The Second Season of ‘Loki’ is Tom Hiddleston’s Trimuph as the God of Mischief – Review
When an alternate version of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) escaped with the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame, no one expected him to become the prime version of the character, but the second season of Loki has cemented the variant into one of the best-written characters in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Over the course of six new episodes of time-traveling adventures, the God of Mischief fought as hard as he could to save the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and the dear friends he made thanks to the organization. However, it probably wasn’t enough to keep a big threat away, throwing Loki into a spiral of despair in some of the best television Marvel Studios has ever come up with.
After Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino) killed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) when she and Loki finally reached the end of time, the God of Mischief was thrown into a reality separate from his own, with his body inexplicably going from the present into the past. The premise of the second season directly focuses on Loki trying to master this new ability, as well as finding his best ideas to prevent Kang’s variants from destroying the entire multiverse. Throwing the character into uncharted territory allowed Hiddleston to come up with some of the best work he’s shown on screen as Loki, with the emotions he transmits with only a look or an off-hand gesture being rich with nuance and passion.
Since he was introduced in Thor, Hiddleston has always known how to tap into the emotions the character wants to keep for himself, carrying a broken soul on his shoulders and disguising it with a conqueror looking for a throne. The Loki television series has challenged the actor with making Loki someone closer to a real person, leaving behind the extravagant villain seen in the early years of the MCU. Hiddleston smoothly transitions Loki from an immature young man with lots of power to a seasoned warrior worried for his chosen family, and putting the needs of others above his own.
While the brilliance of Loki relies on the writing done by Eric Martin, Katharyn Blair, Kasra Farahani and Jason O’Leary, it wouldn’t be possible to bring to life without the beautiful talent of the show’s cast. Owen Wilson returns as Mobius, the TVA analyst who was the first person to believe in Loki’s redemption back when the first season of the series premiered in 2021. Wilson’s earnest delivery as the optimistic agent makes for the most relatable performance within the entire ensemble, with his work making the character’s presence feel like a hug from an old friend.
When it comes to the new addition to the group, Ke Huy Quan shines as O.B., a TVA technician who wants to help Loki figure out why he keeps traveling through time. The charisma integrated into the character injects a bolt of energy to the second season of the series, allowing O.B. to have a voice of his own while making the fact that he’s been a part of this world for centuries believable. As a character that can stand on his own, the technician helps the rest of the cast to bring out the best of their talents, while the God of Mischief gains yet another lovely ally. Unfortunately, not everything can be perfect, even in the TVA.
Perhaps the biggest loss Loki suffered from its first installment into its second one was the characterization of Sylvie. DiMartino returns as the variant who set off the chain of events this story deals with in the first place. Unfortunately, the fierceness that the character was introduced with is gone, replaced by a version of Sylvie who mostly stands in the background. Sylvie’s romantic tension with Loki was also erased, in a surprising move, considering their bond was one of the most interesting ideas the show’s debut presented. If Sylvie had a more influential presence in the plot of the season, this installment could have been nearly as good as the first one, but one main character had to suffer at the expense of a newcomer introduction.
Last, but not least, the return of Majors is a complete mixed bag of ideas for the second season of the best television series Marvel Studios has produced to date. His performance as Victor Timely was all over the place, making the character an awkward feature in an otherwise dynamic ensemble. However, the return of He Who Remains provided some of the most intense moments the MCU has seen in a very long time.
With stellar performances from the cast, excellent writing from the team and a very focused direction from Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, the second season of Loki consolidates the show as the best story Marvel Studios has produced after the release of Avengers: Endgame. For once, this franchise needs to stop expanding on what it has created, with the two seasons of the series having solid arcs and resolutions for most of the main characters involved. The God of Mischief has become the God of Time, and if the rest of the studio’s television output was as heartfelt as this adventures, the brand would have a brighter future in front of it. Perhaps in a different timeline.