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S01.E01: Glorious Purpose

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After stealing the Tesseract in “Avengers: Endgame,” Loki lands before the Time  Variance Authority.

Dropping on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

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"You're now moving at one-sixteenth speed, but feeling all that pain in real time."

Well, that didn't take long. XD

My first question here was if Mobius had somehow had Loki resurrected, but his place in the timeline remains as it was, including his death at Thanos' hands. I actually felt a bit sorry for him going through the "reel" of his life, because he seemed genuinely remorseful about finally being on good terms with Thor, and especially what happened to Frigga. "I'll kill you." "What, like you did your mother?" Maybe he'll actually learn something this time, though the dickish way he was messing with the guard that hit him before was funny. My one complaint with Loki as a character has always been that he's nowhere near as tragic as he's always acted like he is, since he did crappy things over and over again, and as Mobius said weaseled his way out of most of the consequences. Now he can't go back no matter what happens. He has become an UnPerson, and for someone who only wanted to be known as a conqueror, it's clearly quite a shock. Can't wait to see more.

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Great start, a lot of exposition but I feel like they got most of it out of the way. I was wondering if we would see Loki's response to Thanos killing him, so I'm glad we did already.

Lots of cool stuff in the TVA. I got a laugh at the drawer full of infinity stones. Basically the most powerful objects that drove the first three phases and now are just paperweights. 

The D.B. Cooper flashback seemed out of place. Funny as a joke, being a bet with Thor, but why?

I figured they would be chasing a different Loki based on the stained glass window. Overall I think we are in for a fun series.

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I am SOLD! Hopefully this will be the perfect thing to erase the disappointment of FATWS.

I was living every minute of Loki being bewildered by the TVA. That whole sequence was hilarious! I had to smirk when he finally realized that his bag of tricks wasn’t going to work here.

So everything The Avengers did was supposed to happen and therefore not the TVA’s concern? Are they sure they meant everything? *looks askance at Steve then sighs* Whatever, it’s not worth it.

Wait so Loki has been to earth before? He was DB Cooper hijacked a plane because he lost a bet to Thor?! LMAO!!!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

They should have included the Hulk smackdown in his “greatest hits” reel.

I am liking Mobius so far. Loki needs someone to call him on his bullshit. Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston have a great chemistry. 

Yes! I was hoping Mobius would show Loki what happens to him in the future and they did not disappoint! His reaction to Frigga’s and Odin’s death was heartbreaking, but yeah, he deserved it. 

So they’re fighting another more evil variant of Loki? Didn’t see that coming—or maybe I should have, knowing Loki.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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It was a great idea to remind the audience how Loki Tahiti-fied Phil Coulson (the first time), as most people had probably forgotten how nasty that was, unless they’ve rewatched Avengers recently. 

Loki had adapted over time to being around heroes so much that he basically sacrificed himself for his brother, but this Variant is still the one who only just murdered Phil. He’s hilarious, but he’s a really nasty piece of work. And Mobius, with his absentminded, quietly spoken company-man style, seems quite similar to Coulson, except at this point Mobius is clearly somewhat more powerful.

They did a good, quick job of covering all the essential background one would need to get into this show by showing and not telling too much. Enjoyed watching Loki seeing that all his brilliant dreams are already dust and that everyone he loves (including himself) is, at least temporarily, gone. He really had that coming.

Also loving the sneaky references to politics in Hiddleston’s native UK with references to being ‘Born to rule’ and wanting to be ‘King of Earth’. Pretty sure that’s not a coincidence, especially since he actually went to the same school as both Prime Ministers who used those phrases to describe themselves and their plans. They’re all literally from the same place. After Winter Falcon, with the variety of social issues that show covered, this doesn’t seem at all unlikely. The idea that a ‘mischievous scamp’ can wreak total havoc is certainly topical.

The episode wasn’t a blow out CGI festival, but it was really fun. And Miss Minutes is terrifying.

Edited by Lebanna
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Giant Space Lizards really do rule the world! The universe even, I knew it!

I enjoyed it. Even though I've been watching Doctor Who since I was a kid Timey Wimey stuff still makes my head hurt so I'm trying to go with it. "The Sacred Timeline" and "The Avengers were always supposed to do what they did." Well that's one way of justifying the mess that was the time travel in Endgame.

So I guess they've made the multiverse and different dimensions a completely separate concept to alternate timelines in the MCU. Got it. It varies in sci-fi. 

It's always nice to see Gugu M-R she's a fantastic actress. I liked Owen Wilson here although he's often hit and miss or me. 

I liked the 70s vibe of the TVA. 

They get a lot of Infinity Stones and some guys use them as paper weights. I guess we've seen that they do cause a lot of split timelines. 

Loki was DB Cooper because he lost a bet to Thor, that makes sense in Thor's less responsible douche bro days. That was a fun sequence. 

The MCU continues to use Thor:TDW better in flashbacks and reimaginings than they did the actual film (and I'm one of the crazy ones that doesn't hate it). It was poignant to see Loki get told he was the reason Frigga was murdered. 

Also quite dark was the fact that Mobius told him that his purpose was to cause pain and chaos so others could become their best selves. Hmm, I don't like the seeming 100% absence of freewill in this scenario but I suppose the whole series is going to explore free will verse "destined" and how much free will any of us have anyway. And it's a bleak thing for Loki to be told. 

