Leaning Into Loki’s Journey

Originally published at: Leaning Into Loki’s Journey - The Happiest Pod on Earth

#14: With Special Guest Rachel Wethers, MSW, Happiest Pod dives into both the character and show Loki on Disney+. Stef, Ariel, and Rachel talk about themes of trauma, adoption, lying, acceptance, and belonging.

Transcription

Ariel Landrum 0:11
Hello, everyone, welcome to The Happiest Pod on Earth.

Stefanie Bautista 0:14
I’m Stefanie.

Ariel Landrum 0:16
And I’m Ariel.

Rachel Wethers 0:17
And I’m Rachel.

Ariel Landrum 0:19
And we’re all Disney fans. But we’re really so much more than that.

Stefanie Bautista 0:23
And I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the wide world around them.

Ariel Landrum 0:31
And I’m a licensed therapist who uses my clients passion and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and really achieve mental wellness.

Rachel Wethers 0:40
And I’m a licensed clinical social worker who uses passions and fandoms to help process and integrate trauma, and empower each of us in our different individual uniqueness.

Ariel Landrum 0:51
And a Happiest Pod is a the place where we dissect is new mediums with a critical lens. Why? Because just like we are more than just fans, we expect more from the mediums we consume.

Stefanie Bautista 1:02
Happiest Pod is the as part of the Geek Therapy Network of podcasts where we all believe that the best way to understand ourselves and the world around us is through the mediums we have an affinity with.

Ariel Landrum 1:13
And because we have an affinity well for Disney, we will use it as a tool to share with others how to heal and learn, grow and understand. So what Disney the medium or experience are we dissecting and sharing today everybody?

Stefanie Bautista 1:26
Yes, we will be talking about the Disney+ series as well as the character Loki. One of my favorites and many of yours, I’m sure. And as you heard, we have a special guest on the podcast today, Rachel Wether. Now Rachel is a virtual therapist, meaning that she sees her clients online as in and is licensed in Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri.

Ariel Landrum 1:50
Rachel specializes in working with individuals who’ve survived trauma have grown up in the foster system, and even those who are Neurodivergent. She also has a personal history as a foster youth herself.

Stefanie Bautista 2:02
So Rachel, can you share a little bit about your experience as a foster youth?

Rachel Wethers 2:07
Sure, sure. So I entered the state system around the age of 14. And eventually I aged out of foster care at 18. But prior to that I’d been connected through being shifted around between family members and, and friends of the family for quite a few years before 14. I grew up in the Detroit Metro area, but eventually what I was actually placed in a religious children’s home in Mississippi. So big culture shock.

Stefanie Bautista 2:34
Wow.

Rachel Wethers 2:34
Right? I did have the opportunity to travel a lot though, with the children’s home during my high school years to help support the children’s home. And fun fact, our travel group was sent to both Disneyland and Disney World during those years

Ariel Landrum 2:49
What?

Rachel Wethers 2:49
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 2:49
Magical.

Rachel Wethers 2:50
While traveling, I probably wouldn’t have been able to visit that if it hadn’t been for being there.

Stefanie Bautista 2:58
Okay.

Rachel Wethers 2:58
Anyways, my childhood has given me a lot of lived experience regarding trauma, childhood attachment needs, and especially aging out of the system without much support because that was like 25 years ago. So there’s a lot more support nowadays.

Stefanie Bautista 3:12
For sure.

Ariel Landrum 3:13
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 3:13
And I know we’re going to be diving a little bit more into that probably later. But thank you so much for sharing…

Rachel Wethers 3:18
Sure.

Stefanie Bautista 3:18
Your history with us and our listeners and for agreeing to join this podcast. We’re so excited to have you today.

Rachel Wethers 3:24
Thank you.

Ariel Landrum 3:25
Yes, thank you, thank you, we need to be the perfect guest to help us uncover Loki and get to know this character and show the themes of adoption and belonging acceptance. I think it should be noted that we’re recording this episode on July 14, which is the final episode of this series. So let’s dive in. I know for you, Rachel, you’ve you actually pulled up a lot of Loki history and lore, going back to two comics and a little bit of Norse mythology. So way back.

Rachel Wethers 3:55
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 3:55
What are some things that you want to highlight in regards to the differences from the Loki we see in this this variant? Versus like the intro we get in the MCU? And the intro we get in the comics?

Rachel Wethers 4:09
Sure, sure. Well, I think so I have a wonderful partner and he’s been collecting comic books for like forever. We have like boxes and boxes and closets.

Ariel Landrum 4:18
Lovely.

Rachel Wethers 4:19
But he just really pointed out that the difference in writers because you know, Loki was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby drew him wonderfully back in the day. But over time, as the authors have changed, the story has shifted some right? And so I think Stan drew from the original Norse mythology a little bit more, which had…

Ariel Landrum 4:42
Like being true to to the origin of the inspiration.

Rachel Wethers 4:46
Which really focused on more villainous approach, right. Really focusing on the trickster from a very harsh and negative perspective. Loki really wanted power, right at that time, and while some of that passes into the more modern comic days, and especially then the MCU I think that Tom Hiddleston, especially in the MCU, has really brought a lot of humor. And he has this charisma, right, that draws people. And so he becomes much more likeable.

Ariel Landrum 5:19
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 5:19
And he really inspires, you know, compassion and empathy as we pick up on some of the storylines that have affected him through the years.

Stefanie Bautista 5:28
Yeah, I think in casting Tom Hiddleston they really wanted to put us all in a pickle.

Ariel Landrum 5:34
Right?!

Rachel Wethers 5:34
It was fantastic casting.

Stefanie Bautista 5:37
Yeah, I really, I love Loki, as you know, a hero, I have to hear whatever you have him. He is just so unpredictable. And I think that’s refreshing when you know, you’re thinking about the Avengers. And you know the plight of the hero’s journey. So it’s really nice to see how they flesh them out.

Rachel Wethers 5:54
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 5:55
And I think it’s also interesting like talking about that idea of trickster because if I just hear that word, like my association of it is like being mischievious and tricky, but not being evil.

Rachel Wethers 6:07
Yeah right.

Ariel Landrum 6:08
And so I feel like if I were to dive into the older comics, I may not like that Loki.

Rachel Wethers 6:14
I would agree, I would probably feel the same way

Ariel Landrum 6:17
That that variant Loki would would not be my one that I would wanna assocation with.

Rachel Wethers 6:24
Right?

Ariel Landrum 6:25
Prune!

Rachel Wethers 6:25
Right. I think it’s interesting, though, because you know, the, when we look at the development of storylines, and we look at the trickster figure, right, he’s designed to kind of show the opposite or to highlight the hero. Right? And so I think Stan’s view was the more evil he could be, the more heroic.

Ariel Landrum 6:45
Okay.

Rachel Wethers 6:46
Thor could be right?

Stefanie Bautista 6:47
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 6:47
Or whoever he was facing at the time. But I think we’ve got this different dynamic today, where we can recognize that you know, some of for individuals who’ve been through hard things, learning to survive can lead to sometimes what we consider manipulative behaviors or or difficult behaviors. And so while they use that to still highlight Thor, man, I think, especially in this series, we’re seeing some transition.

Ariel Landrum 7:14
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 7:14
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 7:14
Into some very heroic perspectives for him.

Ariel Landrum 7:18
Well, and you even…

Rachel Wethers 7:19
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 7:19
You even use the term “survive” right and that’s, that’s been a common theme and that Lokis survive. That was that was pretty much consistent in like, essentially all the variants.

Rachel Wethers 7:30
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 7:30
In this is sort of a rally cry? Motto?

Rachel Wethers 7:34
Right.

Ariel Landrum 7:35
Like family crest. I don’t know.

Stefanie Bautista 7:37
Glorious purpose?

Ariel Landrum 7:38
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 7:40
Hmm.

Stefanie Bautista 7:40
Definitely. And I don’t know if we mentioned this earlier, but if you are listening and you haven’t finished the series, beware major spoilers.

Ariel Landrum 7:48
All the spoilers.

Stefanie Bautista 7:50
All the spoilers. So take a moment if you have not seen it, take a pause, listen to our other episodes, or any of the other Geek Therapy Network podcasts. And come back to us when you have finished.

Ariel Landrum 8:01
Yes, yes. So so then speaking of spoilers, I’m curious in meeting the other variants other versions of Loki. Like what was what was everyone’s perspective on that? Or take? Like, like, well, I mean, how’d you feel?

Rachel Wethers 8:25
I think that I hadn’t known a whole lot about some of the other variants, even though they’ve been, it’s my udnerstanding they’ve been pretty portrayed in the comics the last few years. I hear Kid Loki has a whole comic, you know, outline and then of course, you’ve got President Loki, you know, is pretty popular. And so I’ve learned so much more about Kid Loki through diving in. He needs his own show. Just saying Disney. He needs his own show.

Stefanie Bautista 8:53
Yeah, I can definitely write on that, Rachel. I mean, I had, I knew that he had other variants. And now that we’re just thinking about the multiverse as we’re going forward and all of the Marvel stories that are coming out. I mean, just seeing all of them in that last episode was just like, “Now I need to know more of all of these.” Especially I think ‘Old Loki’ really like touched upon the journey of Loki and like hearing him give his sort of battle stories and his you know, his war stories. What have you. About his journey of being alone. I think because we’ve seen Loki slip through timelines slipped through the Avengers hands and you know, just kind of do his own thing in his masterful plan. What have you. To get powe. I mean, you you got to think and pause and ask yourself “What.. At what point do you lose yourself?”

Ariel Landrum 9:50
Yup.

Stefanie Bautista 9:50
And I think when he he told his story, you’re like, “Man, like, being alone is the most scariest thing.”

Ariel Landrum 9:56
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 9:57
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 9:57
I think that really touches in on, the the fact that there was a… This desire the reason he got caught right or or like the the branch broke off and the and the TVA captured him was because he wanted to reconnect. He wanted to find family again. And it’s it’s really interesting thinking again in the stance of his experience as someone who has been adopted that that… That desire for belonging but also that the polar opposite of like, “I don’t want to be around anyone I don’t feel loved. I don’t want to be loved.”

Stefanie Bautista 10:39
Mm hmm.

Rachel Wethers 10:39
Sure.

Stefanie Bautista 10:41
Yeah. And the whole notion of Loki just existing for other people’s purposes and not his own. I think that was really something to tackle and think about because not every story is like that. You don’t tell a protagonist “Your only purpose is to really make everybody,”

Ariel Landrum 10:59
“To die.”

Stefanie Bautista 10:59
Yeah, “to die and make everyone look better.” What a crappy purpose. You know? Not glorious at all whatsoever. So I think playing with those notions of glorious purpose, what is your purpose and, being told you have no purpose. Was was really compelling.

Rachel Wethers 11:15
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and especially if you kind of look at the I started to view the story of his purpose, especially through watching this as being as paralleling the adoptees journey, right? Because, adoptees go through a journey where they, you know, have to process the next explore through the traumas of their birth. Right? And the changes that they experienced leading to adoption, but then as adults, they tend to go back and learn more about their families and their births of origin as well. And find their own origin stories, right. And there’s a there’s a journey there that happens where we’re seeking our purpose. We’re seeking “Why do we exist on this earth?” You know, “What, what is my purpose here?” And I think Loki has that and even just looking at the intensity in which he shares you know about “his glorious purpose,” feels almost like he’s searching for something in that. Right? There’s an intensity to it that’s powerful.

Stefanie Bautista 12:12
Yeah

Rachel Wethers 12:13
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 12:13
I think it also you know, in focusing on the on the different variants if you’re looking at like, ‘Old Man Loki?’ I don’t know what else to call him. ‘Grown?’ ‘Elder?’ ‘Elder Loki.’

Stefanie Bautista 12:23
‘Old Loki.’ I think they just call him ‘Old Loki,’ right?

Rachel Wethers 12:26
I think they might call him Classic Loki.

Ariel Landrum 12:29
That’s that’s way more respectful, I like that.

Stefanie Bautista 12:32
‘Vintage Loki.’

Ariel Landrum 12:32
‘Vintage.’ ‘Retro.’

Rachel Wethers 12:33
He’s the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Loki.

Stefanie Bautista 12:37
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 12:38
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 12:38
Okay, so Classic Loki like we saw he had such immense power, right, that was something that was really sort of shocking how great his ability to to project and create realism. And and that reminds me of my clients who have experienced trauma, sometimes their daydream world is more real, more in an place of more comfort and strength for them.

Stefanie Bautista 13:01
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 13:01
Simply because the world that they’re living in now doesn’t create doesn’t center them in a positive light.

Rachel Wethers 13:09
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 13:09
And if we’re talking about like that, that trickster that being evil, the whether he’s actually a bad guy or villain, you don’t like being put in your narrative where you’re not in a positive light, and then being told that like your only purpose is to uplift others and die? Like, why wouldn’t I…

Rachel Wethers 13:25
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 13:25
Lean in on my strength of creating fantasy to reality?

Rachel Wethers 13:28
Sure.

Stefanie Bautista 13:29
Right.

Rachel Wethers 13:29
Absolutely. And I’ll throw in there too that children who have experienced trauma, and I often see it and both children who are adopted a young at a young age, but also children in the foster care system, often feel very disempowered, because all the choices are being made for them. They have no voice and choice in life, right? And so what happens is when they get into the more angsty years, for most kids, that teenager years, right, they begin to fight back. They want their power back. And unless their community can rally around them and be that village that they need to support them through that journey. Then sometimes that starts to get even, you know, harmful to self and others as they’re trying to fight to get what power they can back over their life in their world.

Stefanie Bautista 14:13
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 14:15
I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts are specifically on Sylvie because she disclosed that she knew she was adopted, whereas Loki had no idea.

Stefanie Bautista 14:25
Hm hmm.

Rachel Wethers 14:25
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 14:25
And I think…

Rachel Wethers 14:26
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 14:26
I think even I mean, we’re not really we don’t really know, the other narratives for the other low keys but specific like that, that creates a very different trajectory in knowledge of self. Right? And self-identity creation.

Stefanie Bautista 14:40
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 14:40
Yeah, well, and Odin had some trickery there too, for Loki where he used magic to, you know, take care of the blue skin so that Loki looked like he fit in the family and he made he kept it a secret. And it wasn’t, it’s something that was very harmful to Loki when he learned about it. And they’re interaction when he learned about it too, and what I think it was the second Thor movie was just emotionally explosive, right? As as Loki lost the sense of trust and belief in his father, because it seemed to have, you know, just discredited everything. In looking up to him. Right? Whereas, you know, Sylvie, she always knew. I’m not quite sure that that means she had less trauma, but I think there are different types of trauma, right? When we look at attachment styles. Sylvie has a has a bit of just an avoidant attachment style, where she just kind of gave up and expects that things are going to be the way that they were. Right? Whereas Loki has this mixed dynamic of, you know, both emotions and fighting and avoidance. Where he goes back and forth, because he’s experienced both sides of the picture of attachment. Right? He thought things were good, you know, when he was young, or as good as they could be. But then everything fell apart.

Stefanie Bautista 16:06
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 16:06
Right.

Stefanie Bautista 16:07
It’s definitely the difference between a kid through his journey and through their journey.

