Loki is Marvel Studio’s most creative and unique project so far. The show picks up immediately after Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) escape with the tesseract during the New York City portion of the time heist in Avengers: Endgame. After that, he’s picked up and booked for crimes against the timeline from the Time Variance Authority (or TVA). The TVA essentially functions as time cops, arresting or killing those who deviate from the timeline curated and controlled by the Time-Keepers, the gods of time in the MCU. From there, he meets Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) who recruits him to take on a dangerous timeline-altering foe.
With Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now fully underway, it’s great to see Marvel Studios take chances with totally weird and unique ideas -- first with Wandavision and now with Loki. Tackling the very concepts of time and multiverses is a daunting task, and Marvel is able to make it look completely effortless in this episode. Making these abstract properties make sense and even managing to fix a few lingering plot holes from previous films in less than an hour’s time are massive accomplishments. This is especially true when they’re also having to explain what the TVA is, how they operate and who all these new characters are, while at the same time developing Loki himself.
Tom Hiddleston is amazing, as always, in the role of Loki. His performance is very impressive, considering he’s having to go back to the Loki he played almost a decade ago in The Avengers, stripping away all the development he’s had in the time since. Seeing this character go back to being a villain and eventually realizing he’s in the wrong is enthralling; it’s just great character work, writing and acting from Hiddleston.
Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius is the standout of the new characters, being a likable and stabilizing presence among all the objectively crazy things happening around him. Also, their on-screen chemistry just works from their first scene together.
The technical parts of the show, from the cinematography to the set design are all top-notch. Loki is just a joy to look at, regardless of what’s actually going on on-screen. The TVA’s headquarters is a boundless 60’s-70’s future-inspired dream. Woodgrain is king, light panels run along the ceilings, and tube TV’s line the rooms and hallways. It looks like a mix between Mad Men and a federal penitentiary. Everything in the frame and the actual frame itself are just beautiful.
There’s nothing bad to say about this series so far; it’s imaginative and fun in ways the MCU hasn’t been until recently. It’s easily the best start a Marvel Disney+ series has had and I couldn't recommend watching this more if you’re a fan of the MCU or are just looking for something weird and different to watch. It’s simultaneously self-contained and more tied-in to the MCU than some of their other projects have been.