The direct sequel to season 1 of Loki, where the God of Mischief navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of the truth about what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.
This is probably one of the easiest reviews of the year to write, and it’s all down to one question:
Did you enjoy season 1 of Loki?
If so, then jump in with your eyes closed.
Here you are.
Do you want to argue?
Of course it is.
Loki series is one of the most successful and coherent of the MCU series (along with Wandavision). Its retro universe and plot borrow heavily from other works (its aesthetic is often compared to Wes Anderson’s), but it successfully blends them to create its own unique flavour. After the disastrous Secret Invasion, it’s good to have a taste of a Marvel series again.
Chronologically, it’s best to watch it just after season 1, even if it borrows from Quantumania released this year. So you don’t even need to be totally up to date on the MCU, the series stands on its own!
Versatile and Random Time
Season 1 served as a transition between the pre-Endgame MCU and the new Multiverse arc. Here, we’re immediately and totally immersed, and you’re going to have to hang on, because Loki has a bit of an anchoring problem and spends his time jumping from one era to another. The characters do a lot of technical talking, and there’s a lot of blathering halfway between Stargate SG-1 and Rick & Morty, but don’t panic. It looks complicated to follow, and it’s likely that you could come up with 25 reasons why it’s-not-possible, but in practice it works, primarily because our horned god is himself completely clueless about scientific matters and we have to explain everything to him. The other reason is that the series really wants to tell us and develop something, so nothing is gratuitous.
Without spoilers, the question of the Multiverse, always problematic for the general public over the last three years, becomes almost meta. What is the Multiverse? A problem? An opportunity? Does everything have to be able to exist, or do we have to set limits for it to make sense?
Even the pace has been thought through. The first few episodes are a little slow, with the main character becoming secondary, but this makes sense later on. In hindsight, it’s very clever.
Tom, son Variant et les Autres
The cast remains the same as in season 1, with a few additions, and everyone is as good as ever. Tom Hiddleston (Loki) is set back a little to allow him to shine at the end (and gives us a festival of funny reactions to the temporal explanations), Sophia Di Martino (the Variant Sylvie) also sees her role reduced but her presence serves to constantly remind us of the stakes of the Multiverse. All the members of the TVA are equally good, assisted by Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once) as a whimsical engineer.
Jonathan Majors has the onerous task of playing three roles, He-Who-Lives, Kang and Victor Timely, and is good in all of them, managing to give them depth without (over)hamming it up. The future remains unclear, however, as to whether the actor will be back in future Marvel films.
Technically and Visually Admirable
The series has suffered budget cuts, and you can tell. There’s a lot of repetition in the sets, but the success has been to use this weakness as a strength, by giving each location a time-travel significance; the savings have therefore been able to be channelled into the scenes that really need it (crowds, re-enactments, big special effects). As a result, virtually every shot holds up technically, and the series finale is destined to become a defining moment in the MCU.
Of course, I can’t praise the musical work of Natalie Holt, who once again composes an impeccable soundtrack.
So what can I say?
Tom Hiddleston said in an interview, when the final episode was broadcast, that this was the end of his journey with the character and the character himself. That’s absolutely true, and even if you love this TVA universe, a season 3 is not justified. Let’s let this series improve; it has earned all its good reviews.