LOKI: S2 | Disney+ | October 5, 2023
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Neil Ellice, Jonathan Majors, Owen Wilson
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Dan Deleeuw, Kasra Farahani
LOKI Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of the shocking season finale when Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority. Along with Mobius, Hunter B-15 and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.
FIRST LOOK REVIEW - EPISODES 1-4 By: Darren Zakus
Loki continues the great standard set by the first season with an exciting first four episodes to its second season, once again featuring excellent performances from the lead cast and lots of excitement and reveals that will keep Marvel fans eagerly anticipating the next episode as the season progresses.
Loki marks the first second season to any of Marvel’s Disney+ shows, continuing Loki’s travels through time with the Time Variance Authority (T.V.A.) and the impending threat of the Kang variants unleashed on the Sacred Timeline. The first season is among Marvel’s finest television efforts, with outstanding writing developing the characters over the six episode run while laying the blocks for an enormous threat to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The second season picks up right where the first season left off, exploring the ramifications of the death of He Who Remains and the unleashing of multiple timelines that the T.V.A. could not control, but also the effects these events had on our heroes. It once again features strong character writing, while continuing to tease the imminent threat of the Kang variants on the MCU, delivering four episodes that continue the standard set by the previous season that fans are going to devour every second of.
Picking up seconds after the first season ended, Loki is trapped in an alternate timeline where He Who Remains openly runs the T.V.A. While trying to get back to his own timeline, Mobius and the T.V.A. remaining officers race against time to try and stop the chaos on the Sacred Timeline caused by Sylvie killing He Who Remains, as a new and powerful threat emerges threatening all of time.
With the MCU building towards Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, the second season of Loki was a highly anticipated new entry for fans, eager to see more of Jonathan Majors’ villainous Kang after his brilliant debut in the first season’s finale. Though, the first four episodes use Majors’ absence to great effect, leaving his presence hanging over the episodes. While he does have some excellent scenes as Victor Timely, he is used sparingly and efficiently to allow the focus to remain on Loki, Sylvie, Mobius and Ravonna. There is no doubt that the writers are saving Major’s screen time for the final two episodes, which will no doubt have larger ramifications for his character going forward in the MCU. At the centre of this season are the characters of Loki, Mobius, Sylvie and Ravonna, following the time shattering ramifications of the first season finale season and the effects it had on each character. The development devoted to each character is excellent, especially for Ravonna, who is finally free of her role at the T.V.A. and finding her own footing as she makes a new path for herself in life. At the same time, the lore of the T.V.A and the Sacred Timeline is expanded as the four episodes spin a thrilling, science fiction mystery, even if there is a lot of exposition packed into the first two episodes, and the new character added this season fit the show perfectly. And the end of the fourth episode… I’m still shaken by the cliffhanger it ended on and I cannot wait to see where the final two episodes go!
Performance wise, they are tremendous across the board! Tom Hiddleston has never been better as Loki, capturing a fear in him that we have never seen for an extended period before in his character, in addition to his charming mischievous nature that has made Loki a fan favourite character for years. His chemistry with Owen Wilson once again creates one of the pillars of the show, continuing one of the best and most dynamic duos of the entire MCU. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stuns as Ravonna, this time with a far more nuanced performance as her character finds her place in this world outside of the T.V.A., while Jonathan Majors gives us a very different Kang variant as Victor Timely, once again showcasing his versatile talents as an actor. Sophia Di Martino continues to steal the show as Sylvie, even though there is less of her in the first four episodes than fans would have hoped for, but I’m certain she will be front and centre in the final two episodes. Rafael Casal is an excellent addition to the show, creating a great sub villain character, though it is newcomer Ke Huy Quan who is the MVP of the season. Continuing to bring that optimistic and energetic personality that reignited his stardom this past year with the awards race for Everything Everywhere All At Once, Quan is sensational as OB, the writer of the T.V.A. handbook. Quan infuses all of his scenes with great laughter and a heart that brings the season to life, he makes for a perfect pairing with every other cast member he encounters, especially Wilson, and you instantly fall in love with his character through his performance. If there is anything the MCU needs more of at this time, it is Quan’s OB as he is a revelation from the second he appears on screen!
Once again, this is a top tier quality Marvel production. The costume and production design is exquisite, bringing to life multiple different time periods over the course of the season with an attention to detail that fully immerses the audience in each time period. The set design for the T.V.A. continues to capture the grandeur and advanced nature of the organization, while the visual effects are stunning as they bring to life time travel and the Sacred Timeline. Natalie Holt’s musical score continues to be exemplary, capturing the excitement, wonder, danger and world ending stakes of the series. It is in her attention to detail that amazes as she matches the musical stylings of each time period the show visits, utilizing musical instruments native to each time period to create the series’s main theme.
Even without having seen the final two episodes of the season yet, it is clear that the second season of Loki not only continues the outstanding standard set by the first season, but cements the series as one of the best Marvel television shows to date. From captivating writing and character development, outstanding performances from the entire cast with exceptional turns from Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino and Ke Huy Quan, and jaw dropping twists that will keep you tuning in every week, Loki’s second season continues to deliver the time travel brilliance and excitement fans loved about the first season as it sets the stage for one of the most dangerous villains of the MCU to take centre stage.