Episode 1 of Loki takes us back in time to 2012 as we see the moments following Loki escaping from the Avengers in Endgame. Loki finds himself in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. It doesn’t take long before soldiers show up, claiming to be part of the Time Variants Authority. They’re ready to arrest Loki, and slow down time after a nasty blow as they prepare to reset the timeline.
The Tesseract is taken too, while Loki is thrown into an elevator with a four-armed robot. After disintegrating his clothes, Loki is taken down to sign documents confirming everything he’s ever said.
Well, this place is the Time Variance Authority, and their inception is all part of what was once a vast multiversal war. With different timelines battling for dominance, the Time Keepers managed to stop all this with a sacred timeline. These “variants” are those who deviated from their original path and the TVA are there to set time back where it should be.
We then skip back in time to 1549 to the Aix-En-Provence in France. A small girl runs scared but she points out to the TVA (and in particular a guy called Agent Mobius) that the devil is responsible for what’s befallen them. Midway through talking, a man steps through a doorway and hands over a file about Loki.
Interestingly, Loki brings up a lot of good points while standing on trial. While he’s questioned about the sacred timeline, he brings up the Avengers and how they jumped back through time to distort the timeline.
Apparently the Avengers rewriting history was “supposed” to happen so they get a free ticket. Loki leaving the timeline however is not. And yet if it wasn’t for the Avengers then he wouldn’t have been able to leave so a bit of a paradox there.
Anyway, Loki is found guilty but just before he’s taken away, Agent Mobius shows up and saves his life. Loki is in no mood to negotiate though and scoffs at the notion of the TVA being in charge.
More exposition ensues as Mobius confirms his job is to track down dangerous Variants. For now, Loki is shown a “best hits” of his life but when he questions the different moments of messing about with time, Mobius dodges the questions and gets back to the focus subject here – Loki.
Loki is even shown instances from the future too, with his Mother killed. Apparently this is supposed to happen, with specific emphasis on Loki’s traits about causing pain and mischief so others can achieve their best selves.
While Mobius is distracted, Loki manages to slip away and uses the teleporter to find the desk worker called Casey he spoke to briefly earlier in the episode. This guy is incredibly dumb and apparently has never heard of a fish before. He also has the Infinity Stones tucked away in his drawer too. With the tesseract in hand, Loki questions whether the TVA really are the greatest power in the universe.
As Loki moves back to the room he started in with Mobius, he sees his own death play out at the hands of Thanos. This is the conclusion to his timeline of course. Eventually Mobius shows up and confirms why they’re using Loki after all. It turns out the variant they’ve been tracking…is actually Loki himself.
We then jump to Oklahoma 1858. The TVA show up to track their target but this hooded figure drops a lantern on the ground and watches as everything burns. It’s Loki right? Surely it’s Loki.
The Episode Review
Loki’s first episode looks to be returning to the quality of WandaVision after the lacklustre, tepid quality of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The aesthetic and ideas are certainly intriguing and they play into a unique concept that hasn’t been explored in that much detail in the MCU outside of Endgame.
As with any show dealing with time travel, there’s always going to be plot holes and inconsistencies. The ideas around the TVA are good but run into problems when you actually stop to think about it. Loki definitely has a point about the avengers and technically they should be the ones facing trial.
If the Avengers were always “supposed” to go back through time to stop Thanos and disrupt the timeline then other characters within that new timeline would act differently too, ergo the Butterfly Effect. Being the God of mischief, the tesseract arriving before Loki’s feet would have meant to occur during this timeline, leading everything up to his ending with Thanos.
And who are the TVA to decide what is the sacred timeline? Would they not be disrupting the timeline by jumping back and interacting with people from that time? Why do the Avengers get a free pass but Loki doesn’t?
All Loki did was teleport to Mongolia whilst the Avengers actually rewrote history completely. I get that this was “supposed” to happen but it still seems a bit contrived and convenient. And wouldn’t Loki stopping a future iteration of himself cause a paradox? Haven’t we established that the Avengers couldn’t interact with their past selves for this very reason?
Despite the time travel issues, Loki is actually really good fun and the ending hints that we’ve got a wild ride to come.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|