Loki 2×02 “Breaking Brad” is, ostensibly, about X-5 or Bradley Wolfe, as he would like to be known, but deep down, it’s about the lessons we learn – or don’t learn.
Lessons are hard. Loki, of all people, has had to fall and fall and fall again to even come close to learning the right lessons. To even come close to becoming the person he deserves to be, not for others, no. For himself. And the person he is now, or the one he’s close to becoming …well, that one might actually feel like he’s worth the friendship, the love, and even, perhaps, the brotherhood he never felt he deserved.
Not that love is something you need to deserve. It’s something freely given. But that is, perhaps, the hardest lesson of all – the understanding that you don’t have to be perfect, much less worthy, to be loved for who you are.
In A Relationship with Yourself
We finally get to see more of Sylvie in Loki 2×02 “Breaking Brad,” and the thing that’s important to remember about Sylvie is the thing we probably all understand just from the premise, but that is easy to forget as things actually happen: Sylvie is not just Loki from about 20 movies ago, she’s a Loki without a Thor.
In this regard, as Loki stands in front of her in this episode and just …doesn’t push her or get mad at her for what happened in their last encounter, that’s not just a sign of his growth, it’s proof that no one can understand and even love this version of Sylvie like Loki. That’s always been the thing, he gets it. He really, really does. He will never begrudge her the mistakes or the anger she feels, because he understands how she feels and why she’s feeling the way she does.
But in the same way, no one can understand like Loki does how much road there is to be traveled for Sylvie. How much more work needs to be done to get to a place where genuine care and concern will be something she doesn’t feel like she has to lash out against. And not just that, no one can understand like he does that the decision to change, to leave the anger behind, to become the person you can be, has to be wholly Sylvie’s. You cannot change for others; you can only do it for yourself.
Sometimes Our Emotions Get the Better of Us
This is a great episode for Loki, in general, but it’s also a great episode for the dynamics between Loki and Mobius. Their relationship hasn’t been exactly one-sided, but the truth of the matter is that, for as long as they’ve known each other, Mobius has been shouldering more of the emotional burden – if only because he was capable of doing it, while Loki wasn’t.
In Loki 2×02 “Breaking Brad” Loki gets to be the voice of reason, the supportive friend, the one who brings up his past as a way of making a point. He is also the one who pushes Mobius back, firmly but kindly, about the things Mobius is refusing to face – like the life he might have had on the timeline. Before, Loki wouldn’t have known how to do either of these things and most importantly, he wouldn’t have cared to. But now, thanks to Mobius, he’s in a place where he can reciprocate what others have often done for him, and he can help Mobius come to terms with what he’s feeling – which in turn, results in a plan that gets the information they want.
Also, how hilarious was it to hear Loki sum up The Avengers like so: “Remember that time I was so angry with my father and my brother I went down to Earth and held the whole of New York City hostage with an alien army, tried to use the Mind Stone on Tony Stark, it didn’t work so I threw him off a building?”
We remember, Loki. We do.
It’s Harder to Stay
The words, from Loki to Sylvie, mean so much because even as Sylvie leaves, Loki turns around and stays. Makes the decision to do so. You don’t say those words and then turn around without any intention. But Sylvie isn’t ready – and the fact that Loki expressed this feeling to her means that, at some point, she will be. Loki, however, is. He’s ready to stay with his TVA family, even when it’s harder. Especially when it is.
And, perhaps, that also means Loki is getting to the point where he needs to be to meet the one person he has always loved above all and do so without a hidden agenda. Loki the show isn’t a direct line to one thing, but just as Thor: Love and Thunder felt a little strange, like something was missing, Loki has always felt like a journey towards that closure and acceptance for Loki. There is no closure without Thor.
Loki has given us some important, even essential relationships for our favorite God of Mischief, ones that we hope get the kind of ending – or beginning, they deserve. But it’s hard to argue against the fact that, for as long as there has been a Loki in the MCU, there has been a Thor and we have cared about their relationship more than we have cared about any other relationship the two of them have had. And that means there’s truly no better ending to the story of Loki than to see the sun again, side by side with his brother.
The first two episodes of Loki Season 2 are available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes premiering every Thursday night at 9ET/6PT.