It’s no secret that Marvel Studios’ 2023 wasn’t the best.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 provided much-needed relief after the third Ant-Man movie failed to win over critics and general audiences alike and to surpass the $500 million global box office barrier, despite the fact that most critics and moviegoers attributed its success to James Gunn‘s improbable winning streak at directing comic book adaptations. Later followed Secret Invasion, which was substantially reshot and is regarded as the second-worst Marvel Cinematic Universe episode ever on Rotten Tomatoes. Secret Invasion is also widely recognized as the weakest Marvel show broadcast thus far on Disney Plus.
Loki Season 2: SPOILERS AHEAD!
So, season 1 had a dramatic conclusion with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returning to a TVA that doesn’t seem to be his and Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains (a Kang variation) dying at the hands of Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) after explaining why he had to keep a Sacred Timeline. The “multiverse” that we’ve started to see in films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home was effectively established when He Who Remains died. A new Multiversal War is about to break out as timelines can communicate with one another once more.
Loki, who has fallen in love with a Loki version named Sylvie and who is currently lost in time, wants to find her. The issue? Everyone at the TVA will find it difficult to believe what they saw and heard at the End of Time, especially since he keeps uncontrollably flitting back and forth in time. Though it appears that he is at least connected to the timeframe we were familiar with throughout the majority of season 1.
One could argue that season 2’s first action reverses the horrifying repercussions of the cliffhanger finale from two years prior, but this is a twist we hadn’t even contemplated, and it doesn’t lessen the overall threat in the slightest. In actuality, the opening episode of season 2 is rather stressful. Loki and Sylvie going missing, Hunter B-15 breaking protocol, etc.), so we’re introduced to Kate Dickie’s General Dox and Liz Carr’s Judge Gamble, who will try to decide the best course of action going forward. The TVA knows the Sacred Timeline is cooked and has lost Ravonna Renslayer on top of everything.
With the exception of a brief action sequence early on, “Ouroboros” is an episode that is entirely set within the TVA and manages to delight. The actors and the vivacious and dynamic camerawork, in our humble opinion, steal the show here. On a screenplay level, this season’s opener repeats a lot of the errors from the show’s 2021 premiere: While the plot does nothing for full scenes, it is overburdened with exposition and technical discussion. However, the execution is so endearing and captivating that you don’t really give it a second thought as you watch. It also helps that the production design and visual identity of this show are still analog.
After just about persuading the emergency council and Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) from the present about at least some of what happened at the End of Time – revealing a hidden mural full of Kangs definitely helped – Loki and his new favorite companion, Ouroboros, a chatty and upbeat employee who was undoubtedly written with the Oscar-winner in mind, meet him at the bottom of the TVA. The banter between Loki and Mobius, which managed to be funny without going overboard, has been a major plus for the show since the very beginning. It seemed sincere, and Ke Huy Quan‘s act blended seamlessly with their existing relationship.
Loki Season 2 Episode 1: Short Version
Unless we’re missing something, Loki is time-slipping as a result of the time-related mishaps he and Sylvie encountered. Although Ouroboros is aware of this so-called “affliction,” he maintains that it couldn’t possibly occur inside the TVA, yet here we are. Our main concern with the scene was that O.B., as Mobius affectionately dubbed him, would send Loki and his companion on an absurdly protracted side quest that would consume the most of the season, but the answer is simple.
While Loki alternates between the same area between the past and the present, his chat with O.B. stirs up memories in the latter and enables the pair to obtain a device that the earlier O.B. built for situations like this. Giving viewers a well-written, double conversation scenario that employs easy editing to its advantage is more fulfilling than haphazardly inserting an exciting detour with little else to offer, even though it is a surprisingly “simple” solution to the urgent problem.
But there’s a big “but” in the form of the TVA’s Temporal Loom collapsing, which would be bad for everyone but especially Loki, who would stop being connected to two different points in time and instead would literally unravel. The Temporal Loom is a sort of nexus that powers all their time-related technology and refines time into physical timelines. Not good!
Loki must “prune” himself with the TVA’s weapon of choice, which sends problematic variations to the “time junkyard” we saw in season 1, in order to “grab” him with a device positioned near the Temporal Loom within a constrained window of time. Yes, this is a bunch of complicated crap, but don’t worry—you can understand the mechanics after you get past the jargon. Simple sci-fi entertainment.
Loki Season 2 Episode 1: Full of Confusion
The burden on the crew is increased because Mobius’ cumbersome suit can’t keep him safe for very long inside the enormous chamber that contains the Temporal Loom. Additionally, Loki time-travels once more into the future, when he fumbles to locate a pruning stick. Loki prunes himself and is snatched back into his timeline just in time, but not before he sees Sylvie in the future as O.B. begins closing the gates that protect the TVA from the Loom. She is searching for a new residence outside. But did she intend to retract what she claimed regarding their relationship? She will initially try her luck working at McDonald’s in 1980 Broxton, Oklahoma, as revealed in a brief post-credits scene.
Finding Sylvie and understanding the new timeline situation as well as Kang’s danger to the entire multiverse look to be the key challenges ahead now that the Temporal Loom seems to have stabilized and Loki has been treated for time-slipping. Similarly, General Dox is moving swiftly to capture Sylvie because she believes that the Loki variation could be the cause of all the negative events that have occurred since Sylvie’s appearance. While they find out what this perplexing new period has in store for them, Judge Gamble has halted the trimming of additional criminals.
It will be interesting to see if the studio and the writers used the chance provided by a collapsing cop-like organization to comment on how such a misguided and oppressive regime can be rebuilt to do some real good amid all the time-traveling adventures that undoubtedly lie ahead of us. An all-knowing guiding hand deceived them all to the point of erasing their memories multiple times. While genuinely defending his Sacred Timeline, He Who Remains also rapidly judged numerous others. Could the TVA accept these unfavorable realities and change?
We are presented with a fantastic idea that has a ton of potential, and if it is fully used, it might show that these programs are much more than just fragments of a bigger picture. The first season was terrific on its own and served as the Multiverse Saga’s proper introduction. As the plot becomes more bizarre and the cast of characters becomes more numerous, can Marvel Studios pull off the same magic trick again? We’ll discover it in due time.
Web Series: Loki Season 2 Episode 1
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku, Neil Ellice, Eugene Cordero, Ke Huy Quan, Kate Dickie, Liz Carr, Rafael Casal, Charlie Cameron, Jonathan Majors, Gugu Mbatha, Tara Strong
Director: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead