EPISODE TWO: “THE VARIANT”
Episode 2 starts with a Ren Fair! I really like the way it kicks off, fading from the green Marvel logo to what at first glance looks like it could be somewhere in Medieval Europe, before we quickly find out that it’s Wisconsin in the 80’s. It’s those little moments that really play up the theme of things not quite being what they appear to be.
After another squad of minutemen are ambushed by the “other Loki”, Mobius brings Loki along to try and find a clue as to the variant’s motives.
It can’t be understated how great this cast is. Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson are one of the best buddy cop duos since Riggs and Murtaugh. Once again, we get a wide array of super random quirky moments, like Miss Minutes being a high tech holographic Alexa to Agent Mobius obsessing about jet skis.
When studying the case files on Ragnarok, Loki has an epiphany – and proceeds to use Mobius’s poor lunch as an elaborate metaphor – the variant Loki is hiding in an apocalyptic event, because one’s presence wouldn’t have an effect on the timeline during a diaster without survivors!
To really prove his point, they take a quick visit to Pompeii, right before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius (in 79 CE), where Loki proceeds to pull the kind of shenanigans that would’ve made Doc Brown’s head explode, and yet the time stream is virtually unaffected.
They eventually narrow it down to a “Level 10” apocalypse: a Category 5 hurricane that wiped out a department store in Alabama, in the year 2050 – thanks to some candy left behind in the 16th century (see last episode). Oh and the fact that a giant mega store (owned by the Roxxon Corporation – an evil oil company in Marvel comics) is destroyed by a super storm most likely resulting from climate change caused in part by said corporation, seems like a statement?
During the mission, Loki encounters… himself? In the form of one of the variant’s puppets. It’s soon revealed that the “evil” Loki is using this hideout to basically bomb the “sacred timeline” with dozens of stolen reset charges teleported to different points in history, presumably fracturing the entire MCU into a multiverse!
The episode ends with another surprise reveal: the other Loki variant is in fact (insert dramatic drum roll) – Lady Loki?!
And then, just as she’s getting away, our Loki decided to follow her at the last second before Mobius can stop him and the two Lokis dissapear into the timestream…
So I don’t know if I mentioned this last time, but I’m a pretty big fan of time travel stories, I also happen to be a big fan of mythology and history, (which may or may not seem pretty obvious if you’re familiar with my work on Epik Fails of History). I’m *also* a nerd for comics, so this show feels almost tailor made for me. In fact, I’ve been brainstorming a time travel storyline with a premise that has turned out to be eerily similar to this series, so much so that I’ve had to rethink a few key story points!
Honestly though, this show could suck, and I would still love it, but (like pretty much all of the MCU), even if you remove all the big budget spectacle, this would still be top-notch entertainment thanks to the incredible talent and creativity behind this show. Director Kate Herron has struck gold with this one.
“Loki” is now streaming on Disney+!