LOKI EP. 1 & 2: Glorious purposes overthrown and crazy variants

Loki Wednesdays have started. No, they’re not some promotional days. Since March 9th the most awaited series about the God of Mischief has arrived on Disney+.

Loki is the 3rd series Marvel of the Phase 4 of the MCU. For now, the first two episodes are available on Mickey’s streaming platform. They have had a huge success, as the numbers of Rotten Tomatoes prove. We watched them and in this article, we are going to talk about the aspects and moments we have found more interesting.

Spoiler Alert! If you didn’t watched the episodes, keep reading at your own risk.

LOKI

Let’s start from the beginning, “Glorious Purposes” is the title of the first episode of Loki and it starts right where we stopped.

In 2012, due to the temporal mess caused by the Avengers, Loki escapes with the Tesseract. He crashes in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia in way similar to Tony Stark after escaping in Iron Man. Indeed, this is one of the many references that the episodes includes.

loki escapes

Anyway, the God of Mischief is captured by a unit of the TVA (we’ll explain more in the next paragraphs) and is taken to the headquarters. Here he is processed for crimes against the Sacred Time Line and condemned to be reset. Mobius, a TVA agent played by Owen Wilson, intervenes and recruits him for a mission.

THE MASK

As Tom Hiddleston had already anticipated, the Loki we see in the Disney+ series is not the same Loki we were used to know. From his first appearance in Thor to the last one in Avengers: Endgame, Loki has evolved. He has turned from resentful God eager for power to a sort of hero who sacrifices himself to save his people and above all his brother.

The discovery of his heritage, the defeat by the Avengers, the imprisonment on Asgard, the loss of his parents, the days on Sakaar are events and experiences that have marked him and made him grow.

In the series instead, we are in front of a version of Loki who has not lived anything of this and it is clear.

From the moment he is captured, Loki appears scared, disoriented and confused. It is normal, everybody would be scared in a similar situation, above all those like Loki who are not used to not know. He has no idea who those people are, where they are taking him and what will be his destiny.

However, what is interesting is the continuous attempt of the God to hide his feelings, with no results. Loki indeed, try unsuccessfully to look like threatening, to inspire fear. It is like if the mask he has worn until that moment it is tearing apart and he is trying to keep it entire. Fear filters through the cracks and he tries to hide it assuming an appositive, challenging and know-all arrogant attitude.

In this first episode, Loki looks like a teenager in crisis who tries desperately to cling to his mask skillfully build, made of sharp words and haughty looks. But, as Mobius says, he is just a pussycat and indeed in the end he retracts his claws and stops blowing.

To the agent’s question about why he does what he does, he answers that “It is part of the illusion, it is the cruel and elaborated trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear”.

loki trick

THE LITTLE CHILD OF PASCOLI LOKI

If in the first episode, Loki looks like a teenager, in the second one titled “The Variant” he seems a hyperactive child willing for attention and acknowledgement. Indeed, Mobius refers to his need of attention and defines him as a scared kid.

In several scenes, Loki acts like a child: when he plays with an irritated Miss Minutes at Mobius’s desk, when he follows the agents and tries to make him listen to him and when he ruins his salad to explain his theory. In this last scene, Loki looks like a child playing with food. Look at his proud smile.

loki smile

Some fans have theorized that here Loki act in this way because he is used to explain thing to Thor, who without visual references he can not understand.

It is not sure if it is all a sort of play. However, despite this childish behavior, Loki maintains his sarcasm and theatricality; he tries to manipulate the agents of the TVA. “I work for me” he says to the mysterious wanted criminal.

LOKI BETWEEN SUN TSU AND SOCRATES

Loki is smart and he proves it, not only demonstrating his theory but above all searching for answers.

Sun Tsu said, “If you know your enemy and yourself, you can win every battle”. Loki well knows himself, even Mobius notes it, and tries to know his enemy, which is the TVA. The God of Mischief search for information about the organization in the archives. Obviously they are unavailable, so he asks questions to Mobius, with a technique that remind of the Socratic method.

Even Socrates said to know ourselves to reach a better version of ourselves. The first step is admitting our own ignorance because the wisest person is the one who knows that they know nothing. The philosopher is the creator of the philosophy survey method based on dialogue and confutation. Socrates through questions and answers with his interlocutor, wanted to make him gradually recognize his ignorance and the groundlessness of his convictions. Like a child asks questions to the adult until take him to the point to not be able to answer.