Rachel Wethers 16:11
Sure.

Stefanie Bautista 16:12
And a kid who has gone through those things and says, “I know all about this.” Like, “I’ve been there, I’ve done that I’m kind of callous to it.” And I see that sometimes with you know, kids, in my class prior and, you know, kids in different classes. I mean, there are some kids who are just learning the world around them and they have this like wide eyed, you know, bushy tailed disposition to the world. And then you have those kids who have been exposed to you know, other things have different journeys clearly and, and they seem kind of standoffish, very much like Sylvie was. Kind of like just letting them know, “Hey, you know, I have a different purpose now. I’ve matured a little bit more. We may be the same grade, we may be almost the same age. But you and I are very different when it comes to how we see things.” And yeah, like I see micro aggressions sometimes between kids, when it comes to you know, just doing certain tasks or learning about certain things in history. You’ll you’ll see that they they navigate things differently, and I definitely saw Loki and Sylvie.

Rachel Wethers 17:16
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 17:17
Yeah I think in this final episode, like the I dunno want to stand off between Loki and Sylvie? Yeah. And the end essentially the qoute of acknowledgement of “You don’t trust and I can’t be trusted.”

Stefanie Bautista 17:29
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 17:29
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 17:30
I love that line.

Rachel Wethers 17:31
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 17:32
Love that line.

Ariel Landrum 17:33
And it was it was causing me to really think about like, okay, you know, even like, what trust is? I and and how do we sort of build it and form it? And so, you know, there’s sort of like three based ways we can develop trust. And in comparing the two of whether they can even trust each other or learn to trust. The first one is deterrence-based I can is the most fundamental, and it’s essentially saying that there are rules in place that I’m going to follow, which means that I will not take advantage or harm someone else. And that base level of trust, we already know, they didn’t even establish with each other because they kind of… The, the whole theme of like, like, “We’re Lokis, we we, you know, we do things for us. We we,” and this specific Loki backstabs. Like, like takes advantage of manipulates right? So that base level of trust was already difficult. And then, and then you’ve got these other degrees, where there’s the knowledge-based trust. We’ve experienced each other, and we have knowledge of each other’s behaviors and how we react and behave. And so I know that I can trust that you’re going to react and behave a certain appropriate way. In this case, they had knowledge that they weren’t going to do those things. And they had,

Rachel Wethers 18:46
Hm hmm.

Ariel Landrum 18:46
Like shared moments, small moments, but they were too small in the history to be able to truly develop a relationship with each other. Oh, hello kitty. And then the final one is identity-based trust, where it involves us sharing our hopes and dreams, our goals and our ambitions. It’s the most transparent and vulnerable form of trust. And they were both transparent and vulnerable of their desires. But not so much. I think, I think Loki now he was he was willing to to be more vulnerable. He was willing to go there. But for Sylvie, it was it was still a hard “No.”

Stefanie Bautista 19:25
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 19:25
It was it was it? I don’t think that that they would have made the I don’t think they would have changed their decision in regards to how they were going to handle sort of like Kang the Conqueror’s offer. Because they hadn’t built any of those levels of trust.

Stefanie Bautista 19:40
Yeah, it totally remind me of conflict resolution between two kids that have just met. They probably have only played with each other like for a day or a week, I guess a week if you count, you know each episode as a day. But they were trying to figure out how to basically change the trajectory of time as we know it. But like you said they only had such small instances of connecting that. There, you, you couldn’t have a good outcome. There was no real resolution to this conflict, without it being a winner and a loser. And unfortunately, Loki got duped in the end. And it it hit him like a dagger.

Ariel Landrum 20:22
Like a dagger.

Stefanie Bautista 20:23
What is a dagger?

Ariel Landrum 20:27
Love.

Stefanie Bautista 20:27
Love is a dagger. I was like, dang, she got him real good. Oops.

Rachel Wethers 20:32
Opps. Well, I think that, you know, it’s important to look a little bit at how trust affects those who experienced early attachment trauma, you know, because so much of the foundation of the ability to trust is created in that early mirroring that happens between the parent and the infant, right? And when you’re when you’re holding your infant, and you’re the the affect reflection that happens from the parent to the child when they meet the need, right creates a lot of the foundation of trust. Especially every time that the parent consistently meets the need. Right. And so both of them experienced first off adoption. Right. So they were abandoned prior to the adoption at birth. And so from the very beginning, their need was abandoned and not met. Right. And then, but Loki had years of relationship with his adopted mother that did have a sense of trust there. She was his teacher, right? She taught him his sorcery and his magic, and he was good. So they really worked well together. Right? And he could count on her. Even if he couldn’t count on so many other people in his life. He could count on her. Right? To love him. We don’t know what Sylvie had. Right. But we do know that, you know, when Renslayer captured her at such a young age, I was guessing like maybe around 7?

Ariel Landrum 21:54
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 21:54
Right? She’s been surviving ever since jumping from point to point in the timeline to escape.

Ariel Landrum 22:02
And and trauma points! Right?

Stefanie Bautista 22:04
Oh yeah.

Rachel Wethers 22:03
Right. Yeah, but with no caregiver.

Stefanie Bautista 22:07
Yep.

Ariel Landrum 22:07
None.

Rachel Wethers 22:08
No nurturance.

Stefanie Bautista 22:09
None.

Rachel Wethers 22:09
No trust. No love. No support. No protection. Right? And so she has long since given up on the ability to trust I think in others. Whereas Loki had some ability to trust in people in his life. Right.

Ariel Landrum 22:25
I think that’s really interesting. Um, this was my own sort of like critical gripe with the the day that they chose Loki to be released on.

Rachel Wethers 22:36
I saw.

Ariel Landrum 22:36
So Loki is released on Wednesdays and in Norse mythology, Wednesday is Odin’s day. So “Odin” in Norse, Norse mythology is a pronounced “Wotan,” so that’s where we get “Wotan’s Day” or Wednesday. And he was not close to his father at all.

Stefanie Bautista 22:56
Nope.

Ariel Landrum 22:57
Like not one friggin bit.

Stefanie Bautista 23:01
Not until he changed into him and pretended to be him.

Ariel Landrum 23:04
Yes, yeah. And so I feel like they did a disservice because Friday is actually a “Freia’s Day” or “Frigga’s Day,” Friday. That the bears his adopted mother’s name, I feel like they they would have done the character a real good service if they’d have done that. I get why they didn’t do it. Okay. Like, we got to think of this as a corporation. And they had Bad Batch coming out on Fridays, and they had Black Widow coming out. They did not want to compete ratings.

Stefanie Bautista 23:29
Yup.

Ariel Landrum 23:30
But I find like acknowledging like this, the importance of this character’s relationship with their mother, like, bro, ya done wrong.

Rachel Wethers 23:38
Definitely.

Stefanie Bautista 23:39
Unless, I mean, now that you’re saying it, what if we are they wanted to highlight the fact that he’s always wanted to have his dad’s power

Rachel Wethers 23:48
Approval?

Ariel Landrum 23:49
Approval.

Stefanie Bautista 23:49
And could never have it? And this is just another one of those instances where he’s compared to his brother and his father, but yet always fall short. So…

Ariel Landrum 23:59
Oh.

Stefanie Bautista 23:59
That could be me reaching, but…

Rachel Wethers 24:01
Always. That was good.

Ariel Landrum 24:05
That’s the savagery I think you are right on there.

Rachel Wethers 24:08
Hm hmm.

Ariel Landrum 24:08
Like, even the fact that his name is Laufeyson. Yeah, right. As apposed to Odinson.

Stefanie Bautista 24:15
Odinson

Rachel Wethers 24:15
Odinson.

