Hawkeye Review

The MCU is here with its next series instalment on Disney Plus and just in time for Christmas. See Clint Barton take centre stage in his very own story: Hawkeye. The six-part series begins on the 24th of November 2021 with a double bill, the series coming to an end on the 22nd December 2021. The show is set in New York City at Christmas time, this is only the second MCU project to take place at Christmas (the first being Iron Man 3 in 2013). The show is set two years after the events of Avengers: Endgame, so is the most recent events of the MCU. We know that Yelena (Florence Pugh) is set to make an  appearance, so Black Widow (2021) is essential viewing. I am so excited for this show! I will post weekly episode reviews here on this post, so check back each week for updates. There will be spoilers.  Check out my Eternals review:  Eternals Review (justanotherfilmblog.uk) Episode One: Never Meet Your Heroes  Episode Two: Hide and Seek Hawkeye kicks off with a double bill, which means we g

Loki Review

The MCU's third TV show is here. Following on from the success of WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Solider we have Loki. Tom Hiddleston returns as the god of mischief a character that has been central both as a villain and anti-hero since phase one. As you may remember Loki was killed in the opening minutes of Avengers: Infinity War, but when the Avengers travel back to 2012 in Avengers: Endgame the 2012 villain version of Loki steels the tesseract and escapes. The Disney Plus series picks up from this moment. Whilst we saw Loki develop to the point of being an ally of his brother Thor and ultimately give his life in the fight against Thanos, all of that development is lost and 2012 Loki reigns as a villain. Will we see Loki develop once again? and if we do, will it be into a hero or into more of a villain? The season is made up of six episodes that will premiere on Wednesdays on Disney Plus. I will be reviewing each episode here on this post, so make sure to bookmark this page and check back each week for my updates. There will be spoilers beyond this point!

Check out my Falcon and the Winter Solider reviews here: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Review (justanotherfilmblog.uk) and my WandaVision reviews here: WandaVision Review (justanotherfilmblog.uk)

Episode One: Glorious Purpose


Episode one opens in 2012, during the time travel events of Endgame. After stealing the tesseract, Loki escapes too the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Where he falls out of the sky, crashing into the sand that's reminiscent of Tony Stark in Iron Man. However, his escape quickly comes to an end when the TVA (Time Variance Authority) intercept and arrest him. Loki is then taken to the TVA's very 60's/70's vibe headquarters. Where during a intro video it is explained that there was once a multiverse, but a war caused chaos so the Timekeepers emerged and created one timeline, eliminating the multiverse. They then created the TVA to keep track of people who jeopardize the timeline (called variants), arresting them before setting the timeline back to how it should be. The words multiverse and madness are used in the same line here - so that seems to point at the events of Loki leading to Spider-Man: No Way Home and more importantly Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. 

Later Loki meets Mobius (Owen Wilson), who gives us a slideshow of Loki's life. From the bad - the events in New York, to the future - the death of his mother, reconciliation with Thor and Odin and his eventual death. All of which makes Loki rather emotional, it's clear he feels surprised but happy with his eventually redemption. Which makes me think anti-hero Loki was there all along, just wanting acceptance. Owen Wilson gives a captivating performance as Mobius as he attempts to recruit Loki to take down another variant Loki - perhaps old or female Loki. Tom Hiddleston falls seamlessly back into the role of Loki, bringing a natural, believable performance. It's great to see Loki's self-importance and charismatic, entitled personality once again. Even though this is only the first of six episodes, I can tell we are in for some great Loki moments - starting with his threat to gut a man like a fish and the man having no idea what a fish is. Ugh I'm so glad Loki is back. 

Now onto some theories, it's very clear that we are in for some WandaVision level theories with Loki. Already Mephisto has been theorised - the stain glass window a possible hint. The word Nexus pops up - now this also popped up in WandaVision. A nexus is a connection or series of connections linking two or more things - so this could be further evidence of the multiverse, or it could all be a coincidence. At around 34 minutes what looks like Peggy Carter appears from a portal - perhaps a variant. Then we have the infinity stones - this made me so angry, as if the TVA just have a whole draw of stones - stones that could have helped the Avengers and saved both Nat and Vision. Let's talk about the TVA, they certainly have a vast amount of resources and control over people's lives. We know that even if a person is late for work and that changes the proper course of time, they will be arrested and classed as a Variant by the TVA. And who are the timekeepers to dictate what happens, they literally seem to control everything. Which means the Avengers were always meant to win, kind of takes the stakes away a little, I think. Overall, a good opening. This is sure to be another great MCU show. 

