In the “Loki” recap for the first episode of the series, the God of Mischief finds himself captured by the Time Variance Authority as he’s charged with the crime of breaking the timeline…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s tough to fathom how exactly Marvel continues to just get everything right in their own extended universe but following the success of both “WandaVision” and “Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” the latest series appears to have the same kind of heart, charm and mystery as the first two shows that debuted on Disney+.
The latest series “Loki” has Tom Hiddleston returning to the role he made so famous through numerous appearances throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe with both his death and resurrection happening in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
After Thanos snapped his neck while claiming the space stone inside the Tesseract at the start of “Avengers: Infinity War,” Loki actually returned (sort of) during the events of “Avengers: Endgame” when Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and others traveled back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones at different points throughout history in order to undo what “The Mad Titan” ultimately did by wiping out half of life in the universe with the snap of his fingers.
With the Avengers scattered throughout time, Tony, Steve, Scott Lang and Bruce Banner all traveled back to 2012 to take back the space stone because that was an easy point in time to know where they could find it. That was the end of the Battle of New York where Loki launched an attack in order to retrieve the Tesseract for his benefactor, Thanos.
Once he was defeated, the Avengers in 2012 reclaimed the space stone but thanks to Tony, Steve and others traveling back in time, Loki was able to steal back the Tesseract and escape through a portal. That created a major variance in the timeline, which is where we pick up when this series begins.
What unfolds in the first episode sets up a very interesting season ahead as Loki is tasked with helping the Time Variance Authority track down an even more dangerous person traveling throughout history while simultaneously killing their agents. The person believed to be responsible for these reprehensible acts is none other than a different variant of Loki.
Confused? That’s OK, we’ll explain everything in details as we recap the first episode of the new “Loki” series titled “Glorious Purpose”…
Loki’s Greatest Hits (And Misses)
The first episode actually picks up during those events in “Avengers: Endgame” where Tony and company botch the attempt to steal the space stone, which then allows Loki to take possession and disappear to parts unknown. When he reappears, it turns out he didn’t transport himself to another world or even back to Asgard — instead Loki lands in the Gobi desert in Mongolia.
After brushing off some sand, Loki runs into some locals who are curious about his arrival and he wastes no time grandstanding and reveling in telling them all how they’ll soon worship him but sadly these people don’t speak a lick of English. Loki’s general confusion only grows when a mysterious doorway arrives from out of nowhere and a group of heavily armored guards emerge from inside.
While he tries his best to fight back, the agents quickly subdue Loki with a weapon that makes him move in slow motion, which gives them the time to slap a collar around his neck and place him under arrest for breaking the timeline illegally. The agents then transport Loki back with them while resetting the timeline in Mongolia, presumably hitting the rewind button for anybody who spotted the God of Mischief just randomly appearing out of the sky as if he was falling from heaven.
Loki then arrives at the Time Variance Authority (TVA) where he’s booked and processed — which means the Tesseract is catalogued and taken from him while he’s stripped of his Asgardian armor and given prison fatigues. Loki is shuffled from one department to the next including a stop that asks him to sign a document that features every word he’s ever spoken. He’s also forced to step through a machine to prove he’s not actually a robot.
Finally, Loki arrives at a waiting area where he’s given a number and it’s there he witnesses a “Jurassic Park” like animated short that explains the history of this place.
According to the video, the multiverse was once fractured into many pieces with competing timelines all striving for dominance. The battle was so intense that if the timelines had continued to clash with each other, it’s possible that the entire universe could have been blinked out of existence. That’s when a trio of godlike creatures called the Time-Keepers emerged and they combined all of the timelines from the multiverse down to a single continuity — the sacred timeline.
Since then, the Time Variance Authority have served at the behest of the Time-Keepers to sort out any situations where somebody or something breaks the one true timeline and the situation needs to be reset. If a person falls off their pre-determined path, the Time Variance Authority shows up to put them back on track.
Those people are called variants.
It seems a little maniacal that the Time-Keepers are essentially tyrant gods forcing reality to bend to their will in order to keep everything on the same timeline but that’s a conversation for another day.
The video warns that whenever the sacred timeline is broken it’s called a nexus event and left unchecked, it could create a whole new multiverse. Now a quick sidenote — we know that Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch is called “nexus being,” which means she possesses the power to change the timeline and alter the future. We also know that the multiverse is soon going to be introduced into the MCU with “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” as well as rumors that the multiverse will play a major role in the upcoming film, “Spiderman: No Way Home.”
Judging by this video, the variants causing a nexus event thus creating a whole new multiverse seems almost certain for how this series plays into the larger MCU.
Back to the show — Loki is then brought before a judge named Ravonna Renslayer and she is seeking him to plead guilty or not guilty for his crimes against the timeline. She calls him by his full name — Loki Laufeyson, which is referenced to his real father — the Frost Giant king Laufey, who abandoned him as a child — before he was found and raised by Odin as one of his own children.
Before a sentence can be passed, however, an agent named Mobius (played by the great Owen Wilson) shows up to intervene. He asks for a favor that involves Loke and despite her better judgment, Ravonna agrees to hand him over while reminding Mobius that he’s responsible for whatever happens.
Mobius calls for Loki’s help after he was called away to a scene of a crime back in 1549 in France where a powerful and dangerous variant set a trap for the TVA and then killed all of the guards who arrive on the scene. The variant then stole their reset weapon — the tool that allows the TVA to reset any particular timeline — before making his escape.
