LOKI: SEASON TWO
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Ke Huy Quan, Rafael Casal, and Jonathan Majors
Creator: Michael Waldron
With its first season, Loki put the spotlight on the TVA and gave Jonathan Majors' Kang a thorough introduction. With its second... it unfortunately has a bit of a sophomore slump. The storyline is still interesting and the chemistry between Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Owen Wilson's Mobius is still there, but there's a magic lacking. Aside from the welcome introduction of Ke Huy Quan's OB, the new storylines feel unnecessarily convoluted while the follow-up as it refers to Kang doesn't make many strides to advance the character. Still a good watch, don’t get me wrong, but a step removed from the quality of Season One.
The difficult part about telling time-travel stories is that the stakes can instantly disappear. But when your temporal romp is actually a vessel to tell a deeply poignant, meticulously executed character study, the emotional weight shines within your protagonist’s journey. Loki: Season Two does an excellent job of taking you on a suspenseful ouroboros through the entire series while simultaneously creating an epically satisfying landing for the MCU’s longest running, most densely developed character. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath wondering where we’d end up, and when we found out, the joyful sadness I felt confirmed this show’s greatness.
While considering two things…1. Loki: Season One is among the MCU’s best series, and 2. the MCU series have not been great lately...I was unsure of where Loki’s second season might fall. As it turns out, it exemplifies both of those ideals. The performances, particularly in the context of the chemistry between Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, are great. However, the story gets bogged down in expository technical mumbo jumbo, anticlimactic and underexplained stakes, and timey-wimey convolution. For you, that means if you’re here for the characters, you’ll enjoy yourself; however, if you’re here for the story, you’ll be underwhelmed. For me, it was entertaining enough.
The second season of Loki is exhausting. It’s bloated, tedious, and just like the current state of the MCU, it’s a total mess. It features a whole lot of time traveling, dimension hopping, and mumbo jumbo-ing, but very little of it is actually interesting. I could forgive the convoluted sci-fi jargon if the show was entertaining, but it’s not. Besides the finale, almost every episode was a total slog. If it weren’t for the visuals, I would have a hard time finding anything to praise. The art direction, costume work, and set design are essentially Loki Season Two’s only saving graces.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be in trouble, but thankfully we have Loki to give us some hope. I'm not gonna pretend I understood everything in its admittedly convoluted story, but the emotional development of Loki (played phenomenally by Tom Hiddleston) and its entire cast of characters had me in the palm of its interdimensional hand. The show looks great from a production standpoint and goes in directions the MCU has never been before. Even if you take away the MCU of it all, Loki is a fantastic show, period.