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Loki’s first two episodes are burdened with glorious purpose in the best ways

When Marvel first announced that a Loki series would join WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+ streaming service, Marvel fans weren’t quite sure what to expect, but with Tom Hiddleston returning as the titular god of mischief, it was certain to be entertaining. Digital Trends got an early look at the first two episodes of Loki ahead of the series’ June 9 premiere, and the opening arc of Marvel’s latest small-screen adventure doesn’t disappoint.

Here are some spoiler-free notes on the first act of Marvel’s six-episode series, offering some hints about what you can look forward to when Loki returns to the screen.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

No notes needed

There’s a lot of history behind Loki, but fortunately, you don’t need to set aside time for a full Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon before the show’s premiere. The series premiere not only recaps the events in Avengers: Endgame and The Avengers that allowed Loki to effectively reboot his timeline, but also offers a convenient explanation of why this new, alternate path for the Asgardian trickster hasn’t changed other MCU events as we know them (yet).

The series finds Loki’s teleporting adventures cut short when he’s apprehended by the Time Variance Authority, an agency tasked with preserving the timestream from anyone who plays too fast and loose with historical events as they’re supposed to unfold. Given the chance to be erased from existence or assist the TVA, he chooses the latter — but not without his own sinister scheme, of course.

There are a few things you should know before watching Loki that will probably be helpful, though, as Loki does reference some of its title character’s greatest (or perhaps, most infamous) moments in the Marvel movie-verse to date, so there will be major spoilers for anyone who comes in with a clean slate.

Marvel Studios' Loki | Official Trailer | Disney+

Mischief meets emotion

It’s hard to believe anything you see when it comes to Loki, but Asgard’s notorious trickster has given MCU fans a glimpse of his less-villainous side here and there over the years. In just its first two episodes, Loki dives quite a bit deeper into his previously unexplored emotional core, and it manages to add layers to the character without sapping any of the unrepentant guile that has made him so fun to watch.

The series forces Loki to confront the sins and failings of his past — as well as the now-alternate future MCU fans know best — and the result is a reckoning that makes one of Marvel’s gods feel more human. Maintaining Loki’s superhuman “other-ness” while forging a very human connection isn’t an easy line to walk, but the series makes it look easy early on.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cameos, Easter eggs, and secrets…

There are plenty of surprises in the first two episodes of Loki, and we won’t spoil any of them here. However, you’ll want to pay attention to the details and keep the pause button handy to catch the myriad of little elements that make Loki even more rewarding.

Not all of the hidden treasures in Loki are Marvel-related, however, and his involvement with an agency that counts all of human history as its field of operations means there will be plenty of little call-outs to pop culture (both forgotten and familiar) from the past few decades. Everything from the type of soda certain characters drink to the desktop mementos they choose to display is worth noting if you want to fully immerse yourself in the weird, wonderful world of Loki.

Clock | Marvel Studios’ Loki | Disney+

Believe the hype

All of these hints about what’s to come are fine, but is Loki as good as fans are hoping?

Obviously, the answer will vary from one person to the next, but when it comes to meeting expectations, Loki delivers — and then some. The first two episodes of the series wisely let Hiddleston occupy as much of the spotlight as possible, and his Asgardian mischief-maker smirks and schemes his way through the show’s introductory act with reckless abandon.

With each of Loki’s numerous appearances in MCU films, the calls for an opportunity to see him go solo have become louder. Loki is the realization of that potential, and it’s more than satisfying, even after more than a decade of anticipation.

Marvel’s Loki premieres June 9 on the Disney+ streaming service.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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