Ariel Landrum 24:15
How are you going to do that TVA? Okay. Disney got some underlying mischievoury themselves.

Stefanie Bautista 24:22
I mean, Kevin Feige at this point is like the ultimate trickster in my book, because he’d be pulling all these things. And I’m like, “Man, how did you did you take like, did you have a Nexus event of your own to try to plan this entire Marvel Cinematic Universe? Because it seems like you had that time.” But I think I’m going back to what you were saying about, I think, Rachel and you were talking about Sylvie having to go through childhood without any sort of guidance. It makes me think about how she had to do that as a woman. And Loki here has had that guidance, but he is a man so what if we, what if we change the two? Would the trajectories be similar? Different? I mean, Sylvie’s heart is clearly hardened, because of all the things that she’s had to go through. And we see that with a lot of women who have, you know, either left their partners, left their families to pursue their own careers, dreams, hopes. And, you know, she could embody, you know, the working woman who’s doing it for herself, but has had sacrifice, having that sort of sort of sense of community to be able to do those things. And, and should she even have to do those things? Whereas, you know, Loki here is discovering all of this first, you know, of all newly, but at the same time having those supports already? You know, did that put them either of them at a disadvantage?

Ariel Landrum 25:50
Well, and I think you’re even acknowledging not just like, the working woman, but a pulled woman, right? Like how many women are pulled from their family of origin? Like, like for you Stef like you’re a military wife, and you’ve had a slightly different experience, but how many military wives you know, where it’s like, “I’ve never left my state, and now I’m living in Germany. And the only person I know is this, this man that I’ve married.” Right. Like it that that feeling of isolation and, and confusion that that occurs… I think, and and being a woman walking in the world, right?

Stefanie Bautista 26:25
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 26:26
I agree. That would probably be very different experience in comparison to Loki being a male walking in the world, but just those four talking about levels of privilege.

Rachel Wethers 26:36
Sure. Sure. And then we could even consider some of the uphill battles that women fight in today’s world. Especially professional world, right? The traumas that are experienced that women are just expected to kind of back up and be strong.

Stefanie Bautista 26:51
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 26:51
Right.

Stefanie Bautista 26:52
Just deal with it. The world is throwing all these things at you. And your job is to navigate around that and survive.

Ariel Landrum 26:59
Well, and really, we’re talking about you know, Sylvie was homeless, right? Like she represented a transitional age youth where we often see lots of homelessness, and we do know that that you know, given the MCU has said it and essentially in Disney+ both Loki and Sylvie are Queer. They\re they’re both bisexual pansexual, depending on you know, what you’re looking at. And those are often the youth that are removed from the homes or kicked out of homes. So like for me, I know that in working with with that, that youth the hardest thing is like sanitary right napkins? Like getting feminine hygiene products. And it’s like she’s probably getting them at that store during the apocalypse.

Stefanie Bautista 27:43
Yeah, for sure.

Rachel Wethers 27:44
So true, so true.

Ariel Landrum 27:47
Like that, that’s a struggle that is way too real. I cannot.

Rachel Wethers 27:51
I agree. And even you know, I like to focus in the stream that I do on aging out foster youth since I experienced that. And we could in some ways even compare some of their stories with those that aged out of the foster care system. And just a small random fact but teen foster youth are a huge percentage that funnel into child trafficking. Between their trauma experiences and just not feeling accepted in their foster home or their adoptive home. They are a high funneling source into child trafficking because they’re looking for love. And they’re survivors. They are built in survivors just like the Lokis. You know and so there’s just there’s a very real world there of those that learn to survive.

Ariel Landrum 28:39
Yeah, I think these would be CSEC youth. So that stands for “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.” There’s a bunch of information and history on these children and and often when we’re talking about Queer children there’s often like sex-survival. Like this is the only way that I’m able to survive.

Rachel Wethers 28:57
Absolutely.

Ariel Landrum 28:58
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 28:59
Absolutely.

Ariel Landrum 29:00
I think that I appreciate that they didn’t they with Loki and Sylvie they had like a moment, right? And then they had their sort of like final moment but there there wasn’t a lot of quote unquote sex. And I really appreciated that Sylvie wasn’t turned into a temptress sort of trickster right? Like that sort of common trope.

Rachel Wethers 29:22
Yeah, which is interesting because I’ve still got my side beliefs that she could be the Enchantress but, insteadof a Loki but..

Ariel Landrum 29:29
Oh do tell your theory.

Stefanie Bautista 29:32
I know people in that camp too.

Rachel Wethers 29:34
In the comics there was a Sylvie that was the enchantress that Loki brought to Asgard and and they kind of had their own little relationship or whatever. So and she was blonde and I mean, it fits so well.

Stefanie Bautista 29:48
Busty. She was real busty.

Ariel Landrum 29:50
Ohhh.

Rachel Wethers 29:51
Yeah…

Ariel Landrum 29:51
“Large tracks of land!”

Rachel Wethers 29:52
Even just the name Enchantress, you know,

Stefanie Bautista 29:57
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 29:57
But so like, I don’t know this whole story. are a line of them having a romantic interlude. However it was? Just bothered me a little bit because I think that, I don’t know, could it have you know pointed a little bit towards the narcissism that you know the Loki storyline tends to point towards? Maybe? Loving oneself. But I could even go down that road from a trauma perspective and say, “but we have to learn to love ourselves and to reparent ourselves right when we’ve experienced childhood trauma in order to be able to then have healthy relationships with others.” Right.

Ariel Landrum 30:34
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 30:34
But it just it seemed like such an out there moment. So I just I don’t know, I’m still in the camp that could be Enchantress, but

Ariel Landrum 30:42
Yeah, I, I, I’m going more the trauma route. I saw it and sort of like parts work, right?

Rachel Wethers 30:48
I love that.

Ariel Landrum 30:48
Like, “This is a part of myself that I could love. And this is a part of myself, like seeing myself of like, what what would I have experienced if I’d known that I was adopted? And now I get to sort of see that.” And, and “What would I have experienced if my, my magic was different? Like so, and really just being vulnerable with that different part of yourself?

Rachel Wethers 31:09
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 31:09
It could be narcissism. Also, you know, the variants do live their own lives. Though they are the same. They’re very, they’re different Lokis. And I think that even the fact that Sylvie even acknowledged that potentially just that subtle hint of whether Loki was Queer. Like that knowingness, and it, I know, for us, we’re always wanting to find people who can empathize and, and share our experiences and have that knowingness where we don’t have to always feel like we have to overshare or to get someone to understand. She sort of got it right away. So I think I think of it that way is that he’s sort of loving a part of himself that he didn’t know he had.

Stefanie Bautista 31:50
Yeah. And then yeah, just then, having that notion of you’re stronger than you think. Not only are you stronger, but you can always have, I guess, different parts to yourself, but they could still be you. And that is a okay. A lot of people think that they have to only be one type of person. And a lot of you know, kids think that to like, if they say “I want to be so and so when I grew up,” they have to see that through. And you know, every adult could tell you that there is no linear way to get where you’re supposed to be in life. And as adults, we’re still figuring it out. So if we’re talking about discovering different parts of yourself and knowing different parts of yourself.

Rachel Wethers 32:34
Sure.

Stefanie Bautista 32:34
But being true to yourself, as well, how many different?

Ariel Landrum 32:37
“Be true to your heart.”

Stefanie Bautista 32:37
Yeah, it was, you know, like, there, there is a sacred timeline that you could try to keep going back to, but in reality, that’s just not going to happen. And it’s okay to navigate that and, you know, explore different parts of yourself, no matter what age you are.

