Loki: 1893
October 20, 2023 2:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Loki and Mobius go on the hunt for everyone's favorite cartoon clock as they try to save the TVA.
posted by TheophileEscargot (37 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Nice visuals, loved the World's Fair. The overall plot doesn't seem to be moving very fast though. I thought the broken Time Loom problem was resolved by the branch pruning last episode, but apparently that's still going. Lots of rushing around by the various factions but not much actual progress by anyone.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:23 AM on October 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Well, you're not wrong, but I did enjoy the romp through the Chicago World's Fair.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:52 AM on October 20, 2023

Current questions that need to be addressed: (in no particular order)
  • What was the agenda of the TVA military splinter group? (Let's call them the TVA-b )
  • We have yet to see any evidence that a He Who Remains invasion is, in-fact imminent. Is it?
  • Who wanded / obliterated Loki during the first episode?
  • Was it a future version of a Loki himself? (There are some visual clues to this but they might be misdirections.)
  • Why was the phone ringing at the TVA in front of the elevator that Sylvie climbed out of? Who was making the call?
  • Who were B-15 and Mobius before they became TVA Agents and how long ago was that ?
  • How old is OB ?
  • Who was OB before the TVA?
  • What is the BIG SECRET that Miss minutes knows about Raveanna ?
  • If not to prune the branching Timelines - what kand the TVA do to promote Order and prevent Time Chaos?
  • Where is Ravenna Renslayer and who does she answer to?

posted by Faintdreams at 6:39 AM on October 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Questions I personally want answered but aren't necessarily prudent to the wider drama - what countries / geographical areas were represented by the Flags on the Arched entrance to the Chicago Worlds Fair?

I feel like there must be some nice vexiollogy super nerdery going on there as it was a alternate Branch of Chicago, not the 'sacred Timeline one'..

also my guess is that;

[Click for potential spoiler]Renslayer is either a Kang variant who had her memory wiped, or Kang Prime's Daughter..!!!

posted by Faintdreams at 6:45 AM on October 20, 2023

Still very much loving .. well everything - now that we are half way through, I do hope that characters will start being less re-active and more active in solving the various problems though.
posted by Faintdreams at 6:48 AM on October 20, 2023

I'm pretty sure from the name that OB is going to turn out to be an uncreated time-loop who just goes back in time to become himself.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2023 [4 favorites]

Ob could also be called OB and still be a Kang thought ..? I mean isn't a Paradox just a Time Ouroboros ?
posted by Faintdreams at 7:47 AM on October 20, 2023

Oh goodie, That Guy is back again. On a related note, apparently Miss MInutes has also gotten herself into trouble IRL, so are we going to have two eventual firings now after this season?

Honestly, I'm not sure what went on here, but also I am in high levels of distress right now so who knows on my concentration. (I'm trying to get to Distraction Mode, hence TV watching.) Mostly I kept being reminded of that African-American Christmas inventor movie that came out a year or two ago and kept thinking that Jonathan Majors was reminding me of the inventor character, particularly with that hairdo.

Not really getting why Ravonna and Miss Minutes thinks this guy is so great, but when Miss Minutes was essentially all, "Why didn't you give me a body? I WANNA FUCK YOUUUUUU" (not that Disney let her say that last bit as blatantly, BUT OTHERWISE IT WAS QUITE CLEAR WHAT SHE MEANT), I was all holy shit, I am so squicked out right now.

Did enjoy World's Fair and very nicely dressed Mobius and Loki in suits though, very pretty.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:25 AM on October 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Goddamit Miss Minutes! The Vulture reviewer thought she wanted to bang him too.

Loki Recap: We’re all Going to the World’s Fair [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 10:37 AM on October 20, 2023

It wouldn’t be any great loss if they did sack Jonathan Majors. He’s by far the least talented performer on this show. You can actually SEE him acting.

I love this show’s attention to detail: the costumes, the production design. It’s all so beautiful! Hope they get a boatload of Emmys.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:17 PM on October 20, 2023 [9 favorites]

I loved season 1, but this season seems to lack any sense of focus so far. Any time it seems like it’s going to focus, its pupils dilate again. The most egregious part was Sylvie showing up to kill Timely. Like, what’s she doing, checking her time pad during her breaks at McDonalds and going to whatever branched timeline Loki is in just in case there’s a Kang variant there? And how is sending Ravenna to the end of time any kind of punishment if Ravenna has a timepad in her pocket?