Loki crying at his dead parents was quite effective despite all the continuous BS he put them and Thor through and it was nice to see Thor's love for him in the "This is Your Life" reel. And then seeing his own death...but he knew he was going to die for standing up to Thanos and still did it. But this Loki can't possibly know that. That or he didn't realise declaring himself "Odinson" was a neon flashing light of his intentions. 

Not entirely sure he didn't enjoy hurting people but it makes sense that it was more about control than actual just getting off on it sadism, although things like Coulson and setting people on fire does leave a lot of debate about that. 

I expected the twist at the end but I'm interested to see how it plays out. 

Edited by Featherhat
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I really liked this episode and thought it was a great set-up for the series...

Tom Hiddleston was terrific as Loki (as always) and gave him more layers than he's usually allowed to in the MCU movies. Although I'm not a big fan of Owen Wilson, I thought he was fine as Mobius. 

The "greatest hits" montage was a clever way of reminding us of what Loki has done in the past and also of revealing other things that he had done that we didn't know about.

Loki watching his future, including his reconciliation with Thor and then his own death at Thanos' hands, was quite sad.

This episode also demonstrated just how smart and clever Loki really is. He could have been a great hero.

I have to say, I did not see that twist coming - the variant that Loki is asked by Mobius to hunt is his future variant Loki.

The set design and visuals looked really fantastic. Beautifully shot.

Some timey-wimey thoughts:  If I understand this episode correctly, the TVA protects the "sacred timeline" but they only get involved if the "variant" creates the danger of a multiverse by his actions. By taking the Tesseract and disappearing from 2012, Loki became a variant and created an alternate timeline in which he is forecast to do terrible things that would create the danger of a multiverse. So the TVA captured him and brought him in to be tried as a criminal. On the other hand, the Avengers' time-traveling actions in Endgame were "supposed to happen" as part of the sacred timeline, so the Avengers were not brought into the TVA.  Steve Rogers also created an alternate timeline, but either he lived so quietly that he created no danger of a multiverse and/or he was supposed to do what he did (that is, he was supposed to disappear from the main timeline). For that matter, 2014 Gamora is a variant because she time-traveled to and is still living in the present, even though her present self died on Vormir. So neither Steve Rogers nor Gamora were brought into the TVA. The flaw is that we don't know what criteria is used by the Timekeepers to decide what is supposed to be part of the sacred timeline and what is not. Mobius alludes to seeing something happen over and over again, so maybe that determines what is supposed to be part of the sacred timeline? In any event, the Timekeepers essentially act as a deus ex machina - if time travel happens in an MCU movie or series, it's okay or not okay depending on what the Timekeepers determine is part of the sacred timeline and whether it creates the danger of a multiverse. 

ETA: In this ET video interview, Loki head writer Michael Waldron said that they had to create "a foundational knowledge of time travel" that the Loki writers could work off of and that they then had to "invent the rules of time travel, so that they could then be broken." He also said something about how the D.B. Cooper scene was their way of illustrating why the TVA doesn't interfere with everything.

Edited by tv echo
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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

So everything The Avengers did was supposed to happen and therefore not the TVA’s concern? Are they sure they meant everything?

You will not question the FeigeTimekeepers!

Very exposition-y, I suppose that was necessary, the TVA is a pretty deep cut for Marvel lore.

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Oh my goodness. I cannot watch this until after work, and I can't wait. I think this will be the only bright spot in my day.

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35 minutes ago, tv echo said:

So neither Steve Rogers nor Gamora were brought into the TVA.

Now that you mention it, Wanda created an entire pocket universe of sorts in Westview. It's not time travel, but it is one of those things that interferes with a whole bunch of other stuff depending on who lives within the borders of something like the Hex.

About the Loki variant - he's either looking for something or he's time-skipping for his own enjoyment, because they gave the year as 1549 when Mobius was at the church in France, and then it was 1858 in the scene set in Oklahoma. We know that Thor is something like fourteen hundred years old, and even if Loki isn't technically an Asgardian due to being adopted, he must be only a bit younger. There's a chance that Variant Loki is just be-bopping his way through time for the hell of it, but he also might be plotting something, because why not?

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Hiddleston & Bettany must have the same agent...

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I feel like I should mention that shows like ‘El ministerio del tiempo’ or its American ripoff ‘Timeless’, or ‘The Department of Temporal Investigations’ in Star Trek, the original Time Lords of Doctor Who or the Philip K. Dick story/movie ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ or ‘Time Cop’ or Terry Pratchett’s ‘History Monks’ (AKA The Men in Saffron) among so many other… variants… all cover a lot of this same premise, of a dictatorial official authority deciding what is and isn’t history and then making it happen/unhappen. 

These stories usually end with the top members of the authority deciding to (mostly) liberate the universe from such an iron fisted control of time, or the underlings going to war with the authority for humanity’s freedom, or the authority at least allowing some serious discrepancies to slide.

According to Wiki, the TVA appeared in Thor comics before many but not all of these (in 1986), so they were there early, but it will be fascinating to see if they can actually surprise us.

So far in this episode they seem to be worse than most of those other fictional organisations (murdering random people for not taking one of those stupid paper tickets), so I’m interested to see how dark they go.

