So How Does Loki Hold Up on a Binge-Watch?
And we need to talk about Sylvie.
Binge-watching Marvel’s Loki Disney+ series was a unique experience. I didn’t have to wait, week after week, to experience the storyline being presented and to process the information I was being given at a rapid pace. There also was no room for what-ifs or maybes when everything was laid out in disfront of me in the way that it was. But you also miss out on the copious amounts of discussion that people are doing because of said show along the way. That’s absolutely true with Loki.
Here at The Mary Sue, we’ve covered things like director Kate Herron responding to trolls, the Loki/Sylvie relationship being weighed in on, whether Sylvie was right for what she did on Loki, or how important WandaVision and Loki are to critical moments in the MCU. And I missed the real-time discussions but also benefited from having a plethora of information to go through to validate my feelings about the show as a whole.
Personally, I love binge-watching, despite the sacrifices made when it comes to discussing a show like Loki, and at the heart of that is that I get to see things in one big bang with no waiting around or time for me to let ideas percolate in my head. It’s all there in front of me, ready and waiting to be consumed. And dear Lord, I ate up every single moment of Loki and then some, leading me to where I am now in breaking down what held up, and what could have gone further when it came to Loki. And it’s all through a binge-watcher lens.
What Held Up
Coming into Loki, I was certain of the kind of show I would be given and the strides that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki would make in such a show. I’m glad to say that I was wrong. I was given more than just Tom’s Loki. I was given Sylvie, a variant of himself that he falls for while trying to meet the space lizards and figure out this madness with the timelines. Together, these two held up Loki while holding each other up and transforming into new people by the time season one ends.
Loki in particular starts off in a headspace where all he has is his glorious purpose, and it’s through meeting people like Mobius and then Sylvie that he is able to take a good and hard look at his life and what motivates him. In doing so, he finds a new purpose grounded in wanting to help someone other than himself. Sometimes he wants to help Mobius—there’s no denying that as their friendship developed—but Sylvie is the one that he wants to move the Sun, stars, and the Moon just to make sure that she was okay.
That’s love, and binge-watching made it so I didn’t have time to wonder about the what-if’s when it came to their relationship. I was shown what their relationship was about and how much they cared for each other. Combine that with the overall pace of Loki, and you’ve got a bond and story that feels grounded in found family and acceptance that maybe these characters deserve the happy ending that they’ve been denied due to the space lizards and their sacred timeline.
Ultimately, binge-watching showed me that Loki and Sylvie are at the heart of this mad universe that we’re all going to experience in the next couple of Marvel properties. They are the catalyst that started it all, and I feel like they’re the hope, as well. That’s why I’m excited for the world they’re going to build for each other. Just because Sylvie chose to destroy the sacred timeline doesn’t mean that she stopped caring for Loki or he stopped caring for her.
They’re what great love stories are about—complex, worth investing in, and the kind that change the world forever.
What I Needed More Of
Judge Renslayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, had so much potential. She was a woman of color in a position of immense power who had the ability to shape the world as we know it. We don’t get opportunities like this often enough, and I was ready for her, her story, and the way that she would shape this story! Unfortunately, I felt like Loki dropped the ball with Renslayer.
They couldn’t find which lane to put her in. She went from having drinks with Mobius and reminding him to use a coaster, basically all the little things that come with being friends, to pruning him. And this is her closest friend at the TVA. I can’t even imagine what she’d do to her actual enemies. Renslayer needed moments in between everything else going on to explain what her thought process is and how she got there.
I would’ve loved more explanation behind who she was as a character. Maybe season 2 will expand on that, but I wished season one would’ve given me more of an explanation as to why she was ok pruning innocents while knowing the true reality of what the space lizards were all about and the truth about who she was. Also, I’d like to know why she found so much pleasure in capturing Sylvie. Seriously, that scene in the elevator and the look on the face of Judge Renslayer was more than just besting a Loki. There was cruelty there.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see more of Renslayer. If anything, I want to see more of her. I’m down for the explanations, I’m down for the breaking down of her character. I’m down for it all if that means we continue to get complex women that don’t follow the same old patterns we’re used to when it comes to women on our screens. So, I’m holding out for Renslayer and hoping that my binge-watch of season 2 of Loki helps me understand who she is and why she is the way she is.
Wunmi Mosaku’s performance as Hunter B-15 left me wanting more of her and those like her. Seriously, it was an absolute pleasure watching this show as a whole and getting to explore different characters over the span of 6 episodes. But there was something about Hunter B-15 that made me want season two of Loki right now. Part of my love for Hunter B-15 is absolutely due to following Mosaku’s work in In the Flesh, Luther, and His House. She killed it in all those projects.
But at the heart of it, and the main reason why I loved her in Loki is that we saw her development for what it was: a person so sure of who they were and gliding through life with that “nothing can take me down” attitude. I love characters like that because they’re the ones with the largest amounts of development, that if done carefully, could end up being one of my favorite characters no matter the show, movie, or book.
And unlike dudebros on the internet, I love me a cocky woman who knows that she’s good and isn’t afraid to let those around her know. That’s what Hunter B-15 was and what I saw in my binge-watch. Bold, talented, assertive, cocky, and the kind of person that didn’t take anyone’s garbage, no matter where you fell on the totem pole when it came to the craziness of this Loki/Sylvie story and how it shaped the world. Watching her take charge of her life, in a manner similar to Loki and Sylvie, felt like a natural progression for Hunter B-15.
Binge-watching also made me appreciate the community that Hunter B-15 was part of. This was her home, her people, and she was willing to do everything and anything to protect the sacred timeline and those that she considered allies. And her learning the truth and changing because of it makes it easy to believe that others would fall into line with her because she’s trusted, honest, and the kind of person that is steps ahead of you when it comes to getting the truth or showing you it.
That’s why I love Hunter B-15 and why I want to better get to know her and those who are in the same shoes as her.
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