Loki Review, Season 2, Episode 1: Ouroboros




Season 2

episode 1

Editor’s review

3 stars

Photo: Gareth Gatrell/Disney+/Gareth Gatrell

LokiSeason 1 was a tug-of-war between genuine artistry and mechanical shared-universe concerns; the latter ultimately won out in an incoherent finale meant to tease movies five years into the future. By stripping away all of that set-up, the show’s second season has corrective potential, though the danger of being swallowed up by the Marvel machine may be highlighted in all six episodes. However, its premiere was promising. The episode is a fast-paced, smartly shot adventure that leans into (and often literally amplifies) the show’s wacky genre concepts and retro-futuristic designs. It’s fun, even if its ending is a bit abrupt and jagged, and aims to return things to a familiar status quo.

Ouroboros picks up right where season one left off, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) dashing through the corridors of the new TVA, which are decorated with statues of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Soon, the show returned with a new dynamic and texture: a handheld camera and a warm but dimly lit, washed-out color palette that, when applied to TVA’s dark backgrounds, created visual noise – Digital Cousin Film Grain – Creates an electric, chaotic, unpredictable feel on an actor’s face. Loki is on the run from familiar faces that, for some reason, don’t recognize him—Owen Wilson’s Agent Morbius, Umi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15, and Eugene Cordaro’s Guardian Casey – they only see him as a “variant” from another multiverse. Hunted and destroyed.This leads to a brief chase of huge action-comedy proportions, and is cleverly reminiscent of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clonesin which Anakin Skywalker jumps from a window and falls into heavy suspended car traffic.

However, the episode soon suffers from a slight letdown: after Rocky throws a giant monitor onto the TVA logo on the floor, he “glitches” back to a more familiar version of a cluttered office that the supporting cast once again recognizes. out of him, but he noticed a crack in the ground in the same place and realized that the place he had just been was gone. Having the story involve linear time travel doesn’t simplify it – if anything, the fact that his current comrades don’t remember meeting him is a mystery in itself – but it does end up being a bit tiresome, as was the season 1 finale It’s all about unleashing the multiverse and creating alternative realities. This is not one of them.

Still, Loki’s predicament is interesting as he stretches between past and present, involves the mildest of body horror, and discovers which elements of TVA have been hidden and obscured over time (mostly Kahn’s sculpture, these elements have been overlaid) by a triptych of frescoes of the sacred guardians of time). Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and editor Calum Ross keep us grounded by using match cuts when breakdowns occur between Loki The shared space between the two timelines creates a sense of immediacy and continuity, ensuring the story never slows down. In the absence of Judge Lavona Rensselaer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Morbius, B-15 and Rocky are brought to the TVA “War Room” to be joined by the other judges and Before a team of generals, trying to make sense of the timeline chaos that’s been going on since Sylvie (Sofia Di Martino) killed a version of Kang (aka “The One Who’s Left”) at the end of time, The entire multiverse was unleashed.

The severed head of the robot timekeeper lies on the referee’s bench. Opinions differ on how to proceed and whether to communicate the ruse to TVA; after all, the entire community’s prophet has just been revealed to be a fake, a discovery that could shake them to their core. Loki reveals that every agent of the TVA is a real person on Earth or elsewhere, but their memories have been wiped. However, Kate Dickie’s formidable General Doakes seems keen to continue the TVA’s mission and “prune” or destroy different timelines to ensure a single “sacred” continuity, which will be a problem in future episodes. Concentration is sure to cause major conflicts.

However, most of “Ouroboros” is about Morbius figuring out how to get Loki to stop glitching back and forth in time, a process that seems at least a little painful, leading to Morbius and Loki arguing about how bad it really is. . One of the show’s strengths is that we get to see more of Wilson and Hiddleston’s good-natured banter when Morbius doesn’t recognize Loki, and this time, Morbius’s “oops, damn” casualness This is enhanced by the huge contrast between the charisma and the intensity and urgency with which Loki tries to do what he does. Warn everyone of the dangers posed to health.Benson and Moorehead replaced Marvel’s otherwise polished and expensive look with their signature lo-fi aesthetic, as seen in movies like stuff in the dirt). As Loki and Morbius argue and try to find a solution, they work with cinematographer Isaac Bowman to create smooth, engaging low-angle walk-and-talk scenes (again inspired by Natalie Holt Bondage to a magnetic, mischievous soundtrack).

The solution likely lies in TVA’s forgotten basement (designed like a magical studio by production designer Kasra Farahani), which is the clutter of brand new character Ouroboros or “OB” (a time technician played by Ke Huy Quan) residence. The Oscar winner brings an amusing candor to his role in the past and present, and Rocky glitches between dialogues that not only play out simultaneously for the audience, but also bring OB New memories speed up the exposition in novel ways as the camera moves rapidly between the two timelines. It’s here that the episode really shines, embracing its pulpy sci-fi influences by throwing out silly, made-up technical terms at a mile a minute without slowing down to explain them. . It’s almost impossible for the audience to follow the plot at this point, but that’s not a criticism as it puts the audience in Loki and Morbius’s shoes.

To return to normal, Loki needs to “prun” himself at a specific moment (when he’s informed by a handy clock), while Morbius must venture into a malfunctioning giant “time loom” in a pudgy space suit Because there are so many different timelines that have to be pieced together. With his suit strapped to the TVA, Morbius must brave the solar wind’s test of time and rescue Loki from the physical representation of the winding time stream at just the right moment before the OB closes the blast doors forever.If you’ve ever wanted a crossover between the two 2001: A Space Odyssey and doctor whothere you have it.

After Loki travels into the future (once things seem to be getting worse for TVA), this episode creates a sudden and convenient resolution, albeit a mysterious one, as he discovers Sylvie trapped in an elevator shaft , and some unseen character “pruned” him in time to use one of the Hunters’ time sticks. All goes well in the end, with Loki ejected from the present loom and landing romantically in the arms of Mobius (wow), but some other conflicting threats also emerge, albeit a little vaguely, as the B-15s watch Dox sends an entire army of hunters through the time portal, supposedly to capture the escaped Sylvie, though it seems something more sinister is afoot.

And then… the episode ends, similar to the status quo of last season. Loki and Morbius are back together, and TVA is chasing Sylvie through time, though the finale at least promises a slowly unraveling mystery as to why all of this is happening in the first place.

• A great post-credits scene shows Sylvie trying to settle in Oklahoma in 1982, specifically at a McDonald’s. It’s silly product placement, but DiMartino sells the character’s “tired of running” story point as a whole through a few silent close-ups.

• In the past, Loki stumbled upon old recordings of Kang and Renslayer, hinting at a comic-like romantic dynamic between them.

• We get interesting looks at some of the other hunters, such as D-90 (Neal Ellis), who apologized to Morbius for pruning him last season (he was just doing his job!), And there’s the ruthless X-5, played by Rafael Casal, who… seems to have a little bit to do with General Doakes, played by Kate Dickey? ! Two very scary and very hot people, what’s the reason not to love?

• It’s probably no coincidence that the gates of the Time Bridge resemble the in-universe Cerebro. X-Men Movie. That doesn’t mean it will lead to any results, but it will certainly get people’s attention.

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