A young boy in the church where the variant showed up even has some blue gum he was handed as a reward by this criminal before pointing out to Mobius that the assailant looked like the devil. Now this will undoubtedly start speculation that perhaps Mephisto is finally going to appear in the MCU after that was the assumption about who was pulling the strings throughout “WandaVision.”
There is now a dangerous time traveling variant that at least one blue-gum chewing boy from the past says looks like the devil and that certainly fits Mephisto’s description.
Regardless, Mobius needs to find this variant and stop him before more havoc is caused across the sacred timeline and he believes Loki is the best person suited to help this particular mission.
Back in his office, Mobius gives Loki the chance to help his case by answering a few questions but he has to answer honestly or he’ll fail this particular test. Mobius is curious about Loki’s intentions and what exactly he wanted to achieve in his conquest of Midgard aka Earth.
Loki goes onto explain how he wanted to conquer Earth, then Asgard and then all of the Nine Realms while touting how freedom was the most misguided achievement in the history of the universe. People were meant to be led and Loki wanted to be the one to lead them because he was born to rule.
Mobius more or less laughs off Loki’s life goals but then decides to give him a trip down memory lane starting with the events in 2012 where he was soundly defeated by The Avengers and taken into custody by his brother, Thor. Mobius hits him with a harsh reality about his conquest to become the one true ruler over the universe.
“It’s funny for someone born to rule, you sure do lose a lot. You might even say it’s in your nature.”
The trip down memory lane includes Mobius questioning if Loki just likes to hurt people and why exactly he enjoys watching others in so much agony. He then reminds Loki at how good he’s become with creating havoc and then just running away from it — including the revelation that he was actually D.B. Cooper, the plane hijacking mystery man from the 1970s who parachuted out of a commercial airliner with his ransom money and was never seen or heard from again.
Loki explains that was a bet made with Thor and apparently he lost.
Needless to say, Mobius continues to needle at Loki about his true purpose in the universe before then showing him what would have happened after the Avengers captured him in New York, which brings him back to the events from “Thor: The Dark World.”
Imprisoned on Asgard, Loki gave directions to the dark elves to go after his brother but instead they found his adopted mother Frigga. Loki is then forced to watch as Frigga is stabbed to death and he witnesses her final moments in agonizing pain.
Remember, this Loki is the one fresh off his defeat in New York by the Avengers and he hasn’t yet transformed into the lovable anti-hero who actually helps his brother Thor escape during the events of “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Mobius tells Loki that he wasn’t born to be king but rather just cause pain and suffering and death, which is nothing that he wants to hear after seeing his adopted mother killed. Before they can get into further psychoanalysis, Mobius is interrupted with a situation from one of the guards and he’s pulled away from the meeting.
Unfortunately he doesn’t notice a brief bump in with Loki allows the mischievous scamp to steal the time twister device from his pocket, which allows him to break free and escape.
As Loki jumps all over the TVA headquarters, he bumps into the desk agent who took the Tesseract from him but as he seeks to retrieve the space stone and what he finds is a desk drawer filled with Infinity Stones from throughout history. It seems the TVA has taken numerous Infinity Stones over the years and in this place, they are nothing more than paper weights.
Realizing that he has no powers and the Infinity Stones are worthless, Loki’s chances of escaping this place are nearly impossible. He eventually makes his way back to Mobius’ office where he begins playing with the computer that was showing him bits and pieces from throughout his life.
That’s when he witnesses Odin’s death where the King of Asgard perishes with both of his sons beside him. Loki then fast forwards to the moment when he is snatched up by Thanos and his neck is snapped for daring to go against “The Mad Titan” in his conquest of the Infinity Stones.
Mobius eventually returns to find a despondent Loki sitting on the floor, unable to justify many of his darkest choices and that’s when he finally admits that he doesn’t enjoy hurting people. His actions are done as part of an illusion, a “cruel and elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear.” It’s Loki’s desperate act to gain control.
While Loki casts himself as just a villain, Mobius says that he sees something more in him than just the cruel god trying to take over the world. He then offers Loki a chance at redemption by helping the TVA track down and stop the dangerous variant, who has been setting traps and killing the Minutemen all across time.
Mobius then informs Loki that the dangerous variant is none other than him.
Remember, this is the start of what we have to assume will be the MCU multiverse, which means there could be numerous versions of any character running around. Perhaps this time variant version of Loki is one from another universe, who fully breaks bad and never finds any sort of peace with himself much less his family.
This could also just be a way to inspire Loki to help the TVA capture this dangerous variant, who might actually be someone as powerful as Mephisto — the demon god from Hell.
From there we travel back to 1858 in Oklahoma where more of the Minutemen guards have arrived to snuff out another time variant, who they believed traveled back to strike it rich with oil reserves. The actual oil explosion in Oklahoma didn’t come until one year later.
That’s when the Minutemen are confronted by a figure hooded by a dark cloak, who then sets fire to the ground and that quickly spreads to consume all of the guards tasked to stop this latest variant. It’s another trap laid by this mysterious variant, who is apparently hell bent on fracturing the sacred timeline once and for all.
Given the appearance of the true threat in the series, it seems unlikely that it’s actually Loki from another world — or at least that’s the impression given since the scene is shot specifically not to reveal his or her face. Then again this could be a much different version of Loki from another world, whose appearance is nothing like the mischievous scamp running around the MFC.
Either way, there’s a variant killing Minutemen and attempting to recreate the multiverse and the TVA is determined to stop them by any means necessary — even recruiting Loki for help.
The next episode of “Loki” will debut next Wednesday on Disney+ with six total episodes making up this inaugural season of the series.