TV Review: ‘Loki’ Season 2

Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

(L to R) Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 Marvel.

Launching on Disney+ on October 5th (with one episode), the second season of Marvel’s ‘Loki’ is a welcome return for one of the better shows to be produced by the company and maintains a lot of what worked the first time around.

And new additions to the story, such as Ke Huy Quan (who knows a thing two about acting in a multiversal story after ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once), add to the entertainment value.

What’s the story of ‘Loki’ Season 2?

Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

(L to R) Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

The new season picks up immediately in the aftermath of the shocking season finale when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority.

Along with Mobius (Owen Wilson), Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino), Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.

Who else is in ‘Loki’ Season 2?

Ke Huy Quan as O.B. in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

Ke Huy Quan as O.B. in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

The ensemble for the new season also features (as mentioned) Ke Huy Quan, plus other new recruits Rafael Casal, Kate Dickie and Liz Carr.

Returning from Season 1 is Eugene Codero as Casey, a low-ranking TVA worker who was shown as a Hunter in a parallel timeline at the end of that first season but will be back in his original role to help Loki and co. Jonathan Majors, meanwhile, is once more playing another Kang variant, this time a 19th century professor named Victor Timely (first glimpsed in an end credits scene of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’) who has a strong connection to the organization.

Related Article: Everything You Need to Know About ‘Loki’ Before Season 2

What works about ‘Loki’ Season 2?

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Even without show creator Michael Waldron (who remains peripherally involved as an executive producer) and director Kate Heron, who was responsible for so much of the style and tone of the first season, it’s pleasing to report that ‘Loki’ continues to be a fantastically fun watch.

With Eric Martin, who was a key part of the team for the first season, taking over running the show here and the likes of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (‘The Endless’ and ‘Synchronic’ in theaters and already part of the MCU thanks to their work on ‘Moon Knight’) inheriting directorial duties, ‘Loki’s second run happily maintains the quality and pulp fiction of the first.

Shouldering the heavy load of continuing the story after that universe-hopping cliffhanger, the new episodes (press were given the first four), throw us straight back into chaos and confusion of the Time Variance Authority as Loki (Hiddleston remains perfect in the role, switching between confident and frazzled on a whim), Mobius (Wilson, still a great counterpart for him) and others try to figure out what is really going.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Ke Huy Quan as O.B., and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

(L to R) Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Ke Huy Quan as O.B., and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 Marvel.

There are several solid cast additions, but we have to single out Ke Huy Quan, who continues to enjoy a remarkable yet well-earned career renaissance. Off the back of his Oscar win for ‘Everything Everywhere’, he’s superb as genius technical whizz Ouroboros (“OB” for short) who maintains all the technology of the TVA from his cluttered basement lair. Quan fits in perfectly into the show’s world, able to make the humor work and delivering exposition without having you scratch your head or reach for the fast-forward button.

This is a show that knows how to use its ensemble and while the focus is usually on Loki, Mobius or the ever-snarky Sylvie (Di Martino continues to impress), the character love is shared, with some of the supporting roles (Quan and Casal’s Hunter X-5) given their own convincing stories.

Reason to celebrate the show and its title character’s return, then –– which has not always been the case for recent Marvel TV work (looking at you, ‘Secret Invasion’).

What doesn’t work in ‘Loki’ Season 2?

Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15 in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

(Center) Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15 in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

The problems with the second season are relatively minor –– though, again, we were only sent the first four episodes, so it remains to be seen if it sticks the landing, and whether it opts for the frustration of another cliffhanger.

There might be some checking their watches through the first episode, which somewhat has the burden of re-introducing the complex central conceit with all of its time branching, time-slipping and odd technology. Fortunately, later episodes pick up the pace and the story kicks into gear, though there is something of a whiff of familiarity occasionally as many of the plots involve a mission to find [insert name of object or person here] so as to avert [crisis X].

And in the annals of Obvious Product Placement, having Sylvie tracked down working at a McDonald’s must rank as quite the most ridiculous for a show as smart as this –– but then, Disney does love a good tie-in. What, no place for her at an Apple Store, with Loki-themed Apple Watches just waiting for eager consumers? Probably wouldn’t work with Loki’s retro futuristic aesthetic. But that’s a minor complaint.

Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie in Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' Season 2, exclusively on Disney+.

Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

More troubling is one aspect that ‘Loki’, even with all of its time-jumping couldn’t have predicted –– the more dubious (allegedly) aspects of Jonathan Majors’ personal life that complicate the experience of watching his work. His performance as Timely is good (it’s actually more entertaining in some ways than ‘Quantumania’s Kang), but it’s tough to separate what is going on legally from what is on screen.

Yet ‘Loki’s second season still represents one of the most inventive and entertaining examples of what Marvel’s team can do. Even with the connective tissue that is required to the rest of the MCU, this does a lot more than some more basic superhero stories and continues to proudly chart its own weird branch of the massive, linked universe.

‘Loki’ Season 2 receives 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Marvel Studios' 'Loki' Season 2.

Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki’ Season 2.

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