When it comes to the MCU limited series on Disney+, the pacing issue is something that fans have often felt to be bothersome, and it ends up messing up the innovativeness of the storyline by gearing up the flow in favor of shoehorning the world-building aspects. Fortunately, Loki seemed to be the only exception, as it takes its sweet time to build on the narrative, provides viewers with an insight into the characters, and seemingly has a fixed resolution it is destined to reach without bothering much about the next big reveal and tease. It’s good to see that the second season has maintained the tradition.
In the first episode, while returning to TVA from the Citadel at the End of Time, Loki experiences time slipping as he gets thrust into the past and future of the timeline while supervising the administration. Loki arrives at a doomed TVA in the future, where he meets Sylvie as well. It was Sylvie’s machinations in the first place—killing He Who Remains – which disturbed the fabric of the Sacred Timeline and created infinite branched timelines stemming from it, and also exposed the TVA workers being abducted as memory-wiped real human beings. The god of mischief is able to revert to normalcy with the assistance of his trusted friend Mobius and the chief tech guy of TVA, Ouroboros, aka O.B., as they extract Loki’s temporal aura from the central timeline harvester, the Temporal Loom. With variants of He Who Remains already going to pose a significant threat to the multiverse, Loki finds it imperative to learn Sylvie’s role as shown in the vision of his future, and the second episode showcases the much-awaited reunion of these two variants, along with the rise of an unexpected film star.
Breaking Brad: Where Did Hunter X-05 End Up In The Sacred Timeline?
In the previous episode, the revelation of the truth behind TVA and the branching of the Sacred Timeline left a significant impact on the authorities in different ways. While Judge Gamble faced a moral dilemma as her entire worldview crumbled and she finally accepted the fact that TVA was a total sham, General Dox, on the other hand, was caught up in denial and decided that pruning the branching timeline and catching Sylvie would solve all the problems, and Hunter X-05 was one of the loyalists of Dox. Meanwhile, Loki and Mobius set out in search of Sylvie as well, and as the second episode, cheekily titled “Breaking Brad”, opens, viewers are taken to London in 1977, in Sacred Timeline, where the duo arrive dressed to the nines in tuxes, in the midst of a film premiere. Mobius has managed to track X-05’s Tempad at the exact point in the timeline, and it is revealed that Hunter is living the glamorous life of a movie superstar under the identity of Brad Wolfe.
Loki, Mobius, and Hunter B-15 apprehend X-05 for questioning as to Sylvie’s supposed location, and X-05 makes a run for it. Loki steps up, and after a long time, fans get to see the god of mischief living up to his name as he uses a range of powers to pin down X-05 and bring him back to TVA.
A Life Lost: Do Loki And Mobius Learn About Sylvie’s Location?
At the TVA X-05 is interrogated as the duo of Mobius and Loki adopt the good cop, bad cop routine to extract the information out of him, but to no avail. Instead, X-05 gets on Loki’s nerves as he provokes him regarding his past sins—jeopardizing Earth—bringing even his late mother Frigga into the conversation to poke at his vulnerabilities. In retaliation, Loki tries to adopt intimidation tactics but ultimately refrains from pushing the limit, and Mobius takes a turn to question X-05 instead. The Hunter had fully adopted life on Earth as a human and remains adamant about returning to that life, denouncing the existence and necessity of the TVA time and again, mirroring Sylvie’s sentiment in a roundabout way. However, even though Mobius’ gentler approach fails to produce the intended result, he gives in to X-05’s provocation and hits him out of desperation. With the situation getting heated, the duo decided to take a break for the moment and savor some pie instead.
As the duo discuss the possible course of action, Loki can’t help but ask Mobius about the possibility of his other life—something that X-05 used in his conversation with Mobius to get under his skin. We know TVA members were snatched out of their lives for the service of He Who Remains, and being mind-wiped, they don’t have any idea of what a normal human life was for them before that period. Mobius appears to remain unbothered about that, as seemingly he has fully grown into his role in the TVA, which astonishes Loki very much.
The duo had previously given X-05’s modified Tempad to O.B. to search for clues, but he’d handed them a manual of TVA instead to find answers on their own. Casey, the easy-going nerdy TVA clerk, takes up the job of checking it out, additionally searching for the rogue TVA judge Ravonna Renslayer. In the previous episode, O.B. mentioned retrofitting the Temporal Loom to allow it to contain all the infinite branched timeline and closed the TVA blast door to protect it from temporal radiation. In this episode, O.B. finds out that reopening the blast door to retrofit the Loom is impossible without having the temporal aura of the creator of TVA, He Who Remains. With him dead, the only conduit that can be accessed for the success of the job is Miss Minutes, who has been missing ever since his death. Meanwhile, Casey shares his speculation about Ravonna Renslayer being assisted by Miss Minutes, and this checks out because during his time in the future, Loki learned about Ravonna and He Who Remains being partners.
As Loki and Mobius return to interrogate X-05 for a second time, their mutual agreement on intimidation tactics works well this time. Loki brings out his evil self for a brief period to rattle him up, and the Hunter confesses that he defected from Dox’s order to lead a life of his own. He also takes the duo to 1982 Broxton on the branched timeline, where Loki and Mobius find out that Sylvie is living a secluded life while working behind the counter in one of the McDonald’s stores.
Old Flames Die Hard: Did Sylvie Eventually Return To The TVA?
It’s an uncomfortable moment for Loki and Sylvie as they face each other, given the context of their last meeting, after what seems like a lifetime, although chronologically time has barely passed. Essentially, Loki and Sylvie are the same; they are variants of the same person, and the first season showcased a new meaning of loving oneself as Loki and Sylvie fell for each other. Their ideologies clashed regarding the fate of He Who Remains, whom Sylvie killed at the end, and sent Loki back to TVA to talk about a bad break. Sylvie had thought that she had brought an end to the determinism of TVA and truly brought back free will as she had settled in Broxton ever since, but that was not the case as Loki reveals to her about a possible uprising of the variants of He Who Remains—something Sylvie herself had feared in her mind as well. However, as Loki asks for her assistance to defend TVA, she outright refuses to do so, stating she has built a life of her own. The two quarrel like old lovers while discussing the fate of the multiverse, and honestly, it’s as adorable as fans would have expected.
However, their reunion is cut short as X-05 reveals an ominous predicament, i.e., General Dox has started bombing all the branched timelines as she doesn’t consider Sylvie to be a target to begin with. Instead, she believes that the severance of branched timelines will restore the status of the Sacred Timeline, thus restoring the TVA to its regular order. Learning about the location of her and her loyalists, Sylvie brings Mobius and Loki to the spot where, using time doors, the insurgencies are setting charges in timelines all at once. Their timely intervention and combined effort in battling Dox’s forces finally stop the assault, but they are too late, as upon returning to the TVA, they find out the majority of the timelines are gone, resulting in the deaths of billions in the process. Loki, Mobius, and B-15 mournfully try to comprehend the horror that unfolded right in front of them, but the digital map of the timeline barely speaks about the gravity of the multiversal scale devastation that just happened within a few moments. Sylvie looks at TVA’s failure with disgust, and before departing for the world he now calls home (Braxton, 1982, branched timeline), she reminds Loki about her past realization about TVA’s stagnancy and ineffectuality.
As the episode ends, Casey finds out the possible location of Ravonna Renslayer, and Sylvie, in the still intact world of hers, catches up with a young colleague, Jack, after the end of the night’s shift. As she possibly ponders about her past decisions as well as her future ones, viewers see the specialized Tempad of He Who Remains in her hand, indicating the artifact’s significant importance in upcoming episodes. With Renslayer’s location locked in, the next episode will bring the team back on Earth, perhaps on a different timeline yet again—and it goes beyond saying that Sylvie, who has been accustomed to living among humans, will now fight to protect her timeline by any means necessary. With so many mentions of He Who Remains time and again, we will be introduced to its more nefarious variants in the upcoming episode as well, as Victor Timely and Miss Minutes are slated to leave an impact in the third episode.