Loki keeps getting better with a shocking reveal and a near-perfect genre-bending chapter.
This recap of Disney+ series Loki season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers.
Oshkosh, WI Circa 1985
The minutemen are dropped in the middle of what looks like a Renaissance Faire (“A lap is just an illusion”). They enter an enclosed area, and all take a star formation where they are touching, and their backs are turned towards each other. Suddenly, one of the agent’s eyes turn green, and the righteous 1980s Bonnie Tyler ballad plays over the loudspeakers.
“I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night” is sung, and as we tap our feet, two of the minute men (and women) are taken out, we can only presume under the spell of the hooded figure (that is alluded to as Loki). The one whose eyes turned green passes out on the floor with a soft cushion of hay. The last man standing turns around and attempts to attack the hooded man, who promptly stabs him in the stomach. The ominous figure grabs the agent’s remote control to open up a door through time. He then drags the one he had control over by the arm, and through the time warp they go.
Catch Me if You Can
Loki now has his cubicle, a tie, and it seems the writers have stolen the plot of Catch Me if You Can. Wilson plays the guy who used to have a bosom buddy named Hooch, while Loki plays the guy who foolishly gave up his spot on a floating door that came off the Titanic.
Mobius, played by Owen Wilson with a silver fox grey hair bushel, looking like John Slattery with a Texas twang, travels back with Loki to cheese state to find the variant that kidnapped agent C-20. Spoiler alert, they can’t find her, and the hooded variant resets the agent’s timeline, and she is officially classified as M.I.A.
After the failed capture of the superior Loki variant, Mobius is sent to a meeting with Ravinna Renskayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She is mystified why her favorite analyst (his words, not hers) believes in the God of Mischief. Mobius does not explain, other than it seems like he hasn’t lost a wink of sleep over it. He even makes a disarming comment on how she’s cheating on him with a different analyst who left a pen in her office (the pen has the words Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, whose alumni include, that’s right, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes).
Nexus Events 101
Loki is assigned to go through the TVA’s files on himself. He comes across a report of the destruction of his home planet, the total annihilation of Asgard, destroyed by Ragnarok. Loki, while studying the files, has a thought. It’s a nexus event. You can change and jump into timelines, but you can’t change the apocalyptic event. Yes, it could cause a different branch of the timeline, but the disaster is always imminent.
Just like Ragnarok, it was destined to destroy Asgard, no matter what Avengers tried to do to stop it. He tells Mobius, what if the superior Loki variant is hiding on the apocalypse, not the timeline, and that’s why the TVA can’t catch him (so, basically they are searching for The Mothman?). It’s the TVA’s job to find these time jumpers and close down the branches created by forming alternate timelines and realities.
The God of Mischief wants to go out into the world and test his theory. This leads to a humorous back and forth with Loki claiming he never stabs anyone in the back, while Mobius claims it’s like your favorite thing. Loki, though, has the perfect counter that there is nothing he likes more than being right. So, naturally, they travel to 79 AD in Pompei. Mount Vesuvius erupts, but Loki is proven right. Zero percentage of time variance and no branch on the timeline. The only catch is that the disasters have to be natural and no survivors. Which one do they find that will most likely have the Variant?
A squadron of minute men storms a 2050 Alabama grocery store that isn’t named Piggly-Wiggly. Mobius finds most of the citizens in a storm shelter. Loki is ordered to stay close to an agent Hunter B-15 (Wunnu Mosaku). She doesn’t trust him. As they walk through, they spot a patron shopping for plants because the hurricane has caused everything to be half off. I get the feeling B-15 isn’t the smartest agent because, at the very least, the guy would say he got lost on his way to the storm shelter in the back of the store. Oh well, as she tries to strong-arm the guy, it was the Variant controlling him all along.
He now has control over B-15, passing the duties of holding the superior Loki inside each random flesh suit. Loki tells his other self (gets confusing) he could use a left hand because his plan all along was to infiltrate the TVA.
Meanwhile, Mobius finds the missing hunter, C-20. She is tied up in the back of the store, has just missed the variant, leaves her, and starts a 20-minute clock. She tells Mobius that she gave up the location of the timekeepers.
Let’s cut back to Loki and his best friend, himself. The Loki Variant keeps jumping between random people who are wandering the hallways. Loki spots the minutemen’s reset energy canisters all over the store that allow the hunters to jump between timelines. Something is up. What exactly is the plan? The Variant has no interest in infiltrating the TVA. So what does he want then? To draw all of them in to blow everyone up?
B-15 wakes, Mobius runs to find Loki, all while the Lokis begin to fight, with now the Variant inside a man the size of the starting left tackle of the Crimson Tide. Then, a jaw-dropping reveal happens. The Variant isn’t a superior Loki at all. Not even a man. But, the Variant is revealed as a woman (played by Sophia De Martino). “This isn’t about you,” she sneers.
All of a sudden, all the canisters begin to disappear into the TVA’s time warp doors. They are all going directly toward the secret timeline where, presumably, the Timekeepers are hiding. The alarm goes off at the TVA headquarters; the Chronometers begin to freak out (in the comics, these characters were faceless), Ravenna Renskayer grabs her weapon. Dozens of Minutemen begin to jump through the time warp doors. Lastly, as The Variant makes her escape, Loki stands between the door and Mobius sprinting towards him. He turns and jumps through the portal just before it closes.
Boy, is Mobius in trouble.
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