By far the weakest episode of the second season so far, Loki Season 2 Episode 3 allows Jonathan Majors much too much freedom in his over-the-top, scenery-chewing performance. Following the events of Episode 2 where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) are unsuccessful in stopping the destruction of variant timelines, the two travel further into the past. Traveling to 1983, the two are seeking a variant version of He Who Remains in order to stop him from becoming corrupted while Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) fights them, believing the only way to nullify the threat is to kill him, regardless of his variant behavior.
The best and most integral part of this series is Loki and his relationship with those around him, most importantly Mobius. Episode 3 seems to forget this as we dive too far into the lore of what makes He Who Remains/Kang The Conquerer turn into the monster we meet him as. In this timeline, found by Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) and Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) he’s a man of science, distrusted by those around him while he tries to sell his latest prototypes that look disarmingly similar to things such as The Loom at the TVA. It’s why all parties are eager to find him, though Renslayer and Miss Minutes are the most successful. Loki and Mobius have to fight Scooby Doo-logic as they lose literal sight of their objective along with Syvlie’s continued interruptions.
There are moments where Loki Season 2 Episode 3 remains strong capturing the back-and-forth bantr of Loki and Mobius, such as the beginning moments at the fair where they’ve found themselves. Dressed in the classic fashion of the time, the sets and wardrobe are well constructed and handsomely rendered, even if later scenes fall victim again to television’s inability to light scenes properly, the details doused in darkness. However, the start allows for playfulness in the dress as well as the dialogue.
A standout sequence comes when Loki and Mobius come across statues of Norse mythology legends, with Thor, Odin, and Baldur all being given statues. Loki is frustrated at his exclusion while Mobius, slightly bemused, mentions that sometimes he forgets Loki is one of them. A slightly meta joke that the show probably didn’t mean to make considering the writing also tends to forget his god-like abilities at moments they’d come in handy.
The strongest part of the episode is when it goes directly into strange, screwball territory, especially with the inclusion of Miss Minutes, which might be one of the MCU’s more interesting inventions for any of its properties. Eerie yet simplified, the character is off-putting in her affected cheeriness. It’s not just that Miss Minutes believes in He Who Remains, or that she wants a bit of the power he holds due to the help she gave him. It’s that this artificial intelligence whose corporeal form is a hologram, 1950s-era clock, is in love with him. She’s jealous of Renslayer when she receives the attention Miss Minutes believes she deserves.
But no matter the stronger moments and character-driven moments it’s all too bogged down by Majors, whose acting tics and stilted delivery are punctuated by a desperation to be seen as a serious, thespian actor. The result is a performance bogged down by an actor who chews at the scenery with such pointed acting tricks we can practically see the thought process before them. This version of Kang is timid and awkward. He stutters, pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose, stumbles, and clumsily nods his head to those who pester him. It would be less egregious if less time was spent with him but his character is the dominant force behind the episode and his story delivers a devastating stall to the momentum.
The episode ends on a necessary note of worldbuilding, however, as Renslayer learns of her role in Kang’s previous ruling over the TVA with the help of Miss Minutes. Now, equipped with a new objective that separates her the variant Kang, Renslayer, and Miss Minutes team up. Their team up creates a new major antogonist to the back half of the season.Loki Season 2 Episode 3 is the big miss of the season so far, but at the very least it teases greater mysteries for the rest of the season as the characters shift and play with their existing alliances.
Loki Season 2 Episode 3
By far the weakest episode of the second season so far, Loki Season 2 Episode 3 allows Jonathan Majors much too much freedom in his over-the-top, scenery-chewing performance.