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Everything Going on in the First Episode of ‘Loki’, Explained

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This article contains spoilers for the first episode of Loki, “Glorious Purpose.”

For the first time ever, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) isn’t a supporting player in a movie dedicated to his brother Thor or the Avengers. Instead, he’s the star of his very own Disney+ series—and we have Hulk to thank. Loki, Marvel’s latest expansion into television, picks up right after a Hulk smash that results in the tesseract landing at Loki’s feet; if you remember Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers time-traveled to the very first Avengers film to alter the events that took place at Stark Tower. Ever the mischievous one, this alternate version of Loki grabs the vessel and disappears, altering the timeline and making him a “variant” who must answer to the Time-Keepers of the Time Variance Authority (TVA). Because the 2012 version of Loki escaped, he’s unaware of everything he did in the rest of the MCU films. But in episode 1 of Loki, our beloved villain gets a wake-up call.

Ahead, a breakdown of everything that has happened so far in Loki.

So, which version of Loki is the main character of Loki?

The first episode of Loki opens with the God of Mischief being captured by the TVA in the Gobi Desert immediately following his escape in Avengers: Endgame. Thus, we’re reunited with the 2012 version of Loki, who is still as self-serving and manipulative as ever. He tries to escape from the confines of TVA’s beige-and-orange headquarters, but soon realizes the organization is a lot more powerful than he expected.

Wait, what exactly is the TVA? What is its purpose?

The Time Variance Authority is an organization that operates in another realm outside of the multiverse—that is, main—timeline. Its purpose is to monitor the timeline to prevent any interferences from damaging or altering future realities. Anyone who interferes with the natural timeline—and thus, splits off from that timeline—is labeled a “variant.”

What happened to the original Loki?

After the first Avengers film, the Loki of the main timeline continued on a path of chaos, ultimately playing a part in both Frigga and Odin’s deaths. He finally makes amends with his brother Thor, but Thanos chokes him to death at the beginning of Infinity War. During an interrogation with Mobius (Owen Wilson) at the TVA, Loki-the-variant is brought up to speed on everything the “real” Loki experienced in the main timeline.

Disney

“Do you enjoy hurting people? Do you enjoy killing people?” Mobius asks the trickster. The two attempt to answer that question throughout the episode. Because Loki is, well, Loki, he tries to escape, finding the Tesseract and the Infinity Stones resting in a drawer at the TVA. Casey, a receptionist, tells Loki the stones—the same stones that cost our heroes their lives and wellbeing—are being used as paperweights, a clear signal to Loki that his powers have no use here. He gives up his plan to escape and returns to the interrogation room, where he watches himself killed by Thanos on the big screen. He has a change of heart.

“I don’t enjoy hurting people,” he tells Mobius, reiterating a line he stated earlier in the episode: “It’s a part of the illusion. It’s the cruel, elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspire fear.” Instead of punishing Loki, Mobius asks him for his help in capturing a “fugitive variant” who’s been killing the TVA’s enforcers, known as the Minutemen. That dangerous fugitive? He’s also a Loki variant.

What do we know so far about the other Loki variant?

The episode’s final scene takes us to a field where a few Minutemen are greeted by a hooded figure—the evil Loki variant. He sets the field on fire, killing all the Minutemen. Now, thanks to Mobius, Loki’s new job will see him searching for himself—literally.

Burning questions for episode 2:

  • Is the “fugitive Variant” the rumored Lady Loki? (Some MCU theorists believe Loki will eventually introduce Lady Loki, a prominent figure in the comic books.)
  • Was Loki’s speech about his tricks being an “illusion” just another ruse up one of his many sleeves?
  • Is Loki a true redemption story?

    Stay tuned.

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I Played Brie Larson on Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road and It Was Chaos

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What’s it really like to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with Brie Larson? Absolute, deliberate mayhem. I had accepted that Larson, a Nintendo ambassador and lifelong fan, would be hard to beat when I learned she was a formidable Mario Kart player who’d just played against college students that afternoon. They beat her, but still, she put in the practice time. And this wasn’t just a race; it was an interview, too. We would both have to multi-task.

When we connected on Zoom, I let her choose her favorite course. I decided it would just be our two avatars competing; me as Princess Peach on a motorcycle, her playing as her signature character, Luigi. No computers racing against us. No distractions.

“That’s fun. Sounds chaotic. I’m in,” Larson said.

Brie Larson’s Mii alongside mine when first selecting our race course in Mario Kart.

Alyssa BaileyNintendo

I thought if Larson chose something like the Animal Crossing course, maybe I could win. Maybe I could pull it off! I played eight races against my boyfriend—a good Mario Kart player—for practice the night before and won them all. I consider myself to be a decent Mario Kart player. Not pro, but competitive enough.

