Marvel Studios’ Loki has been one of the few refreshingly appealing shows that have come out of the Disney canon. After much online discourse and countless theories that the multiversal finale of season one had led to, the show is finally back to expand upon its avenue. Season 2 kicks off with more pressing problems, new characters, and a looming threat that could tear the whole timeline apart. With Loki (Season 2) Episode 1, “Ouroboros,” the show picks up right where the last season had left off. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is slipping back and forth through time after being kicked through a time door by his counterpart, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino). In a constant battle against time, he struggles to rush back to Mobius (Owen Wilson) to tell him the events at the End of Time. Meanwhile, the B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) has finally come to accept that she is indeed a variant and wants to protect the timelines from being pruned even as they branch fully out of control. But soon, things begin to unfold upon each other now that He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) is dead.
Loki (Season 2) Episode 1 “Ouroboros” Recap:
Is Loki in the Future or in the Distant Past?
At the end of Season 1, we were left with a cliffhanger revealing how Loki was now in a universe with a giant statue of Kang. Was it his kingdom? Or was Loki in an alternate timeline? Even when the premiere begins, neither Mobius nor B-15 seem to recognize Loki. Soon, we realize that he didn’t just travel from the past but from a very distant past going back a full 400 years. Because the now much-organized TVA hasn’t gone through its rebranding yet, we see Kang everywhere – from giant statues erected outside the building to his face cast in gold over the pontifying walls – instead of the brainwashed Time-Keepers.
Thus, it becomes clear that the show is very smartly setting up its present-day conflict by exposing the past timeline. The narrative hook, however, comes once we start discovering more truths about the TVA through Loki. It’s in the distant past when Loki realizes through a recording device how Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Kang were once very close, with Kang even calling her a ‘marvel’ and saying he would be ‘proud to lead with her.’ Learning the truth about Ravonna, Loki’s time slips back into the present and reveals to everyone that they should all be aware of the oncoming threat.
But now, with Ravonna missing, we get two new characters in charge at the TVA – Judge Gamble (Liz Carr) and General Dox (Kate Dickie). While Judge Gamble sees the light on pruning timelines (stemming out of B-15’s pleas), willing to spare the millions of branching timelines, General Dox wants to take a more militant approach and hunt the missing Sylvie down for answers. We also get to see Hunter X-5 (Rafael Casal), as the show hints at setting him up as a potential adversary to Gamble and our team.
What is Time-Slipping?
Right as the episode begins, we keep seeing Loki go back and forth between the past and the present – till a point where it becomes comical. This phenomenon, as we learn later, is called time slipping. It should ideally be impossible in the TVA, but it’s happening nonetheless. At a point, when Loki asks the present-day Casey how long the crack in the ground he had been standing on has existed, the latter shrugs and says, “It’s been there as long as I can remember.” Recognizing it’s there because of him, as we begin to visually see how the events in the past timeline impact the present, Loki realizes what sort of mosaic sandwich he’s gotten himself stuck in. Such insights help him deduce as well as convince the TVA employees of how their memories have been wiped off by Kang.
Who is Ouroboros? How does he help Loki?
Finally, after discussing their plan, Morbius and Loki decide to go to the Repairs and Advancements division, deep within the hidden basement of the TVA, and here where they meet the show’s most chipper new character: Ouroboros, aka O.B (played by Ke Huy Quan, fresh off his Oscar win and ready to traverse a new multiverse). In a scene that allows his amazing banter and comedic timing to flow through Morbius and Loki’s frustration, O.B. brings a quirky brand of humor to the cast of characters.
When everyone else at the TVA seems to have their memories wiped, O.B. seems to have kept track of time as we watch Loki’s time slip into the distant past and talk with O.B., who is yet to get his nickname from the present-day Mobius. The fact that Morbius seems to have no recollection of it makes O.B. even more interesting of a character. After all, the fact that he literally wrote the book on the TVA (a sort of guidebook that we see all over the desks, covering every technical aspect of the TVA) should make us question just how involved he’s been in the organization since the start – probably even dating back to 400 years?
Loki (Season 2) Episode 1 “Ouroboros” Ending Explained:
Who Prunes Loki back into the Present-Day Timeline?
After the past and present-day versions of O.B. talk with our leads, he figures that what he needs is a temporal aura extractor in order to pull Loki from time and ground him in one fixed timeline. But it would only be possible with the danger of requiring Mobius to expose himself to the temporal radiation while Loki actively prunes himself in hopes of being grounded in the present timeline.
What we then get is the central MacGuffin of the episode, the urgency of which gets heightened owing to how the loom can’t handle weaving together too many physical timelines. But as we’ve come to expect from such instances, things go awry when Loki time-slips again, this time into the future, leaving Mobius to make a dangerous trek out to launch the temporal aura extractor while hoping Loki prunes himself just in time. Meanwhile, in the future, we see the TVA in total disarray. When the time comes for Loki to be pruned, he can’t seem to find anyone with a time stick. With no one in sight, he seemingly looks to have lost himself in time. No one in sight but a mysterious ringing phone that he gradually approaches. It’s only when he sees Sylvie prying open the door of an elevator that he’s pruned by an unseen person into the present timeline.
Who’s Calling The TVA Phone?
One of the most intriguing questions at the end of the episode remains unanswered – Who exactly was calling the TVA phone? Was it a call from the future? Given the kind of emphasis and mystery the ringing phone gets, it surely seems to be building towards an overarching mystery. How crucial would this mystery be in solving the dilemma and the heightened personal stakes our characters shall remain to be seen?
Loki (Season 2) Episode 1, Mid-Credit Scene Explained:
The episode ends with a mid-credit scene, which takes us back to the year 1982. As Sylvie arrives in Broxton, Oklahoma, we learn that she’s on a branched timeline. Savvy fans will know how this floating city serves as the new home to Asgard, where Thor resides. We watch Sylvie walk through a field as she enters a local McDonald’s. “I want to try everything,” she wistfully replies while looking at people sitting across tables when the waiter asks her what she wants.