Ariel Landrum 32:53
And then it like, it also makes me think of, you know, particularly my experiences as being a mixed person. Being both Caucasian and Filipina, and having to sort of navigate and learn, “What does that mean to me?” Versus somebody who, who is essentially one or the other. Like, I, I’ve had to really rectify certain parts of myself in regards to that. Because technically, one part of myself, you know, hated another part of myself, and like, actively harmed another part of myself. So it’s like, how do I how do I start to integrate those two pieces and have them come to love each other? And then kiss and, then kill someone? Hahaha.

Rachel Wethers 33:35
Right..

Stefanie Bautista 33:35
Yeah. And also say that version of that is the final version? No one is to say that and no one, no one should be able to dictate that and that’s what I think, really, Loki was trying to fight for. Like, “Who is that person behind the curtain? Who is that Wizard of Oz character to say, this is how it needs to be. And who gives you that right?”

Rachel Wethers 33:57
Sure. Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 34:01
I’m curious would either of you want to meet a variant of yourself?

Rachel Wethers 34:05
Oh, boy.

Stefanie Bautista 34:06
Oh, boy. I love that.

Ariel Landrum 34:07
Gater?

Stefanie Bautista 34:09
Yeah, I want to meet my either my at my spirit animal, I guess ’cause that’s the least threatening maybe? I think if I met another version of myself, then that’s scary. I don’t know if I’d like that. I don’t know if I’d be happy. And, like, I don’t know if I would regret more of my journey.

Rachel Wethers 34:31
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 34:31
And the decisions I’ve made if I met my variant, whoever they may be.

Rachel Wethers 34:37
Oh, that’s good. That’s good. I would I would agree, though, I think meeting that the animal part of myself almost feel safer somehow. Even though…

Stefanie Bautista 34:45
Right.

Rachel Wethers 34:46
Loki’s was a gator, right? So cute. By the way, the Funko Pop is fantastic.

Ariel Landrum 34:51
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 34:51
Oh my gosh I love it.

Rachel Wethers 34:51
So cute. So cute. Right! But no, I think it’s intriguing, to think like, “What, what would the parts of me look like if I hadn’t experienced this? Or if I hadn’t gone through that” Right? “Would I somehow be better or more stable or whatever?” But that’s missing part of the journey. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 35:12
Yeah. For sure.

Ariel Landrum 35:14
I don’t know. I feel like I would want to meet the version of myself. Who’s a pastry chef?

Stefanie Bautista 35:21
What if they don’t exist? That’s the scary part!

Ariel Landrum 35:27
They must it’s a multiverse. Yeah, in the infinite universe. Yeah. Either the part the variant of me who is a pastry chef, or the variant of me who stayed living in Korea and learn to speak Korean. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 35:46
Another what if what if Ariel?

Ariel Landrum 35:48
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 35:49
Edition.

Rachel Wethers 35:49
Right. Yeah, David’s mentioned this is gonna make a fantastic, “What if,” episode.

Stefanie Bautista 35:55
Oh yeah.

Yeah. For sure.

Rachel Wethers 35:58
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 35:59
Oh, okay. So I’m just looking at our notes. I mean, we talked about trust being a common theme. I’m wondering where where acceptance comes in? And belonging?

Stefanie Bautista 36:12
I wonder if we’re there yet?

Ariel Landrum 36:14
Yeah, I don’t know?

Stefanie Bautista 36:16
I mean, the end credits could say otherwise. So…

Rachel Wethers 36:21
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 36:21
I don’t know.

Ariel Landrum 36:26
They…

Rachel Wethers 36:27
I’m so excited that for there being another season.

Stefanie Bautista 36:29
Me too.

Ariel Landrum 36:29
Yes. Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 36:30
And I think, you know, when, when you’re talking about acceptance, there’s a part of that that’s closure, right? I never felt that there was any closure to much of anything. Because I was always on my toes. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know who was lying who was telling the truth. I didn’t even know what I was gonna see in the next episode. So..

Rachel Wethers 36:49
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 36:49
You know, could could I even take a beat to accept what the reality of the TVA; what the reality of any of the characters were? I feel like I was so on my toes the entire time that I couldn’t really accept anything until the last episode and then it blew everything out of the water.

Rachel Wethers 37:07
Right. I still have things that I second guessed like Sylvie being the Enchantress. Or Renslayer. I still think she knows more.

Ariel Landrum 37:13
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 37:15
Right.

Ariel Landrum 37:15
Yeah, she went somewhere. She made a decision to go to a specific timeline. How would she know where to go?

Rachel Wethers 37:19
And she was gathering specific files too. So like there’s something was going on there. Speaking of acceptance, though, I was thinking a little bit about the friendship that developed between Mobius and Loki. For me, almost that was more, that was almost more valuable in teen Loki build that relationship than the one he built with Sylvie because there was true acceptance and friendship there at the end when Loki chose to hug him rather than handshake. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 37:46
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 37:47
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 37:47
And, and gave him the key to get out right and in in his selflessness, right and so that was lovely.

Ariel Landrum 37:54
And even sought him out right? After, after shit went down.

Rachel Wethers 38:00
Right. Right.

Ariel Landrum 38:00
After Olympus had fallen. He went and sought him out specifically to say like, “Here are all the things I’ve uncovered we need to like work together.” That was his immediate sort of go-to. And and I can’t think of anybody I mean, aside from Loki’s mother that that he trusts. That and believes in.

Stefanie Bautista 38:21
Yeah

Rachel Wethers 38:22
Yeah. Well and the hard part with Loki’s mom as well most like primarily she accepted and loved him. That moment that happened right before things went downhill for Loki where she made sure Thor was okay. And not Loki. Right? That was a bit of a messy situation for Loki that kind of triggered a whole series of events, right?

Ariel Landrum 38:43
Levels of emotional abandonment.

Rachel Wethers 38:44
Yup. Yeah. And ultimately honestly led to her death, and so he feels like he carries some kind of blame there.

Stefanie Bautista 38:52
Yeah

Rachel Wethers 38:52
Right? And so there’s even a question of “Did she really accept him?” You know, although, I know when Thor and Loki meet with their father right before he passes on, I guess to the next to the next universe. Then he gives them a sense of acceptance in that moment. That he that both as a father he accepts them. And he says something to Loki about his mother would have been so proud of him and the sorcerer he’s become. Right. And so he gave him the sense of acceptance in that moment that I feel was a key turning point for Loki in this grander timeline where he’s begun to transition. Even if it ended up I think, you know, kind of rewinding a little bit for the series. I don’t think he lost all of that. I think he found it again.

Stefanie Bautista 39:41
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 39:41
Yeah, I think he found it again with with your right with Mobius.

Rachel Wethers 39:44
Sure.

Ariel Landrum 39:45
And, and Mobius being somewhat of a father figure.

Rachel Wethers 39:49
Hm hmm.

Ariel Landrum 39:49
Definitely with the dad jokes.

Rachel Wethers 39:50
Right!

Stefanie Bautista 39:53
But also really more of like an Uncle who he could, he could see himself reflected. In the sense that, you know, he’s had a past, but he couldn’t quite access it. And now that he’s, you know, revealed all these things to Loki that he’s valuable in his own timeline, right? I feel like with Loki, even with his parents, he never really saw them as someone that he needed in order to get what he, you know what he wanted, right? It was just, you know, those are my parents, but Mobius is not not really an equal but somebody who I mean. I, how could you even like put that together, he’s from a different time line. He doesn’t know where he is. However, there’s this person who knows so much about his own life and his own timeline, to say, “Hey, maybe you can go toe to toe with me on what, you know, my my purposes and what my timeline is, like, I could get information from you. But also, you know, you kind of scare me because you know, a little bit too much.”

Ariel Landrum 40:54
That’s sort of like ultimate witness. And then even in talking about, you know, adoption, there’s, so when you uncover those records. When you find the person who holds them, they they become this this sort of, like, I don’t know, like saving grace. Like, like you hold you held these keys, right. And in this case Mobius gave them freely. He definitely chose some of like the very again, traumaic moments.

Stefanie Bautista 41:22
Oh yeah.

Ariel Landrum 41:23
But it was even allowing him to go to the records room to just like, read and learn more about his history. Like those are such gifts that I think I think really fostered their friendship. Again, in talking about like levels of trust, he could truly understand these intimate parts of Loki. And accept them.

Stefanie Bautista 41:43
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 41:43
He saw past those defenses quite often, right? And at first that made Loki really uncomfortable. But in the end, he told him he saw goodness in him that he could be good. Right? And so I think that there was such a lovely repair in that for Loki. Right?

Ariel Landrum 42:01
Yeah. I feel like Mobius was like the therapist-teacher that he needed.

Stefanie Bautista 42:05
Therapist and teacher.

Rachel Wethers 42:06
Right.

Stefanie Bautista 42:06
And I also like how Mobius wasn’t that “I knew your father back when we were young character.” It wasn’t one of those. It was, it was so well crafted to where he was definitely someone completely detached from his personal situation. But you know, could could give insight without giving advice. Because, you know, he he was he was doing his job, obviously, as, you know, part of the TVA. But, you know, he was also giving his personal touch in it as the series was going. He was helping him out because by helping Loki he was also discovering what his purpose in life was. And that, that discovery parallel to each other was was very interesting. And yeah, like I said, refreshing and not just, you know, “I was that person back in the day and blah, blah, blah.”

Rachel Wethers 42:53
Sure, sure.

Ariel Landrum 42:54
Yeah, that’s such an old tired trope. That could have been easily retired, and then reused and retired again. I think the way that they they chose to create Mobius and Loki’s relationships are like a buddy cop. Yeah, that was that was fun. I like that. I’m curious, any thoughts regarding sort of this, uh, I don’t know, torture room where he repeated the most traumatic event? Which was essentially being told that he’d be alone forever?

Rachel Wethers 43:26
Oh…

Stefanie Bautista 43:27
That was tough.

Rachel Wethers 43:30
So randomly, I was just thinking about the fact that, you know, we could kind of look at Mobius as this like developing therapist, if we were looking at young therapists that are learning new skills, right. Because Mobius made some mistakes along the way, but ultimately, in the end, build healthy repairing relationship with with Loki. Right. And so for a second, it just entered my mind that it kind of reminded me some of like, some behaviorism that can be used sometimes, especially with Neurodivergent cultures, right? Where, especially like the ‘safe rooms,’ unfortunately, that are still used sometimes in schools to hold the kids who are throwing fits, or tantrums. You know. And so, and how traumatic that room is for kids versus, you know, watching Loki experience that over and over again. And that while it was Loki’s behaviors that he was experiencing over and over again, that that still was a traumatic environment for him to be held in.

Stefanie Bautista 44:26
Yeah, it really makes me think of doing standards. And we don’t do that at my school. We take a more constructivist approach to conflict resolution and also, you know, for kids who are just going through certain things. And you know, from a social emotional standpoint, that is the last thing that we would do to somebody because it always has the opposite effect. It always ends up being worse than when you put them in there and not only that, you’re going to have to do so much more repairing within themselves and you know, their their group of friends who is, essentially, who they trusted. They feel like they can’t trust anyone. They can’t trust their friends. They can’t trust their teachers. They can’t trust the, you know, the, the construct of adults that are in the school because they just think, |You know, whatever I do, I’m just going to be put in this room and nothing’s gonna come out of it.” I mean, what, then they become, you know, just stone hearted to everything. And, you know, by by seeing Loki go through that, and even when he tried to break through that fourth wall per se, and you know, try to get Sif to see his point of view, it didn’t work at all whatsoever. And when he said, “Please don’t ever put me back in that room,” I felt that. And, you know, it made me think of so many kids who have gone through that in other schools and think that because we call them to the office, they think it’s the end. And you know, the it’s not the end, it’s not the way that we, you know, my school decided to do things. And, you know, we have to break through that in order to really gain their trust, and you see them, you know, kids that are only 5 years old going through these things. And it’s it’s heartbreaking sometimes. But you know, it really calls back to the old ways of discipline. And the old ways of maintaining order.

Ariel Landrum 46:14
Yes.

Rachel Wethers 46:14
Hm hmm.

Stefanie Bautista 46:14
Which could be a recurring theme in the TVA seeing that it was, you know, it looked like they was from the 50s 60s and 70s. Is very old school, rigid, just “Do what you’re told, don’t ask questions, and keep your head down and do your job.”

Ariel Landrum 46:31
Yeah, definitely the way that the TVA was created is almost like a zeitgeist of bureaucracy and like the whole atmosphere, very Umbrella Academy. You know, nods to not a Disney franchise. But it’s so much so like, utilitarian, authoritarian, like authoritarian, like very law and order. There was no room for chaos, which if you’re the God of mischief in chaos, there’s no room for you. But there was no, there was no room for unusualness, uniqueness. There was no room for difference. Which was interesting, given that they had a very diverse cast. But it was like the mood, the tone, the colors, they were all the same.

Stefanie Bautista 47:15
So dull.

Ariel Landrum 47:16
So dull. So just that drudgery. And I think that that, that imagery it solidifies, like the tone and atmosphere of like, “Wow, this is not a forward thinking place.” Righ?. And like, really trying to keep that that sacred timeline and essentially saying, like, “You know, you you think you have freewill, but you’re gonna listen to me.” And, and that is a presentation that we have seen with children and specially Neurodivergent children, where it’s like, “You, you are representing what we consider Neurotypical in the world. And so you need to you need to buck up. You need to change.” It’s so harmful and doesn’t create like that, that growth, that freedom of choice. And even with those rooms, you don’t experience like coregulation. You don’t even understand how to regulate because you’ve just been isolated in your pain.

Rachel Wethers 48:07
Right? Right. Right, right. Yeah. I have to say, though, Stefanie, I love hearing schools that are becoming trauma informed. Right, it’s so important. It’s so important. Because there is no amount of punishment or consequences that heals trauma. Right?

Stefanie Bautista 48:23
Absolutely. And we have such a great team…

Ariel Landrum 48:25
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 48:25
Of people who are so dedicated to special education and just developing social emotional learning through those kids. And, and I see, I have seen, you know, kids who have had so rough in the early grades, like in kindergarten, first, second grade. And then when they reach fifth grade, if they, you know, take a beat and take a chance to work through those traumas, and work through those differences. And, you know, use the community and you know of adults and kids around them. They become such wonderful human beings. So bright and so imaginative. And it’s so great to see all of the other kids around them embracing that. I think that’s, that’s the most I mean, that’s the most rewarding for me at my school. Definitely.

Rachel Wethers 49:12
Sure, sure.

Ariel Landrum 49:14
I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts are in regards to like lies because we have hinted at the it being presented potentially as manipulation or potentially as a survival tactic. And certainly trusts were big themes and lies they they can they can build or hurt trust. So I’m curious what sticks out for you when you think of either Loki in this series or even any of the other variants.

I okay, so I stumped everyone. Because something that sticks out for me was the “You betrayed me but I betrayed you but well then we’re gonna betray through each other.” That that seems so ingrained in the the male identified Lokis, I’m gonna say that they’re that they’re male. And it certainly seemed interesting because with Sylvie, she, she, she believed that everybody would betray her. And that she was honest about that “I, err, I don’t trust you. I’m not going to trust you.” Versus it these these sort of Lokis were like, “Hey, yeah, you can trust me.” “Hey, yeah, I can trust you.” And even that was already a lie.

