Loki, Episode 2: The Enchantress, Sylvia or Lady Loki? | Series Reviews, Series

What is it like to live when you have no place in reality? Loki learns this on his own skin: the powerful “Management of Temporary Changes” almost disintegrated the god of deception for daring to escape from his destiny. And he survived only because the cunning official Möbius decided to use Loki to hunt an elusive criminal who creates temporary anomalies and eliminates UVI agents. However, serving wretched bureaucrats is a lot unworthy of God! And so Loki starts his own game …

We must give credit to Kevin Feige. Any other mega-producer with a successful comic book franchise would take the path of least resistance. Here is a muscular hero for you, here is a villainous bunch of pixels, and here they are spectacularly fighting each other for a couple of hours – and so on until the license fizzles out. But Marvel Studios has other plans. They began their entry into television with sitcom about overcoming traumacontinued political thriller about the essence of heroism, and now they have completely gone into an absurd comedy exploring free will.

Already the first episode of “Loki” resembled not some “Venom”, but rather “Thinking how to finish everything.” This is the story of a man (even worse, God!), Who for the first time realizes that he is nothing more than an auxiliary element of someone else’s script, and any step away from his prescribed role is punishable by shooting. Therefore, in order to break the vicious circle, the character needs to defeat the author – be it the trinity of space reptilians or showrunner Michael Waldron. “I am such a post-post, I am such a meta-meta,” as the great philosopher of our era, the singer Monetochka, composes.

Spoiler alert!

We don’t go into details and don’t reveal secrets, but we analyze the general course of the plot and the development of the heroes.

The second episode only increases the pressure on the hero. Despite the steady stream of jokes and visual gags (ah, that salad metaphor!), The mood of the show is pretty dark. Sometimes “Loki” turns into a hymn to nihilism: what is the point of living if the end is prescribed in advance and cannot be appealed, and all our dreams and aspirations are nothing more than a fake?

It is no coincidence that the episode starts in a medieval town … which in fact turns out to be a booth from the mid-1980s. And the climactic battle unfolds in the scenery of a devastated shopping center: deserted rows filled with empty promises of a comfortable life. Even the employees of the all-powerful “Office” understand the futility of their personal hopes. They were created solely to work for the good of Order, and all alternatives are, at best, on the pages of magazines.

Ironically, Loki feels most comfortable on the edge of the apocalypse. When the plot brings the god of deceit to Pompeii a minute before the eruption, it cannot contain hysterical joy: “Everything is meaningless! Eat and dance while you can! ” And this is just one of the local ends of the world in the series. From the point of view of UVI, Armageddon is so commonplace that ordinary agents do not show even a fraction of sympathy for the doomed people. Grieving for extras is not allowed.

Michael Waldron and his co-writer, director Keith Harron, even treat the style of the series with black humor. The second episode is unexpectedly full of references to the legendary thriller by David Fincher “Seven”: here are scenes of crimes immersed in the twilight, and sleepless nights parsing papers, and even a passage through the library under the Bach suite. And the plot itself is a classic detective story about two detectives (from the time police, but so what?), Who follow the trail of a mysterious maniac.

The duet of Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson continues to work wonders. Even simple conversational scenes – which, as before, take up the lion’s share of timekeeping – are transformed by the actors into an exciting and witty clash of characters. Loki and Mobius stand against each other: both do not disdain manipulation, both hide a tough pragmatism behind a friendly smile, and a touching vulnerability behind pragmatism. Depending on the circumstances, any of them can be represented as a hero or a villain. Yes, Loki is credited with invading Earth and killing innocents. But are officials from a soulless bureaucratic machine that grinds everyone who deviates from the course it has set much better?

It is all the more interesting how the appearance of a new powerful hero will change the dynamics of the characters. Despite the seemingly measured pace of the narrative, already the second episode of “Loki” seriously changes the rules of the game – both for the series and, potentially, for the entire cinematic universe of Marvel. But we will probably hide these spoilers separately.

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In the series finale, a mysterious assassin conducts a massive “bombardment” of the timeline, revealing many time anomalies at once. Having played enough with Loki, the criminal opens up to him. But who is this blonde girl played by British actress Sofia Di Martino?

According to UVI, Loki’s “variant” is behind the anomalies, and it seems that the villain’s arsenal really looks familiar. The same ability to subjugate someone else’s consciousness, the same deadly wielding of blades, the same crooked grin and love for horned armor, finally. It would seem that before us is Lady Loki; one of the many iterations of the character long known to Marvel fans. But usually she is drawn with dark, not light brown hair – this trait is typical for the vast majority of comic versions of Loki, regardless of gender and age. Really the creators of the series overlooked such an obvious “blunder”? Or is it just a mask for a completely different character in front of us?

The clue was unexpectedly revealed in the credits of the Spanish dub, where the character “Variant” passes as “Sylvia”. In Loki’s comic mythology, this name is by no means accidental: in one of the plots, the god of deception bestows his abilities on the girl Sylvia Lashton (also known as “Enchantress”), who then joins the team of “Young Avengers” and draws them into a destructive conflict. Considering that many of the Young Avengers members have already been announced in previous MCU series, this coincidence seems far from coincidental. And yes, in the comics, Sylvia Lashton is exactly the same blonde.

Loki, Episode 2: Apocalypse Now and Always

In any case, the series will have enough mysteries, surprises and personality crises for a long time. Showrunner Michael Waldron is extremely adept at keeping the intrigue, and along the way pushes the Marvel Cinematic Universe towards previously unknown genres and plots. The author uses ridiculous comic characters in order to explore real existential anxieties – without, however, being too serious. It’s not hard to see how Waldron became one of Disney’s leading new creators: over the past year and a half, he has also worked on the Doctor Strange sequel and the secret Star Wars project.

After the tempting premiere of “Loki” and does not think to slow down. A premonition of disaster hung in the air: the usual temporal order is about to fall apart, heroes and villains (go and figure out who is who) are trying their best to fool each other – and the audience as well. And we are glad to be deceived!