Loki season 2 episode 4 might not make too much sense narratively, but its execution is certainly a step above the previous three.
Look, before we go any further, I need to admit something. I didn’t fully understand Loki season 2 episode 4. At this point, its convoluted time travel plot line has reached levels of complexity I didn’t believe was possible, and it’s now mostly going completely over my head. With that being said though, in terms of the actual execution of these nonsensical plot beats, episode 4 did feel like the strongest episode of season 2 so far, leading up to an ending that genuinely had me raising my eyebrows and leaning towards my television. In my eyes, that’s all Loki needs to be: a sci-fi show that, whilst it may not make much sense, is still well-crafted and intense enough to engage and hook me.
Loki season 2 episode 4 takes place almost entirely in the TVA, where our heroes are now trying to figure out a way to, I think, save the timelines. Like I said, I’m not completely sure of the details at this point, but what matters more than my vague understanding of the events is how it seems to be affecting our characters, and in this sense, Loki generally succeeds. Ke Huy Quan is always a wonderful presence, and here, he provides the majority of the levity, his charisma being used as a way to make sure the escalating events never get too overwhelming for the audience. They attempt a similar thing with Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors), giving him the odd comedic moment, but like I pointed out in my episode 3 review, Majors’ performance is still just too off-kilter and over-the-top to help any of these beats land, with him continuing to be more of an annoyance than anything else.
As much as it’s still strange to me that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is the character Marvel chose to be the centre of this series, Hiddleston does a great job with the material he’s given. His character has transformed into one of the MCU’s most consistently likeable, and in episode 4, we’re reminded just how charming he is, even when not given too much to do. Any show that tackles storylines these incomprehensible needs likeable screen presences to make the whole thing both still accessible as well as consistently engaging, and Hiddleston goes a long way in helping Loki out on that front. Owen Wilson does a similar job as Mobius M. Mobius, but I must admit to not being particularly keen on his brief argument with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) about pie of all things. In an episode that generally flows quite nicely, it felt a bit too forced and jarring for my liking.
Episode 4 also sees Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) go full supervillain mode. It’s a decision that I’m still unsure of, but Mbatha-Raw plays the conflicted antagonist role quite well, so I definitely don’t mind it. It does sometimes give off the vibe that they needed a central villain for this series and just weren’t sure who to make it, so ended up spinning a wheel that ultimately landed on Renslayer, but the revelations they use to justify this definitely have potential for some interesting developments down the line. Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) taking on the evil advisor role is also a decision that I wasn’t completely sold on initially, but it does make a lot more sense as the season progresses. There’s certainly an ominous aura radiating from both her accent and design that help sell the choice, so the more I think about it, the more I quite like it.
Easily the biggest moment of Loki season 2 episode 4 though, is the ending. One that I’m sure many hard-core fans will be able to explain the repercussions of a lot better than I can, but from the perspective of someone just about following along, I’m definitely intrigued by the potential it has. Whilst Loki absolutely still has time to prove me wrong, it does feel like a bold storytelling choice in a show that certainly felt like it needed one, and it’s left me feeling genuinely excited to watch the next episode, which I can’t say the previous three managed to do at all. Without a doubt, episode 4 is the strongest episode of the season so far, and it looks like the second half of Loki season 2 might just be shaping up to be quite exciting after all.
Season 2 Episode 4 of Loki is now available to watch on Disney Plus.