Marvel has had it rough with its Disney Plus slate over the past few years. The last Marvel Cinematic Universe project to debut, Secret Invasion, stumbled right as it tried to find its footing to deliver one of the worst-rated projects in the franchise. Loki season 2 manages to avoid the pitfalls of broken promises to deliver fans the thrilling continuation of the Multiverse Saga they’ve been begging for.
Loki season 2 picks up directly following the events of season 1, with Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief attempting to fix the destruction caused by Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) murdering He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) and opening up the floodgates to the multiverse.
Unlike other recent sequels to comic book-related projects, Loki season 2 doesn’t expand beyond its means. It remains fundamentally the same story as the first season but ratchets up both the personal and climactic stakes to delve deeper into the characters fans grew to love. It certainly feels like a multiversal story, but doesn’t let the scope of such an idea compromise the story it’s trying to tell.
Tom Hiddleston of course makes his return as the titular God of Mischief. This season gives fans a wildly different take on the anti-hero while still retaining the core character they know and love. Having just come off the growth he experienced in the show’s first season, Loki once more confronts the questions of free will, purpose, and power he always has. However, this time around, the world of the TVA is second nature, allowing deeper interactions with the tools and allies he was introduced to in season 1.
Speaking of allies, Owen Wilson returns as Mobius, though it feels as if he never left. His chemistry with Tom Hiddleston as Loki is once again unmatched, the two stepping back into their rapport built into season 1 with no unnecessary conflicts. Mobius also deals with his own struggles of what it means if there are variants of him outside of the TVA, adding even more depth to an already-nuanced character.
Loki also meets a new ally in the form of Ke Huy Quan’s Ouroboros, or O.B. for short. Ouroboros serves as the main repairman for the TVA, helping Loki and Mobius understand the rapidly expanding multiverse. Quan shows exactly why he’s an Oscar winner with this role, instantly becoming one of the most charming characters in the MCU with a performance that comes as naturally as butter and toast.
Loki season 2 also brings back much of its supporting cast from the first season, such as Eugene Cordero’s Casey and Wunmi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15. While neither takes center stage, they receive more screen time to flesh out their characters’ personalities, making the TVA feel like a community of living and breathing characters.
The only character who suffers from this extended screen time is Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino. While the first half of the season does explore how her character was changed by the events at the end of time, she doesn’t get nearly as much of a presence as in season 1, if only due to the expanded scope of the cast.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking Sophia Di Martino is wasted in Loki season 2. Martino once more delivers a performance to rival Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief and spotlights some of the most nuanced character writing on the cast. The first few episodes simply leave fans wanting more, something that will hopefully be rectified in the remainder of the series.
The same courtesy is not extended to Jonathan Majors, who returns as a new Kang variant in eccentric inventor Victor Timely. There has been a lot of discussion about Majors’ future in the MCU in light of recent allegations against the actor. This review won’t touch on that debate, but Loki season 2 does prove one thing: Majors was not the right fit for Victor Timely.
Despite serving as a centralizing force for the season, Majors gives one of the worst performances of his career as Victor Timely. While Majors, on paper, hits every beat he needs to in a scene, every word from his mouth feels like a constant struggle. The eccentric engineer is not an archetype that comes naturally to Majors, nor does he ever truly find his footing in the role in the episodes provided, leaving Timely as an overly stiff disappointment.
Jonathan Majors’ poor work here is even more apparent when compared to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who delivers the performance of her career as Ravonna Renslayer. The first season of Loki ended with Ravonna turning her back on Mobius and the TVA in a search for free will, which continues as her driving motivator here. She’s perhaps the character that evolves the most through the season so far, and Mbatha-Raw sells every moment of hope and pain in the judge trying to find their place without the TVA.
Rafael Casal also joins the suite of antagonists in Loki season 2 as TVA agent X-5, also known as Brad Wolfe. Much like Ke Huy Quan, Casal slips naturally into the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a cast of deep and damaged characters, it’s always refreshing to have a wrecking ball of a big personality join the fray. Casal truly steals any scene he manages to find himself in.
Though praise cannot be sung of the cast without mentioning the crew. Kasra Farahani returns as production designer for Loki season 2 and blows away any and all expectations. The TVA continues to feel as old, yet foreign, as it had in season 1, and each new location is so carefully crafted with both detail and scale. Farahani singlehandedly proves why not everything can be shot on a green screen.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Loki season 2 to live up to the novelty of the show’s first season. Luckily, one bad performance isn’t enough to spoil the fun in this true return to form for Marvel’s Disney Plus endeavors. The series is a true indulgence for fans of the God of Mischief, and the only thing it has left to do is stick the landing.
Loki season 2 premieres on October 5th exclusively on Disney Plus, with new episodes debuting every Thursday. Stay tuned for all the latest news regarding the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content.