Edited by Lebanna
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And so begins Marvel's next Disney+ show: what would happen if Loki became The Doctor?!

Kidding aside, while this certainly isn't the first nor last show to dive into the time-traveling genre, I think it has enough intriguing ideas to make it standout.  I definitely get a kick out of the whole TVA and the general concept of an organization whose main purpose is to prevent certain folks from screwing up the timeline in ways that would be catastrophic.  Granted, I'm sure there are going to be a lot of exceptions or rules that probably will never make sense/be explained (I guess none of the time-traveling shenanigans on the last season of Agents of SHIELD mattered to them...), but that totally would be a thing if time-traveling was real and capable of doing by numerous folks.  Also like some of other ideas we got glimpses of like how they have records of every word spoken by an individual and an actual "nightmare" room.

Not surprised that Tom Hiddelston not only fit right back in as Loki, but me made sure to make him feel like the one from 2012/first Avengers film, since this version of Loki hasn't experienced what he went through in Dark World, Ragnarok, and so forth.  Safe to say, he's definitely still the preening, arrogant megalomaniac who likes to blame others for his own actions and, despite his claims otherwise, I still suspect he enjoys at least some of the killing and destruction he causes.  But credit where credit is due, I think Hiddelston did a good job with Loki's reaction to his "highlight reel" and the tragedy (inadvertently causing Frigga's death, his own death, seeing that he made peace with both Odin and Thor at some point), and I can see the seeds being planted over Loki wanting to changes his ways (well, somewhat, at least!)  Hopefully the show can pull it off, but if nothing else, it will be fun to see Hiddelston in this role again.

Owen Wilson did not disappoint as Mobius.  As soon as I saw him trailers, he automatically shot up on my "casting that sounds bizarre on paper, but might work beautifully on screen" list and I thought it worked splendidly.  There is just something about his "aww shucks!" persona that works with the character, and Wilson's more easygoing style meshes well with Hiddelston's theatrics and dramatic showmanship.  But I do think underneath it all, you can get a sense that there is more to him and that he might even be capable doing his own form of damage, if he was ever put in that position to do so.  Can't wait to see more of him.

The rest of the cast was mainly in the background, but I'm curious to see more of Gugu Mbatha-Raw's judge or whatever she was, and Wunmi Mosaku's solider (she was awesome as Ruby on Lovecraft Country.)

Was that cat we briefly saw another flerken?!

This being Marvel and time-traveling, I wouldn't be surprised if we get at least one cameo of some kind.  I doubt it will be Thor, but my money is on either Frigga due to her relationship with Loki or maybe even Coulson due to the whole "Hey, my bad on the whole stabbing you in the back thing."

I so want to know more about the bet with Thor that led to Loki becoming DB Cooper!

So, the big bad is going to be a variation that seems to be on a murderous rampage and is... another Loki?!

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I resubbed to Disney Plus just for this series and I have no regrets. Loki was the only interesting part of the Thor series (aside from Ragnarok, which rocked all around). Tom Hiddleston is fantastic in everything and I could tell he was having so much fun with this.

Loved Mobius and the other supporting characters.

The highlight reel was hard to watch again. Poor Loki. It obviously will be the start of some kind of redemption arc for him but since it's Loki, it's never going to be that simple or that straightforward.

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Ah, shows that involve time travel and bureaucratic agencies who control timelines is always going to be tricky to navigate through, plot-wise. I expect that there are plenty of things that will have to be handwaved away, and lots that will not make that much sense when you think about it. And it's not a story I'm always super invested in, just because of that aspect. 

I'm a bit questionable with how they'll handle Loki here and his redemption arc. We did get to see him achieve some growth throughout the films, and it was very gradual (and I like how we saw that in a highlights reel here). Having a whole series with him achieving a redemption arc while almost starting from scratch could get complicated, as well. But Tom Hiddleston is so, so good as Loki and he did not disappoint here. His reactions to his future was spectacular, and I like that he still had that 2012 Loki within him. And, again, the TVA is extremely questionable with THEM dictating what does and does not belong in the timeline, and that will probably cause some issues down the road with Loki. Them having absolute power over what people's timelines are is a very dangerous thing to be in control of. 

But here's the thing I've been thinking about; there's only a couple of ways his story could conclude in this series. Either he helps stop his future variant by destroying him and then agrees to be reset in order to save the timeline, or he stays in the TVA forever and they reset the other variant to reset and go live out the timeline. So I guess this story, either way, is more about the journey, since the destination might already be set in stone. 

The other characters were solid in their roles. Owen Wilson as Mobius? That's a casting I didn't expect, but one that worked very well. I very nearly didn't recognize Owen Wilson when he first showed up. But he was more toned down than the actor typically is in his career, and I liked how he interacted with Loki. We got a little bit with Wummi's agent character and we got a little bit with the judge, but I'm hoping for more with them. 

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34 minutes ago, Lebanna said:

I feel like I should mention that shows like ‘El ministerio del tiempo’ or its American ripoff ‘Timeless’, or ‘The Department of Temporal Investigations’ in Star Trek, the original Time Lords of Doctor Who or the Philip K. Dick story/movie ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ or ‘Time Cop’ or Terry Pratchett’s ‘History Monks’ (AKA The Men in Saffron) among so many other… variants… all cover a lot of this same premise, of a dictatorial official authority deciding what is and isn’t history and then making it happen/unhappen. 

