This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn't exist.
To say that MCU fatigue is finally creeping in would be an understatement, with the only real saving grace of the last few years being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. On the smaller screen, especially, their run has been tumultuous with many fans not even seeing Secret Invasion through to the end. They sorely need a win. Thankfully, Loki season 2 is exactly that.
Loki came out of the gate strong with a first season that still ranks amongst the best of the studio's streaming content to date, offering a rich tapestry of ideas with its time-shattering, multiverse-trotting narrative and the chilling introduction of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). Considering Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief didn't seem like a character with much left to explore post-The Multiverse Saga, and the idea of a Loki-centric series seemed pointless at first, it's miraculous that he's now the most compelling of Marvel's extensive roster of players with season 2 further confirming that very point.
Season 2 picks up with Loki in a state of disarray after the events of the last season; when Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) killed He Who Remains, she unleashed chaos across The Sacred Timeline and time is unravelling. Loki seeks the help of Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan) to find Sylvie – who is on the run, being hunted by the TVA – and restore order in the multiverse. On the surface, it's a pretty high-stakes narrative with ramifications that could ripple into the rest of the MCU but Loki is refreshingly small-scaled in its approach. There's no room for filler and the series quickly throws us back into things with its time-bending gimmicks and quick-fire wit – a lot of fun to watch in the hands of sci-fi gurus Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
While the inexplicable decision to have Sylvie and Loki on separate paths for such a large chunk of the season means the first season's surprising emotional heft and romantic sizzle are absent, the playful dichotomy between Mobius and Loki keeps things consistently engaging and heartfelt. It's perhaps less good cop-bad cop than it was before and more good cop-alright cop but Hiddleston and Wilson's chemistry is effortless and compelling and the highlight of the season thus far.
The concluding two episodes of Loki season 2 could likely get bogged down in bridging the TVA antics with the rest of the larger MCU, something most of the Disney+ shows have suffered with towards the end of their runs. Still, it's, so far, the breath of fresh air this cinematic universe so desperately needs. It may not be quite as fresh or surprising as the first season but Loki is a devilishly fun return from the God of Mischief and it's quickly cementing his legacy as the MCU's crowning glory.
Loki Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+