Last Thursday, Marvel Studios wrapped up the season finale for their second season of Loki, a dazzling, horrifying, but often fun take on cosmic thriller in which the title character must save time itself.
Social media and the general public have been no strangers to the idea of ‘superhero fatigue’ in recent memory; stretching to all studios, not just Marvel. However with this second season, Loki has appeared online to have sparked a resurgence of positive interest in the MCU. Now that the season finale has been out for a week,
this is my *spoiler* review for Loki season two.
The narrative, unlike season one, is perfected. Season one of Loki worked hard to build a whole new world within the MCU, to bring forth its next threat. The story was good, but season two makes it great. Within the first moments Loki is exactly where we left him, fighting for his life to save the TVA. As the show progressed, and the fan favorite god changed, the introduction of a new villain very quickly meant saying goodbye to an old one. Loki became a true hero by the end of his second season, sacrificing himself so that he could allow time to flow freely. His throne, a burden, and his life’s desire was the perfect emotional send off for this fourteen year running character arc. And for Loki himself to essentially become Yggdrasil, the world tree? It goes far to restore one’s faith in the story writing capabilities of the MCU.
This theme continues as a refined focus on the supporting characters brings the cast feeling much stronger than in the first iteration. Not only are the characters themselves focused on more, but their performances were stellar. Tom Hiddleston is a stand out this season, followed narrowly by Jonathan Major’s Kang variants. Despite the awkward reception his true debut had in Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantmania, He Who Remains proves Kang is not only an interesting villain but a threatening one. And though he does fail by the end when Loki ascends to his throne, our next ‘Avenger’s Level Threat’ is still looking rather tough to boot.
Speaking of ‘tough’, Natalie Holt comes out of the woodworks yet again to deliver a moving, rousing, creepy, and overall fantastic soundtrack. The elements of horror, Norse orchestral roots, and nearly Whovian sci-fi mesh as well as you could hope for the themes of Loki. Her musical highlights within the show are epic, crushing, and deceivingly fun.
These elements come together to deliver a unique Marvel experience. The focus on character moments and interaction, the long form character arc for Loki, the beautiful moments of orchestra and synth, or the masterfully created visuals. Loki is a standout among the harshly received MCU projects of recent memory for good reason. At best, this show is a unique, fresh, inspired take on Loki. And if nothing else, it’s simply great science fiction.