These stories usually end with the top members of the authority deciding to (mostly) liberate the universe from such an iron fisted control of time, or the underlings going to war with the authority for humanity’s freedom, or the authority at least allowing some serious discrepancies to slide.

I also thought of PTerry's Auditors of Reality. I think the TVA will get pretty dark, the seem to have nothing particularly positive about them beyond what they claim is The Sacred Timeline, they're literally police, judge, jury and executioners. Or their masters are. 

 

46 minutes ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Now that you mention it, Wanda created an entire pocket universe of sorts in Westview. It's not time travel, but it is one of those things that interferes with a whole bunch of other stuff depending on who lives within the borders of something like the Hex.

About the Loki variant - he's either looking for something or he's time-skipping for his own enjoyment, because they gave the year as 1549 when Mobius was at the church in France, and then it was 1858 in the scene set in Oklahoma. We know that Thor is something like fourteen hundred years old, and even if Loki isn't technically an Asgardian due to being adopted, he must be only a bit younger. There's a chance that Variant Loki is just be-bopping his way through time for the hell of it, but he also might be plotting something, because why not?

I guess that any other thing can now be handwaved as "supposed to happen" including Wanda's grief creating the Hex and a new Vision being out and about and Gamora comes under "Avengers were supposed to do this". How that pertains to DSMOM and the chaos that will definitely cause is another matter. It's not alternative timelines but different realities and dimensions coming in to play seems like it could cause a multiverse war. Of course the TVA might have gone bye bye like the Time Lords/Time Masters etc by then. 

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Loki's reactions to the Infinity Stones killed me. The fact that they're being used as paper weights was not only hilarious but really brought home how powerful the TVA is. The institution not individual workers because the latter seem very killable!

Edited by VCRTracking
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1 hour ago, thuganomics85 said:

maybe even Coulson due to the whole "Hey, my bad on the whole stabbing you in the back thing."

I wish but I am not hopeful here. They were discussing Coulson and his death while showing clips and I didn't see anything from Agents of SHIELD in there. That along with the idea that there is one prime timeline and that branches from it are actively closed off suggests to me that not only is Coulson not around for this, the entire timeline AoS took place in is gone*. So I doubt we'll see Coulson other than flashback appearances but who knows? Maybe they can work him in somehow. Or maybe Maria Hill since we know she's still around. *(Per the mod note about discussion of the larger MCU, I'll take further discussion of the seeming de-canonization of AoS to that forum)

The TVA agents have an unusual weakness to fire. Seriously, setting an oil slick alight would not cause the instant dismay it did here. They were all wearing combat boots so I doubt they would even notice they were on fire at first. And the rest of their gear should be fire resistant as well. Then again, if you can casually rewind time does it matter what happens to your mooks? Can you just rewind time to get them back? The episode mentions that they are being killed here and there so I guess not but it seems like normally you could.

As with WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the production values here are fantastic. I like the futuristic 70's vibe of the TVA. It looks kind of like a live-action Jetsons.

I loved Infinity Stones as paperweights and how Loki saw a bunch of them just sitting in a desk drawer and basically gave up although I'm pretty sure the one he picked up was the Time Stone. I also got a laugh out of him admitting that he tried to use the Tesseract a bunch of times to no avail. Not sure why he kept carrying it around other than because it would make a very cool paperweight.

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I would think the TVA only interferes when the change causes the new timeline to veer too far away from the sacred timeline, but they scooped up Loki as soon as he used the tesseract, so who knows. If they can see the future, maybe they knew Loki's future actions were going to be too disruptive this time.

I'm not convinced yet that the person causing havoc in the timeline is actually Loki, since they didn't show his face. If it was Loki, I don't think they would have kept them hooded and their face out of view. Unless it was frost giant Loki, or lady Loki, or some other version of him that they want to keep secret until the big reveal.

In my headcanon, Loki was under the influence of the mind stone when he attacked earth, which made him his worst self. So although the Loki we're seeing here hasn't gone through the events and redemption arc that Endgame Loki has, I don't think he's truly evil. He's definitely done some horrible things, so that's how I justify liking the character so much. lol Here's what is written on the Marvel site which made me come to that conclusion.

Quote

 

Gifted with a Scepter that acted as a mind control device, Loki would be able to influence others. Unbeknownst to him, the Scepter was also influencing him, fueling his hatred over his brother Thor and the inhabitants of Earth.

https://www.marvel.com/characters/loki/on-screen

 

 

 

 

I felt bad for the little boy in the church when Mobius took his candy away. Probably was the first taste of sugar he's ever had!

When Loki as DB Cooper was flirting with the flight attendant, I thought it was out of character, since I don't think we've ever seen him interested in anyone before. Then it turns out he was just messing with her, and the note wasn't about future sexy times, but about a bomb, and I was like, yep, that's the Loki I know and love! Not that I wouldn't mind sexy times with Loki. hehe

Edited by pezgirl7
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1 hour ago, dwmarch said:

I wish but I am not hopeful here. They were discussing Coulson and his death while showing clips and I didn't see anything from Agents of SHIELD in there. That along with the idea that there is one prime timeline and that branches from it are actively closed off suggests to me that not only is Coulson not around for this, the entire timeline AoS took place in is gone*. So I doubt we'll see Coulson other than flashback appearances but who knows? Maybe they can work him in somehow. Or maybe Maria Hill since we know she's still around. *(Per the mod note about discussion of the larger MCU, I'll take further discussion of the seeming de-canonization of AoS to that forum)

Eh, they said they only cull what's not supposed to happen. Maybe everything AoS was supposed to happen.

I enjoyed this first episode - although, as with TFATWS I found it all a bit male-heavy. They've got some great female actors on their cast, it's a shame to see them taking such a back seat while the men stand in the spotlight. But then, that's Marvel all over. Intrigued to see where the story goes next.

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Okay, this was perfect. I mean, a lot of exposition, but well done exposition, and I had a lot of really good laughs. And THAT is how you do a good twist, I never considered the possibility of Loki having to go up against himself. 

One thing though: Not sure if I believe in Loki being all remorseful. I mean, he just recognized that this is the most powerful place of them all, this could all be part of a bigger ploy to rule something even better than the universe. This is Loki after all, and watching the fate of his redeemed version doesn't make him feel the same thing. Plus, he might not like what fate has in store for him if he tries to be a hero. 

Only disappointment: Despite everything I was hoping that they would acknowledge AoS when they showed Coulson. That would have been the perfect opportunity, but no, Feige still has no understanding how important AoS was to keep some people invested in the MCU. 

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1 hour ago, swanpride said:

One thing though: Not sure if I believe in Loki being all remorseful. I mean, he just recognized that this is the most powerful place of them all, this could all be part of a bigger ploy to rule something even better than the universe. This is Loki after all, and watching the fate of his redeemed version doesn't make him feel the same thing. Plus, he might not like what fate has in store for him if he tries to be a hero. 

I can see Loki being more driven to try to change his own fate, and the fate of his parents, as opposed to trying to the rule the universe. But why not do both? lol

Also, I'm still a bit confused about the timelines. Is the original Loki still in the original timeline, which means that variant Loki basically has to be vanished from existence (I forgot what they called it) because he doesn't have a timeline to go back to? I can't really see him being up for that.

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5 hours ago, Enigma X said:

Oh my goodness. I cannot watch this until after work, and I can't wait. I think this will be the only bright spot in my day.

I KNOW! One of the benefits of still working from home--I watched it during lunch!

I LOOOOOOOVE this! This is going to be so much fun! And I'm only going to comment on the fun stuff and the frustrating timey-wimey stuff.

But, but, but...The first scenes? With Loki shifting back and forth as Steve? Was that footage that was cut and left to wither on the cutting floor? Or did they reshoot that? Because...STEVE!!! (Shut up! He's still my favorite!)

I don't know about anyone else, but I laughed my ass off at Loki spinning and twisting that time thingie, making that agent say "Stop...it....stop it...stopitstopitstopit" and then making her ass disappear.

Loki escaping and becoming a variant is SO Hulk's fault! Whining about having to take the stairs and thus, causing the suitcase to fall open and release the Tesseract for Loki to abscond with! (I think I split an infinitive in here somewhere, but I don't care).

I just adore and love Tom Hiddleston, and am so glad they aired this last. I'll have me some Sangria when watching the next one.

And they got Tara Strong, who does voice work (primarily as Babs/Batgirl from the DCAU) to play Miss Minutes!

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What confuses me: Even if they take Loki out, the timeline is still split at that point. Because there is so much other stuff which changed aside from Loki. Just the fact that they kept the tesseract would be problem. 

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6 minutes ago, swanpride said:

What confuses me: Even if they take Loki out, the timeline is still split at that point. Because there is so much other stuff which changed aside from Loki. Just the fact that they kept the tesseract would be problem. 

Didn't Thor say he was taking the Tesseract back to Asgard with him, though? It's been a minute since I watched The Avengers, but he states at one point that humans are unable to deal with an object that contains such power, so it should return to Asgard when he transports Loki home to face the punishment for his crimes. Alternately, SHIELD or Hydra-as-SHIELD had the thing in their possession since Howard Stark plucked it up from the bottom of the ocean after Steve disappeared into the ice. I always wonder if they lost it somehow, since Rogers was 'sleeping' for seventy years, but there's never any indication they were using it for anything until Phase Two got started. But they did have the Tesseract in the suitcase when Hulk came bursting out of the stairwell, and Thor was there because once the screen goes dark you can hear him yelling Loki's name. I thought they were sending both troublesome things back home to Asgard.

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Oh yeah, this was great. I have been really curious about this show, and this seems like a great start. This episode had to drop a LOT of exposition on us as well as adding a lot of new lore to the MCU, which I am already fascinated by, plus reminding us who this 2012 Loki is and where Loki as a character has been and will end up going by the time he died in Infinity War, while also setting up new characters and plotlines for this show, and I think they did it well without feeling like a big info dump. It also did a great job with the retro 70s vibes of the TVA, I am really impressed by the set design and the effects so far, much like Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision this show looks amazing and is quickly creating its own unique style, befitting such a unique new location in the MCU. They made the TVA really retro cool, while also being both funny and sinister, playing the undercurrent of creepiness for some pretty dark laughs. Its like the Time Lords created an agency that was Franz Kafka's worst nightmares by way of Brazil and a Wes Anderson movie, this vast incomprehensible bureaucracy where you can be vaporized for incorrectly filing paperwork.

It would be hilarious if they handwaved all of the Jeremy Bearemy Timie Whimy shenanigans of Endgame with "Bruce was talking out of his ass with all that stuff about multiple timelines branching out, the real rules of time travel can be found in Hot Tub Time Machine." 

I am really glad they showed us Loki's highlights from Avengers, it can be pretty easy for fans to forget that he really was a nasty piece of work when he first started out in the MCU, and while he did grow a lot as a person and found redemption, he was not just a "rascally scoundrel misunderstood by his mean family" he was a dangerous person who did nothing but make excuses for his own selfish behavior and took out his own insecurities out on the universe at large, getting a lot of innocent people killed. Its really important to remember that going forward, Loki is fun but he's also a real dick at this point in his life. I did end up really feeling for him when he saw everything his future in his original timeline went though, his mother dying indirectly due to his actions, reconciling with his father before his death and then with his brother before his own death standing up to Thanos, that is a whole lot to process, and I think that did do a lot to humble him. Loki has always had a problem with making excuses for his own actions or trying to put the blame on other people, among many other things, and a lot of that comes from this belief that he was never accepted by his family and that they never loved him enough, but now I think it finally hit this Loki that he did have his families love and acceptance all along, but he was so blinded by his insecurities and bitterness that he never saw it until it was too late. Now he knows that he could have had his family all along but he messed it all up. Also, does Loki think that Thor died along with him in the original timeline? He saw the ship explode after he was killed and that was the end of the movie of his life, does he think he died in the explosion? I can see this Loki finding redemption, we know his future self does, but it would take a lot more work then it finally hitting him that he fucked up his own life all so that he could inspire character growth in other people through his own bullshit. 

Owen Wilson is one of those "really?" casting choices that the MCU often does that seems really weird but ends up working perfectly, and he seems really great in this, his every man laid back feel plays well off of Tom Hiddlestons Shakespearian theatrics really well. I love how Agent Mobius is interested in Loki, but also takes no crap from him and responds to most of his self justifying philosophizing and attempts at being quippy with a sort of middle management bemusement. For a guy that helps to regulate the entirety of time and space, a self important alien god  with delusions of grandeur is just another day at the office, its clear that his "whatever" reactions to him is obviously already driving Loki nuts, he absolutely feeds off of getting under peoples skin or otherwise getting attention, so he has no idea how to deal with a person who just treats him like someone who is interesting, but nothing all that special. Him finding the Infinity Stones in a junk drawer really hit that home for him. The TVA is probably one of the most powerful entities we have seen yet in the MCU, no wonder they treat Loki's grandstanding with long suffering eye rolling. They probably thought that Thanos's quest, an epic which encompassed almost the entire MCU and took almost a decade of time in the real world, was cute.  

So the person who has been giving the TVA some trouble is...some other Loki! Or could it finally be....Mephisto?!

Look, I know its not Mephisto, but I am just guessing that every mysterious person we meet from now on is going to be Mephisto until it actually is him. It has to be him eventually right? 

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49 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I KNOW! One of the benefits of still working from home--I watched it during lunch!

 

I am working from home too, but I am anticipating this may be one of those things where afterwards all I will crave is a drag on a cigarette. And I don't smoke.

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5 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Look, I know its not Mephisto, but I am just guessing that every mysterious person we meet from now on is going to be Mephisto until it actually is him. It has to be him eventually right? 

Honestly, I feel bad for the MCU. When/if Mephisto shows up, he's going to have to be pretty fucking fabulous for all the theories that have been generated around him. Or he'll be introduced unceremoniously. Like oh yeah, that guy in the corner with Galactus is Mephisto. And then he dies. 

This was exposition heavy, but I was never bored. TH and OW have good chemistry, and I look forward to more of the other agent and the judge. And Eugene Cordero! I hope he gets to see a fish someday. 

 

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2 minutes ago, calliope1975 said:

This was exposition heavy, but I was never bored. TH and OW have good chemistry

There will have to be a super meta scene where Loki impersonates Mobius over the radio / intercom so Hiddleston can do his real life Wilson impression.  

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1 hour ago, pezgirl7 said:

I can see Loki being more driven to try to change his own fate, and the fate of his parents, as opposed to trying to the rule the universe. But why not do both? lol

Also, I'm still a bit confused about the timelines. Is the original Loki still in the original timeline, which means that variant Loki basically has to be vanished from existence (I forgot what they called it) because he doesn't have a timeline to go back to? I can't really see him being up for that.

I think Original Loki still died in 2018 or whatever it was supposed to be when Thanos killed him. Varient!Loki not getting taken back to Asgard and setting him on the Dead Mother! revenge/redemption path means he's surplus to requirements. Everything else is supposed to be handwaved because the Avengers were "supposed" to do whatever they actually did in Endgame. 

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

But, but, but...The first scenes? With Loki shifting back and forth as Steve? Was that footage that was cut and left to wither on the cutting floor? Or did they reshoot that? Because...STEVE!!! (Shut up! He's still my favorite!)