Episode Two: The Variant

Following on from last week's introduction to the TVA, Loki has settled in. He has been trained (sort of) and is on the case of the other Loki variant. Most of this episode is a double act between Loki and Mobius. There seems to be some common ground developing between them, and even through it appears Loki betrays Mobius in the final seconds of the episode, I think we will see more of these two working together. This episode has a really interesting pace that stems from this sort of double act, the majority of the episode is rather slow with a great deal of talking. This pace allows both Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson to flex their impressive acting abilities and wonderful characters. It really is quite fun watching these two converse. With all the focus on Loki and his personality, past and powers I can totally understand why Hiddleston gave a seminar on the god of mischief. 

The episode gives us greater insight into the powers of the TVA. It would seem they can travel to any moment in time to correct timeline errors and detain variants. In this episode we first see them travel to 1985 where a historic fair is taking place, then to 79AD - the destruction of Pompeii and finally to 2050, where Alabama is being destroyed by a storm. There is also mention of them being able to travel to Asgard, so it would seem the TVA could travel anywhere in space and time. Loki's discovery that actions right before a nexus level event don't interfere with the timeline, however, does highlight that there are some things the TVA has no control over. Loki's disruption in Pompeii is probably my favourite scene of this week's episode, but it is the reveal of the other variant Loki that is the most captivating. In 2050 we make multiple discoveries, the first is that Loki has been playing the TVA and his goal is to overthrow the timekeepers. Next, we discover that variant Loki knows how to find the Timekeepers and has been stealing the time re-set devices to cause multiple timelines. (I think it's now very obvious that Loki will lead to the opening of the multiverse). The final big discovery is the identity of the other Loki - the variant is in fact a Female version Loki! Played by Sophia Di Martino, I cannot wait to see what else this show has in store for Lady Loki. 

On the theories front, I have very few theories this week. As I have mentioned I'm pretty sure Loki will open up the multiverse. I have a feeling that there is something not quite right about the Timekeepers. But there is a chance that Lady Loki is in fact Sylvie - which could make her Enchantress, I really want this to happen. In 2050, it looks like there is a light up Spider-Man mask - which could hit at Spider-Man: No Way Home. Overall, episode two is brilliant. I can certainly see Loki being another fantastic instalment to the MCU. I am looking forward to seeing what mischievous plan Loki comes up with next.

Episode Three: Lamentis

This weeks episodes sees Loki and Lady Loki form a team, with the common goal of staying alive binding them together. The theory that Lady Loki is in fact Enchantress is still very much alive, Lady Loki reveals that her name is Sylvie and that her magic is self taught - which is very much like the comic version of Sylvie who is not Lady Loki but is Enchantress. So it will be interesting to see how this theory develops. The episode follows on from last week, with Loki following Sylvie through the portal. Which takes him to the TVA where Sylvie is killing anyone in her way as she tries to get to the timekeepers. But Loki throws a spanner in the works by showing up and he and Sylvie end up in a standoff, which is interrupted by Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) a TVA judge. Loki escapes via portal with Sylvie, leaving the pair free to fight to their hearts content: that is if they hadn't landed on the planet of Lamentis-1 in 2077 - the day of it's destruction. With their only way off the planet broken and in need of charging, Loki and Sylvie eventually come together to form a rather cute team. A paring that I cannot wait to see developed further. 

Let's talk about this weeks big reveal. Sylvie informs Loki that the TVA workers are in fact all variants. But the have no recollection, of their pervious lives, of their identity. They have no idea they are variants, fully believing they were created by the timekeepers to work at the TVA. So perhaps Mobius has a thing for 1990's jet skis, because he was actually from 1990s earth - and he may have even had a jet ski. I knew there was something off about the timekeepers, but I am getting more and more concerned by their motives, especially when it seems like they are keeping people as brainwashed slaves. Loki wise, we see the return of the iconic knife flip - which I could watch over and over. But we also get some greater depth to his powers this week, from seeing him create fireworks, to moving objects. It's interesting that Loki has been part of the MCU for well over ten years and yet there is so much still to learn about his character and his powers. Although I do love the classic Loki transformation magic. Drunk Loki is brilliant and his rendition of a Nordic folk song is a fantastic scene. His conversation about love with Sylvie also adds depth, we have yet to see Loki in a romantic relationship - is that about to change and who will it be with? With this added character depth we once again get a double act style episode, but the paring this week is Loki and Sylvie rather than Loki and Mobius. I love getting to really see a character and these double act episodes, really show how Loki interacts with others. 

But what really makes this episode stand out is it's visuals. The use of colour is stunning, the combination of the muted but bold green and the bright purple are a visual spectacle. That casts a mythic glow on the characters and scenes for an other-worldly vibe. Director Kate Herron has crafted an episode with all the visual flare of Thor: Ragnarok whilst giving us so much personality and character development. Theories wise, there is not much to report, that hasn't already be mentioned, but I think more hints will be laid next week. Overall a fantastic episode, full of Loki flare and great fight sequences. Next week I am hoping we see the return of Mobius and that Kid Loki makes an appearance. I cannot believe we have to wait another week to see how Loki and Sylvie survive the destruction of Lamentis-1. I am hooked!

