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Review – Loki Season 2 is Riveting Sci-Fi

Time travel, exciting new characters, and great interactions make the MCU show memorable

By Monita MohanPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
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(L-R): Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

The latest phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not won over many fans. I wrote about why “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was such a thorough disappointment. I refuse to even think about the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, and couldn’t even bother to watch another season of “I Am Groot”; and I’m an MCU fan. I can’t say all this bodes well for “Loki” Season 2.

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has been a fan-favourite from the moment he arrived on screen, and Marvel Studios has capitalized on his popularity by killing him off and bringing him back multiple times. So, the excitement around Loki leading his own show was through the roof.

I couldn’t wait for the first season, but the finished product left me cold. I would go so far as to say I didn’t care for “Loki” Season 1 at all; though I know I’m in the minority. It was verbose, with conversations that went in circles but never concluded. I don’t want fist fights after every scene (I happen to love “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law”), but interactions need to make sense and advance the plot. The show kept pushing the weird Loki/Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) relationship, when there were better dynamics that the story could have explored. Worst of all, the first season treated Loki like a punchline, mocking his grief, rather than sympathizing with his missed opportunities to grow (an arc that Loki Prime enjoyed but not this variant). Suffice to say, I was worried about the second season.

I received the screeners of the first four episodes of “Loki” Season 2, and I was in for a surprise.

LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 MARVEL.

Where Did “Loki” Season 1 Leave Us?

“Loki” follows a variant of the God of Mischief who escaped imprisonment from an alternate timeline as seen in “Avengers: Endgame”. His escape was short-lived since he was soon apprehended by the Time Variance Authority, who were all set to “prune”/incinerate him. The TVA was created to protect the Sacred Timeline, and variants get in the way of that.

When last we saw Loki, he had been kicked into a world where his newfound friend, TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), did not recognize him, and the founder of the TVA was the man known as He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). Unbeknownst to Loki, another of his variants, Sylvie, had killed He Who Remains, and the Sacred Timeline had branched into numerous new Branched Timelines. The season closed with the multiverse in utter chaos.

“Loki” Season 2 is a Vast Improvement on its Predecessor

(L-R): Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Ke Huy Quan as O.B., and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

I raced through all the four episode screeners that I received because I couldn’t wait to get back into the world(s) of “Loki”. The second season is engrossing, riveting, and spectacular. It does what I expected of Season 1—the story respects Loki, his charm, mystery, and his villainous tendencies. It leans into the central partnership with the best chemistry, Loki and Mobius. It gives us time-travelling escapades that capture the look and feel of the era it’s in. Best of all, we get more of the supporting characters, old and new, who were shunted to the side in the first season.

Eugene Cordero’s Casey has a larger role, and he brings that quirky, nerdy energy that we all love from his role as Rutherford on “Star Trek: Lower Decks”. Wunmi Mosaku as B-15 gets a more commanding role as well, though I still wish we could see more of her. But the winning ingredient is Ke Huy Quan, who appears as O.B.—he is a ball of excitable, intense energy, and steals every scene he’s in with excellent comic timing. Fabulous casting!

“Loki” Season 2 Isn’t Without Its Problems

(Center): Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

As much as I want to rave about “Loki”, it’s not all perfect. I’m not sure about the choice of Rafael Casal, who plays a Hunter at the TVA. He has a significant role but lacks charisma. Every time he appears, I wish someone with a distinctive take on this bland character had been cast instead.

Sylvie continues to drag the show down for me—Sophia Di Martino is trying her best, but she looks drawn and wears a single expression throughout. Her strange hairstyle doesn’t help, and neither does the fact that she constantly feels tacked on, a distraction from the larger-than-life Loki that Tom Hiddleston was born to play. I hope she gets better in the latter half of the season, but I won’t hold my breath.

The show continues to underserve Gugu Mbatha-Raw; they simply don’t know what to do with this giant cast of characters, and she’s been lost in the milieu in the first season. Mbatha-Raw’s Ravona Renslayer has a little more gravitas in Season 2, but her character’s role is too passive for an emotive, energetic actor like her. But the episodes promise more for Renslayer, so here’s hoping.

We can’t escape the fact that Jonathan Majors is a huge part of the season; Marvel Studios decided to keep him in the season despite the assault allegations against him and his subsequent arraignment. Could they have recast him? Majors was cast as He Who Remains and appeared at the end of the first season, and his character Kang the Conqueror has been set up as the main antagonist of Phase 5 of the MCU, so I understand why Marvel didn’t want to go down that route. But we’re stuck watching him on the show, and that does give me pause. The frustrating part is, Majors plays every variant of Kang with aplomb, and he’s excellent in what we see of him in Season 2. The entertainment industry is hard to understand, sometimes.

Despite my concerns about the sophomore return of “Loki”, I found it a gripping watch. It’s a sci-fi show first, and a Marvel show on the rare occasion. I love Loki and Mobius as a team, and Ke Huy Quan is a force to be reckoned with. I hope the second half of the season stays true to its sci-fi roots and focuses even more on character development.

A note: This review is written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes, and the author supports the recommendations made by the actors’ union.

“Loki” Season 2 is available on Disney+.

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About the Creator

Monita Mohan

When not dreaming of a one-way trip to Coruscant, I'm usually staring at a blank page, hoping my articles write themselves.

Website: lightspeedwriter.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Monita_Mohan

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