Loki Episode 3: Lamentis

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.

27 thoughts on “Loki Episode 3: Lamentis

  1. Disney didn’t claim copyright over Loki, it claimed copyright over the character they created which used the likeness of “Low Key” Loki which this person was using. Under copyright law, they must enforce copyright or lose it. He was selling their depiction from a comic book in the Redbubble online marketplace. That’s what Disney asserted their rights over.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trademarks require enforcement, though, not copyright. The Daily Dot article mentioned both and it’s not all that clear on what grounds the art was removed.

      Having said that, Disney needs to rein in its lawyers.

      Like

    2. This might stand up more if, for instance, Neil Gaiman hadn’t written American Gods ~20ish years ago and included a character called Low Key Lyesmith. Who is, as the name suggests, Loki.

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      1. Yeah, a direct copy of a product owned by someone else deserves to be smited, regardless of whether the owner is The Mouse or Bob next door.

        Redbubble was proactive in getting rid of that, lest The Mouse’s Lawyer Army turn its Sauron-like gaze upon them.

        Like

      2. Well that’s fair enough then. I love and admire a lot of fan artists in various fandoms (Zelda artists in particular have just absolutely blown my mind with the speed and quality of work they put out on the slightest hints we get from Nintendo about the new game) but yeah, outright copying a design and trying to make money off it is… not that cool.

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      1. To be fair, she will have done three seasons, which is the perfectly average length of time for an actor to play the Doctor. So it doesn’t seem at all unreasonable to expect it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My first thought about this was, along with the Internet’s blowing itself up over Loki canonically declaring himself as bisexual, this is the first episode we’ve seen that feels like a full-blown Marvel movie, complete with CGI’d last act. However, that final shot was directed cleverly enough–I’m sure it wasn’t a single long shot, but it was stitched together to look like one–to distract from the usual overstuffed special effects that tend to drag the films down.

    Also, that throwaway line from Sylvie about the Minutemen being Variants themselves! THAT’s going to be important.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, that bit made my ears prick up too. There’s definitely more interesting revelations to come about the TVA I suspect.

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    1. The question is, whose illusion? Sylvie, from when she first grabbed him, Loki from then, or Loki throwing his patented chaos into her plan? (Sylvie falling asleep, Loki busting the TemPad)

      Or, one is forced to ask: was it Agatha All Along?
      (probably not)

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      1. I dont know. My guess its Lokis, He didnt use project, which I expected during the fight and the temppad got destroyed way to easily. To what end, I do not know though.

        Or it was a higher power all along.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have actually been keeping up with this, which is pretty unusual for me. Normally I am late to the party on pop culture stuff, and frantically (and usually futilely) avoiding online spoilers. I’ve been a bit slow to warm to this series so far, but I like each episode better and better. The best bits seem to be when they let Loki have his head and really go town (the Latin speech in the last episode, the Icelandic (?) ballad in this one). I hope, wherever this is going, that the writers let Loki win the day by drawing on his chaotic essential Lokiness and not by having some kind of redeeming revelation.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Apparently written specifically for the show. And intentionally in an old-ish style. Not that I am an expert on Norwegian folk songs, but based on the melodic qualities and the small amount of text I could understand, I would’ve placed it “somewhere between 1500 and 1900”, so they definitely nailed “make it sound like a folk song”.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I said to the Mr. “All alien planets look like a quarry.” He nodded. We go back to when all the alien planets really WERE quarries (Tom Baker) so here it was with a decent budget and effects!

    It was pretty much a “Doctor Who” episode, only with more drinking, singing, and pointy things. Quarries, deserts, trains, big spaceships, snappy banter. I want someone to deep-fake it with John Simm and Michele Gomez. Or vice versa.

    If the Timekeepers are all variants — which makes sense — that is going to be a Big Deal. We knew there was something very wrong with the TVA and there ya go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, That wasn important one. I suspect the Time Lords, who apparently hasnt been seen by anyone ever, are a front. My guess is a Loki is the person behind the curtain.

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      1. Or, if they’re going for bringing in another part of the Marvel Universe in like they did with WandaVision, it could be Kang the Conqueror. He’s already got a council of his own variants.

        And according to Wikipedia, Kang is going to be in the next Ant-Man film anyway… hmm.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. It was a rather neat triptych: first episode 2012 Loki is shown by the TVA how unimportant he and the things he cared about are, how the life of main Loki is ultimately heroic but does not lead to power and he the variant matters even less, how the Infinity Stones that were the ultimate prize of the whole Marvelverse are treated as nothing (though that may have been illusion, who knows.) It breaks him down, but he gets up again and gets surprising news.

    In the second episode, he learns that there are lots of variants of him, that they all cause the TVA immense trouble and that the current big bad variant he’s being set to find is one of him. So he learns the TVA lied — he is of importance among the powerful of the universe. So he plans to try to create a hustle to keep his variant existence going in getting to the Time gods. He gets surprising news about the killer variant and takes back part of his power by escaping the TVA to pursue Sylvie.

    In the third episode, he learns a lot more about how the TVA operates and he learns that the Timekeepers are all variants (assuming Sylvie isn’t lying and the TVA was.) So he learns that not only he, as a Loki variant, is important, but that variants in general aren’t nuisances to the grand timeline scheme but important assets. He comes back into his own power and seeks to suck out whatever info he can get from Sylvie. But this 2012 Loki is no longer obsessed with besting his brother and father and ruling Asgard. He’s been shown a much bigger scope and scale and from Sylvie that the TVA’s relentless control can be bested, but he may or may not be low on options in a dire situation.

    So each episode is made into a little puzzle where 2012 Loki tries to find what the truth is while protecting himself with lies. I thought they weren’t going to have Loki catch up to Sylvie so quick (set a thief to catch a thief, etc.) but this is actually more fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One interesting thing about episode three is it reveals that Loki probably palmed a Time Stone from the TVA. Remember the scene where he calls the pillar to stop its path down and reverse itself? Pure Time Stone! (I got this from reddit.)

      Liked by 1 person

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