Loki: Episode 2, The Variant

Episode 2 takes us into the story proper after last week’s extended introduction to Loki’s new circumstance. Some spoilers follow, so don’t wander off the timeline unless you are ready…

Mobius has recruited Loki to aid the TVA in finding a particularly deadly Variant who has been setting ambushes for TVA agents. Loki is uniquely equipped for finding this murderous Variant because…the villain in question is another Loki Variant…

At this point, the best description of the story is that it is a kind of crime caper. In this case, an amoral criminal embroiled in law enforcement to escape a death sentence. It’s a timely-wimey crime caper but pretty much in the mode of such things down to our charming criminal’s exasperated cop-buddy/handler.

Get the repartee and the characters right and I’m entertained by the genre. Add in weird space/time shenanigans and I’m even more entertained. Throw in Hiddleston and Wilson bouncing off each other and the episode is a lot of manic fun. Some great visuals as well and a nice (but not wholly unexpected twist).

Will Loki do more interesting things than this? We’ll have to wait and see but if it stick with this level of fun, I’ll be happy.

19 thoughts on “Loki: Episode 2, The Variant

  1. I thought it was pretty interesting, especially the philosophical conversation between Mobius and Loki about existence and the TVA. (I think there’s still a lot of shoes to drop about that organization.) Also, Loki’s talking to himself (and saying “dial back the smarm”) and discovering why everybody is so annoyed with him…..

    Liked by 4 people

      1. The Pompeii sequence was lit. As Loki says, he loves being right. Also loved Mobius showing Loki that he continually breaks the timeline. Which kind of explains a lot of the attitudes of TVA people towards Loki. It’s not that he’s a variant; it’s that he’s the variant who keeps causing them the most trouble, over and over, and is now having one of himselves killing a lot of their field agents. In the first episode, they kept hitting him over and over with how unimportant he was, broke him down. In this episode, he finds out that he’s actually fairly important to them — still the God of chaos, but on a collective rather than an individual basis. This Loki is trying to figure out how to make himself the most important variant of himself and keep existing, rather than be absorbed into main Loki who dies a heroic but unsuccessful and early death.

        It also goes back to something Alexandra Erin was talking about last year, which is a default t.v./film story-telling set up is to take an unusual character, team them up with a less unusual character and they then solve crimes. What do you do with the character? Solve crimes/mysteries: Lucifer, Alien Nation, Resident Alien, Sleepy Hollow, iZombie, Forever, etc.

        But while Loki is a crime caper in that mold, it’s definitely being a little twistier, especially with this episode’s ending.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I thought Douglas Adams influence was especially blatant this week, just in the general approach to the dialogue and exposition and walking the line between absurd-fun and absurd-tragic, as in (but not limited to) the Pompeii scene. And Wilson’s performance in particular feels like it would totally work in an Adams book.

    In that Pompeii scene, I was amused that Loki speaks fluent Latin but in very much an English-speaker’s “I took Latin in secondary school” accent, like he can effortlessly recall the words and grammar but isn’t going to bother trying to sound like a native, at least not for an audience that he doesn’t want anything from. And Hiddleston clearly had fun saying all the stuff that people in time-travel spy stories can never ever say.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hiddleston actually studied classics at Oxbridge, whichever it was. I’d say it was a good use of his degree to yell “You’re all going to die! I’m from the future!”

      He did speak it with an English-English accent, though.

      Pretty sure it was all grammatically accurate.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The Latin was remarkably accurate by media standards and I didn’t notice any mistake, though he did have an English accent, probably because that’s how Tom Hiddleston learned it.

        And freeing some goats in Pompeii, while shouting, “I’m from the future and you’re all going to die” is a great use for your Latin.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wouldn’t be able to speak or write it but I remember enough to be pretty sure that it was scrupulously correct, in a textbookish style. I only meant that that’s the accent I associate with Latin in school – my teacher was an older guy from the UK. Of course any accent a modern teacher could use would be imaginary, so it makes sense, but in a fictional context where presumably Loki knows exactly what 1st-century Pompeiians would sound like, it comes off as Loki simultaneously showing off and barely trying – which I think works for the scene.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I also think, speaking of Adams, they’re managing to get at least one Doctor Who reference in per episode. Last week “you’re that time traveler with the blue box”, this week it’s Pompeii on Volcano Day.

      This is as it should be.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. There is a new museum at Sydney University that has all sorts of bits and bobs the place has collected over the years including some Roman stuff. To jazz it up a little they added a wonderful lego diorama of Pompeii. It’s full of details and Easter eggs from Ancient Rome to modern times. If you look carefully there is a Tardis in one of the villas 🙂

        Liked by 6 people

  3. I’m definitely taken by the “actually, they’re all Loki” theory. Especially Mobius, who – as they spent all of episode one pointing out – seems to know Loki better than Loki does, and also seems to like soliloquising when he gets the chance. Plus it would make the line “it’s not all about you” really, really funny.

    (It won’t be, of course. Some plausible plot aspects are fairly easy to divine, and some are clearly predicated on where they are planning on taking the movies which we don’t really know yet. But, like WandaVision, this is definitely a show where the fan theories are going to be more absurd and outlandish than anything they can really do.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched the episode this evening.

    I’m not all that excited about the series so far — I’m not a big fan of time travel, and the story to this point hasn’t gotten me over that hump. OTOH, I do like the way that Wilson’s laid-back snark plays against Hiddleston’s edgier snark. And the guy who was there buying plants at a “hurricane sale” cracked me up because that would so be me (yes, I realize **spoiler**, but since **spoiler** we can assume fairly safely that he would have been there doing that anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.