Two things I loved though: The old-timey Marvel theme and Miss Minutes going period-appropriate. Oh, and the end credits. I always watch that all the way through.
posted by ejs at 6:00 PM on October 20, 2023 [5 favorites]

Yeah, Faintdreams, that was my thought for Renslayer too after this episode.

[Click for spoiler]Which makes sense, who better for He Who Remains to put in charge of the TVA but a female variant of HWR? Would be nice symmetry with Sylvie, with both being largely ignored and underestimated as "lesser" until -surprise!- they're really the two central to the plot, not Loki nor HWR. Also works well with the theme of women cleaning up and fixing what the "genius" men in their lives break. Could also be a nice homage to the Kang of the Ultimate Marvel Universe/Earth-1610.

And it obviously could help Disney out of their current Jonathan Majors mess.

We're three episodes in to a six episode season and I'm thinking they're not even trying to wrap up the plot. I'm still watching, but it feels like this whole season so far is just setting up the chessboard for episode six to end on another cliffhanger without resolving anything.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 6:05 PM on October 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Well, it would only resolve to the point of setting up the next big crossover event. I do like the idea of Ravonna being stealth Kang, though; why is there never a woman archvillain(ess) for the ones in the comics? It's always some dude who didn't get hugged enough as a kid and wants to destroy all of existence.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:27 PM on October 20, 2023

(Well, Wanda Maximoff was looking to become that, but even she ended up as a one-and-done villain.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:27 PM on October 20, 2023

Does Loki no longer exist in the Norse pantheon at the fair because Loki no longer exists on any timeline? If Loki was pulled from everywhere to stop the time slipping then Loki/Sylvie are the only Loki variants left anywhere. Or am I misunderstanding that shenanigans?
posted by farlo at 3:59 AM on October 21, 2023 [6 favorites]

Miss Minutes chill
posted by hototogisu at 5:30 AM on October 21, 2023 [6 favorites]

Oh! I meant to add that I really liked the Baldur reference. Universally beloved brother of Thor, whom Loki murdered out of jealousy. I miss Bad Guy Loki.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:06 AM on October 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

I miss Loki being the focus of Loki.
posted by obol at 1:44 PM on October 21, 2023 [9 favorites]

I miss Loki being the focus of Loki.

Agreed! The first season very interestingly broke down Loki’s ego, rendering him just a Loki whose place in the universe was to dream big but always lose to the heroes. But now he’s just Moebius’s sidekick-with-baggage in The TVA Show featuring Kang. He should be running the TVA by now, not going on fetch quests!
posted by ejs at 2:58 PM on October 21, 2023 [4 favorites]

You can actually SEE him acting.

OMG YES! He had some weird line reads at the end of last season, but I thought maybe it was me. But that momentum-killing Shatner-on-THC stuttering had me yelling at the TV.

(I mean, you can have a character with a stutter, but that was just a bunch of affectations pushed together into a small pile.)
posted by PlusDistance at 6:58 PM on October 21, 2023 [7 favorites]

This was terrible. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, if you're liking the show I'm jealous. This just seemed incoherent, cliched, and pointless to me. I won't say anymore on Fanfare unless I have something insightful or positive to say. But wanted to register my disappointment because I liked the first season so much.
posted by Nelson at 9:35 PM on October 21, 2023 [6 favorites]

I loved the first season, and the episodes up until this one. But Majors or maybe just the character? It seemed to bring everything to a complete stop. I especially loathed that Miss Minutes and Renslayer were competing over him. Yuck.
posted by 41swans at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2023 [5 favorites]

It took me a long time to watch this episode, I did not enjoy seeing Majors on screen. I was really hoping Sophie would kill him at the end there. I hope that Renslayer will end up as the real Kang the Conqueror.

Faintdreams: I feel like there must be some nice vexiollogy super nerdery going on there as it was a alternate Branch of Chicago, not the 'sacred Timeline one'..

