The makers don’t waste any time in the sophomore season, as Loki and Sylvie’s actions have already established uncontrollable anomalies in the Sacred timeline
In the pilot episode of Marvel’s series Loki , which had Tom Hiddleston reprising his titular role, the makers pulled off a blinder by unleashing an array of questions by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) to its protagonist as he was broken down as a villain and anti-hero to rebuilt as a hero, through confronting his emotions. It was a considerable feat, as the episode became the emotional core and served as a gateway to a season filled with mind-bending concepts of nexus-level events, a plethora of timelines, time variants and multiple Lokis.
The end of the whirlwind first season saw the TVA having to confront the truth about the time-keepers and their leader Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Loki returning to the TVA only to be shocked to find out Kang’s signature all over, and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and himself parting at the End of Time after seemingly delivering a death knell to He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors).
The makers don’t waste any time in the sophomore season, as Loki and Sylvie’s actions have already established uncontrollable anomalies in the Sacred timeline – something that even the TVA’s pruning might not be truly able to contain and could have disastrous consequences to the remaining worlds as well. With the stakes high and limited time at their disposal, the second season of Loki progresses at a brisk pace, overcoming its previous grouses of high concept through simple explanations from exciting new characters such as Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan).
Unlike the previous season, where the first few episodes introduced concepts through its characters, the four episodes that were made available by Disney+ Hotstar, ensured that the story and its character chased the tense narrative, taking the audience through it with engaging pace.
This, however, sometimes also came with the writers sacrificing Loki’s self-referential aspects that were replete and enjoyable in the first season. It’s only in the one episode of this season, we get to see glimpses of Loki exhibit his powers as the God of Mischief, and it also serves as a reminder of his past. This element of surprise – of whether Loki can be trusted – had managed to keep the audience on edge in the first season. While Loki now seems to be fully redeemed, it’s Victor Timely (another variant of Kang) who benefits from this uncertainty. Jonathan Majors’ acting also helps invoke sympathy for Timely, even though the viewers are aware of what he has or can do.
In the first four episodes, Owen Wilson’s Mobius doesn’t quite get his due, but it’s the character of Sylvie that seems to be the most underwritten here. Despite her being the moral compass in the season, carrying the guilt of what her apocalypse-level action has unleashed, her disappearance or the current dynamics with Loki don’t get an impactful explanation. It’s instead piggybacked to her hatred for TVA, a continuing trope from Season 1.
While it was Mobius and Loki’s exchanges that took the cake in season 1, it’s made merrier with the addition of Ouroboros, who is the TVA agent in charge of technology and might have a major role to play in shaping up the multiverse as well as Kang’s conquests. Their meeting towards the latter half of the season also presents a memorable moment, amid the sink or swim moments.
What also makes Loki engaging is that constant change setting in every episode. Sometimes you are in the 1800s, in the 1990s or in the future at TVA or its past. Be it the contrast of having an animated version of Miss Minutes or a gizmo in the 1800s, or Loki and Mobius venturing outside the TVA to the Time Loom, it all presents a charged ambience that could very well work in a theatrical movie too. Add that to the engaging compelling storyline and the focus on just a set of limited characters such as Loki, Mobius, Sylvie, Ouroboros, Victor Timely and Ravonna Renslayer, the sophomore season of Loki makes for a riveting watch, at least in its first four episodes.
Loki season 2, which has six episodes , will be available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar from October 5, with each episode dropping every Thursday.