The second season of “Loki” doubles down on its Dr. Who-esque antics.
‘Loki Season 2’ is Half as Logical, Twice as Lively
After a string of disappointments, “Loki” proves Marvel can still produce a gratifying series.
Created by Michael Waldron, season 2 of “Loki” continues assembling multiversal stakes with a serialized backdrop. The show’s plot is tedious, but its conclusion is beyond gratifying.
Season 1 of “Loki” witnesses the Asgardian god of mischief subvert his vanity and villainy. For the crime of deviating from his future, the Time Variance Authority, or TVA, abducted him to a world of multiversal travel. Assisted by TVA agent Mobius, Loki examined his hateful motivations to locate a rogue version of him named Sylvie.
By the end of season 1, Loki learned to love him and his alternate self. Together the duo uncovered the TVA’s motivations to prevent alternate versions — known as variants — of the conqueror He Who Remains from gaining power.
Season 1 ended with timelines branching freely towards new realities in the wake of He Who Remains’ death. Season 2 of “Loki” intensifies the chaotically dense narrative by expanding the drama and science fiction.
Season 2 centers on the TVA’s unraveling and Loki’s new uncontrollable ability to slip between time. To keep the TVA and himself from falling apart, he enlists He Who Remains’ younger variant for help as the agency reverses course to preserve time in its entirety.
Waldron (“Rick and Morty,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) penned a script full of emotion and sci-fi terminology. The show expertly crafts each character dynamic and conflict, but often gets lost in overused vocabulary.
“Loki” is insecure in its made-up metaphysics. The words “TVA,” “He Who Remains” and “timeline” all lose meaning as a result of the repetition. Bloated dictionary terms hardly explain time traveling shenanigans and their overuse hampers believability.
But the cast is where “Loki” truly shines, with Tom Hiddleston as the captivating lead. Hiddleston (“Thor,” “Kong: Skull Island”) gives a fitting end to Loki’s 14-year-long story, having evolved from jealous villain to begrudging ally, eventually ending as a selfless protector.
Owen Wilson as Mobius charms alongside Hiddleston for narrative ups and downs. Wilson (“The Darjeeling Limited,” “Cars”) embodies nonchalance, uttering fantastical words without hesitation and eating pie while making dire decisions. His easygoing attitude as Mobius complements Hiddleston’s frantic bravado.
Mobius grapples with his purpose in season 2 as a TVA agent. Learning the TVA erased the memories of his personal life, Mobius pushes aside his individuality for a perceived greater good. Wilson’s performance is charismatic and surprisingly heartfelt, peaking during a finale scene with Loki which details his mournful past.
Stealing each scene in season 2 is fresh addition Ouroboros, or O.B. Playing the TVA technician with perfect intellect, Ke Huy Quan demonstrates masterful comedic timing as O.B. Quan’s (“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”) combined affability and dry wit gives “Loki” the comedic legs to carry its absurd subject matter.
The ensemble is stacked with likable performers in heightened roles, making Jonathan Majors’ returning presence in “Loki” all the more uncanny. Majors (“Lovecraft Country,” “Creed III”) plays dual roles this season as He Who Remains and his variant Victor Timely.
Majors first appeared in season 1’s finale, and again in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” as a variant known as Kang. Prior to the release of season two, Majors was arrested and charged with domestic assault, according to the Associated Press.
With the trial still underway, the alleged charges taint the many scenes he appears in.
Still, Marvel is facing other dilemmas. Reshoots, rewrites and mismanaged finances have plagued the company’s reputation, according to Variety. “Loki” is the exception to Marvel’s mishandled projects.
The second season of “Loki” surpasses season 1 in excitement and style, in spite of behind-the-scenes scandals. The show’s terminology is tiresome, but its visuals and performances culminate in an astonishing finale.
Only time can say if Marvel keeps reaching the bar set by “Loki.”
Season 2 of “Loki” is available now on Disney+.
Featured image courtesy of Marvel Studios