Don’t forget Loki’s smug little wave at Hulk before the elevator closed. Lmao that was priceless.🤣🤣🤣

Also there needs to be a Marvel short of all the dumb bets Thor and Loki made with each other. I would watch the hell out of that.

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This was a glorious episode. I liked FAWS but I loved Wandavision and am liking this so far. I'm here for more thought provoking mystery over superhero action. 

I loved the TVA's 70's Jetsons vibe. And showing how powerful they are by them having a drawer of infinity stones that they use as paperweights. 

Showing Loki this is your life and how it ends is a quick way to get him close the Loki we had before. 

Now I'm wondering where the other variant Loki is from. Or are they creating him by showing him how powerful the TVA is. He was playing at God hood these lizard people are God's controlling everything. 

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Re Tara Strong (Miss Minutes) - in addition to the DCEU, it seems like she’s acted in every animated show there is over the years. Her IMDb list has over 500 acting credits! She was also in Powerpuff Girls as Bubbles.

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2 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

But, but, but...The first scenes? With Loki shifting back and forth as Steve? Was that footage that was cut and left to wither on the cutting floor? Or did they reshoot that? Because...STEVE!!! (Shut up! He's still my favorite!)

Did he shift into Steve more than once in this episode? I only remember the one time, and that part was originally in Endgame. You can watch it here. If this show showed him doing it more than once, I'll have to watch again to catch it! Which, who are we kidding, I plan on doing anyway!

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1 minute ago, pezgirl7 said:

Did he shift into Steve more than once in this episode? I only remember the one time, and that part was originally in Endgame. You can watch it here. If this show showed him doing it more than once, I'll have to watch again to catch it! Which, who are we kidding, I plan on doing anyway!

They showed him shifting two or three times and it was clear it was Loki talking!

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I'm not usually particularly into Owen Wilson's style, but he was really great here. Also - in every shot in that French church where we had Mobius standing in the foreground with a glass window behind him, the lighting was just beautiful. As others have pointed out, the set design was fantastic as well - the production team is knocking this one out of the park.

Special mention goes to the TVA's office posters, especially the "Always Watching" poster, that one is just the height of sinister!

In general, I'm just so curious about the TVA, and I'm wondering whether we're going to find out something about Mobius's and the other workers' backgrounds. (Do they really spring fully-formed from a testtube into the office? Or maybe they're abducted and brainwashed? So many possibilities!) I'm wondering whether the TVA will turn out to be the true big bad

Spoiler

though I suspect if not now, that will happen in season 2

.

9 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

About the Loki variant - he's either looking for something or he's time-skipping for his own enjoyment, because they gave the year as 1549 when Mobius was at the church in France, and then it was 1858 in the scene set in Oklahoma. We know that Thor is something like fourteen hundred years old, and even if Loki isn't technically an Asgardian due to being adopted, he must be only a bit younger. There's a chance that Variant Loki is just be-bopping his way through time for the hell of it, but he also might be plotting something, because why not?

My money is on that there's a plan. During the church scene, we are told that the "reset charge is gone" as if that's what happened at the other attack sites too, and during the attack on the TVA agents at the end of the episode there's a very deliberate shot showing that the attacker takes the reset charge there as well. I don't think that's a coincidence - if they took a reset charge every attack, they've now got seven, they're definitely planning something with those.

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This is already as weird as I was hoping. More so even. 

*cries in Asgardian* I'm so happy!

 

I, too, would watch a series of all the stupid bets Thor and Loki made throughout their lives together. Especially if Heimdall is there going 'I see everything and yet it's astounding even to me the combined idiocy of you two.'

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9 hours ago, Lebanna said:

So far in this episode they seem to be worse than most of those other fictional organisations (murdering random people for not taking one of those stupid paper tickets), so I’m interested to see how dark they go.

They already go pretty damned dark.  When they "reset" a timeline, they destroy it and everyone in it.  The French kid?  Dead now.  Along with everyone else in his universe.  The Mongolions who met Loki?  Dead/Gone/never existed.  Along with everyone else in their universe.

At this point I'm kind of rooting for the Big Bad variant of Loki because she mostly seems to be killing people who are perpetrating genocides on a scale that beggars the imagination.

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2 minutes ago, johntfs said:

At this point I'm kind of rooting for the Big Bad variant of Loki because she mostly seems to be killing people who are perpetrating genocides on a scale that beggars the imagination.

Same. I was even wondering if this show was intended to have horror influences, because the TVA is sinister af. 

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23 minutes ago, johntfs said:

At this point I'm kind of rooting for the Big Bad variant of Loki because she mostly seems to be killing people who are perpetrating genocides on a scale that beggars the imagination.

I'm actually thinking that the Big Bad variant of Loki is the good guy in all of this.

Regarding how powerful the TVA is, I'm thinking it's outside of time or something and stuff doesn't work there, so they're very powerful on their home turf but people can fight them in the regular universe. In other words, Loki might be able to cause some trouble if he takes some 'paperweights' into the regular universe.

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30 minutes ago, johntfs said:

They already go pretty damned dark.  When they "reset" a timeline, they destroy it and everyone in it.  The French kid?  Dead now.  Along with everyone else in his universe.  The Mongolions who met Loki?  Dead/Gone/never existed.  Along with everyone else in their universe.

