Updated: Oct 29
You Know some time ago, when Loki season 1 was still new, I saw a video from notable video essayist: full fat videos, which compared Loki to doctor who, and honestly it was more than a superficial, oooh time travel her time travel there, similar!
It's not just the time travelling part, both shows involve a hyper eccentric god like being with a very dark past that they would like to hide and/or make up for, travelling with a companion who they often bounce well off of, and sometimes become romantically involved.
Both protagonists are from a certain group(TVA = Time lords) who pose a threat to time if left unchecked and are eternally at war with another group of beings (Dalek=Kang variants) and the war is so brutal that it spans across time and becomes a time war.
And if the protagonists die, then they can regenerate/comeback as a variant, slightly different but mostly the same.
There are also more intricate similarities like how the Doctor is an outlier amongst time lords, Loki is an outlier amongst the TVA, the way that the two are eccentric, the kind of statements the two make, the way they move... but this is the General idea.
But Doctor who is more episodic, its mostly a lot of self contained stories where the doctor and his companions visit an interesting location and hi jinks ensues.
Sure there are multi episode arcs, like the arc of the silence, the Death of the doctor, the one where melody pond becomes river song, etc.
In that sense Loki season 1 episode 3: Lamentis is much more like a doctor a Doctor Who episode.
But that is not a great thing in the bigger picture because, Loki is a part of the MCU, and there is a larger narrative it must serve, so obviously episode 3 was the most disliked, although I believe it was necessary to go see an actual apocalypse, and see how survival was for Sylvie, while also knowing more about her.
So Imagine my surprise when I saw episode three of season 2 to realize that it was very similar to season 1 episode 3, and yet I loved this episode.
It was similar in the sense that, both episodes started with a crisis set up in the previous episodes, and in order to resolve that, they go to an interesting location outside the TVA, (apocalypse or 1893) and get caught up in a bigger issue, one is an impending apocalypse and the other is the impending "he who remains".
Both episodes have a lot of "sight seeing" as in they offer a lot of unique things which can only be seen in said locations, and both teach us a lot more about the characters both through well written character development and revealing new previously unknown information.
So why is one good and the other not? Well here is the difference, episode three in season 1 is a massive deviation from the main plot in an otherwise crammed superhero show, I mean its already only six episodes, where will you get time for all this filler nonsense, episode 3 in season 2 however, is completely based around the plot, in fact one of the main story lines in this episode is developing the Kang variant He Who Remains, who currently is Victor Timely.
We see and follow as the episode goes, that he actually is quite soft spoken and well mannered, and he really wants to do the right thing, even though his clumsiness gets in his way always.
This is good on the whole as this paints a picture of a kind hearted relatable man, and this is how I pictured Kang would be characterized, I do not believe that he will be an evil murdering psychopath, he is someone who wants to do the right thing, but due to circumstance he will be forced to do and become the thing he fears.
I do have one question though, how is it that Kang is in the 1800s? wasn't he supposed to be from the thirtieth century? Or was that a lie? Or perhaps, he will be left in the thirtieth century due to timey whimey stuff, because he did keep saying, he is waiting for technology to catch up to him, maybe once he goes to a place where it has, he can become who he was always meant to be.
And while we are on the subject of people being who they are meant to be, Miss Minutes has a hard on for Kang, which... if you think about it he created her, and so in some sense is her dad...
The sly AI also got Timely to throw Ravonna off the boat when it seemed they were getting too friendly. See this is the true danger of AI, screw revolution, the main threat is cute winking clocks who have a hard one for you, because that scene was creepy as f*ck.
Also, miss Minutes, let it go girl, Kang is taken, the poor thing, there will always be only one person for him, we saw it in the tapes innit?
and speaking of letting go, the ending brings up an interesting Dilemma with time travel story lines and also sometimes in real life.
How much free will is okay?
You know how in real life sometimes you just have these gut feelings that something is just headed for a cliff, if say you are almost a hundred percent sure of it, would it be okay to then intervene and stop it by any means necessary?
Believe it or not this is the same scene here, because, the future keeps changing, what if simply telling them that this is the future makes them change their ways? And what if regardless the risk is too high?
The point is even with time travel we can only be so sure of everything, because otherwise things would just be looping around again and again, and it goes against Marvels message, if they will reboot the MCU like some rumors are saying they will, then there needs to be some Chaos that the timeline manifests in order for things to change, and it will be more in line with how reality is, the future isn't set in stone, its always changing, chaotic.
And this is why the ending is so Poignant Sylvie lets he who remains go, because he is talking of the very free will she fought so hard for, its the classic paradox of tolerance, exercise of Free Will leading to the destruction of it.
And it ends with a creepy last look at He Who Remains in his dead state, although I got to ask, how is he rotting? There are no microbes in here... I guess its the effect of the elements.
But then again, how? This is the end of time? Nothing should be here, but I guess something is since the citadel is falling appart.