So, I just finished my first rewatch of Loki, and I waited for the finale to watch it one more time in a single go. That’s actually how I see these Marvel shows – they’re like elongated Marvel movies with more details, but a similar plot. But, out of all the shows that Marvel has released on Disney+, Loki is by far the best. Yes, there will be some who might have their reservations on that ending, but that doesn’t take anything away from the show for me. So, here is my Loki review and why I believe this show is exactly what one would want from Marvel.
What worked: Loki
So, to start off this Loki review, right off the bat I want to say that Loki himself was the biggest challenge for Marvel in this show. This is because they had to rewrite his entire character arc specifically for Phase 4 of the MCU. Remember, the Loki we knew from Ragnarok died mercilessly at the hands of Thanos. Thus, rewriting his arc in a way that the audience adores him, while not getting bored was the real challenge. And they were able to achieve that spectacularly.
Immediately, Mobius of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) showed Loki his ultimate fate, making him aware of the consequences of his action. And that triggered another arc for our very own God of Mischief, where he realized the game that he was playing in the universe was minuscule compared to the power of the TVA. Moreover, his actions that lead to the death of his mother also affected him quite badly. Then, we see a transition in Loki, where rather than achieving his ends through subterfuge, albeit unsuccessfully, he tries to achieve his goals through sincerity.
*Spoilers* In the final episode, we saw that culminate into the most sincere moment in Loki’s entire lifetime – when he had no interest in taking over Kang the Conqueror/He Who Remains’ (Johnathan Majors) throne and actually wanted to save the Universe from outright disaster, together with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino). But, that was the moment Sylvie decided to not trust him, demonstrating the cost of his antics. However, this also brings us to the one failed element of this show. And that is the Loki-Sylvie romance.
The characters and acting: brilliant
And you can also see the love and care Tom Hiddleston put into this character. Without his exceptional performance, Loki could never have been as good and lovable as it is in the MCU. But, he wasn’t the only one who did a splendid job in the Loki series. Di Martino did an amazing job with Sylvie as well, and the same was the case with Wilson’s Mobius, Richard E. Grant and his Classical Loki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and her Ravonna were just amazing. And lastly, Johnathan Majors did a spectacular job by introducing Kang to the MCU, but more on that below.
What didn’t work: Loki-on-Loki romance
Now that we’ve adulated the show enough, it’s time to see what didn’t work in the Loki TV show in our Loki review. The romance in question was definitely something that the show over-emphasized. But first, let me clarify that there was nothing wrong or incestuous or “self-cestuous” about their romance. This is because we have no moral basis at all by which we can judge such a romantic relationship. There is no way on Earth that anyone will ever get to meet an alternate version of themself from another universe and get a chance to fall in love. So no, I refuse to believe there is anything gross about it. I’m quite indifferent towards it.
But, as far as the execution of this love affair is concerned, it could have been better. Love that organically grows with the help of dialogue and gestures seems a lot better and digestible compared to that forced on the viewer. Whenever Sylvie and Loki were seen together, the supporting characters in the scene would compliment them continuously and remind the viewers how cute they look. And after a certain point, it feels forced, and that’s never a good thing. But apart from that, I did enjoy their chemistry on screen. So, I don’t despise seeing them on-screen, just that the director could have handled it better.
The ending: Perfect
Now, this is where Loki got controversial for some fans. I honestly couldn’t understand how do people have a problem with it? Some people were pissed that Kang being the all-knowing seemed quite lazy and they couldn’t really execute the antagonist properly. But for me, the finale was more of an introduction of Kang the Conqueror to the MCU. When you put into perspective that he is going to play a major role in future MCU-related content, then it was a perfect introduction. Just think about how formidable he is that he made actual infinity stones as worthless as paperweights. In each universe, he is the one who understands the true nature of reality. When juxtaposed to him, Thanos feels like a petulant child. And to top it off, we’re now going to see a multi universal battle!
In all honesty, I love it when Marvel goes as crazy as this. If we thought Infinity War and Endgame were high-stakes, Phase 4 might just turn it up a notch, if that was at all possible. So all in all, I am very impressed by Loki and I am really looking forward to what Loki season 2 has in store for us. Moreover, its implications will probably tie up WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And for putting the foundations perfectly in place, I easily give Loki a 9/10 for my review. It was worth the hype.