The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with Loki season 2, a continuation of the MCU Disney+ show that premiered in 2021. Season 1 of this sci-fi show ended with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) killing a variant of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns to the Time Variance Authority to warn Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) about his arrival. However, when they don’t recognize him, Loki discovers a statue of He Who Remains at the center of the TVA. The first four episodes of season 2 pick up right where this story ends, this time with a few new faces and a time-bending journey.
While season 1 was run by Kate Herron, Loki season 2 brings in Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to be the creative voice. This director duo previously worked on the MCU show Moon Knight, and they bring in something that both feels consistent with the previous season while featuring something new. The season premiere features a direction reminiscent of a psychological thriller. Loki is horrified and out of breath for much of this episode. Seeing the villain of previous MCU content acting so terrified of a looming threat makes the threat feel much scarier.
Furthermore, Loki finds himself glitching in a way that’s similar to what we saw in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As they get to the bottom of this, we get a few more funny moments with Mobius, who is horrified by the glitching. Soon enough, the show introduces us to a new character named Ouroboros, played by Academy Award winner Ke Huy Quan. It’s wonderful to see Quan get the high-profile roles he deserves, especially since he brings charm to this series. The first episode also has a lot of fun with the concept of time travel, taking Loki to the past and seeing how that affects the future.
With time travel, there are many ways to explore it in films and TV. There’s an excellent moment in the first episode where a visual joke/running gag becomes an indicator of where Loki is in time. Parts of the show lean into the horror movie aesthetic, but like most Marvel content, it does not fully commit to it. It’s also worth noting that the first episode features a mid-credits scene, which you should stick around for as it sets up the next episode very well while putting a smile on your face.
The second episode takes you out of the TVA and begins with a mission surrounding a new character named X5 (Rafael Casal), who becomes a movie star under the alias of Brad Wolfe. This is where the show gets interesting. The TVA is a fun concept, but the premise is that it’s a boring office where the characters cannot use their powers. When the show takes Loki out of the TVA, it seems to remember that he is a god with immense power. The introduction to Brad is a little bit strange at first, given how separate it feels from where the first episode left off. However, as it gets tied into the main characters’ goal, it works much better. The characterization for him is fascinating, too, as he is unperturbed by the words of Loki and Mobius.
Another strong aspect of the show is how it pushes Mobius to a tragic place. One of the best scenes is a conversation over a slice of key lime pie, where we learn how comfortable Mobius is in his life at the TVA. He wants to live in ignorance of what his life was before, not wanting to know what he could be missing out on. It’s a well-written idea, and it’s played marvelously by Wilson. The second episode is a mild improvement over the previous one.
The third and fourth episodes really pick up steam. The MCU is setting up their new big bad with Kang the Conqueror, or as he is known in this show, He Who Remains. The strongest aspect of this villain is that there are many variants, and each one feels very different. It’s a character that an actor like Jonathan Majors can feast upon. Comic book movie performances often face criticism for being uninteresting compared to an actor’s full potential. However, Majors is killing it as this character. His performance in this season as a stuttering scientist is vastly different from what we saw in the Loki season 1 finale, which is also very different from what we saw in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Overall, the first four episodes of Loki season 2 are entertaining and consistent with the quality we have seen from the show before. There’s more of Loki and Mobius as a mismatched detective duo, along with some fun moments that arise from that. There is a subplot surrounding Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) that is the exact kind of darkly funny thing I never knew this show needed. The elements that feel like they don’t belong, such as a storyline with a new character named Dox, typically have a resolution that makes it feel earned. With a few solid character moments with our existing group, Loki is a largely inoffensive show that does everything it wants to do without doing much more.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.
Disclosure: ComingSoon received screeners for Loki season 2 episodes 1-4.