Loki: “The Variant” Review

Following the premiere episode of everyone’s favorite god of mischief, the second episode of Loki took things a little further and ended on quite the cliffhanger…

Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned

Silence of the Lokis
Opening at a Renaissance Faire in 1985, TVA agents are ambushed once again by the rogue variant, this time taking a hostage.  Mobius, Loki, and a team are dispatched.  Since Loki knows that they’re trying to catch another version of himself, he seems to relish in being the center of attention and opining on how this other Loki thinks.

Loki 3
He’s both intrigued and a bit insulted at the idea that there’s another Loki out there, more powerful than him.

While it’s difficult to tell whether he’s being genuine or toying with them, Mobius quickly realizes the following trick: he’s always toying with them.  In addition to saying the word “Loki” about 3 times per minute, this episode features a lot of great back and forth between Loki and Mobius.

Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson do a great job foiling each other.  It’s interesting because for a long time in his career, Wilson played characters that were more over the top and funny, but here he’s the “normal” one, playing against Hiddleston’s absurd Loki.

Loki 4
Admittedly, they have great chemistry.

Granted, it is a lot of fun to see Loki forced into being a rule enforcer, learning the policies of the TVA.  Though to be fair, it’s nothing we haven’t seen from him before.  And given that this is the Loki pulled directly from 2012, he doesn’t have the same character growth that the one who died in Infinity War did.

However, one area where this series becomes really intriguing is in the mystique behind the TVA, and the mystical beings who run it.  Essentially they have control over all space and time, making them by far the most powerful beings in the universe.  Loki himself brings this up to Mobius, asking him what happens when all the timelines are fixed, to which there’s no real answer.

The Ends of the World
After a while of Loki faking his way, pretending to know what he’s talking about, he actually has a great idea.  He realizes that a variant could go to an apocalypse event and show no signs of variance in the timeline, because everything gets destroyed anyway.

He and Mobius test this theory by going to Pompeii, moments before its destruction and Loki is proven right when he doesn’t show up as a variant anymore (because everything is about to be obliterated).  This causes him to theorize that his rogue variant is hiding in some sort of destructive event like this.

Loki 8
Only Loki would have fun at the destruction of Pompeii…

The TVA, at the insistence of Mobius, assembles a team and goes to Alabama in 2050 as a hurricane is about to decimate a town.  Loki’s theory turns out to be right as he finds the variant (who doesn’t appear to be Loki at all).  His true intentions are revealed as Loki offers the variant an alliance to overthrow the TVA, and then goes through a portal, much to the dismay of Mobius.

Over the past two episodes, they’ve discussed the prospect and history of Loki betraying literally everyone he’s ever encountered, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise.  It seems less about Mobius being personally offended, and more about him being mad at himself for not having a better handle on Loki when he thought he did.

It does seem a bit early to reveal the variant, but hopefully this just means that there is even more in store for later episodes.

Loki 9
There’s definitely more to the story, because this is not the variant we expected.

What did you think of this week’s episode?  What do you hope to see next week?!  Let us know in the comments!

Loki is streaming exclusively on Disney+

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