Mike and Jami from SpoilerFreeReviews took turns reviewing each episode this season, so what were their overall feelings on season 1?
NOTE: There are spoilers below.
Jami😊: I wasn’t really excited about the LOKI series like I was for WANDAVISION or THE FALCON & WINTER SOLDIER, but I was still optimistic based on my enjoyment of those previous two entries to the Disney+ MCU universe. The show started a bit slow for me. There was A LOT of exposition to explain why this Loki is alive, where he is now, what that means, etc. It’s not that I hate all exposition. Some directors make Oscar-worthy careers out of it, but in the MCU, it felt out of place.. And we had two entire episodes full of it. For me, it just wasn’t the way to pull me in.
Mike 🤩: There’s no question about it at all for me. LOKI is, for me, the best and most consistent of the MCU Disney+ series to date. Is it perfect? No. Every episode was a 🤩 except for the 3rd episode. That’s more than I felt for WANDAVISION and THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. Loki, and Tom Hiddleston’s charming performance, was always a highlight of the MCU for me. Getting a second perspective at a fully fleshed-out character steered said character in several new directions that were insanely exciting and engaging all at once. Plus, adding to the mix Owen Wilson at his finest led to perhaps some of the best on-screen chemistry between two actors in this entire franchise. The first 2 episodes were weird and wild, exploring parts of the MCU we’ve never seen, and introducing new rules to the mix that would prove to be game-changers. More on that later. But overall, in 2 episodes of LOKI, we got a better buddy-cop story than the entire THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER series.
Jami😊: Midway through S1, things heated up fast, and I found myself enjoying the show as much as I enjoyed the best episodes of WANDAVISION & FALCON. We needed more action and some mystery to kickstart it; I wish we’d had it sooner. Episodes 3-5 were my favorite of the series. Not to sound cliche, but they had “it all.” Action, snappy dialogue, drama, mystery, laughs, and even a little bit of romance. I suddenly found myself actually caring about our Loki, and other Loki variants that followed. Alligator Loki might be my favorite one-off thing that came out of any of the Disney+ MCU series so far. Perhaps Tom Hiddleston just needed another character to play off of, and we got that with the introduction of Sophia di Martino as Sylvie, AKA another Loki variant. I don’t mean for this to take anything away from Owen Wilson’s noteworthy turn as Mobius, but he just never quite felt like a complementary foil for Loki. Perhaps more of a sidekick, but I’m getting ahead of myself. And I’d be equally remiss if I didn’t mention Richard E. Grant’s cameo…the small but thunderous role got me, as they say, “in the feels.”
Mike 🤩: Episode 3 was a bit of a non-productive letdown for me, but the only one in the series, just because we got no real information or progress in the story. However, as soon as episodes 4-5 hit, we were treated to some spectacular craziness that shocked, delighted, and proved itself to be as enjoyable as ever. This came courtesy of some really fantastic action, brilliant revelations, and cameos from phenomenal actors like Richard E. Grant. In addition, we were introduced to several really classic easter eggs for true comic book fans, like yours truly, including the MCU canon introduction of Throg, the Thanos Copter, the Alioth, and exclusive to this franchise (a non-comic character) Alligator Loki!
Jami😊 And so LOKI built up and up to what was surely going to be a huge finale like only Marvel does. Like they did with Wanda and Vision, and the now-Captain America and Winter Soldier… but then they didn’t. LOKI ended much like it began, with A LOT of exposition, and an anti-climactic finish that didn’t do much more than set us up for the rest of MCU’s Phase 4. But hey, at least we get another season.
Mike 🤩: Now I know most folks will criticize the final episode for being a massive exposition dump that sets up Phase 4, rather than bringing this story to a self-contained closure. But I don’t really care. Here’s the thing. This series doesn’t need closure right now! They’ve literally announced a Season 2, and nothing about the cliffhanger finale invalidates the triumphant character work, world-building, and storytelling they’ve accomplished in this season of television. Plus, between everything we’ve seen of Phase 4 so far – WANDAVISION, FALCON, and BLACK WIDOW – there hasn’t really been any real setup at all for events to come. LOKI was not only the perfect opportunity to do that, but the entire series and the premise of the series makes the setup both interesting and exciting.
We won’t have time for any explanations about the Marvel Multiverse or variants in the films. Nothing could be more exciting than the promise of a bigger threat than Thanos during the Infinity Saga. The MCU actually went there with LOKI, shattering the conventions of major franchise-building being contained only within the films! It was a gutsy move and one that I think paid off. And frankly, the character stakes were equally as interesting anyway, giving Hiddleston an excellent opportunity to shine as another one of those closest to him betrays him. Loki is alone once more and has to deal with that. But having said that, I came into LOKI after WANDAVISION and FALCON thinking that no Disney+ show has given me the same excitement I’ve felt from the films. And this entire series, particularly the events in this episode, made me, a fan, 1000% more excited to see what’s to come because there is an actual Phase 4 plan!! And quite frankly, that’s what this franchise is and should be about! The fans! Not the critics who don’t get comics or this franchise. The MCU means everything to me, and LOKI, from the premiere to the final episode, is evidence of why. For All Time. Always!