Episode 1 of Loki Season 2 starts where we left off, with Loki on the run from the TVA and Kang seemingly in control. Mobius doesn’t recognize Loki, who jumps over the edge of the balcony and is luckily picked up by a random van, which swings back into the TVA window. Loki stumbles down, ends up smashing back into a lower level of the TVA and bumps into Casey, who also can’t remember Loki. It turns out Loki is in the past, as we find out later on, and that’s why they don’t recognize him.
While Loki keeps blinking in and out of our timeline, Mobius finds himself struggling to try and locate him. Miss Minute has gone AWOL, while X-5 informs Mobius that the Judge wants to see him in the War Room. When he leaves, Loki struggles to catch up with his old friend, given he keeps ending up back in the past. He plays a recording, where Renslayer and He Who Remains seem to make a deal.
Hunter B-15 and Mobius head to the War Room, where they’re grilled over Loki’s damning confession about the TVA’s real purpose. To make matters worse, the timelines are growing and with an order to stop pruning, they need to “make sense” of what’s happening. Hunter quickly points out that yes, the timeline is branching but all of them have variants. Hunter also points out that they’ve been killing people and destroying lives with their protocol and that needs to stop.
Loki shows up in our timeline again and shows off that Kang is the one in control, courtesy of a mural on the wall being hidden by a banner. X-5 is tasked with finding Sylvie, while Mobius leads Loki outside, who rambles on about what happened in the Citadel, along with trying to stop Sylvie from killing Kang and failing. War is on its way and Kang also wiped Mobius’s memories more than once.
With no memory of what’s happened, Mobius leads Loki down into the basement of the TVA called R&A. The guy working down here, Ouroboros (or O.B.), seems to recognize Mobius and it’s apparently been 400 years since they last saw each other. He doesn’t sleep and he’s constantly working non-stop down here.
OB recognizes Time Slipping from Loki and struggles to come up with a solution. Luckily, Loki teleports into the past, where he calls Ouroboros by his nickname and that seems to stick. In real-time, the timeline changes for Mobius in the present. The scene cuts back and forth between the two timelines and admittedly it does get a bit timey-wimey. After all, wouldn’t Loki’s earlier encounters wit Mobius and Casey have changed their memories in the present given he saw them in the past?
Anyway, the gist of it is that Loki needs a Temporal Aura Extractor in order to stop the time slipping. In the past, he creates one, which shows up in the present.
The way to resolve this is for the pair to head over to the Temporal Loom so the Extractor can pull Loki out of the time stream. They need to be quick, because it’s dangerous to stay there too long. Loki will need to prune himself from every single timeline. The hope is that in doing so, it will pull him into the present.
When Loki returns to the present, OB is shocked to learn that these power surges are rippling throughout the TVA. These are overloading the Temporal Loom because of the branching timelines, and that’s not good news. The Temporal Loom is where raw time is refined into a physical timeline. It’s overloading because of there now being so many timelines. OB warns that this could lead to disaster. They need to prune extra branches, but it would result in numerous deaths.
OB gives them instructions on the right time to prune and for Mobius to set up the extractor; they have about 5 minutes to get this done. Unfortunately, Loki blinks out again just before the operation goes ahead. However, it seems like he’s in the future this time.
While Loki scrambles to try and find a way back and get this done, Mobius heads to the Temporal Loom with the Extractor. Mobius does his job, but Loki struggles to get into position. There’s 30 seconds left, and a ringing phone in Loki’s future paves way for him to get distracted and stop, given Sylvie shows up from the elevator ahead.
As for Mobius, he rushes back to the TVA, but the blast-doors are closing and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to make it… until Loki suddenly, and inexplicably, shoots back through and pushes them both back into the blast doors. “We need to find Sylvie,” He says.
As the episode closes out, the TVA mobilize its troops, ready to send a whole bunch of Hunters to track down and find Sylvie.
The Episode Review
Loki is back and the first episodes gets off to a decent abeit unremarkable start. The timelines are collapsing, Sylvie is lost to time (until she shows up at the end) and the constant jumps back and forth pave way for more of a threat from Kang. Or at least it would be if we hadn’t seem him defeated twice, once by a bunch of giant socialist ants. Go figure.
The problem with Loki is timing. The show is coming out right off the back of a bunch of Marvel stinkers and this one really needs to knock it out the park. So far, it’s not. However, as we’ve seen with House of the Dragon, a good quality production can bring back disenfranchised fans, but we’ll have to wait and see how this one goes.
If Sylvie ends up usurping our titular character again then it could prove to be bad news for Marvel as the upcoming slate doesn’t look great. The story here is quite good, although there are inconsitencies with the time jumping and the rewriting of the past and present. It’s always difficult to get time travel rules right but Loki just makes them up as it goes along (acts in the past will rewrite the present but only when the writers decide).
It’s also worth noting that OB’s character is very reminiscent of the Keymaker from Matrix Reloaded. He’s basically the walking plot device at this point, although the ending does hint that things are going to pick up in a big way, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for us next.
Expect a full-season review when the season ends!