The two I noticed were the correct Egyptian and Swedish flags for the era, so I think it was just real world flag nerdery.
posted by Kattullus at 2:39 AM on October 23, 2023 [3 favorites]

I'm not ordinarily good at visualizing this, but if they were sailing from Chicago to points unknown in Wisconsin (i.e. North), the only way for the shore lights to be moving from left to right would be if they were sailing up the eastern coast of Lake Michigan (ah, the modern eeeee-lectrified lights of Benton Harbor!) and then taking a very long way around? Maybe a quick side detour past Gary, who knows. Or was the Chicago River wide enough for the shore to look that distant back in 1893? (Actually, given that the fair was at Jackson Park, Calumet River seems more likely, but take your pick of Chicagoland rivers, really - that ferry was pretty far off shore.)

I mean, I'm not sure there were passenger ferries up the shoreline and a train seems more likely, but it would have been hard to maroon Renslayer off the back of a train, so needs must, I guess.
posted by Kyol at 7:17 AM on October 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

Renslayer was the most interesting here, in that she went from slightly flirty to fucking terrifying in record time. I like her better for it. I still don't quite get her motivations....or anyone's, really. Love of Order? Power But not in a Fun Scenery Eating Way? What do any of them want?

Kang: the K stands for Kinda Annoying Variant.

Miss Minutes, noooo. Be more interesting than this. You are a sitcom trope, which should never happen to a terrifyingly powerful immortal semi-corporeal being.

Loki and Mobius are still having the best time of all and still ship fodder.

Sylvie just isn't given enough development, McDonald's idyll aside. Why didn't she try Asgard? Or at least Norway? Something like her old home? She has many skills. I know Brompton OK is from the comics, but why did she pick it?
posted by emjaybee at 12:57 PM on October 23, 2023 [2 favorites]

Agree that Miss Minutes having the hots for He Who Remains (HWR) is odd, and that the show isn't bad, but it's all over the place. The old timey look and feel was great, but what's the overall point? To fix the time problems, aka have a single time line? But the pruning fixed that right? So they need HWR to fix the time loom thing so that the various branches don't grow again, is that correct?

I did like seeing the gentle side of HWR, even as it's clear that he was interested in power from the beginning. But what about Sylvie, why is she given so little to do?!

I'm guessing that trying to get that early version of HWR to fix the current Time Loom will backfire as he attempts to take over.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2023

Victor Timely hiding out from gangsters in the Egyptian-themed exhibit was a nice tip of the hat to Original Formula Kang's origins as Pharaoh Rama-Tut.

I remain confused by what people's motivations are in this show, especially Loki, as someone else mentioned.
posted by whir at 11:52 PM on October 23, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yeah, lemme see if I've got this straight - HWR was bad because he wanted there to be a singular sacred timeline, the one in which he ended up as the last survivor or whatever his end goals were. But that means untold genocide as non-sacred timelines are pruned. So, HWR must be stopped!

But it turns out the time loom whose purpose is, uh, keeping the TVR in place in a time bubble or something, I guess, doesn't cope well with all the incoming time energy from all the unpruned timelines. So General Dox went out and pruned a whole buncha timelines, but the loom is still struggling with the time it has already ingested, and Loki and Moebius are chasing after HWR to get his temporal aura to unlock the blast door so OB can install his gadget, I guess? While Miss Minutes and Renslayer are chasing HWR to, what, return everything to the one true sacred timeline? I don't really remember what the wedge between Sylvie and Loki was at the end of last season at all. You'd think something that was sort of central to the different tone of the seasons would have been better covered in the "last season on Loki" bumper...

And yeah, the complaint I saw lodged somewhere (earlier in the season?) that these aren't being written with any sort of coherent narrative in mind feels like it's true. They might be a good theatric narrative, here's one two-three hour movie, but then they have to fill it out to twice that running time and it gets sloppy.
posted by Kyol at 8:01 AM on October 24, 2023

So they need HWR to fix the time loom thing so that the various branches don't grow again, is that correct?

My understanding was that the time loom fix is meant to accommodate all the new branches.

