TV Recap – Loki is Burdened with “Glorious Purpose” in the Opening Episode of the New Marvel Series on Disney+

Your savior is here! The first episode of Marvel’s Loki debuted today on Disney+ and it is the start of a hilarious and thrilling time-jumping adventure. The opening episode wastes no time picking up right where we left off, with Loki escaping the grasps of the Avengers after getting his hands on the Tesseract.

Spoilers ahead!

The episode opens up by putting us right back into the event of Avengers: Endgame, showing us thing a little bit differently to better capture Loki’s point of view. Once he grabs the Tesseract, he is transported to the Gobi Desert where he immediately tries to establish dominance over some locals. That plan goes out the window quickly however when the TVA shows up.

As Hunter B-15 and her minutemen show up, Loki becomes distracted and orders them not to touch the Tesseract. B-15 refers to Loki as a variant, to which he takes offense. They place Loki under arrest, which he resists but to no avail. They capture Loki, collar him with some device and use another device to “reset the timeline.” It’s a lot to take in all at once, but rest assured a whole lot of context is provided over the duration of this episode.

Loki and his captors arrive in the TVA and the god of mischief tries to escape. B-15 uses the collar to sort of time jump him back to where he was. With Loki back under control, B-15 gives the Tesseract to a secretary and tells him to log it as evidence as Loki tells him to be very careful with it. Loki threatens B-15 but she is unaffected and pushes him into a new room.

Loki is greeted by a robot of some sort that changes his clothes into a TVA Variant jumpsuit and drops hi into another room. There, Loki is asked to sign a form verifying everything he’s ever said. It’s one of the strongest gags in the episode as Loki’s protests continue to add to the stack of paperwork. He is then forced to walk through a device to confirm he is not a robot, which he is not all that confident in. Luckily, it turns out he is, in fact, not a robot.

In the next room, Loki sees another variant refuse to take a ticket after a guard instruct him to. Loki also protests but eventually takes a ticket himself. As he makes his was through a queue, he hears a voice repeat his own words. He then turns to see an instructional video from the adorable Miss Minutes who explains the whole concept of the TVA. She explains that the Timekeepers have organized all of time into the “sacred timeline” and “protect and preserve the proper flow of time.” Those who veer off that sacred timeline are called variants and the TVA is tasked with stepping in to fix their mistakes before they cause a “multiversal war.” Loki and the other variants have now been left without a place on the timeline and must stand trial.

Loki laughs off the video and continues through the queue. He sees the other variant ahead of him asked for his ticket by another guard. The variant argues that he wasn’t given a ticket and the guard vaporizes him with some sort of device. Loki, now apparently willing to take this seriously, searches frantically for his ticket and holds it up proudly. It appears he is now willing to admit the TVA has some formidable power.

After the title card, we join Mobius and a team of what appears to be other hunters in a church. They’re investigating a crime scene and appear to know that the killer is someone they’ve been hunting for some time. They’re interrupted by a child who enter the church. Mobius asks who did this and the child points to a stained glass window with a depiction of the devil. Mobius assures her “that devil is afraid of us.” He notices she has blue on her lips and when he asks about it, she hands him some candy that this “devil” gave her. Mobius instructs her to wait outside as they prepare to reset the timeline. It’s clear that Mobius is aware that this means erasing that girl from existence and it seems as though this job may be taking its toll on him. As they prepare to leave, another agent enters and hands Mobius a file on a new variant they’ve apprehended, which of course is Loki.

Loki stands trial with Judge Ravonna Renslayer. This is a character from the comics with strong connection to Kang the Conqueror, who we know will be showing up in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Loki pleads not guilty of his crimes and suggest they go after the Avengers. He lets us know that he was aware the Avengers traveled through time because he could smell the cologne of two Tony Starks. Renslayer informs him that what the Avengers did was supposed to happen but him escaping was not. Loki changes his plead to guilty and tries to use his powers, which doesn’t work. Loki is sentenced to be reset but Mobius steps in and convinces Renslayer to let him work with Loki.