Loki, like a child and a wise man, talk with Mobius about that odd situation about the TVA:  What do the time keepers exactly do? Why they do that? What will happen in the end? If everything is written, past, present and future, then Does the free will exist? On the other hand, Mobius’s answers sounds vague and programmed, standard sentences.

loki and mobius

Loki, like the philosopher, tries to make Mobius recognize the oddness and the absurdity of his convictions, their groundlessness. Maybe the time agent senses his intention, because then he stops answering and says “Where are you going with this, Loki?”.

A NEW LOKI

The version of Loki presented in the series is new. This Loki has not grown up, he has not evolved like the other one we lost in Endgame. He has watched his whole life in a video, has watched his victories and defeats, his losses and achievements, his right and wrong choices but he hasn’t lived any of them.

This is a new but coherent version of Loki. It is coherent not only for the missing evolution but also for the age. In Avengers: Infinity War Thor’s age is revealed, the God of Thunder would be 1500 years old. Some fans have tried to calculate his age in earth terms and according to these calculations, he would be 23 years old.

Loki is younger than Thor, so according to the same calculation he would be around 16-17 years old. If the calculation was right, it would explain the God’s behavior in the series, he is basically a teenager.

Anyway, beyond the missing evolution and the age, as Tom Hiddleston himself has said in an interview, in the series we are in front of a version of Loki who is deprived of everything he is familiar with (Asgard, Thor, Powers,…). He is unmasked and what is under the mask? This is one of the most interesting aspect of the series about the God of Mischief who has revealed his humanity many times.

MOBIUS M. MOBIUS AND THE TIME VARIANCE AUTHORITY

We have said that Mobius is the agent od the TVA, played by Owen Wilson, who intervenes during the lawsuit against Loki and recruits him form a mission: find a dangerous variant.

In the comics, the TVA (Time Variance authority) is an organization that monitors the correct time flow and whoever can alter it. It can also reset entire time line if their existence is too dangerous.

Its employees are divided in two levels. At the inferior level, there are the chronometers, faceless being who are created every time a new timeline appears. Each chronometer is created with the equipment necessary to monitor the new timeline that is a desk with a chair and a personal computer. At the superior level, there the clone manager who have the physical aspect of Mark Gruenwald e Tom Defalco, two Marvel authors. The most recurrent is Mobius M. Mobius.

In the series, the TVA is presented like a burocratic-military organization with the purpose to monitor the Sacred Timeline. Miss Minutes, an entity with the aspect of a clock, explains that in the past many timelines existed and fought among themselves for the supremacy. The three timekeepers, three magical lizards as Loki defines them, united all the timeline in one and created the TVA to monitor and protect it.

According to what is explained and shown, the TVA includes many offices, each with its own task. The employees has been all created by the timekeepers. Like in the comics, they have their own work station but instead to be faceless, they seems to not have acquaintance of what is outside their station.

Casey is an example. He is the employee of TVA who takes the Tesseract after Loki is caught. Casey not only does not recognize the Tesseract but further on, when Loki threats him to gut him like a fish, he says that he does not know what a wish is. When Loki asks him how it is possible, the employee answers that he has always lived behind his desk.

loki and casey

Moreover, in the series, the employees of the TVA seem to not have acquaintance about human feelings. In the second episode, a team guided by Mobius is searching for the variant who is hiding in the 2050 during a climatic disaster. The members of the team, called Minute Men, appear cold and unconcerned about the scared people who in that moment are living an apocalypse. Mobius reprimands them to take easy with those people.

MOBIUS, JOSTA SODA AND JET SKI

We’ve said that Mobius is one of the most recurrent of the TVA clone manager.

The character was created by Walter Simonson and appeared for the first time in Fantastic Four n.353 on June 1991. He is named after the German mathematics August Ferdinand Mobius and he has the physical aspect of Mark Gruenwald, one of the creator of the Marvel Universe continuity. In the TVA, he controls the violation of the organization laws. He has no superpowers but a great charisma and an strong authority.

In the series, Mobius, as he says, is an agent specialized in finding particularly dangerous variants. Among all the TVA employees, he is the one who seems to have a personality.

