(+++ WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Disney Plus’ Loki episode 2 +++)
While this was another episode heavy on necessary dialogue it also had its fair share of action too. And a revelation, of sorts. One that certainly seemed like it was coming based on the pace of this storyline. But, something of a surprise nonetheless. But with a twist.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes up his new post, and new desk, in a workplace that continues to reflect the Kubrick/retro-sci-fi aesthetics established in the debut episode. A workplace that reminded me of the same design choices adopted by Terry Gilliam in his dystopian comedy Brazil and in particular the offices in which that film’s hero, Sam Lowry (Jonathan Price) finds himself working. The adherence to a very specific colour scheme is also something of a design choice that ties the various scenes together. The browns, oranges and subtle greens of the TVA are echoed in the final scenes of this second episode when Loki, Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) travel to the year 2050 and an apocalyptic event in which the Variant revealed herself. Or rather, she doesn’t.
It’s clear that we are meant to consider her to be a female Loki (English actress, Sophia Di Martino). After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Loki has been female. In the comics that is. But, is it really going to be that obvious? I doubt it very much. Not knowing Marvel’s previous form and teasing of fan expectations. But, who she really is and what she’s up to only adds to the allure of this stylist, oft-times funny series.
It’s also in these scenes that we get to see a glimpse of the Loki we know and love. A man not to be trusted. Unlike the man he has become in the TVA. Or seems to be. Someone who has the faint whiff of desperation about him. Although, I’m still not convinced of his confession to ‘Lady Loki’ either. See what I mean about playing with fans’ expectations. Was he bluffing her, or bluffing the TVA? Curiouser and curiouser. But then this whole series is based on one mystery after another going back to the Timekeepers themselves and who they may well be. We’re certainly kept on out toes, that’s for sure.
Other worthy moments to file away for a later date is the debriefing meeting between Mobius and Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Given that everything mentioned is for a reason, why does the subject of another analyst she “keep(s) on the side” is surely more than just a throwaway line. And, given her original role in Marvel Comics was as the apple of Kang the Conqueror’s eye, maybe he has a role to play in this too. Will one – or all three – of the Timekeepers be revealed to be Kang? And, yes, I am aware they are their own thing in the comics. But, this ain’t the comics.
Loki and Mobius travelling back in time to the day Mount Vesuvius erupts to engulf Pompeii was a spectacular way for Loki to explain the central theory to this week’s episode’s narrative thrust; that the Variant is hiding out at moments of apocalyptic events to cover her tracks. It was also a great way of making up for the quite, more action-free debut episode and it only got bigger from ether when we pull back, in the year 2050, to a end-of-days hurricane ripping through Haven Hills, Alabama and heading for a Roxxcart supermarket.
We came to watch Loki do his thing, but the gripping mysteries within mysteries and excellent chemistry between Mobius and the God of Mischief is definitely what we’re staying for. A great sophomore episode with thrills, spills and even more questions than answers. Oh, and a great score by Natalie Holt.
Loki is streaming now on Disney + with new episodes every Wednesday.