“Glorious Purpose” has the distinct mission of giving Loki a reason to be alive still. After all, we saw him die at the hands of Thanos in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” Unfortunately, the neck snap seemed permanent at the time, and indeed, after all the time meddling the Avengers did, Loki didn’t make a further appearance in the film. Of course, there always was a built-in escape, and this series takes advantage of that moment from “Avengers: Endgame.” Warning, “Loki” may cause migraines while trying to keep the timeline straight.
The Greater Marvel Cinematic Universe
“Loki” doesn’t necessarily require that you’ve seen the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some passing familiarity of the events thus far doesn’t hurt, but you could come in a blank slate. Owen Wilson’s Mobius gets us enough backstory not to be utterly confused. Loki’s escape in “Endgame” creates a timeline variance, which is why the Timeline Variance Authority, where Mobius works, exists (duh!) Most who arrive as criminals at the TVA won’t stay long, but Mobius needs Loki’s help to apprehend a variant going after TVA agents. And who is our big bad for the moment? A different version of Loki himself.
Years Of Glorious Purpose
“Glorious Purpose” feels a little bit like it threw everything and the kitchen sink at the audience. I suppose, though, that there is no subtle way to re-introduce a character like Loki. From the outside perspective, a lot is going on in this episode. It covers almost ten years of theatrical releases in just under an hour. Fortunately, it doesn’t dwell on that past; instead, it uses the information to build a future for Loki. And from an insider’s view, it’s nice to have the question of ‘What happened to Loki?’ answered.
Just Who Is Loki
The episode is also a deep dive into what makes Loki himself tick. Wilson’s Mobius is well suited to the job, with the Trickster God himself seemingly feeling comfortable enough to reveal parts of his psyche. “I don’t enjoy hurting people. I don’t enjoy it. I do it because I have to because I’ve had to because it’s part of the illusion. It’s the cruel elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear.” So many weak leaders in our world. With Loki recognizing this in himself, he finds the beginnings of the path to total redemption.
The “Glorious Purpose” Of…Doctor Who?
“Glorious Purpose” does have a lot going on and yet never feels overwhelming, even to viewers not so familiar with everyone’s favorite trickster. Its takes on bureaucracy are maybe a touch commonplace but humorous all the same. The only ‘complaint’ I had was that it felt very much like a “Doctor Who” episode, but let’s be honest, that isn’t a complaint at all. If a show can successfully invoke one of my favorites without being derivative, more power to it.