Loki 2×01 “Ouroboros” is a competent — even interesting — return for our favorite trickster God. It’s a Loki-centered episode, one that showcases the character growth we’ve seen from Loki, while also cementing that his most important relationship right now isn’t with Sylvie, it’s with Mobius.
This isn’t really a competition. For Loki, in so many ways, everything in his life has been. With his mother, who he was always trying to prove right. His father, who he was always trying to prove wrong. Even Thor, whom Loki has loved most of all — and whom he could never let himself fully trust loved him back. Now, however, he is in a different boat. He’s the voice of reason when it comes to Sylvie. He’s Mobius’ partner (and friend). He’s not the problem anymore, in fact, he’s working on being the solution.
With that comes a great deal of vulnerability, and recalibrating. Tom Hiddleston, unsurprisingly, plays both perfectly. It’s hard to imagine we would be here without Hiddleston’s commitment to who Loki is, but also who he could become. So, let us take a moment to examine this next step in his character journey as we discuss Loki 2×01 “Ouroboros”:
It’s Me, Loki
Loki’s desperation to have Mobius recognize him in Loki 2×01 “Ouroboros” betrays how important Mobius has become to Loki. Yes, in Sylvie, Loki saw himself — but in as much as that relationship makes some weird sense, it’s also just something that fits neatly with Loki’s idea of the universe. Of course, Sylvie likes him. They are the same.
Mobius is the outlier. He is the one person who has ever liked Loki not because he had to, because they’re related, or because he’s literally another version of him. Instead, Mobius liked Loki because of who Loki was. There’s something very powerful to that knowledge, particularly on a show so interested in the concept of free will.
There’s very little awareness of this in Loki — or in Mobius. Loki 2×01 “Ouroboros” doesn’t spend too much time on the philosophical. It can’t, as Loki is literally time slipping, the time loom is having major issues and they have to find answers. But it is important to note that, even though the characters are not saying so, this episode is about Loki and Mobius’ relationship.
Mobius has chosen Loki. In this episode, Loki chooses him too. It’s powerful stuff, no matter how you want to see it.
Ke Huy Quan makes his debut in Loki 2×01 “Ouroboros” and it’s almost like he’s always been around, we just haven’t had the time to visit him. Ouroboros fits the fabric of this show, and the TVA, in such a way that it’s hard to imagine the show without him. Without Miss Minutes, he gets all the exposition that Loki (and the viewers) need, and yet it rarely feels like he’s around just to give us answers. If anything, the character leaves us wanting to know more.
How old is he? How did he get to where he is? How come no one talks to him? Did he know He Who Remains? Hopefully, these are questions Loki Season 2 has a chance to answer, not just because it would give us more of Ke Huy Quan, but because we are really interested in knowing. The man who wrote the TVA handbook has to have quite a backstory, doesn’t he?
I Want to Try Everything
We see Sylvie for barely a few seconds in the actual episode — in the future, as she’s trying to get out of an elevator and spots time-slipping Loki. But the mid-credits scene focuses entirely on her, as she opens a time portal to 1982 Broxton, Oklahoma, where she, of course, goes into a McDonald’s. And then, as we’ve seen from promotional materials …just stays.
For now, though, all we see her is her considering the food options and then looking overwhelmed as she turns to the camera and remarks that she wants to try everything. But that part isn’t surprising. Sylvie, for the first time in her life, feels like she’s got a choice. Of course, she’s going to try everything. How else can she figure out what she likes?
The problem, of course, is that trying everything means you will inevitably try some bad things. Free will isn’t a cure-all. You still have to make good choices. And that’s where Sylvie is right now — where everyone on the show is. We shall see how it goes.