Arts, Television

‘Loki’ Has Lost Its Sense of Urgency and Purpose


Loki seems to be running out of time. Or so it seems through the show’s attempt to save the timeline from chaos and destruction without hinting a strong direction going forward. 

The second season of Loki, which premiered on Oct. 5, is meant to be a cornerstone project for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and its overarching plot of the multiverse. It’s a problem that after the start of season two, Loki doesn’t feel like it has a purpose. 

Loki picks its second season up almost immediately after the first ended—He Who Remains aka Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) is dead, and the Time Variance Authority (TVA) is thrown into disarray as its members discover that they are real people taken from their respective timelines. A lot is going on at the end of season one, and season two decides to address almost none of that. 

The main focus at the start of season two is saving Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from “time-slipping,” which is a concept where a person is spontaneously dragged between two different points in time. 

Time-slipping is a filler plot while there are more pressing issues that Loki has to deal with. Most prominently, there’s no leader of the TVA, and no one is moving to fill the void. 

B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) is the only member of the TVA who is genuinely annoyed that she was ripped from her timeline. These are real, show-altering issues that lack the significance they demand. 

Beyond the time-slipping fiasco, Loki hints at what’s next for the god of mischief. The show really wants its characters to find Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), who went missing after she killed He Who Remains last season.

Loki and the TVA need better motives to find Sylvie, though. Loki wants to reunite with his lover, and the TVA wants to hold someone responsible for the collapse of the sacred timeline. It’s puzzling that neither entity is more moved to fix the problem that could potentially destroy the multiverse.

The new season does have some bright spots. The visuals and aesthetic for the second season are on par with the first season of Loki. The TVA still retains its retro and classic decor—it feels perfectly larger than life but overwhelmingly simple at the same time. 

The color palette is also an exquisite ’50s aesthetic. The interior is usually a mix of oranges and browns on wood and stone, while some of the lower rooms are filled with pastel blues and pastel yellow accents. The viewers are really transported to a place outside of time when the characters are in the TVA. 

Ke Huy Quan is another highlight of the second season. His new character, Ouroboros aka O.B. is just the breath of fresh air that Loki needed. O.B. is naive and knowledgeable at the same time, having been cooped up in a workshop for his whole life. He brings much-needed levity to the relatively boring time-slipping arc.

The main task Loki has to accomplish in its second season is the rise of the franchise’s next big villain, Kang (or more specifically, a new Kang from the multiverse). The MCU is in the midst of the “Multiverse Saga,” which debatably has only had a real effect on a handful of projects. 

Kang himself has only been spotlighted so far in Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. If he’s really supposed to be the next major villain for The Avengers to battle, he needs to start making some impact in the remainder of the season. 

Without making any moves to solve its big problems or move the MCU forward, Loki becomes an unnecessary filler plot that isn’t worth the viewer’s time. 

October 22, 2023