Yes I’m glad I watched it, but only justWhat should I Watch One Line Review
You are no doubt wondering where the podcast is this week – the team and I are taking a break, but never fear we will be back in your ears next with Episode 6 next Friday, over spilling with opinions on everything we have seen since the episode last week. Speaking of over spilling, the season finale of Loki dropped Wednesday (14th of July) on Disney+ and I have some things I need to get out that just won’t wait! But before I dive into all that I just, must, say – let me try and explain my context a little.
Every time I think about Loki, or rather Tom Hiddleston, I am reminded of Patrick Stewart in the move Star Trek Generations. Yes, I know; Stewart was going from the small screen to the big one and Hiddleston the reverse, but bear with me. Patrick Stewart at last had a big screen vehicle for his talent, his moment if you will, but his main story arc seemed to strip his character of all the aspects that made it shine. His primary goal in that movie was to self reflect and be sad at the plot death of his brother and family, less interesting layers than those on display before and after. Tom Hiddleston stood out in the early MCU movies for being able to portray a God of Mischief that was relatable and well motivated. Loki quite quickly sets aside his penchant for treachery and selfishness and focuses on other more admirable, but far less interesting, aspects of his character.
People can change, of course, and no better place for them to do it than through the course of an unfolding plot line, but I confess I spent many episodes of the show waiting for Loki to just be Loki! Betray someone already! He sets his sights firmly in the first episode on acquiring more power for himself, a common arc we have come to expect, but almost as soon as the plot gets going it becomes the furthest thing from his mind. You could be convinced that Loki is in fact an altruist well deserving of a place on the Avengers.
The finale seems to have sent the internet into some kind of fanboy frenzy as some big reveals set up movies that are already in the works; there were two aspects of this that irked me. 1 – Tom Hiddleston is capable of much more than serving as an intermission between two main acts. Added to this, to continue being must-watch Marvel TV shows need to be more than vehicles to set up movies. Wandavision and Falcon arguably did more than that, did Loki? 2 – the currency of unveiling a character that we recognize from the comics must be debased or close to it. In the early years of the MCU I remember joyfully losing my mind as each new member of the Avengers was announced, but time has moved on and the Universe is much richer – remember how many people ran at Thanos in the final act of Endgame? A finale should me more than one of these reveals.
It seems to my mind that Loki in the capable hands of Tom Hiddleston is a potential goldmine of story that was largely wasted in this season. Many of the episodes left me wanting, in particular a filler episode mid season that could have been left out entirely, content as it was to rehash the plot of Snowpiercer! There is enough there to make it worth a watch however – Sophia Di Martino does an excellent job as Sylvie and her performance and on screen chemistry with Loki is some of the finer character acting I have seen this year. Owen Wilson is also a really good version of Owen Wilson playing Mobius, a foil to the intensity of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s portrayal of Ravonna Renslayer.
Weakest of the three Disney shows to date it might be, but some great character moments the pave the road to the next Doctor Strange movie.