The second episode of Loki has dropped on Disney+, and I'm almost ready to call it out as my favorite property in the MCU. Thus far it is basically True Detective Season 1 set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I couldn't love that more. I share the same sentiments as fellow On Tap Sports Net contributor Iowa Zach regarding how Loki was used in the Infinity Saga, but have always wanted more of him on my screen. I had high expectations for episode 2 after the reveal at the end of episode 1, and I was not disappointed.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for Loki episode 2: 'The Variant'.
There's a Bad Guy* Afoot
Episode 2 opens at a Renaissance Fair in Oshkosh, WI in 1985. The TVA arrives to investigate the disturbance only to ambushed by the hooded variant from episode 1, which we discovered at the end of that episode is a variant of Loki. The Variant makes quick work of the TVA agents and takes one prisoner.
A Bold Plan
Mobius decides to bring Loki out to the field to investigate Oshkosh, much to the chagrin of his TVA colleagues. They don't trust Loki but Mobius pushes forward. Loki behaves exactly as you'd expect, but in a follow-up conversation with his supervisor, we learn that Mobius is a man with a plan. Maybe a former fling too?
MCU's True Detectives
To prove his plan to utilize Loki in catching The Variant, Mobius doubles down on the work. Both actual work, and mental. Loki acts as though he is emotionally bulletproof, but Mobius is able to pierce through that veneer with pointed words. Mobius motivates Loki to dig into the file, and Loki identifies a possible loophole in the TVA's monitoring. The pair go to an event in history to prove it out, and to Mobius' shock, Loki is right on the money. Applying this newfound knowledge, Mobius and Loki set off to identify possible historical and futural events where The Variant may be hiding out.
Mobius, Loki, and the TVA crew head to an event in 2050 to investigate. It doesn't take long for The Variant to reveal themself to Loki, toying with him as they move from host to host. Loki and one of the host bodies have a great fight using appliances, and ultimately we get our first look at The Variant without a hood. We then see what may be The Variant's master plan at work, as the TVA's charges used to reset branch timelines vanish, leading to bedlam back at HQ. The Variant exits through a time portal, and Loki follows behind. Was it in pursuit of the suspect or his own freedom?
I knew I was going to enjoy this show after about five minutes of episode 1. Now that I've seen two full episodes, I'm in love and it is mostly to do with Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Owen Wilson's Agent Mobius. When separated on the screen, each actor utterly dominates the scene they are in. When together, the chemistry is unbelievable. They had so many great scenes together this week it's hard to pick a favorite, but I'm going with the lunchroom scene where Loki uses props to explain his theory. The dialog, the body and facial reactions, and pace were perfect. I could go on about Owen Wilson, but I think that deserves its own dedicated piece.
'The Variant' was a terrific follow-up to the pilot of Loki and sets us down a fun path to completely reimagining how time works. Phase 4 of the MCU is going to be heavy in the subject matter, and this is a very fun way to learn.
Loki episodes drop every week on Wednesday, exclusively on Disney+.