INTERESTS AND SOFTS SPOTS

Personality is defined as the way of think and behavior, the interests and the tendencies which define a person.

As we can see in the series, the employees of the TVA are all focused on their tasks, their behavior and thoughts are all focused on their job that is monitor time and fill documents. It is not a surprise if we consider that they has been created by the timekeepers to protect the Sacred Timeline.

However, Mobius appears different because, unlike the other employees, he has some interests and tendencies.

Regarding the interests, in the first episode we discover that the specialized agent likes a drink: the Josta Soda. It is a drink produced by PepsiCo in the 90s. We see him drinking it during Loki’s interrogation after his lawsuit in the first episode and during the lunch interrupted by the God in the second one.

loki josta soda mobius

Josta Soda is not the only interest of Mobius. In the second episode indeed, we discover that the time agent likes jet ski that he defines “a beautiful union of form and function”.

Moreover, Mobius seems to have a soft spot for broken things, as the judge Renslayer says talking about Loki.

In other words, unlike the other TVA employees, he seems more human.

UNDERSTANDING AND INDULGENCE

To make Mobius human are not only his interests and tendencies but also is behavior. Mobius seems to be the only one to believe that Loki is not just a villain, a dangerous variant to reset, and that he can change. He appears understanding and indulgent with Loki. He guarantees for him, assuming several risks.

Loki: Okay. Why are you in there sticking your neck out of me?

Mobius: I’ll give you two options, and you can believe whichever one you want. A, because I see a scared little boy, shivering in the cold and you kinda feel bad for that ice runt. Or B, I just wanna catch this guy and I’ll tell you whatever I need to tell you.

Loki: I don’t need your symphaty.

Mobius: Good, ‘cause i’m runnin’ out of it.

– Loki episode 2 “The Variant”

THE ENCHANTRESS

We’ve said that Loki has been recruited by Mobius for a mission that is finding a particularly dangerous variant. This variant is killing the Minute Men and stealing the reset charges, used to eliminate the alternative timeline which threat the Sacred Timeline.

During the first episode, we discover that this dangerous variant is Loki’s variant. Her face is shown at the end of the second episode.

Is she really a variant of Loki?

LADY LOKI OR THE ENCHANTRESS

There are different hypotheses about who really is the woman shown at the end of the episode 2. One of them is that she is Lady Loki.

In the comics, Lady Loki is the female version of the God of Mischief, born after the destruction of Asgard and appears like a dark haired woman with two golden horns. She has the same powers of her male counterpart.

In the series, the variant seems to have the same powers of Loki but a different aspect from Lady Loki. The variant appears like a woman with short blonde hair and two little horns, one of them broken.

She could be a version of Lady Loki but her aspect reminds that of another comic character: the Enchantress.

Amora is the name of the Enchantress, she is a powerful sorceress, apprentice of Karnilla, Nornheim’s queen. She has long blond hair and green eyes, she is unruly and has the tendency to get in troubles.

She would have appeared in Thor: The Dark World but her appearance was cancelled. In the MCU, Amora has never appeared in a movie but in a book: Loki Where Mischief Lies (written by Mackenzie Lee) that takes place before the event of Thor.

In the book, Amora is always Karnilla’s apprentice who is Odin’s personal wizard. Like in the comics, she is blonde and green eyed, she is unruly and troublesome but instead to have an interest for Thor, she a friend of Loki. Indeed, she well knows Loki and share with him a natural talent for magic and the tendency to use it improperly and get in trouble.

Considering the events of the book and her characterization, we can say that she could pretend easily to be Loki and have a reason to do it.  

So, it is possible that the variant presented in the series could be Amora who for some yet unspecified reason pretend to be Loki.

SYLVIE OR A NEW CHARACTER?

It is well know that fans note everything and indeed, they have noticed something in the credits of the second episode. In the some credits, Sophia Di Martino’s character in named Sylvie.

Sylvie Lushton in the comics is the name of the second enchantress, a girl from the Bronx who Loki turned in the Enchantress, giving her magical powers.

So, another hypothesis is that the variant is Sylvie or a new character, born from the fusion of the characters of Lady Loki and the Enchantress.

TO CONCLUDE

What we know about the variant is that she does not like to be called Loki and that her plan isn’t about the God of Mischief. Her real identity is a mystery that all fans wish to solve.

We will know something more in the next episodes. With Loki everything is possible.

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