Then Larson chose Rainbow Road. “We want a hard one,” she told me. “We just want chaos.” Initially, I thought, good thing I practiced that one. But it wasn’t the Mario Kart 8 version I played on. It was the SNES one.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has three versions of Rainbow Road: the Mario Kart 64 one, the SNES one, and a new one exclusive to Mario Kart 8. The SNES one has sharp, constant turns and no walls at all. Compare that to the Mario Kart 8 version, which has tricky turns but includes a few walls to break up the tension of the course. As my boyfriend texted me post-race, “The SNES courses were a nightmare lol.”

We started driving, I remembered I also had to try to ask questions, and then I hit the first turn. That’s when I knew: This was going to be the hardest round of Mario Kart I ever played.

“Oh my gosh. This course is brutal,” I told her.

“I know, but it’s beautiful,” Larson replied.

“Beautiful, but it’s brutal,” I stressed.

We kept driving, and I didn’t fall off, but only because I was carefully taking each turn at the cost of speed. You can’t have both unless you’re really, really good at dashing, a skill mechanic in the game that gives you a speed boost but can be tricky to execute correctly on back-to-back sharp turns. If you turn too much to the right or left, you’ll fall off.

Brie Larson playing Mario Kart on her Nintendo Switch

As we raced, I asked Larson about her kart versus bike preference. “I feel I just don’t trust myself with the bike,” she explained. “But I also haven’t played that much with it.”

I asked her what her first Mario Kart game was (it was Mario Kart 64) and why she liked Rainbow Road so much. “It’s really just the nostalgic factor for me,” she said. “I just remember from the very first Mario Kart, it seemed like insanity. It felt to me and my sister, ‘This is impossible. This is crazy.’ I think it became…I don’t know, lore, in my family: being on a track with no edges.”

Halfway through the race, I looked down at the screen’s mini map. Larson was slightly ahead of me. It wasn’t impossible to catch up, but I knew if she drove the course perfectly, I would have to use some mushrooms (which can be used as speed boosts)—and also avoid falling off the course while using them.

We were on our last lap. Larson was still ahead…and then she struggled with a turn. “It was almost really bad,” she said. Then she did fall off. “This is giving you a really good opportunity,” she encouraged me. “You should take it.”

I had a banana and a mushroom, and a sharp turn ahead that I knew I could easily fall from if I didn’t take it carefully.

“I’m trying,” I told her. “It’s just… I’m so afraid of falling off, too.”

“Oh yeah. It’s scary,” Larson commiserated.

Winning wasn’t impossible, though. It all depended on how long it took her to recover from her fall. I inched closer to the finish line and saw her, too—recovered and ahead of me. She crossed the line a few seconds ahead of me. And that was it.

“I was close, but you got it,” I said.

“Well, I lost every game earlier today, so it was good for my ego,” Larson replied.

I thanked her for giving me my own ego check. She laughed. “I chose a hard track,” she admitted. True.

Larson may be competitive on Mario Kart, but she’s so nice to race, you can forgive her for choosing essentially the hardest course in the game.

brie larson's luigi and my peach at the start of what would've been our second race on mario kart 8's rainbow road

Brie Larson’s Luigi and my Peach at the start of what would’ve been our second race on Mario Kart 8’s Rainbow Road

Nintendo

Our interview time was running short, so our second race on the Mario Kart 8 version of Rainbow Road had to be put on hold. Before I hung up, I asked Larson about her tips for new players. Here’s what she offered:

Well, obviously start at 50cc first. Start on the easiest versions possible. And it really just takes practice. And if you are playing against somebody who’s new to it, I would slow down on my drifting and allow them to have—not target them maybe as much with items. Be a little bit kinder, not so brutal to them, just to get them some time in the game. But a lot of my friends who’ve gotten into gaming recently through my obsession, they’ve just wanted solo time. They’re like, “I’m not ready to play with you. I’ll just play on my own. I want to put some hours in on my own before we play together.”

And how does Larson feel about Captain Marvel meeting Ms. Marvel in The Marvels, the upcoming sequel to Captain Marvel? “I’m super excited.” she said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Larson revealed the director of the film, Nia DaCosta, is a gamer like her. “That’s the first time I’ve worked with somebody who also games like I do,” Larson said. She added that she doesn’t usually play Nintendo Switch with her coworkers on set, but she will bring her system with her. “Usually it’s just a solo thing. When I’m at work, it’s not a social thing. It’s a way for me to stay focused and to stay present in the scene while I’m waiting for them to change the camera around or move lights around. I can stay focused, but I’m playing Mario Tennis [Aces].”

Larson also shared her hopes for tomorrow’s Nintendo E3 presentation, where the company will be announcing its upcoming projects. “I’m excited about the future of Zelda,” she said. “I feel there’s just been bits of information [about the Breath of the Wild sequel] and I want to know more about it. And yeah, I’m interested in some surprises. I feel it’s always been fun when new characters get their own spinoff solo series. I would be stoked for that.”

