Back to our favourite god of mischief but before we begin, we once again must preface a review of a Disney+ show with another entry in the annals of Disney being awful about copyright. This time the Mouse’s IP lawyers have become very possessive of the Norse god of mischief themself, which surely is tempting both fate and the gods. https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/disney-allegedly-files-copyright-claims-over-loki-fan-art/ So 1. pay Allan Dean Foster and 2. no you don’t own Loki (or Thor or Cinderella for that matter and even older Mickey Mouse cartoons should have gone out of copyright by now and if anything Loki should own Mickey Mouse).
It’s a shame because this would otherwise have been a squee heavy review for what was barrels of fun. This was the Missy+The Master Doctor Who spin-off show that probably exists in a variant timeline that’s better than this timeline. Not a great episode for Owen Wilson fans but Tom Hiddleston gets to bounce his banter off Sophia Di Martino aka the Lots of Asgard’s Have a North* version of Loki aka Sylvie.
Thematically and plot-directionally, I still have no idea where this show is going. It really does power along with charm, banter and a big visual effects budget. This week was tighter as an episode with something approaching a self-contained story as Loki finds himself (their selves in the plural sense) on a doomed moon with a doomed populace.
That setting is played beautifully and cynically but also cynically in a way that feels oddly sincere. Just like Pompeii in the previous episode, everybody is going to die and that’s the only reason why the pair of mischief makers end up on the doomed moon. Yet, it is a natural home for them. Everybody will die and nothing matters. Loki, by his underlying nature, is many things but Hiddleston’s version is a man consumed by his own solipsism. If nothing about the universe matters then he is the only thing that matters (except his mum). There are classically and narratively many ways to refute the self-centredness of a character but pairing Loki up with himself is a clever one.
The best episode of Doctor Who in years.
*Technically she’s from Nottingham, so the Midlands depending on where you draw the line on what counts as the North but the vowel contrast with Hiddleston was a nice touch.