variants of characters in different guises... so there’s an alligator Loki, for example and, if you look at a small part of the screen in a particular digital tracking shot in one episode, when Thor’s hammer has just left the top of the screen it’s followed by a little ‘jumping frog’ version of Thor. Another great inclusion for, mostly just one episode apart from an epilogue and also a flashback recap, is Richard E. Grant who plays yet another variant of Loki and... this version of the character is costumed very, very closely to the version of him in the original Thor comics from the 1960s. Which was a nice thought. Also, it took her a while to get back to the franchise after her appearance in a couple of early episodes of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D but Jaimie Alexander returns to the franchise as Lady Sif (apparently she’ll also be in the upcoming Thor - Love And Thunder movie too, which is good that she’s rejoining the series of films where her character debuted). So that was a nice surprise.
And then there’s the big problem with the series... the last episode. Things build up to a revelation and climax and... well... the answer to the whole plot of the thing takes forever and involves a lot of boring expository dialogue which I could really have done without. We already knew at this point that the series was being renewed for a second season and that may or may not be where this one continues but, certainly, it might also continue in the upcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness movie and, quite possible, even the new Spider-Man - No Way Home movie scheduled for the end of the year (I say scheduled because the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon). So, yeah, nothing is really resolved and we’re left with a cliffhanger, of sorts which, given that I suspect it could be a while for even a second series to get sorted, is a bit of a downer... especially since this last one was a really boring episode when the rest of the show had been really cool.
And that’s more or less it. The music is good but, yeah, no CD release so I’m not investing any time thinking about this stuff anymore... quite often these days I’ll pass on a film or a TV show because there’s no CD of the soundtrack coming out and, yeah, whether I’ll bother getting around to the second series myself is anybody’s guess, if Marvel are going to keep just releasing dodgy downloads of the music instead of the real thing (and the same goes for a Blu Ray release... if it’s not physical then it really isn’t there).
Loki was, for the most part, quite a cool TV show which got incredible dull in the last episode but, may or may not continue from where it left off when we eventually get to a second season. I’m getting a little tired of trying to guess what Marvel’s never ending long term plans for the characters in these kinds of things are, though, so I’m feeling less invested in the whole MCU of late. I guess we’ll see what happens at some point.