The god of mischief is back and he’s got plenty more tricks up his sleeve, and as we move forward into an exciting new chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe new truths come to life, and Episode Two of Loki, ‘The Variant’ makes for a very interesting new chapter in this rogue gods story.
With nowhere left to turn, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief is sworn in as an agent of the Time Variance Authority and is tasked with hunting down a rogue variant who is drastically altering the sacred timeline. This variant also just happens to be another version of the mischevious Loki, and now Loki must do everything he can to stop this variant version of himself….or so he’s leading the TVA to think that he will.
It’s great to see Tom Hiddleston back in action as Loki, and he undergoes some serious growth in this second episode as he is now officially sworn in as an agent of the TVA. Proving himself to be a quick study of the TVA’s rules, Loki soon takes every chance he can to push against them, which leads to plenty of interesting turns in this second episode. But while he does play up his tricks, Loki also slams headfirst into the dull, unending bureaucracy of the TVA and there’s plenty of dry humour that results from this mercurial character being forced into line by the drudgery of box-ticking culture.
‘The Variant’ also gives us a larger look into the motivations of Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius, a dedicated company man of the TVA who has been tasked to investigate this rogue Loki that is running amuck within the sacred timeline. Playing him as a bit of working stiff, who has to contend with the ultimate irritable partner, leads us to the start of a very interesting on-screen relationship between these two polar opposite characters, and Wilson and Hiddleston have that perfectly working chemistry that keeps things interesting. Wilson’s Mobius is obviously a character who has a lot of layers to him, and I’m certain we’re going to see a lot more of his own personal motivations coming to the surface with successive episodes.
Long time fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will also be very pleased with the science-fiction that is on offer in this second episode of Loki, and there’s plenty of time-hopping going on here. These differing time periods and Hiddleston’s interaction with them lead to a variety of emotional performances that lean into both the comical and the serious and the episode’s third act sets the stage for a major revelation that I certainly did not see coming. Loki’s magic also comes into play here and the resulting action scenes courtesy of this display of magical power certainly make things wild, and you literally can’t see the punches coming.
‘The Varient’ lays the groundwork for plenty of interesting twists to come and the episode’s ending definitely took me by surprise. It’s anyone’s guess as to where this new revelation will take us, but I’m well excited for what comes next in a rapidly changing MCU.
Loki is available to stream on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures