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New ‘Loki’ series promises adventures through time

The Art of Nerding Out

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Marvel’s Disney+ shows have already taken us inside the delusions of a woman with reality-warping powers with “WandaVision” and into a conflict of race and geopolitics with “Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Now, with the new series “Loki,” it seems that Marvel is set to take us on a time-hopping adventure through the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Loki” stars Tom Hiddleston, who killed it as the title character in a multitude of Marvel movies. After getting ahold of the Tesseract, Loki runs into agents from the Time Variance Authority, an organization charged with eliminating unauthorized branches in the timeline to prevent a multiverse-wide catastrophe.

Scheduled to be executed, Loki is rescued by Mobius (Owen Wilson), who is looking for a way to understand what drives Loki to do what he does. Loki also clashes several times with Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), a skilled TVA agent who wants to bring the God of Mischief to justice. We jump around in time a little bit, see some flashbacks to pivotal moments in Loki’s life and we end up with things set up for an engrossing sci-fi comic book romp in the coming episodes.

This show has a lot going for it. Hiddleston, as expected, is great in the title role, but here he gets to play with a bit wider emotional range. Sure, he gets to do the usual righteously indignant thing that makes Loki great, but we also get to see shades of sadness and fear throughout the episode. It’s good stuff.

Hiddleston has really good chemistry with Wilson and their scenes together make up the meat of the pilot episode. Wilson makes Mobius a soft-spoken type that Loki thinks he can walk all over but who always has the upper hand. I look forward to seeing more of these two characters bouncing off one another.

Other performances of note include Mosaku, whose determined toughness makes B-15 the kind of person you don’t want to mess with and Eugene Cordero is funny as Casey, the TVA receptionist.

Visually, the show is a little dull to start with. Most of the show takes place in the nondescript rooms and hallways of the TVA. When the show gets away from that location, we get a little more color and the portals TVA agents use to get from one time to another are pretty cool. The show’s visual palette will likely expand as the story unspools, so I’m willing to give it some time to hook me.

The writing (from Michael Waldron on the pilot) is also pretty solid with a couple of really great bits. Mobius has a line about the purpose of Loki’s existence that I’m going to be thinking about for at least the next few days. Kate Herron’s directing gets exactly what the story needs out of the actors. Again, I imagine we will get to see her stretch her wings as the story expands.

There are a lot of people already comparing “Loki” to “Doctor Who,” thanks to all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimeyness of the plot. But once we find out who Mobius wants Loki’s help in stopping, things go in another, cooler direction. The “Loki” pilot doesn’t have a ton of action, but it sets up the story on a sturdy foundation and throws in some good acting moments just for fun. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

”Loki” is available to stream on Disney + with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.

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