Loki: The God of Mischief hunts himself in an episode packed with surprises
If you didn't tune in for the first episode of Marvel's Loki series last week, Loki has been arrested by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an organization that is so powerful that even the Infinity Stones hold no power inside its chintzy administration building.
The TVA has charged him with crimes against "The Sacred Timeline", and as an alternative to being "reset," an Agent Mobius M. Mobius offers him a second chance. Working with Mobius to help catch a particularly lethal "variant" of himself in another timeline, the two will have to cross time and space to catch the Loki that has been killing TVA police forces, called Minutemen.
The second episode is not quite as meta as the first, and plays off how Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are subtly trying to manipulate each other, build trust, and function as crime-fighting partners.
The chemistry between the two actors is both bubbly and brotherly, which makes for a charming contrast to the powerful dark-hooded, Minutemen-killing Variant they are pursuing.
Loki speaks Latin
Loki fails his first mission when the team accuses him of stalling to help the target Variant escape.
Determined not to have Agent Mobius lose faith in him again, and eager to be introduced to the god-like Time Keepers who created the TVA, Loki turns to the archives to put the pieces together to figure out where the Variant is likely hiding.
His theory is that the Variant has stayed hidden by traveling to societies that are just about to be wiped out by apocalyptic events. Loki and Mobius try out the theory in ancient Pompeii, just minutes before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and realize that any "illegal" antics Loki tries (like screaming at the villagers in Latin to warn them) don't even register as with the strict TVA trackers. After all, there's no real consequences when the timeline is going to end anyway.
With a bit of sleuthing, the two determine the perfect apocalypse that could be hiding their powerful missing Variant: a massive hurricane that is about to wipe out a coastal Alabama town in the year 2050.
Those town residents who haven't been evacuated are hiding out in the warehouse of a Roxxcart superstore while the storm roars in. The TVA team and Loki arrive and sweep the aisles, trying to determine which of the store employees or residents might be the Variant in disguise.
This is definitely not Loki
It doesn't take long for the Variant to possess one of the TVA Minutemen, imbuing green energy into the female officer escorting Loki. Once Loki realizes his companion is actually his target, he and the Variant discuss Loki's ultimate plan to meet the Time Keepers and take over the TVA. Loki is surprised the Variant doesn't want in.
As the Variant possesses various people at the store and proceeds to beat the hell out of Loki, the God of Mischief has an epiphany: "I'd never treat me like this." Though Loki has demonstrated some magical abilities throughout the episode, with the same green magical aura, he's no match for the Variant, who proceeds to set off stolen time "charges" to blow up the entire Sacred Timeline.
And moments before the "time bomb" detonates, the hooded figure divests itself of the people it has possessed, and reveals itself not as Loki at all, but as a beautiful, blonde woman with a crown similar to that of Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision. Could this be one of the enchantresses of Marvel fame? If so, we have just been introduced to an individual who in the comics was created by Loki as a tool of chaos.
The episode ends with Loki leaving Mobius and the team behind to step into one of the portals opened by the time bomb. Is he going back on his word to Agent Mobius? Or is he going to try and hunt down his own evil creation and restore order to the Sacred Timeline that is now splitting off uncontrollably into thousands of new scenarios?
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire