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Loki Review – Season 1 Episode 1 “Glorious Purpose”

Loki returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after his grisly death at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War in a brand new Disney+ series aptly titled Loki.

This first episode titled “Glorious Purpose” takes us back to Avengers: Endgame where Loki is able to escape from Avengers custody. 

From there Loki ends up getting arrested by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and the show delves heavy into exposition eschewing any kind of action other than flashbacks from previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios’ LOKI exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

At points the show bogs itself down in the exposition, repeating itself quite often to make sure viewers understand what the Time Variance Authority is all about and what kind of situation Loki finds himself in.

It can be tedious and boring and you might catch yourself wondering if there is something better you can or should be doing rather than watching the show.

(L-R): Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Not only are parts of the show outright boring, but one of the main bits of humor in the beginning of the show to try and make the exposition less tedious is a recycled gag from Thor: Ragnarok when Doctor Strange had a little fun with Loki.

Another bit of humor also appeared to be a reference to Dredd and it’s use of the drug Slo-Mo.

That one was actually quite interesting and they expanded on it throughout the episode. In fact, I’d say it was probably the funniest part of the episode. 

There were a couple of other little gags that do lighten the tediousness of the exposition.

(L-R): Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

As for the exposition itself, it doesn’t really make sense in the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe especially given what we know from the Doctor Strange film.

The TVA claims to be the divine arbiters of the universe and their goal is to ensure a multiversal war cannot take place by ensuring there is only one sacred timeline.

This appears to contradict Doctor Strange that told us the main Marvel universe was one of an infinite number with “worlds without end.”

It’s possible there could be infinite universes within one timeline, but despite all the exposition the show gives us, it doesn’t actually address this issue.

(L-R): Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

While the exposition can be tedious and boring Hiddleston’s acting and the dialogue he’s given does lighten the load significantly especially for the first half of the episode. The word play he uses is top notch as he tries to worm his way out of the custody of the TVA while also ascertaining what and who they are.

However, there’s a point where the quality of the dialogue goes downhill and it’s in a back and forth with Owen Wilson’s character Mobius. About halfway through the conversation, Loki’s words feel out of place and much of it is out of character.

They try to explain this away by Loki going through a process of self-realization over an hour or so. It feels cheap and it doesn’t really capture who Loki is or was before Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.

And to make that self-realization worse there’s a twist at the end of the episode that throws the entire self-realization to the wind. 

(L-R): Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The show didn’t show many signs of wokeness, but there was one big red flag and it’s at the end of the trial scene when Owen Wilson’s Mobius tells Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer, “I feel like I’m always looking up to you. I like it. It’s appropriate.”

Now, there could be context missing from this episode that explains that line, but as it stands that context was not given and it was super cringy. 

As for Wilson’s acting it is what you would expect. He acted like Owen Wilson does. His portrayal was very similar to his work in Wedding Crashers.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The visuals for the show weren’t anything spectacular. There was one shot that they lingered on of the TVA that was pretty spectacular. Other than that it was standard fare.

The second half of the episode also felt chopped up, as if quite a bit was left on the cutting room floor and that could attest to the dialogue for Loki going down hill.

Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The Verdict

Overall, “Glorious Purpose” is an average episode. Much of the episode is bogged down in exposition although there are bright moments with Hiddleston’s acting and dialogue. And the use of a time warp device provides the best moment of the show.

The show definitely has promise with the twist, but there was also a major woke red flag.