And, yeah, lots of narrative filler here. For example...
1) Too many timelines for the loom to handle is going to destroy the TVA and, with it, the whole multiverse.
2) Antagonists prune a bunch of timelines, staving off disaster (but by knowingly committing genocide).
3) Offscreen, in between episodes, the timelines start growing back; the loom is in danger of blowing up the TVA/entire-multiverse again.
4) Complications to overcome before a LoomFix can accommodate all the timelines
...really wants the middle pair removed, no?
posted by nobody at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2023 [3 favorites]

(Separately, I kind of wish this weren't a Marvel series, because there's a ton of neat stuff at the core, but I don't understand why the main character is -- what -- a literal Norse god? Not much would be lost without the Norse-god-green-glow fight sequences.)
posted by nobody at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2023

...really wants the middle pair removed, no?

I'd argue that without General Dox's little genocidal campaign, a certain percentage of the audience would just wonder why the TVA doesn't go back to their old timeline pruning ways to free up the overloading condition. On the other hand, it ate up what, the better part of an episode in an already short season?
posted by Kyol at 6:52 PM on October 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh, interesting. Did I miss/forget something where the way the genocide campaign ended up playing out means the protagonists couldn't theoretically start pruning again now, to extend their deadline if push comes to shove?

(I guess apart from anything else, it would have been cleaner to have foiled the genocide-attempt, and in such a way that forecloses the possibility of anyone attempting again in the near-term [some tech solution, I guess] -- to keep from yoyoing the ticking clock around with the successful pruning followed by "oh, but they're growing back.")

(But maybe I'm also not being the best audience-member here, since -- for example -- I barely remembered who either General Dox or Ravenna was...)
posted by nobody at 7:30 PM on October 24, 2023 [2 favorites]

Oh, I think the gist of that is that yeah, Dox pruned a whole bunch of timelines, but the damage to the TimeLoom from timelines running rampant has already damaged it, so further timeline genocide won't work to get them out of their current situation, only bringing HWR (or Miss Minutes, maybe) to the TVA will allow them access to try OB's solution.

Which maybe means the sacred timeline is sacred because it's the only one which doesn't end up with the TVA goin' splodey and time running amok? I'm sure they explained why the TVA is necessary at some point, that random unmanaged time would be a Problem™, but ... yeah, got me. But once proto-HWR gets into the TVA, he ends up plotting to become HWR and whoa hey it's like a, uh, a predestination paradox? An ouroboros?

And yeah, better writing could have nailed that down better, either way, honestly. It's just so kind of sloppy - I don't know what the protagonists are doing, I don't know what's motivating anybody, I don't know what Renslayer / Miss Minutes are trying to do, is HWR predestined to be a baddie or was it just the one loop that Loki and Sylvie trimmed?

Honestly, I'd just sort of say that the MCU writers can't handle the multiverse? On the other hand I can't think of any recent media that has done a better job? Maybe the Flash? I liked it, but I know that's not universal...
posted by Kyol at 6:55 AM on October 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

I have an interest in multiverse stories, and I'd suggest Everything Everywhere All at Once, Spider-Verse, and Maniac.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:11 PM on October 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

Which maybe means the sacred timeline is sacred because it's the only one which doesn't end up with the TVA goin' splodey and time running amok? I'm sure they explained why the TVA is necessary at some point, that random unmanaged time would be a Problem™, but ... yeah, got me.

Oh, I thought they explained at the end of last season that the whole purpose of the TVA was to prune all but one timeline precisely because other timelines will each produce a He Who Remains variant who will independently discover the multiverse and try to take over all of them. And that's the big multiversal war they keep talking about -- because all this happened before, and only the one He Who Remains...remained (after pruning all the other warring alternates? after letting them weed each other out? I don't remember that part).
posted by nobody at 7:16 PM on October 25, 2023 [5 favorites]

Well, after the first two episodes successfully drained all the goodwill I had towards this show, I was only convinced to watch this episode because I was told the one after it would be good again.

I sure hope it's worth it, because this one was PAINFULLY bad.
posted by kyrademon at 12:24 PM on October 28, 2023

This... was not good television. Bored silly during the chases around the fair- which looked like a leftover wild west set instead of The White City (which incidentally was so aesthetically pleasing to people at the time that it influenced the design of civic buildings across the country, for good or ill).

I have no idea what anyone's motivation is anymore, and nothing good to say about it as entertainment.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:20 PM on October 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

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