It’s always interesting when someone makes a big story out of a small moment in another story. Like how Rogue One: A Star Wars was born from Vader mentioning that the Death Star plans were stolen. It’s also how we got the first season of Loki, the Disney+ TV show that follows the titular Asgardian after he grabbed the Tesseract and disappeared in Avengers: Endgame. Or, how it shall henceforth be known, the show on the 4K and Blu-ray collections Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition, which follows the titular Asgardian…well, you know.
For those who didn’t see it on Disney+,
Loki starts with the aforementioned Endgame scene (slightly edited to be more Loki-centric), but with him being immediately arrested by agents of the Time Variant Authority (TVA), an organization that monitors and fixes timelines throughout the multiverse. They’re kind of like the Department Of Temporal Investigations in Star Trek. Or, the Dimensional Time Cops in Rick & Morty, but less testicular.
Regardless, Loki is informed that he has a choice: help the TVA track down a bad guy, or be erased from reality. So, of course, the self-preservationist choses the former, but with hopes of escaping. Little does he know what lies ahead…which can best be described as a multi-episode arc of Doctor Who that’s influenced by both the premise of The Silence Of The Lambs and the bureaucracy of Brazil.
Like the best Disney+ MCU shows, Loki benefits from having smart scripts, movie-level visuals, and just a hint that its tapping into something larger (which we now know it is, given how, in the two years since it premiered, we’ve seen Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, and learned the name and star of an upcoming Avengers movie).
It’s also a lot of fun, especially when it taps into some of the weirdness of the comics and the darkness of how the TVA works.
Though the biggest reason it works is the man himself: Tom Hiddleston. Not only does he excel at being suave and cheeky, and with a mischievous smile, but he’s also great at being the kind of pompous ass you just love to see get his comeuppance.
Of course, it helps that he’s joined in Loki by some eclectic co-stars. Most notably, Owen Wilson, who plays Mobius M. Mobius, an agent of the TVA, and such the polar opposite of Loki that it makes their scenes together as delightful as watching a puppy and a kitten hang out.
Now, as Marvel Cinematic Universe shows go,
Loki ranks alongside such entertaining and engaging ones as WandaVision, Agent Carter, and Jessica Jones (which, for those keeping score at home, is one step below She-Hulk, What If?, and Ms. Marvel, but just above The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Daredevil, and Luke Cage).
Well, unless you hate the whole “multiverse” thing they’ve been doing since Avengers: Endgame. In which case you might want to watch something else.
As for how these the six episodes look and sound, on Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition, both are slightly sharper on these 4K and Blu-ray discs than they were on streaming, and don’t come with the inherent fear that, if your Internet goes out or slows down, you won’t get to see how it ends.
Having Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition on 4K and Blu-ray discs also makes it easier when you miss a line of dialog and want to rewind and momentarily turn on the captions, or if you want to fast forward to see if there’s a mid-credits scene. Though, annoyingly, the episodes aren’t broken up into chapters. Which means that if you hit the button to jump past the “previously on” recap, it skips the entire episode. Sure, you can still fast forward past the recap, like you did when you binged the show on Disney+, but it’s still annoying.
The 4K and Blu-ray versions…
of Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition also, not surprisingly, have the kind of extras fans of seasonal sets always want. Well, mostly.
For starters, this has “Assembled: The Making Of Loki,” the hour-long making-of special that you probably already watched on Disney+. Like other installments of “Assembled,” this has behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew, and insights into the making of the show, though as always with these kinds of making-of featurettes, everything feels like it was approved by both the marketing and legal departments.
Next, Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition presents “Designing The TVA,” a nearly six-minute-long featurette on the set design. And not just of the TVA’s offices, either. Though, oddly, no one mentions how much the TVA’s office looks like a cross between the ’50s sci-fi aesthetic of the Fallout video games crossed with the dystopian deconstruction of Brazil.
Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition also has “The Original TVA Orientation Video,” which is odd given how it’s in the first episode.
Then there’s the requisite gag reel, which is as entertaining as, well, every other gag reel we’ve ever seen. Though at only a minute and a half, it’s also one of the shortest.
And last, for the extras,
there’s a pair of deleted scenes from two different episodes. In “Loki’s Coronation,” we get a longer version of a conversation between Loki and Mobius in which get to see, as Mobius puts it, “another one of your attempted coronations.” Then, in “The Standoff,” we get a different version of a scene in a later episode that I can’t identify without spoiling something, except to say that it, like the other one, is interesting to see, but not something that would’ve made its respective episodes better.
It’s just too bad these cut scenes don’t come with intros or commentary explaining why they were cut, or that they weren’t more conveniently placed in the part of the menu with their respective episodes, as opposed to having both in the extras menu of the first disc.
Which is another small issue I have with Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition: all of the extras, save for “Assembled,” are on the first disc, not the last, even though you shouldn’t watch any of them until after you’ve seen the show since most contain spoilers.
Speaking of which, I also would’ve liked a featurette on something else I don’t want to spoil, something really cool that has some deep comic book connections, and involved another actor — again, no spoilers — who one might describe as an older, weirder version of Hiddleston.
The 4K and Blu-ray versions of Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition are also missing some extras that would’ve made them even better. This really would’ve benefited from episode commentaries, especially if they were done by Hiddleston and Wilson, and with them in the same room at the same time. It also would’ve actually made this “Complete” if it had the show’s original trailers, as well as one for the upcoming second season, which premieres on Disney+ on October 5th, and thus won’t be out on 4K or Blu-ray until…2025?
Still, for what they do offer,
the 4K or Blu-ray versions of Loki: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition are totally worth it if you loved this show. Their extras are entertaining, while the episodes look and sound great. Not as great as Loki does, especially when bantering with Mobius, but then it’s the small things that make it all worthwhile.