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Loki Episode 2 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episode two of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus, how does it compare to the other recent MCU series, here’s our review. It is the third MCU related show this year, following in the footsteps of WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

Not wasting any time

Refreshingly, this series is moving at a real pace. We’re only two episodes in, but a third of the way through the series. We’ve already seen what appears to be the main villain of the piece. Also, the dynamic between Loki and Agent Mobius is already firmly established.

The episode starts in what appears to be the Middle Ages but in reality, is a Renaissance Fair in 1985. There’s a very strong 80’s thread running throughout this whole series. As with episode one, there are references to Bladerunner. The stylistic homage to that iconic film is even more prevalent in this episode. When Mobius is having his meeting with Renslayer, they are listening to music on her reel-to-reel tape player and the computers resemble an old BBC micro. This is reminiscent of the scene where Rick Deckard is examining a picture closely by magnifying it in a way we can do easily in the age the film was set (2019), by using his television which was clearly made around the time the film was made in 1982. The technology used looks decidedly retro while its purpose and function are unashamedly futuristic.

At the fair

Meanwhile, back at the renaissance fair, the TVA hunters are looking for The Variant, who is proving impossible to catch. The Variant seems to be able to infect almost any person. Having managed to infect Hunter C-20 and steal the technology that allows the TVA to create Time Doors, The Variant can now not only move through people but through time and space as well.

The TVA has informed Loki that The Variant is literally that – a variant of Loki. In a classic piece of reverse psychology, they’ve convinced him that The Variant is in fact ‘The Superior Loki’. This is like a red, or in this case green, rag to a bull as he is determined to remain the ultimate god of mischief. He is therefore happy to help Mobius and the TVA catch this interloper and sets about his task with some vigour.

Loki’s theory

He realises that the way The Variant is managing to move unseen through the ages and create timeline branches is by existing when disasters (or Nexus events) are about to occur. He convinces Mobius of this and is allowed to demonstrate it by first ruining Mobius’ lunch and then heading on a brief but amusing trip to Pompeii in 79AD.

Loki works out that The Variant is hiding in an area in Alabama in 2050 that is about to be devastated by a hurricane. They track the ‘Superior Loki’ to a huge supermarket where people are sheltering from the impending storm. Mobius is overruled by B-15 and Loki is taken with her to search for The Variant. The motive behind the unusual move becomes clear immediately as The Variant has taken over B-15’s body to try and destroy Loki to continue on their time, space and body hopping plan of mischief.

Fortunately, Loki is wise to this and after several body-swapping moments and a sizeable battle The Variant is finally revealed in her true form. She then escapes via a time door and Loki is left with no option but to follow her to try and keep tabs on her. Mobius, who missed the entire fight, is now under the impression that he has escaped rather than the reality.

Showing promise

This series is already looking extremely promising. Clearly, the powers that be at Marvel agree, having already ordered a second series. There was some lovely interplay between Loki and Miss Minutes. Also, the buddy cop dynamic between Mobius and Loki is developing nicely too. Lastly, the relationship between Loki and The Variant looks set to be a classic sibling rivalry. One full of spice and constant attempts to gain the upper hand. Marvel has definitely got the aesthetic right as well. Some of the green screen work at TVA HQ is magnificent. The theme tune is brilliant as well. In fact, I’m sure there’ll be music producers working on dance remixes of it as we speak. It could not only be the TV event of the summer but also provide us with the song of the summer too.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 8/10


Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode two. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our Loki episode one review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.

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TV News

Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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