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Rant and Rave: ‘Loki’ races against time

Just when you thought the God of Mischief was done with his tricks, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) introduces yet another series as part of its fourth phase. 

After the time-warping shenanigans of Avengers: Endgame, Loki explores the possibilities of endless alternate realities further. The show sees the eponymous character at the hands of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and on trial for his past deeds. With our favorite bad guy front and center, the MCU ups the stakes for its next chapter. 

More than a villain

Loki—played by Tom Hiddleston—has gained widespread popularity among Marvel fans for his dubious morals, comedic one-liners, and sarcastic quips. While the series isn’t short on his signature sass, Loki offers a refreshing take on the Norse god’s journey toward greatness. 

After escaping from the clutches of death in Avengers: Endgame, Loki is now given the opportunity to tell his story—this time free from the grasp of Earth’s mightiest heroes. While his previous appearances have cemented him as a morally gray character with rare redeeming moments, we finally see Loki’s more vulnerable side in the show.  

Powerless for the first time, he is forced to face his insecurities and narcissism. He doubts the “glorious purpose” that has once propelled his villainy, and he ponders on his existence. We get a glimpse of his remorse over his past actions and the price that others had to pay for his selfishness. 

Seeing the opportunity to right his wrongs, he comes to terms with all of the mistakes he made in his life. In turn, we realize that Loki has always been more than a simple villain—rather than conquering the universe, he saves it.

Undeniable chemistry

This new series promises a boatload of characters who will join the prestigious MCU lineup. One of which is Loki’s foil, Ravonna Renslayer, portrayed by MCU newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Her no-nonsense attitude is the complete opposite of Loki’s and in line with the TVA’s autocratic rule. Frankly, it seems that Marvel has a habit of creating villains that you’d want to punch through the screen because she is definitely one of them. 

On the other hand, Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) becomes Loki’s confidante—serving as one of the many comic reliefs of the show, aside from, well, Loki. Wilson has never failed in making an audience laugh, and his portrayal of Mobius will knock your socks off. Meanwhile, the TVA’s artificial intelligence Miss Minutes, voiced by Tara Strong, is the sickly-sweet, animated clock created to serve as the series’ daunting hermit. 

But one of the highlights in the series is Loki’s interactions with his alternate universe variants. From Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) to Kid Loki (Jack Veal) and even Alligator Loki, these different appearances all carry the wit and ego that the God of Mischief is known for. With that scheming glint in their eyes, all actors did a tremendous job embodying Loki’s mannerisms and flaws.

Narcissistic romances

On the flip side, Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino, is another Loki variant on the run. Despite the similarities between Loki and Sylvie, Di Martino injects the character with so much verve and roguishness that she makes the character her own. Whether it be battling apocalypses or unlocking secrets about the TVA, it looks like Loki has finally found someone he can call his partner-in-crime. 

However, Marvel has a habit of shoehorning romance into their films and TV shows. Loki is surprisingly not exempted from this rule. The way they created a rushed, poorly-written romance—on top of the unfortunate queerbaiting—in the series leaves a bad taste in the mouth. 

Against oneself

While the picturesque shots and the dimly-lit colors schemes are notable, the series’ strong cast and powerful message overshadow its technicalities. As Loki’s misadventures take twists and turns, the viewers get to see all of the Norse god’s complexities fleshed out. 

Interestingly, the series is left open-ended. There are still many questions left unanswered and realities left unexplored. While we are assured that a second season will come, Loki also opens the door to other MCU releases, particularly Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. His journey is far from over, and we’ll get to see Loki again in all his glory—one dimension at a time.

Rating:  3.5/4

By Lauren Sason

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