Stefanie Bautista 50:32
Yeah. Especially with them. Boastful Loki. Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 50:37
Hm hmm.

Stefanie Bautista 50:37
Yeah. Boastful Loki. He was classic, that kid for me. He’s just like, you know, he thinks he has a master plan. But when you are that person with the master plan, and everybody else thinks they have the master plan. It just implodes like crazy. And so you know, I mean, when you see kids, especially with their little white lies, just to get by. I mean, they start to build upon each other. I can’t think of an incident right now. And if I do, I’ll let you know. But I’ve seen so many different ways are… You know what, actually, this just happened. You know, a day ago, were, you know, at school at summer camp right now, clearly, we’re not allowed to share food because of COVID. And normally, we’re not allowed to share food at all because of allergies and everything like that. So I asked, you know, one of my kiddos, “Hey, were you talking about sharing food?” And “He’s like, No, I wasn’t. Um, but you know, I was saying, maybe if I traded his Nutter Butters for my Cheetos, then, you know, I would really like that.” And I asked him “Well, so you were planning to trade food?” And he took a minute? And he’s like, “Yeah.” And then the other kid was like, “Well, so was I. I wanted to trade him to.” “Guys, you know, we’re not supposed to trade food right now. We don’t want anybody getting sick because if you get sick, you can’t be here. And if you’re not here, we don’t have a summer camp.” And they go, “Yeah, okay. All right.” But you know, we sometimes as educators, we, we try to pin the blame so fast on one kid, and we forget that, you know, it might not just be their intuition, it might be everybody’s Mo. To lie.

Ariel Landrum 52:21
Everybody wanted to share.

Stefanie Bautista 52:23
Everybody wanted to share because they wanted something that wasn’t theirs. So really, you see that pile up in the various Lokis because they’re at different levels of lying to themselves in order to survive.

Ariel Landrum 52:36
And literally lying to themselves.

Stefanie Bautista 52:39
Yeah literally lying to themselves and everybody else to survive, not just in you know that the end of time The Void, but we see Loki lying throughout his entire existence, as we’ve seen in the MCU.

Rachel Wethers 52:56
Well, I could talk about trauma all day. And I do think that for attachment trauma lying is a common difficulty that we see for children who struggle with the fear, the underlying fear in relationships of abandonment or rejection, right. And so the fear that “I’ll get in trouble,” is often underlying quite a bit of lies. I think, I think quite often as a survival skill. It’s either an avoidance survival skill, “You know, I want to avoid being rejected, I want to avoid being abandoned.” Or it can get to the point of being a controlling factor, which is still a survival skill, right? Because, “If I can control my environment then I know what will happen. I can protect myself.” Right? And so there’s a wonderful chapter that really formed how I viewed lying and that in trauma work at least with kids out of a book called “Beyond Consequences,” by Heather Forbes, who specializes in attachment trauma. It’s a wonderful chapter. And I often share that with parents of foster and adoptive youth. And just understanding where the fear is coming from even though quite often kiddos who come from attachment trauma often look alike Loki where they’re going to cover up but they’re afraid. Right they mask well. Right. “And you can’t hurt me,” right?

Stefanie Bautista 54:13
Oh yeah.

Ariel Landrum 54:14
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 54:14
But really it’s because I’m afraid I’m gonna be hurt. Right and so it when we can understand that then we don’t get so caught up in the lie in itself and we recognize and address the the underlying fears that can happen

Stefanie Bautista 54:27
Yeah, right.

Ariel Landrum 54:28
Yeah, I think that that’s that’s a really good sort of resource and ending point because we’re talking about that mask and it’s like, “When when when do we see the true Loki? When do we see the true Loki?” And like, “Is the true Loki this, actually variant.” Right. And I think that if we’re talking about at least this series in this presentation, what we see is that learning to be able to be vulnerable to be able to trust was always actually there. It wasn’t that it wasn’t he wasn’t being true or genuine. It was that he was protecting himself with his mask, right?

Rachel Wethers 55:05
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 55:06
I think that when we saw him, sort of in his TVA guard, right, but you could see that as like him sort of stripping away some of his his specialness to try an assimilate. And it turns out his specialist wasn’t in his costumes. It was very much in his ability to craft a world around him, which then allowed him to do that for others, right. In talking to Mobius about the jetski. He immediately saw that this was, “Why is this important to you? That’s odd.” Right? So I think that that when we’re talking about youth and trauma, sometimes they do have this knowingness. They do they can zero in pretty well. On so many things. I think that we we forget to empower that. Because that’s that’s what’s kept them kept them surviving. Right?

Rachel Wethers 55:55
Right.

Ariel Landrum 55:55
Lokis’ survive.

Rachel Wethers 55:56
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 55:57
So is it now the God of Making Connections or the God of Mischief?

Ariel Landrum 56:00
Mischievously connecting.

Rachel Wethers 56:05
Always gonna be mischievous right, I think that’s one of his strengths, too. And that doesn’t always have to be a bad strength.

Stefanie Bautista 56:10
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 56:11
Ya know?

Ariel Landrum 56:11
Yeah. I think that going into that trickster, like again, I think is someone who might be a little bit more jovial and have some some fun fun pranks. Not mean, no mean pranks.

Stefanie Bautista 56:22
And you gotta have somebody like in the know to defeat a villain you got to have a little bit of a villain in yourself right?

Ariel Landrum 56:28
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 56:28
Because how are you going to outsmart them without knowing the next step?

Rachel Wethers 56:32
Sure, sure villain or even you know what, we see him as an anti-hero.

Ariel Landrum 56:36
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 56:36
Hm hmm.

Rachel Wethers 56:36
I think and just that the humanity in that I think sometimes is what draws me sometimes more than being drawn to the Thors who are the heroes and always powerful always perfect, you know. Because it just doesn’t feel very real sometimes.

Stefanie Bautista 56:51
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 56:52
Yeah. I think that all of his his traumas and his fallings he’s learned to get up.

Rachel Wethers 56:56
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 56:57
Right. And so it took a while for Thor to get up because that was not something he was used to.

Stefanie Bautista 57:03
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 57:03
Hm hmm. So true.

Stefanie Bautista 57:04
And he’s down again, where we last saw him so he’s he’s in that rebuilding phase as well. I think we just got really lucky that Loki could also look as good as a hero doing what he does. Yes.

Rachel Wethers 57:19
Awesome.

Stefanie Bautista 57:20
Yeah, overall, did you guys like the series? I mean, I know this is not a review podcast but I think we can give our our rating. Doesn’t have to be out of a scale of 10 but what did you guys think?

Rachel Wethers 57:36
I loved it. I think if I were doing a scale of 10 I would do like a nine out of 10 just because I had issues with the whole Sylvie Loki romance thing. But yeah, but I love I love that I’ve taken something away from that though with the parts work because I think that’s wonderful to be used in this area.

Ariel Landrum 57:54
Yeah, I think I would I’d give it an 8. I don’t think anything can beat Wandavision for me. But I think the this the sitcoming through this the years.

Stefanie Bautista 58:07
Yes.

Ariel Landrum 58:07
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 58:08
Rachel’s wearing her Vision shirt.

Rachel Wethers 58:12
Right.

Ariel Landrum 58:13
I I just loved that so much and I loved the the quote regarding grief because I work with a lot of grief. That’s you get grief when you have experienced trauma. And so I would give it an 8. I think what would have pushed it for a 9. I would have needed more Alligator Loki. I think I needed one more episode of the Variants, like doing variant type things. And to see if there was, I mean, he asked like “Have any of you ever met a female Loki?” And they said “No.” But like “Why?” Like

Stefanie Bautista 58:51
I wanna know.

Ariel Landrum 58:51
I want to find out more of that. So maybe that maybe Season 2 right? I think there might be to be my number nine.

