This article contains spoilers for “Loki” season 2, episode 1.
At long last, the premiere of “Loki” season 2 has arrived, and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) are in a pickle. When we last left our heroes, Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino) killed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), and the timeline went nuts. Loki found himself in a timeline where no one at the Time Variance Authority (TVA) knew who he was, and there, it appeared that He Who Remains became the leader of the TVA. Meanwhile, in the first season’s timeline, Mobius realizes that Loki is “time-slipping” and takes him to the repair guy Ouroboros, or O.B. (Ke Huy Quan). (An ouroboros is a depiction of a snake eating its tail, which can mean wholeness, life being cyclical, or the future eating the present, so take from that what you will.)
O.B. describes a solution — suddenly manifested when Loki time-slipped into the past and used info from the future to help O.B. solve the problem — which involves getting a “temporal aura extractor,” which he has because O.B. told Loki about it in the future, which made Loki tell him about it in the past, and oh my gosh, you guys, this is complex.
While Loki has to prune himself, Mobius has to wear a spacesuit, go out into the timestream and use the temporal aura extractor to pull Loki into the present and out of all the rest of the timelines. If Mobius takes too long, O.B. says his skin will peel off! The whole discussion was a lot, in the very best way. With the incredible info dump in this premiere, over two years after the final season 1 episode, having an exceedingly weird discussion about skin peeling may not be what we expected, but the silliness of it was exactly what was needed to balance out the episode.
Time keeps on slipping into the future
The new episode provided a lot of exposition and the consequences of their plan, which are pretty dark, but Mobius’s reaction to what O.B. says gives us just the right amount of levity to remind us of how much we love the buddy comedy feel of Mobius and Loki’s relationship. The addition of Ke Huy Quan, who can dump a lot of info quickly with the same perfect comedic timing as his scene partners, and the quickness of their wit breaks up the temporal jargon in the best way.
Mobius’s reaction is … well, I’m not sure how else one would react to the fact that the temporal radiation you’re about to walk through will eat through a spacesuit and then peel all your skin off, especially when there is a crack on the faceplate of the protective suit you’re supposed to wear. However, it’s the argument with Loki about whose position is worse that did it for me. Is it worse to be atomically disassembled, or have your skin eaten away? Reminds me of the little kid question: Would you rather freeze or burn to death? These are not good options, folks!
‘What’s the quality of life with no skin?’
I just have to praise Owen Wilson here. His delivery of the line, “What’s the quality of life with no skin?” is perfect and made me laugh enough that I had to rewind and watch again to catch the rest. I love how it’s still on his mind when they get to the Temporal Room, where he writes “Skin?” in the dust on the side an old computer. (Also, it’s a good way to tell where we are in time later.) Losing your skin and being atomically disassembled are difficult things to contemplate, but so is turning into spaghetti as if you were in a black hole, which is the alternative to this plan not working. (I assume this will be important later as a book called “Black Holes: The End of the Universe?” is shown in the credits.)
Poor Mobius has gone through a lot. If this series doesn’t end with Mobius getting his jet ski, we riot, okay? I’m very excited to see what happens next. “Loki” is still my favorite Marvel Disney+ series, and the first episode didn’t disappoint.
“Loki” season 2, episode 1 is currently streaming on Disney+ with new episodes streaming weekly.