Loki Episode 2 recap: More Variants, More Problems

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In Loki Episode 2, ‘The Variant’, the erstwhile God of Mischief finds himself relegated to a desk job that he is neither interested in, nor good at. And then, all hell breaks loose.

The Disney Plus show has had a slow start but is leaning into two unexpected aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—Loki doesn’t know everything, and not everyone around him is going to fall for his lies.

That doesn’t stop Loki from trying to lie his way to the top in this episode. When the other Loki variant kills two more TVA agents and kidnaps a third, Loki decides to be his least helpful self when put on the case.

It’s all a trick to get to his real mission—but Loki hasn’t accounted for Mobius M Mobius being a bit more wily than him. But how good is Mobius at sussing out the lies of a trickster?

Loki Episode 2 – Broken Things

Loki Episode 2 recap
(L-R): Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Since the premiere of the show, it has been obvious that Mobius wants to believe in Loki. Even more than Loki does. Which is why Mobius takes Loki on the new kidnapping case in 1985 in Loki Episode 2.

With the timeline all but ready to change, Loki examines the crime scene and decrees that not only will all the TVA agents be killed soon after, but that the Time Keepers themselves are in grave danger from this other variant.

Of course, it’s all a load of hogwash. Loki is trying to play the TVA like a fiddle—and he almost succeeded. But that whole Time Keepers are in danger thing? Yeah, that was just a step too far. Mobius doesn’t buy it and the operation comes to an end.

This means Mobius has to explain to Ravonna Renslayer why exactly his op failed. Mobius’ plan is to find the variant-Loki by studying this variant-Loki. It’s a pretty poor excuse for a failed operation.

But it turns out that Mobius has a love for broken things, which is exactly what he thinks Loki is. He wants to give this Loki new chances to better himself, and find the ‘bad’ Loki, of course.

Is Mobius putting his eggs in the wrong basket? This is Loki. And not even the reformed one murdered by Thanos. Is this Loki redeemable, let alone believable?

Loki Episode 2 – Zero Variance Detected

Loki Episode 2 recap
(L-R): Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

To find that out, Mobius puts this Loki to work in Loki Episode 2. Not the exciting kind of work where one travels the time stream. No, Loki is tasked with going through files to find anything about the variant that may stand out. Loki at a desk—never thought I’d see the day.

Loki being Loki tries to access classified information, and instead learns about Ragnarok, the destruction of the only home he ever knew, as well as the extinction of his people. While Loki is initially devastated, he finds something that rallies him to action.

There are several thousands of apocalyptic events around the galaxy and Loki hypothesizes that variant activity cannot be picked up at these sites because everything is destroyed right after. It is highly likely that the Loki variant is hiding within these apocalypses.

To test the theory out, Loki and Mobius travel to Pompeii moments before Mount Vesuvius erupts. Loki tells the townsfolk that they are all going to die and that he is from the future. Pretty major time-disrupting events.

And then the volcano blows up, people die, and zero variance activity is detected. Loki’s theory is right!

Mobius and Loki examine as many apocalyptic events as they can and Loki finds one that stands out—a hurricane that destroyed a shopping centre called Roxxcart in 2050. That’s their next destination.

Loki Episode 2 – Not-So-Sacred Timeline

Loki Episode 2 recap
(L-R): Hunter D-90 (Neil Ellice), Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In 2050, Hunter B-15 insists Loki stay with her while Mobius takes another agent to search the people in Roxxcart. That’s going to be a big mistake for the TVA in Loki Episode 2.

It isn’t long before Hunter B-15 and Loki come across a suspicious person, who immediately possesses Hunter B-15. This is a different power than our Loki has but it does seem to be Loki.

So, what does this variant-Loki want? They don’t want to be called Loki. They aren’t interested in teaming up with Loki to take down the Time Keepers—which is Loki’s ludicrous endgame at the moment.

While Loki tries to talk to the variant, Mobius and his crew find the kidnapped agent. She’s in shock but she finally manages to tell them what happened. The variant Loki was able to get the location of the Time Keepers from her. That means the Time Keepers and their oh-so-sacred timeline isn’t safe anymore.

When the variant Loki finally shows their—her—true form (Sophia Di Martino), Loki is momentarily surprised. I guess he hasn’t taken on a genderfluid form, so far?

The variant we see could be Lady Loki—her possession powers certainly confirm as much—but she could be someone else. She is still listed as the Variant in some places, and as Sylvie the Enchantress in others, so we’ll have to wait till the next episode to find out.

What the variant does next however, leaves no room for interpretation. She’s been stealing time reset charges from the TVA agents she’s killed and now the variant activates everyone of them and sends them somewhere.

Nobody knows where the devices have been sent, but the impact on the timeline is catastrophic—there are branches everywhere. The variant makes her getaway, and beckons Loki to join her.

Mobius, ever the optimist, pleads with Loki to stay. Loki, for his part, takes a moment to reflect on this man who believes in him, before turning around and walking through the time portal with the variant. So much for that belief, Mobius.

Final Thoughts – Loki Episode 2 Takes the Show in an Interesting Direction

While Loki Episode 2 is interesting and sets up some intriguing events for the remainder of the series, I’m struggling with the pacing of this show. Some scenes feel overly long. There’s also far too much dialogue with very little actually being said.

I’m also not sure how I feel about yet another female villain in the MCU. There are so few female characters in the lead but far more villains than necessary. But, I’m holding out hope for better in upcoming episodes.

I do love Loki in the show, however, and I’d like to see how he develops over the series. I just wish the pacing would improve.

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What did you think of Loki Episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Loki is streaming weekly on Disney Plus.