Loki and Mobius make their way to his office when Loki catches a glimpse of the whole TVA, which seemingly amazes him. On their way to the office, Loki continues to question this premise of Timekeepers and a sacred timeline. Mobius informs him that time passes differently in the TVA and that he’ll catch on. I would guess that will come into play later on.

When they get to the office, Loki tries to attack Mobius but is thwarted again by the collar on his neck. Mobius questions Loki about his intentions and offers him a chance to get out of the TVA. After Loki tries playing some of his usual head games, Mobius shows him some moments from life, starting with his loss to the Avengers. He shows him killing Coulson, the attack on New York and taking the eyeball they needed to get the iridium. After more debate, Mobius then shows him a moment during which Loki posed as a guest on a plane and threatened the staff with a bomb. It turns out Loki was D.B. Cooper! He explains that this happened because he lost a bet to Thor.

Loki continues to doubt the legitimacy of the TVA and Mobius shows him what was supposed to happen after Thor took him back to Asgard as a prisoner, including the death of his mother. Loki argues that this never happened and Mobius simply responds, “not yet.” Mobius informs hi that this is the proper flow of time and it “happens again and again and again.” This helps a bit to understand how this flow of time is working in this universe.

Their talk is interrupted by B-15, who informs Mobius that another unit has been attacked. When Mobius heads back inside, Loki is missing and he somehow took the controller for his collar. Loki find the secretary from earlier and threatens to gut him like a fish. The secretary asks what a fish is because he’s lived behind a desk in the TVA. Another great gag. He gives up the Tesseract but Loki notices that they have a draw full of Infinity Stone, including several duplicates. The secretary informs Loki that they have a lot of those and some of the guys use them as paperweights. We’ve been wondering how the MCU will top the Infinity Saga and now, with this one scene, they have completely dwarfed the power of the Infinity Stones. Consider the ante upped.

B-15 finds Loki and tries to reset him but he uses the collar to jump back to the office. There, Loki continues Mobius’ reel of Loki highlights, seeing what he would consider to be his future. We see the death of Odin, Loki and Thor working side by side and even his own death at the hands of Thanos. Loki is brought to tears and eventually fully accepts what the TVA can do.

B-15 finds Loki laughing at the idea of his “glorious purpose.” The two square off again but this time Loki gets the better of B-15 and manages to get his collar off and put it on her. He uses the remote to time jump her again and again as she pleads with him to stop. He continues to mash the remote until she disappears.

Mobius finds Loki as he tries to come to terms with everything he’s witnessed. In a very humanizing moment, Loki tells Mobius he doesn’t enjoy hurting people and he only does it because he’s had to. He accepts that he can never return to his timeline and that even Infinity Stones are useless in the TVA as he puts the Tesseract down. He approaches Mobius who makes him another offer. Mobius wants Loki to help them track down the variant who’s been killing their minutemen. When Loki asks why, Mobius tells him the variant they’re hunting is him. To be clear, it’s not this version of him, but a Loki from another time.

We then jump to Oklahoma in the year 1858. A team of minutemen and a hunter enter and find a futuristic weapon. They deduce that someone in the future used a time machine to come back and find oil in an attempt to get rich. Before they leave, they see a shadowy figure in the distance and approach to investigate. The figure holds up a lantern before dropping it on the ground, igniting the oil that has been spilled all over. The minutemen and hunter are engulfed in flames. The figure picks up the charge they were going to use to rest the timeline and the episode comes to a close. Looks like we have our villain.

This was an incredibly strong opening to this very exciting new series. It appears this series will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen from the MCU, following a film noir/crime thriller story as opposed to the usual superhero story. If you have a hard time following the time travel elements, it may become a tad confusing, but so far the series has done an excellent job of explaining the mechanics of this universe (or perhaps I should say multiverse). This is going to be a lot of fun to unravel over the next several weeks and should have a huge impact on the future of the MCU.

You can watch the first episode of Marvel’s Loki on Disney+ now.

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