Rachel Wethers 58:59
Did you see though that they brought the grief line back in on this last episode?

Ariel Landrum 59:04
Yes. an intro scene where we’re going through the timeline. I was like…

Rachel Wethers 59:08
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 59:10
I thought there was something else going on behind me. I didn’t know that. That was my TV.

Ariel Landrum 59:18
“Is someone watching End Game?”

Stefanie Bautista 59:18
I was like, weah, I was like, “T’challa is that you?”

Rachel Wethers 59:23
Right.

Stefanie Bautista 59:24
I think I fall in the middle. I think I would give it an 8.5 simply because I was blown away by the unknowingness of the series. I already. Okay, so Wandavision was like such a close like in in the realm of Falcon Winter Soldier, Wandavision, and Loki. And I know we’ve yet to talk about Falcon and Winter Soldier and Wandavision but so many things to talk about that.

Ariel Landrum 59:49
But on the Geek Therapy Network, they di talk about Wandavision on the Geek Therapy Podcast. So do check that one out.

Stefanie Bautista 59:54
Yes, check that one out. They have such wonderful things to say and dissect about that. But for us on this podcast we haven’t but Wandavision visually was so stunning. And I loved the the stylistics of every episode it was just so fantastic. However, with Loki I did not know what to expect not only because we were dealing with Loki who was an unconventional character, when it comes to zeroing in on their story. The whole notion of there is a Time Variant Authority overseeing all of these stories that I have been watching and investing my time, money, sweat, blood, tears into… It was it was such a breaking of that wall that I loved and and every episode was just different. And you have to pay attention not only to the details and the Easter eggs which is always a cool Marvel thing to do a Disney thing really. I feel like that’s very Disney for them to do..

Ariel Landrum 1:00:55
Very Disney.

Rachel Wethers 1:00:55
Hm hmm.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:55
But paying attention to what they’re saying and they’re the crafting of the fleshing out of their characters was so skillfully done in this series more than the other ones I think. It was very different their approaches in to who was playing what role and what side is good or evil? Is there even a good and evil in this? Who was the bad guy? We still don’t really know all we know is that there He Who Remains who is Kang The Conqueror now in the unraveling of this new timeline that Loki finds himself in. And I love the mystery of it. It was so mysterious. And it played kind of like a crime drama to me because of the shrouded in mystery of everything that was going on.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:43
Well and even that intro with like Loki and all these like different fonts. I was like “What, am I watching Unsolved Mysteries. Is there about to be some some murder capering? Like are we gonna Clue this up?”

Rachel Wethers 1:01:56
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:57
Yeah. It was true crime in the multiverse. Because there are all these I mean, they’ve both killed so many people.

Rachel Wethers 1:02:04
So many people.

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:04
And there has been so much death and destruction to not only communities, cities, whole planets, entire galaxies now… People are you know, were snapped into non existence. Now how do we how do we tackle that knowing that there are multiple versions of this. It really takes somebody with a little bit of patience but also having having whoever produced this and I think this last episode was produced by Tom Hiddleston himself. That I saw at the end. So that was really exciting to see that he was so invested he is so invested in his character that it’s just come to this. And I’m really really excited with the new movies and Loki Season 2 how everything’s gonna go cause I’m still shrouded in mystery myself.

Rachel Wethers 1:02:55
Well, I’ll just say real quick to about Disney+, you know, from Wandavision to Falcon and the Winter Soldier to now Loki, I’m loving whoever they’re consulting with for mental health because mental health and social justice have just been wonderful themes that we’ve seen in times when we kind of needed them even.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:13
Yeah.

Rachel Wethers 1:03:13
I think as communities you know, and so it’s it’s I hope there’s more to come.

Stefanie Bautista 1:03:18
Yep.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:18
Yeah, I think they’re they’re doing a great job. Some of it is still like drips, right? Like…

Rachel Wethers 1:03:23
Right. Yeah yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:24
Like 2 very subtle quotes in regards to Loki being genderfluid. And not so much in Norse mythology, apparently, he was impregnated as a horse so you know he he didn’t just pick humans or or other gods.

Rachel Wethers 1:03:42
Yep, yep, yep.

Ariel Landrum 1:03:43
So I really appreciate that their their willingness to to not only weave in more of what we need in regards to mental health and the world around us. Right it doesn’t feel as as tailored to like a specific palette? I don’t know.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:00
I do want to know what happened to my man Eugene Cordero in the beginning.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:05
Homeboy just disappeared.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:08
I want to see him again. Is he still hoarding Infinity Stones in his drawer? I want to know.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:13
Yes the ultimate power! paperweight?

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:17
Yep. Yeah, I think I think it’s really exciting to see what’s to come. I know what is next on the docket for Marvel and Disney? Do you guys I don’t have the timeline in front of me right now.

Rachel Wethers 1:04:33
Well we just got Black Widow.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:34
Yep. We just got Black Widow.

Rachel Wethers 1:04:36
Right.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:36
I think what is the we have the Ant-Man and the Wasp?

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:43
Yeah, and The Quantum, Quantum Mania…

Ariel Landrum 1:04:46
And then the Multiverse of Maddness.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:48
Multiverse of Maddness.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:49
With Dr. Strange.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:51
And then Shang-Chi later on this year.

Ariel Landrum 1:04:53
Shang-Chi. Yeah. So it’s not in that order.

Rachel Wethers 1:04:58
And Spider-Man is in there somewhere too.

Stefanie Bautista 1:04:58
Yeah, Spider-Man is out there somewhere.

Rachel Wethers 1:04:59
In the multiverse.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:00
Yup.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:00
Yeah, so not not in that order that we just described but those are things that we remembered without using Google at this point.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:08
Yup. Pure memory guys. All up here.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:09
Yeah that’s how much of fans, we ar, we named the titles.

Stefanie Bautista 1:05:14
But yeah. But let us know. In our Twitter @happiestpodgt what your thoughts are on Loki. If you loved it hated it, let us know. We are open to hearing your thoughts and comments on that. Also catch us on Instagram @happiestpodgt. Ariel, is there anything else that you would like to add before we close out?

Ariel Landrum 1:05:34
Yeah, Rachel, where can we find you? Yes.

Rachel Wethers 1:05:37
Oh, yeah. So my website is www.thehopechest.co So not com, but .co And you can find all my links there.

Ariel Landrum 1:05:47
Okay, the thehopechest.co. Thank you so much for coming and being our first our first guest.

Rachel Wethers 1:05:59
Thank you that’s such a privilege.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:00
You have set the bar real high, girl.

Rachel Wethers 1:06:01
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:06:03
Real high. Everybody else better listen to this and try and do better.

Rachel Wethers 1:06:08
You guys are awesome and I’m so excited this is coming back around because it’s definitely something that’s needed. So.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:14
Awesome.

Ariel Landrum 1:06:15
All right. Goodbye, everybody.

Rachel Wethers 1:06:17
Bye.

Stefanie Bautista 1:06:17
We’ll see you next time.

Media / Characters Mentioned
  • Loki
  • Sylvie
  • Kang The Conqueror
  • Frigga
  • Odin
  • Thor
  • Mobius
  • Sif
  • Classic Loki
  • Alligator Loki
  • Boastful Loki
  • Kid Loki
  • President Loki
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Trauma
  • Adoption
  • Lying
  • Acceptance
  • Belonging
  • Trust
  • Neurodivergent
  • Genderfluid
  • Queer
  • Pan Sexual
  • Bi Sexual

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Find us at happy.geektherapy.com | On Instagram: @HappiestPodGT | Stef: @stefa_knee | Ariel: @airyell3000 | On Twitter Rachel: @rawethe

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