‘Loki’ Season 2 finale review: An epic climax at the end of time
The fifth episode of Season 2 of Lokiis called ‘Science/Fiction’. Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan), the quirky tech guru at the Time Variance Authority (TVA) in this branched timeline, is a failed science fiction writer, who pays the bills by teaching theoretical physics at Caltech. He tells Loki, “with science it is all what and how, with fiction it is why,” which is as good a description as any and seems to imply that science fiction is about what, how and why.
All worshippers at the altar of science fiction can see this description works with all the sci-fi they have consumed. It is so nice to have a pithy formula for my favourite genre. Time and space, the X and Y axes of life, the universe and everything get a lot of play in the final two episodes of Loki. Throw in free will versus fate, and you have planet-level existentialism in byte-size chunks for easy consumption and digestion.
For all who felt there was just too much jargon and too many characters running hither and thither after all sorts of MacGuffins, you just have to clear the board of all extraneous details and the glorious purpose, which is what the finale is called and is painfully, tragically and heroically made clear.
This clearing off the table of superfluous details is a technique championed by Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s celebrated Belgian sleuth. Yggdrasil, the giant ash tree that connects the nine realms in Norse mythology, makes an appearance in The Hollow, a Hercule Poirot mystery and also plays a crucial role in the season 2 finale.
Loki Season 2 (English)
Creator: Michael Waldron
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Jonathan Majors, Rafael Casal, Ke Huy Quan
Episodes: 5 and 6
Runtime: 45 – 58 minutes
Storyline: With the sacred timeline in danger, Loki and the TVA pull all stops to repair it and save the branches of time from being pruned
After conman/inventor Victor Timely’s (Jonathan Majors) efforts to save the loom by launching the throughput multiplier, fail at the end of episode 4, episode 5 sees Loki (Tom Hiddleston) alone and time slipping into different timelines. His TVA family are all living different lives. Mobius (Owen Wilson) is a single dad to two little terrors and a jet-ski salesman. Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) is a paediatrician, Casey (Eugene Cordero), the TVA receptionist, is a bank robber and Ouroboros as mentioned earlier, is Doug, sci-fi writer and theoretical physicist. None of them know Loki and seem happy in their lives.
Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), a variant of Loki, who works in Oklahoma as a cashier at MacDonald’s, is the only one who recognises Loki but insists she is happy where she is. Sylvie also asks Loki to look within himself to find out why he is so keen on preserving the sacred timeline.
Though Loki studies astrophysics over centuries and figures out “it is not about where, when, or why, it is about who, (one of Loki’s variants probably went to journalism school), the loom cannot be fixed, because as Timely says, “You can’t scale for infinite, it is like trying to divide by zero.”
The makers of the show have said Loki was always perceived as telling the story in two parts and through the two seasons you get a sense of Loki’s character growth to its end, where he gets what he always hankered for, at a great cost.
Beautifully written, directed, acted and mounted, Loki is always engaging. Hiddleston has created a god who grows up to be human and finds divine purpose. Martino breathes life into Sylvie, who has been around too many apocalypses to believe in good. Majors’ He Who Remains and Timely are scary and silly, while Wilson’s Mobius is everyone’s favourite colleague, and his Don, the dad we would love to have. OB/Doug is perfect as the tech savant and surely someone should buy his books!
Will there be further seasons of Loki, which is the only one of MCU’s shows to get a second season, remains to be seen. Though the finale has probably closed a loop on at least one timeline, what is life, at least in the world of entertainment, without hope of more?
Loki is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar
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