Our call ended with kind goodbyes, and I knew as I turned my off Nintendo Switch that even though I lost, I still accomplished something truly insane. The outcome doesn’t matter: You’ll never forget the race.

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These Drugstore Moisturizers Will Nourish Skin Without Breaking the Bank

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You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a moisturizer for it to give you the results you’re after. (Read that again.) Your local drugstore is a treasure-trove of complexion-improving formulas. The proof: When asked, “What makes a good moisturizer?” Joshua Zeichner, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, concluded that it isn’t the money that you spend on it. Instead, it’s finding the right formula for your skin type.

He explains that moisturizers typically have three different ingredients: occlusives, which form a protective film on skin and lock in moisture, emollients (which he says “softens the outer layer and fill in cracks between rough skin cells”), and humectants (moisture-retainers). So finding a moisturizer with the right concentration of each of these ingredients for your skin type is totally possible at the drugstore. Ahead, our picks for the best drugstore moisturizers out there.

1

Dry Skin Cream

It’s Zeichner’s pick for dry skin. “It is rich in emollient and occlusive ingredients like petrolatum and fatty alcohols to soften and protect the skin,” he says. “Glycerin gives a plumping effect and can help minimize skin irritation.”

2

Intensive Moisture Facial Cream

3

Drench & Quench Moisturizer

This water-based moisturizer is Zeichner’s pick for all skin types—especially if you have combination or oily skin. “It has high levels of hyaluronic acid to pull in hydration to the skin,” he says. His pro tip: “Whenever you’re using a product with hyaluronic acid, apply it with damp fingertips to give it the water it needs to do its job.” 

4

Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena
target.com

$14.49

It’s a moisturizer for those who hate moisturizers. This water-based gel quickly absorbs and deeply hydrates skin without feeling heavy or greasy.

5

AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen, SPF 30

Spiked with SPF 30, this comfortable-wearing lotion will keep skin feeling silky soft and hydrated all day. 

6

Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Crème

If you’re looking to address visible signs of aging, opt for this multitasking formula. “This moisturizer does double-duty—improving skin hydration while also addressing wrinkles,” Zeichner says. “In addition to it’s moisturizing ingredients, it contains a stabilized form of retinol, which is a great option for people who are concerned with aging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.”

7

Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream

Cetaphil
target.com

$16.99

Revive drab-looking skin with this pick, which contains niacinamide to help bring out your complexion’s radiance over time and hyaluronic acid (a.k.a. a moisture magnet).

8

SuperHydrate Moisturizer

e.l.f cosmetics
elfcosmetics.com

$12.00

Infused with squalane—which can help strengthen your skin barrier—this gel moisturizer will nourish skin and give it a juicy bounce.

9

Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Facial Moisturizer

Cap your night routine with this emollient cream, which uses retinol to help alleviate fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

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Gigi Hadid on How She and Zayn Malik Are Raising Khai to Navigate Her Multiethnic Identity

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Gigi Hadid is i-D’s summer cover star, and in her interview with the outlet, Hadid candidly reflected on her experience being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic and how she is approaching raising her and Zayn Malik’s daughter Khai.

i-D’s reporter Osman Ahmed asked Hadid about “how you’re approaching parenthood. So much of it is instinctive, but I find with raising a mixed-race child, lots of it is actively thinking about how to address that.”

Hadid responded at length, reflecting on her own experience growing up in a multiethnic household. (Hadid’s mother Yolanda is Dutch, while Hadid’s father Mohamed is Palestinian.)

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Gigi Hadid and Khai

Instagram

“We [Zayn and me] think about it and talk about it a lot as partners and it’s something that’s really important to us, but it’s also something that we first experienced ourselves,” she started. “Because both of our parents are their own heritage. We are that first generation of those mixed races, and then that comes with that first generational experience of being like, ‘Oh damn, I’m the bridge!’. That’s not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through. It’s something I’ve always thought about my whole life.”

“In certain situations, I feel–or I’m made to feel–that I’m too white to stand up for part of my Arab heritage,” Hadid continued. “You go through life trying to figure out where you fit in racially. Is what I am, or what I have, enough to do what I feel is right? But then, also, is that taking advantage of the privilege of having the whiteness within me, right? Am I allowed to speak for this side of me, or is that speaking on something that I don’t experience enough to know? Do you know what I’m saying?

“I think that Khai will grow up feeling out the way that she can or wants to be a bridge for her different ethnicities,” Hadid said. “But I think that it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from [with] it, without us putting that onto her. What comes from her is what I’m most excited about, and being able to add to that or answer her questions, you know?”

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