TL;DR – A complete set-up episode that was still filled with a lot of potential.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.
Loki: Glorious Purpose Review –
Of all the recent MCU/Disney+ shows, there has been one that I have felt a lot of trepidation for. The Character of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) had its big arc after the events of Avengers, so resetting him back to that mark. Well, it felt like it would take a lot of work to stick that landing. In today’s episode, we get to see if it all holds up or not.
So to set the scene, we start right at the time heist amid Avengers Endgame, where Loki took an opportunity to escape when the Tesseract lands in front of him. Something that decidedly did not happen in the original Avengers. With the Infinity Stone’s power, Loki jumps out of New York and lands in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. He immediately starts on his “you shall kneel” shtick when a door opens up and some goons in black walk out. Loki is charged with crimes against the Sacred Timeline and immediately punched in slow motion. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
There is a lot to talk about, but I want to focus first on the style and vibe of the show. The set designers have gone for a 1960/70s feel to all of the Time Variance Authority. We get a sort of Aperture Science via Warehouse 13 which gives the whole thing a comfortable yet offsetting vibe. I especially liked the ceiling of just lights and the analogue holo-projector. There are a lot of small details everywhere, which is something I always appreciate. I mean, the gag that they just use Infinity Stones as paperweights was brilliant, and I love that a whole lot of people are about to find out how good Eugene Cordero’s comedic timing is.
Another strength of this episode is that it gave Tom carte blanche to just swing for the fences. We get to see Loki and his most megalomaniacal, and at his most frustrated. There was also a lot of nuance in his performance when watching the rest of his life play out. Which does mean that maybe he just got all of the character development of Thor Ragnarok in 30 seconds like it was an injection. I’m not sure about that, but Tom performs the heck out of it. This is helped because he gets to act across from Owen Wilson for most of the episode, who holds all the power, something new for Loki.
While this is happening, we also get the extensive set-up for the arc across the rest of the season, in-between set pieces like that Loki was DB Cooper. So we get the Sacred Timeline that was introduced to stop the Multiverse fighting (PHASE FOUR FORESHADOWING). The Time Variance Authority oversees the timeline and steps in when something veers off course. Which gives the episode an interesting Free Will v Predestination debate, and to be honest, I was not expecting to be able to pull out the theology card even in a show about a god. This is all well and good (okay, not for Loki, but I digress). However, someone is out there killing TVA Minutemen and stealing their time reset gadgets. The show says it is another Loki but then points the culprit as being a devil, which will be good or bad news to everyone who spent all of WandaVision’s run yelling that Mephisto did it.
In the end, do we recommend Glorious Purpose? Yes, yes, we do. Now to be clear, this is a set-up episode, so not a lot happens other than grounding the story. But we get an exciting set-up, many interesting character moments, and, more importantly, a drive to see where it goes next.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Loki
Directed by – Kate Herron
Written by – Michael Waldron
Created by – Michael Waldron
Based On – Characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson, Sal Buscema, Don Heck
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong and Owen Wilson