Loki season 2 gets off to a solid start with episode 1, reminding us what makes the show likeable whilst also creating plenty of intrigue about what’s to come.
Chaos is at the forefront of episode 1 of season 2 of Loki. The first Disney MCU show to be granted a follow-up season, Loki wastes no time at all when it comes to getting the ball rolling, leading to a fun and intriguing season premiere that mostly accomplishes its job of reintroducing the audience to this world and its inhabitants. The TVA and everything relating to it is a pretty complicated idea which has only gotten managed to get more confusing since its introduction, so I definitely think that an episode just reacquainting the audience with this concept is probably the best way to start this season, even if it doesn’t do anything particularly remarkable in the process.
If I had to sum the whole season 2 premiere up in one word, it would probably be “safe”. Everything about it screams “safe”, from the familiar setting of the TVA building, to the reunion of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) that the writers make happen as quickly as they possibly can – god forbid the series can’t fall back on that clutch for more than 10 minutes. Even the new character that’s thrown into the mix, a new TVA agent named Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan), feels like the safest character the MCU’s ever come up with. He’s quirky, amusing, and played by one of the most charismatic actors currently working in Hollywood, making it a real shame that he spends the majority of his introductory episode restricted to only spouting exposition and being a part of what I assume is the first of many convoluted time travel setpieces.
Time travel seems to be the focus of season 2, with Loki quickly discovering that he’s “time slipping” – basically teleporting to different points in time at random, seemingly caused by the events of the divisive first season finale. It’s an intriguing enough concept, and one that I’m excited to see explored in future episodes, but if I may worry out loud for a second, I fear that this could cause Loki to go from being convoluted in a cute, quirky way to convoluted in a far more frustrating, confusing way. Hopefully the writers know what they’re doing, but considering the very first instance of this we get is a pretty complicated conversation involving both the past and present version of a single character, I can’t say I’m overly optimistic.
Something heavily included in the marketing was the fact that Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) will spend some of this season working at a McDonald’s restaurant. Why? Well, throwing all cynicism aside, it seems like the idea is that doing something as seemingly mundane and ordinary as working at McDonald’s represents Sylvie taking back her life after the events of the first season, but I just can’t help but shake the feeling that it’s all far too blatantly commercial. It’s unfortunately just distracting, especially knowing that the crossover has already been used in adverts, even before the season was anywhere near releasing. Perhaps this is a bit too “angry man yells at cloud” of me and I should just accept the fact that big-budget shows will feature blatant product placement, but still, are we really gonna have a subplot about how good McDonald’s is in this superhero sci-fi show?
Aside from these small worries, I do have to admit that I enjoyed episode 1 of season 2 of Loki. I’m nowhere near as fond of this show as some people are, but as a quirky and breezy way to spend an hour, you can do so much worse. The cast are all still great to watch, and the production design is among the best we’ve seen come out of the MCU, making the whole thing a bit of a visual treat. My biggest worry is honestly just whether or not it’ll manage to stay this easy to watch, or if it’ll fall into the trap of needlessly over-complicating itself. Please Loki, stay simple and don’t try to do too much with time travel: it’s not worth the hassle.
Season 2 Episode 1 of Loki is now available to watch on Disney Plus.