Episode Four: The Nexus Event

Well episode 4 of Loki went all Wizard of Oz when towards the end of the episode the Timekeepers where revealed to be animatronics. From the second we saw the Timekeepers it was just so obvious they weren't actual living beings, but this raises questions: were they ever real? What happened to them? and, who controls the TVA? All questions I'm sure will be answered before the show comes to its conclusion. A lot led up to the Timekeepers reveal, starting with Sylvie's backstory. In a heart-breaking opening we see Sylvie taken by the TVA when she was a child playing on Asguard. The reason she was taken? Not yet disclosed. But now we finally understand why Sylvie wants to bring down the TVA and honestly I don't blame her. Being on the run, hiding in Nexus events since she was a child is the perfect, complex motivation. It also highlights that she has been more alone than Loki, having no family, no love and friends since she was taken from Asguard. Although in this flashback not once is Sylvie called Loki - so is she a Loki variant or something else entirely, perhaps Enchantress.

As the episode progresses the relationship between Loki and Sylvie is brought into focus. First we see them connecting on Lamentis-1, they hold hands, a connection deeper than friendship forming. This connection causes a very dramatic branch on the timeline, which not only allows Mobius to find them but also leads Mobius to the conclusion that if Loki and Sylvie were to fall in love they could bring down the TVA and destroy the timeline. I have to admit that Loki and Sylvie maybe a weird pairing but they also happen to be so cute and are we shocked Loki would fall for someone like him? Plus she might not even be a Loki. Elsewhere we see both Mobius and hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) informed of their variant status in an 'it was all a lie' moment, Loki tells Mobius everything Sylvie disclosed last week. Mobius' initial denial, leads to the discovery that C-20 was killed by the TVA because Sylvie had opened her past memories of her life on earth. Mobius aligns himself with his friend Loki, but it is too late because Ravonna catches on and prunes him. After Sylvie entered her mind in episode 2, B-15 already had her suspicions, she goes to Sylvie who confirms everything. B-15 now an ally. The episode ends on a frustrating moment, Loki pruned just as he was telling Sylvie how he feels romantic styles. Sylvie quickly takes Ravonna as a captive, in an attempt to learn the truth. Is Loki actually gone - check out the mid credits scene to find out. 

This weeks episode was full of theory making elements. The first was the mention of vampires, this is the first time vampires have been mentioned in the MCU. We know there is a Blade movie due in a future phase, so the vampires will tie into this. Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) makes a cameo in Loki's torture, this is the first time we have seen her since Thor: The Dark World in 2013. This cameo reminds us of her character before she is set to return to main cast in Thor: Love and Thunder. Now onto the Timekeepers, if they aren't real then I bet the Kang the Conqueror is in charge of the TVA. This is something that happens in the comic books, and fun fact Ravonna is his wife in the comics - so it would seem she may know Kang is in charge. Overall, another great episode, I feel like Loki is really picking up the pace, I just hope they manage to maintain this level of momentum.  

Episode Five: Journey Into Mystery


What an episode! Following on from last weeks after credits scene Loki meets his other variants in a place called The Void. In another team up Loki joins, Kid Loki (Jack Veal) - who killed Thor, Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) - who has impressive magical abilities, Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei) - who betrays them to President Loki (also Tom Hiddleston) and Alligator Loki - who is not even the weirdest thing in the MCU. Loki quickly hatches a plan to escape The Void and return to The TVA, but that entails taking on Alioth, a gain smoke dragon like creature. Meanwhile at The TVA, Sylvie is holding Ravonna hostage, her attempt to gain answers is a failure. With Ravonna trying to trick Sylvie into thinking she too wants to know who created The TVA. Sylvie rather than be captured, prunes herself. In the void she is rescued from Alioth by Mobius and the two join Loki and his band of variants.

What's really interesting about this episode is the interactions between so many different versions of Loki. We see the same key characteristic's in multiple characters, this not only creates a fascinating display of tension but a clear understanding of Loki as a character. This whole show is a real character study and I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. But The void is not just full of variant Loki's, when the timeline is reset, not everything can be repaired and those things and it would seem people end up in The Void, to be destroyed by Alioth. Amongst the rubble you can spot: the Avengers Tower, a Thanos helicopter (which features in the comics), a helicarrier, a Kree fight craft, a tiny Thor, a UFO and probably much more. Story development wise, Loki and Sylvie grow closer, seems like both feel the same way - but will they end up together? I doubt it. Classic Loki in his final moments unlocked the true depth of Loki's magically abilities when he cast a full size version of Asgard. So it would seem that going forward we are going to see Loki use magic on a greater scale. As Loki and Sylvie enchant Alioth the smoke clears to reveal a castle - the location of whoever controls the TVA. My bet, its Kang. 

