Warning - This article contains spoilers for the series premiere of Loki.
The premiere of Loki was driven by exploration as fans were introduced to an entirely new sector of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Episode One introduced a variety of concepts and rules that define the flow of time and the role of the TVA in the MCU. The majority of that exposition was given in the form of a two-minute instructional video narrated by the TVA mascot Miss Minutes.
Head writer for Loki Michael Waldron spoke to The Direct about the importance of that video and the writing process behind it.
FOR ALL TIME. ALWAYS.
Waldron and his team are dealing with some of the most complex concepts and ideas that the MCU has ever seen. The flow of time is always the great equalizer and the head writer has addressed the need for these rules to be airtight.
In a recent exclusive interview with The Direct, Waldron revealed that the Miss Minutes video contained "some of the most vital dialogue" in the entire series. The MCU writer went on to suggest that, thanks to the scene being in animation, Miss Minutes' speech was tweaked "down to the wire:"
"It’s very important. Some of the most vital dialogue in the show. That is part of the reason it is nice that Miss Minutes is animated, you can always be adjusting that down to the wire."
No matter how much things are simplified, dealing with time and space has a base level of complexity no matter what. The Rick and Morty veteran expressed how their goal was to get the rules out there and bake them into the viewing experience in an "entertaining" manner:
"We knew as writers we had to define what these rules are for the audience. We had to share that information with them in a way that is hopefully entertaining, and then ideally shift it to the background so they weren’t falling asleep thinking about time travel rules instead of enjoying the show."
THE RULES OF TIME IN LOKI
When introducing a deep-rooted rule book for the structure of time in the universe, a simple 60s style cartoon is a great way to simplify the inherently complex. Miss Minutes was charming, the cartoons were fun, and the ticket bit produces a genuine chuckle.
But draped in the smooth tones of a tape rolled in on a cart, Waldron says this is "some of the most vital dialogue in the show."
This small part of the Loki series has been and will be studied and memorized by anyone interested in the Multiverse in the MCU. The Sacred Timeline is the lack of a multiverse, and that is going to create some problems for future stories being told by Marvel Studios.
Waldron and his team knew that setting up the structure of the timeline, the rules for how it works, and the path for it to be broken would be crucial to the success of such an intricate concept. And in turn, the viewing experience of the show, and future shows moving forward.
The MCU has been known for their showrunners being passionate and involved in the construction of this cinematic universe, and Michael Waldron surely seems to be the next in a run of lifers hired by Kevin Feige.
The attention to detail, while vital, is the standard mark of a good showrunner. But it is the attention to the viewing experience that has people saying Waldron is the right person for this job.
There is a reason Kevin Feige has brought Michael Waldron to the forefront of multiple projects on his desk in recent years.
One of those reasons that fans are most excited about is how much Waldron seems to care about fans having the best experience possible.