The God of Mischief Runs Afoul of The Time Variance Authority

The Loki series premiere, “Glorious Purpose”, opens in 2012 at Avengers tower in New York City. We see the “time heist” scene from Avengers: Endgame. In the lobby, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) grabs the Tesseract after Hulk smashes through the stairwell and then vanishes. The Marvel Studios opening rolls, but ends in a distinct Loki green.

A title card reads “Gobi Desert, Mongolia”, a portal opens and he plummets into the sand. Local villagers walk up as he removes the mouth device, shakes off the sand, and stands on a nearby rock. Loki announces himself from Asgard and here with “glorious purpose.” A time portal opens and three Minutemen emerge. Confused, Loki runs toward them as they scan the Tesseract lying in the sand. Another time portal opens, Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) emerges reading her chronometer. She sees the “Variant.” “On behalf of the Time Variance Authority, I hereby arrest you for crimes against the Sacred Timeline.”

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Loki laughs, then moves to attack her. B-15 hits him with her baton. He recoils in slow motion as she slaps a time collar around his neck, “You are now moving at 1/16th speed, but feeling all that pain real time.” She orders her officers to “reset the timeline”, then picks up the Tesseract. A time charge is placed in the sand.

B-15 forces Loki through a portal into the TVA’s 60s style brown and orange reception area. He tries to run away, but she activates the time collar. He blurs back to his previous position. He tries again and the same thing happens. She gives the Tesseract to the receptionist (Eugene Cordero) to be logged, then pushes Loki towards an elevator door. He threatens her again, but she tosses him inside.

A round robot with four mechanical arms and a happy face electronic monitor hovers above him. It shoots a laser and burns off his clothes. Standing naked except for the collar, the floor opens and he falls through. When he lands, he’s wearing a beige jumpsuit with a “TVA” logo on the chest. He’s facing a bureaucrat with a cat at his feet and a large stack of papers on the desk in front of him.

“Please sign to verify this is everything you’ve ever said.” A puzzled Loki responds, “What?” A dot matrix printer prints out another page. The bureaucrat adds it to the pile. “This is absurd,” whines Loki. The printer spits out another page. Loki begrudgingly signs the document. Then immediately falls through the floor.

This time he faces another dwarf-sized TVA bureaucrat beside an old-fashioned body scanner, “Please confirm to your knowledge that you are not a fully robotic being, are an organic being, and possess what cultures call a soul.” Loki is hesitant to pass through, “What if I was a robot and I didn’t know it?” “The machine would melt you from the inside out,” the dwarf says dryly. Loki gingerly goes through. The machine takes a picture of his “temporal aura.” The dwarf motions him to walk through another elevator-like door.

Loki enters a large room with turnstiles and labyrinthine line barriers. A Minuteman orders him to take a number. “What is this a deli…no,” replies Loki. The only other Variant in the room proceeds forward. Loki follows the near empty queue yelling, “This is a mistake! I shouldn’t be here!” He pauses when an overhead monitor activates.

The TVA’s cartoon mascot, an orange clock with arms and legs, “Miss Minutes” (Tara Strong), welcomes him to the Time Variance Authority. It’s her job to “catch him up” before he “stands trial for his crimes.” A cartoon educational reel shows “long ago, there was a vast multiversal war.” “Timelines battled for supremacy”, which almost resulted in the destruction of “everything.” Three “all-knowing Time-Keepers emerged”, they brought peace by “organizing the multiverse into a single timeline.” The Time-Keepers protect the Sacred Timeline from those that veer off, called “Variants.” Altering the timeline can create a “nexus event”, which could spawn many branches and lead to “another multiversal war.” The TVA was created to catch Variants and “set time back on their predetermined path.” The Variant is then judged for their crimes, “Make sure you have your ticket.” The presentation ends with a TVA logo and motto, “For All Time. Always.”

Loki laughs out loud. He watches as the guy in front of him refuses to show his ticket. The Minuteman vaporizes the Variant with his baton. Loki “shudders” in fear and grabs his ticket. The Loki opening credits roll with his name being spelled by different fonts in black and white.

The next scene opens with dead Minutemen strewn across a candle lit church. The title reads, “Aix-En-Provence, France” in “1549.” Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) is being briefed. The Minutemen responded to a nexus event and were ambushed. Hunter U-92 (Derek Russo) claims, “It’s him.” Mobius notices that the “stab wounds look consistent with the others.” He also notices that the “time reset charge” is gone. U-92 reminds him this is “the sixth attack this week.”

Mobius sees a girl at the back of the church. In French, he starts to question her. He draws a cartoon figure on his chronometer, “Do you know who did this?” She points to a stained glass picture of a horned devil. He notices that her mouth is blue. She gives him a blue candy wrapper called “Kablooie”. He orders a check for temporal aura, and then a reset charge. Mobius is handed Loki’s case file, with a stamp, “Apprehended” across his picture.

B-15 leads Loki into a courtroom with murals of the Time-Keepers on the wall. “Variant L1130 aka Loki Laufeyson, is charged with sequence violation 7-20-89,” reads Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). “How do you plead?” Loki laughs out loud, ” A god doesn’t plead, I’d like to go home now.” She asks again. He mocks her by saying he’s “guilty of finding this incredibly tedious.” He claims they have the wrong person and should seek “the Avengers.”

Mobius enters the chamber and sits down. Loki prattles on that the TVA should give him “resources” and he “would eliminate” the Avengers. B-15 is not amused. Renslayer has had enough. She informs him that what the Avengers did “was supposed to happen.” Loki requests to speak to the Time-Keepers, “Gods to gods.” He then pleads “guilty”, and raises his hands theatrically. B-15 laughs, “He’s trying to use his powers.” Renslayer tells him that “magic powers do not work in the TVA”, finds him guilty, and sentences him to be “reset.”

“You ridiculous bureaucrats will not dictate my story! You don’t know what I’m capable of,” screams Loki as he’s led away. Mobius stands up and approaches the bench. He’s chasing a “hunch.” Loki is remanded to Mobius’ custody, who takes him to an outside corridor. Loki is stunned by the vast TVA city that stretches to the horizon. There are flying vehicles, trains, and buildings held up by statues of the Time-Keepers.

Mobius introduces himself in another elevator. Loki wonders if he’s “taking him someplace to be killed.” Mobius wants to talk. When Loki responds he doesn’t, Mobius calls him out. He likes to “talk” and “lie.” Mobius explains that time passes differently in the TVA. He takes Mobius to a room called the “Time Theater 5”.

Mobius sits beside a round-shaped projector. Loki tries to attack him, but is reset by the time collar. Loki sits down. Mobius “specializes in the pursuit of dangerous Variants.” He wants Loki to answer his questions honestly. He asks what will Loki do when he returns? He wants to be “King of Midgard”. Mobius follows-up, “And then what?” Loki replies “Asgard, the Nine Realms.” Mobius laughs at “Loki, King of Space.”

He presses further, “Why does Loki want to rule?” Loki waxes on about the “lie of freedom.” Mobius continues laughing, then turns on the projector. Loki is flabbergasted as the wall reforms into clips of his life. He’s beaten by the Avengers at Avengers tower. Mobius comments, “Funny, for someone born to rule…you sure do lose a lot. You might even say it’s your nature.”

Mobius next shows Loki murdering Phil Coulson, “Do you enjoy hurting people? Making them feel small, afraid?” He plays Loki smiling as he rips out an eyeball. He then shows that Loki is “really good at awful things, and then just getting away.” He plays a clip of Northwest Orient Airlines 305. Loki is passenger D.B. Cooper. He gives the flight attendant a note. He has a bomb. The plane lands, is evacuated, and he’s paid a ransom. “Brother, Hemdall, you better be ready,” Loki leaps out of the plane in a parachute, and is whisked away by the Bifrost. Mobius claps and laughs. Loki “lost a bet to Thor.”

Loki gets up to walk away, but is zapped back into his chair. Mobius allows him to stand up in frustration, “Why do you do the things you do? What makes Loki tick?” He shows a clip of people kneeling before Loki, then cuts to what would have happened if he hadn’t stolen the Tesseract. Loki sees his future, where he’s taken back to his mother in chains. Morbius tells him that “Dark Elves attacked the palace.” “You think you send them to Thor.” Loki watches in horror as his mother is murdered.

Loki recoils, “You’re lying…it can’t be true.” Mobius stands up, “It is true. The proper flow of time. It happens again and again and again, because it’s supposed to.” Loki screams for his mother, “Where is she!” Mobius asks again, “Why do you enjoy hurting people?” “I’ll kill you!” Loki hurls his chair. Mobius replies, “Like you did your mother?” As it smashes through the pixelated image.

Mobius resets him again, “The Time Twister only works with you…not the furniture. You weren’t born to be king. You were born to cause pain, suffering, and death. That’s how it is. That’s how it will be. So that others can achieve better versions of themselves.” He shows the clip of the Avengers uniting for the first time.

Mobius helps Loki off the floor. B-15 barges in, “We have a situation.” Mobius leaves with her and closes the door. B-15 thinks that Loki needs to be reset. They’ve lost another unit. Mobius re-enters the room, but Loki is gone. He stole the Time Twister from his pocket.

Loki appears in a corridor. He sees the receptionist. Meanwhile, an angry B-15 and Mobius organize the Minutemen to search for him. Loki threatens to “gut the receptionist”, Casey, “like a fish.” But Casey has no idea what a fish is. He only existed behind his desk. When he opens it to retrieve the Tesseract, Loki is stunned to see it’s filled with Infinity Stones. He’s stupefied. Casey comments, “We got a lot of those. The guys use them as paperweights.” Loki gasps and looks at the primary timeline monitor, “This is the greatest power in the universe?”

B-15 attacks from behind, but he portals away. Loki returns to the theater room. He advances the projector reel of his life. He watches his mother die again and cries. He sees Odin, his father’s final moments, where he proclaims “love for his sons”, standing with Thor by his side. He looks in disbelief as they bond again as brothers on Sakaar. He then watches as he attacks Thanos on the Asgardian refugee ship, and is choked to death. Loki walks towards the image as his eyes bulge, legs flail, and neck snaps. He sees Thor weep over his body and the film ends.

B-15 enters the room. He laughs cynically while muttering “glorious purpose”. Loki puts B-15 in a hand lock, grabs her Time Twister, deactivates the collar, and puts it around her neck. He resets her repeatedly until he’s had his fill. She pops up in the corridor beside Casey. In the theater, Loki sits resigned by the Tesseract.

Mobius walks in with a baton. Loki looks at him, “I don’t enjoy hurting people. I do it because I have to. It’s part of the illusion. It’s the cruel, elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear.” “So you do know yourself,” Mobius replies. Loki holds up the Tesseract, “Infinity Stones are useless here.” Mobius can’t offer “salvation, but maybe something better.”

“A fugitive Variant has been killing Minutemen,” explains Mobius. “And the God of Mischief can you help you stop him,” asks Loki. Mobius nods yes. Loki wonders “why me?” The startling response, “The Variant we’re hunting is you.”

The scene cuts to “Salina, Oklahoma” in “1858”. The Minutemen spot a time device in a field. They see a cloaked figure looking at them. The figure drops a lamp and sets the field on fire. U-92 is dragged away screaming. The time reset charge is stolen as the cloaked figure watches the fire burn. Loki will return next Wednesday on Disney+.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.

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