At The TVA we see what happened to B-15, she is being contained with Ravonna and refuses to support The TVA. Ravonna seems genuinely concerned for whoever is in charge, which makes me think she is as in the dark as everyone else. But one character seems to know a lot more than they are letting on: Miss Minutes (Tara  Strong). I get the odd feeling that she is in on the deception, that or she too is a captive and is working towards her own goal. But whatever is going on Miss Minutes is not as innocent as she looks. Overall, a great episode, I really didn't want it to end. The score this week is on another level to match the narrative. I cannot wait to finally see who is behind The TVA. 

Episode Six: For All Time. Always.


I cannot believe the finale of Loki is here already! Everything we have learned and experienced over the last five episodes all accumulates in this one brilliant episode. The episode begins with a new Marvel fanfare featuring the voices of many MCU characters, it takes us through the timeline, through phases one, two, three and the start of four, which is fitting considering this episode sets up the rest of phase four and possibly beyond. This opening gave me chills, it is a reminder of how great the MCU is. Loki and Sylvie meet their destiny or their own glorious purpose, when they reach the citadel at the end of all time. Miss Minutes greets them, confirming she knew everything all along, her presence in this episode is a little unnerving. Which is fitting because so is her creator Kang (Jonathan Majors). Whilst we all expected Kang to be behind The TVA, I really didn't think he would be introduced in the finale. But he was more than introduced, he is the main feature of this episode, and his personality is captivating.  

Kang gives Loki and Sylvie two options, one they kill him and the timeline is destroyed, opening up the multiverse or Two Loki and Sylvie take over and control the timeline. Loki and Sylvie differ in their resolve, Loki having evolved beyond even his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War chooses neither option. His focus on the happiness of Sylvie; Sylvie on the other hand sees nothing beyond killing Kang. Their kiss is an awh moment, it is so rare we see Loki happy, however, when Sylvie immediately sends him back to The TVA it is unclear if she feels for Loki. Her mission the sole focus, killing Kang the timeline branches and the one organised stream of time, becomes and expanding mess, the multiverse open. Kang's explanation on how he created the timeline, controlled Alioth and formed The TVA, is convincing however, I get the feeling he was lying. Why? Well because in the very final moments of the episode we see Loki approach Mobius and B-15, both of whom have no idea who Loki is. Everyone is talking about a 'him' and where the three timekeeper statues once stood is now a statue of Kang. It is as if The TVA has been reset, perhaps this is something that happens every time whoever is in control dies. So in theory, The Timekeepers existed and where killed by Kang, Kang took over, Sylvie killed Kang, but I don't think Sylvie took over. What if Loki did, maybe he is unware of this? Or maybe Ravonna is now in charge - after all we didn't see what happened to her. All I know is Kang didn't share the full story. 

So what's next? Well we know there is going to be a Loki season two, but as of yet their is no timescale for this. The next movies to be affected by the events of Loki are likely to be Spider-Man: No Way Home, a film that has long been linked with the opening of the multiverse and Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness which is obviously going to feature the multiverse. We also know Doctor Strange will appear in Spider-Man so he is clearly going to be at the very centre of phase four going forward. Kang will appear again in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Basically Loki is going to be essential watching for phase four to make sense. I love how everything seems to be coming together. Overall, Loki has been a unique and enjoyable edition to the MCU. A pure character study into Loki, I have enjoyed watching Tom Hiddleston's performance each week. I don't think I could ever get bored of watching Loki. Sylvie is a great addition to the MCU and I cannot wait to see her again, hopefully we won't have to wait for season two to see her again. Who'd have thought so soon after Avengers: Endgame the MCU would start to build to something massive again? I didn't but I am certainly enjoying it. 

Thank you for reading xx

Please let me know you thoughts on Loki in the comments below. 

Check out my Black Widow review: Black Widow Review (justanotherfilmblog.uk)

Comments

  1. With Loki, I had been enjoying the slower paced storytelling they gave us episodes 1-3, so watching this episode felt like that moment when you're at the peak of a roller-coaster just before the Big drop.

    It's been great thus far, and the switch in pace is most certainly welcome, though it leaves one wanting more immediately - this coming week will be a long one.

    Having seen a fair chunk of Sci-fi over the years, I was starting to suspect that the pruning was not as straightforward as they made it out to be, I'm glad to be right, but also left pleasantly surprised by how they handled it.

    Going forward, I honestly hope they can keep this chaotic pacing going and with this potentially leading into story branches for several MCU films I feel this could be the best of the three original series they have done thus far.

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    1. Hi, thank you for reading! Yes I agree the pacing of Loki seems pretty on point! I certainly think Loki will have massive implications on the MCU going forward - which is exciting! x

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