Was there something I missed? From what I understood, they simply reset the timeline to the point at which it diverged from the "true" timeline, so basically it's similiar to erasing the last 30 or so minutes (or more like 3 when you take the Mongolians) from everybody's mind.

Don't get me wrong, the TVA is shady as all out and I'm certain they're going to turn out to be the villains eventually, I'm just not getting "reset = genocide" unless your reasoning is that the people they've become in those last 30 minutes all technically cease to exist, which, fair enough.

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26 minutes ago, johntfs said:

At this point I'm kind of rooting for the Big Bad variant of Loki because she mostly seems to be killing people who are perpetrating genocides on a scale that beggars the imagination.

I dunno, I'd say they're pretty evenly matched. If the Variant Loki is anything like the one we've got here, he's responsible for matricide, using mind-control on innocent people, and helping a genocidal maniac gather what he needs to wipe out half of all life in the universe in exchange for an army because he wanted to annoy his brother. Even if Mobius was telling the truth in saying that Loki's plans were doomed to fail in the end, that he only existed to make other people the best versions of themselves, he's done a fair amount of damage that can't be erased. Phil Coulson said when he was dying that Loki was going to lose because he 'lacked conviction', but he had enough conviction to murder the poor bastard for no other reason than he could. This Loki hasn't gone through what happened later, the things that kinda-sorta made him not so terrible. Even if Variant Loki is looking for something to upend the TVA, at this point we don't know if they're co-signing genocide or not, But Loki is fond of murder, even if he claims to not enjoy it.

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silverstream: 

Quote

Was there something I missed? From what I understood, they simply reset the timeline to the point at which it diverged from the "true" timeline, so basically it's similiar to erasing the last 30 or so minutes (or more like 3 when you take the Mongolians) from everybody's mind.

Hopefully they'll be more explicit in their explanations, but it seem that once a branch occurs, the original timeline continues and the branch... branches off. So at the point of branching you now have two timelines with duplicates of everything. Then as both timeline continue, they will diverge from each other and become unique.  So when they 'snip the branch', everyone in that branched timeline ceases to exist. 

Edited by Wynterwolf

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Narratively this episode is mostly devoted to giving Loki-2 a crash course in the deceased Loki Prime's character development that he missed out on, but it's done reasonably effectively.  This is the strongest start to one of the Marvel shows so far, in my opinion.

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8 minutes ago, Wynterwolf said:

Hopefully they'll be more explicit in their explanations, but it seem that once a branch occurs, the original timeline continues and the branch... branches off. So at the point of branching you now have two timelines with duplicates of everything. Then as both timeline continue, they will diverge from each other and become unique.  So when they 'snip the branch', everyone in that branched timeline ceases to exist. 

Right... Prime versions of the Mongolians and the French kid continue to exist in the Sacred Timeline..

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4 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Look, I know its not Mephisto, but I am just guessing that every mysterious person we meet from now on is going to be Mephisto until it actually is him. It has to be him eventually right?

Mephisto: the Lupus of the MCU.

Wow- lots to unpack so far.  I am certainly enjoying the absurdist bureaucracy of the TVA- I’ve seen comparisons to everything from MiB to Beetlejuice, and I think this is another fun take on that trope.  Personally, it also reminded me a bit of the Nethersphere from the Dark Water/Death in Heaven episodes of Dr Who.  I doubt that the TVA is going to be like that specifically- but it did get me wondering about the nature of what/where/who it’s really supposed to be.  How much of what Loki experiences there can he, or we, reasonably take at face value?

I like the idea of Mobius needing this Loki to track down some other variant Loki- but I also don’t trust it.  If the hooded figure in 1858 was actually Loki they would have showed him.  Leaving them cloaked implies there’s still a mystery.  I guess we’ll see how it unravels- but this feels like a strong start.

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It's funny that it was weirder but at the same time made made more sense than episode 1 of Wandavision. I did like how we go to see some glimpses of a competent Loki when he took down that guard with her own weapon.

It was also funny how they made a point that they weren't going to be paying Robert Redford or Cate Blanchett.

If the villain is another Loki is he older or younger than our Loki?

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13 minutes ago, paigow said:

Right... Prime versions of the Mongolians and the French kid continue to exist in the Sacred Timeline..

Yes, though I suspect the decision about which timeline is "prime" will not always be as clear cut as they're showing it here with the (presumably) rogue Loki on the loose. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Wynterwolf said:

Yes, though I suspect the decision about which timeline is "prime" will not always be as clear cut as they're showing it here with the (presumably) rogue Loki on the loose. 

I would think the "prime" timeline would be the one that the majority of timelines follow (think something like 89%) and the rest get pruned so that the timelines have no significant fluctuations or deviant branches.

One thing really bothered me, but I am not sure if it is significant. At 11:15 the Miss Minutes TVA reel showed an image of the Earth with a TVA logo stamped over it. Having that picture of the Earth made me think that the TVA's scope is smaller than I believe it is, since I believe they operate on a universal and multidimensional scale. I think the production crew placing the image of the Earth in the instructional TVA video was a poor choice.

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Posts in this topic should be about the episode. If your post is not primarily about the episode, please rethink where to post it. Posts that are primarily about the Marvel movies (or that reply to such posts) will be removed and warnings may be issued. Thank you.

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