Jet Skis and Grifters. Loki and the Long Con: Ep2 REVIEW

Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead

The second episode of Loki is a genre-bending thrill ride that concludes with a surprise we all saw coming but loved nonetheless. Rather than summarize the episode, let’s pick apart a key theme and how it is integrated into the overall story (with obvious deviations reserved for stand-out character moments).

Loki proves his point to Mobius as Vesuvius erupts.

Identity is a theme that looms large over this episode. This is not surprising given that we know the evil variant's name from the previous episode. The exploration of this theme is executed well by throwing Loki and Mobius together and simply having them speak to one another. Loki is fresh from The Avengers but his grandiose facade is slipping as he still struggles to grasp the monolithic power of the TVA. Loki’s charm is no longer an asset (thus far), as his would-be targets have read over every second of his life. The God of Mischief no longer feels the burden of glorious purpose; instead, Loki is burdened with his own sense of self.

Loki’s identity crisis is contrasted with Mobius, who feels absolutely certain about who he is and what he is meant to be doing in life. He doesn’t speak in circles like our title character, choosing to shoot straight and let Loki manipulate himself. Owen Wilson’s performance really shines in this episode (wooooow). His innocuous speech about jet skis seems at first like Chekhov’s Gun (I DO want to see Wilson save the Sacred Timeline on a jet ski), but actually presents two key moments. Loki initially asks Mobius about his jet ski obsession, showing some level of admiration/curiosity for his captor. Mobius, in turn, provides insight into the depths of his mind. He’s an agent for the most powerful organization in...the universe?...Multiverse?...Omniverse?...but he’s an ordinary person. He sits in a cubicle and just wants to help. There was a lot of dialogue in this episode that served the characters well, an approach that thus far makes watching a wonderful experience.

Loki and Mobius debate strategy for catching the next Loki Variant.

I must confess that I do have some concerns. I’m conflicted over our Loki protagonist in that I’m glad he is a touch helpless. He has no chance against the TVA and this serves the plot well as he has to accumulate a new bag of tricks. However, we’ve seen Loki fight Thor, Frost Giants, and an army of undead Drengr (to name a few). The warrior aspect of Loki seems almost abandoned in the name of comedy as he is reduced to being a common grifter. I will gladly entertain the notion that this grievance may be addressed later in the season, but for now I am cautious.

On a final note (Spoilers Incoming), the introduction of the antagonist Loki presents a unique opportunity to shift our Loki closer to his comic book counterpart. Evil Loki (EL from now on) boasts unique powers pulled from the paneled page, enchantment being of specific note. This plot element may serve to make our Loki more powerful and befitting of The God of Mischief moniker. EL being a female iteration of Loki (though I’d argue they're both gender fluid) creates a stark mirror against which Loki can compare himself. Even her schemes are better than his. Our Loki has merely led an alien invasion. EL has now bombed the entire Sacred Timeline. It’ll be interesting to see how Loki responds to seeing his full potential.

The next Loki Variant!

Catch new episodes of Loki on Disney+ every Wednesday!

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