After a great reintroduction to the Time Variance Authority and the return of Loki and Mobius, ‘Loki’ episode two shows what Dox is up to with the massive amount of equipment she and her team raided from the TVA armory. It also brings Sylvie back into the fold. However, the ending action sequence fails to impress, and the ending feels somewhat reminiscent of how the second episode of ‘Loki’ season one ended.
But props must be given to the episode’s name, “Breaking Brad”. It’s a reference to ‘Breaking Bad’, but it accurately informs the audience of what’s about to happen. Brad, or X-5, has gone rogue. He’s found Sylvie, but instead of reporting that information to Dox, he’s run away to become a movie star on the Sacred Timeline. Loki and Mobius find and give chase, allowing Loki to display his mischievous powers and indulge in a bit of his villainy.
This continues as the episode goes on. Brad has a mean case of asshole syndrome, effortlessly getting under B-15, Loki, and Mobius’ skin as they try to ask him what Dox is up to, what has happened to his TemPad, and where Sylvie is. Brad dodges all of this, eventually sending Mobius into a rage.
Loki pulls Mobius back, and together they get key lime pie. It gives them an opportunity for a heart-to-heart, and the writers turn to Loki’s past letting him connect with Mobius’ present. It’s well written and acted, and ends with Mobius realizing that to break Brad they need to tap into Loki’s villainous past.
This leads to what is the funniest and best scene in the episode. Loki seemingly steals some torture equipment and traps Mobius outside the interrogation room. He fakes his lack of ability to use the equipment, leaving to a legitimately scared Brad who breaks as he’s squished into a cube. It allows Loki to indulge in his mischievous and villainous nature again and delivers some laughs when Brad screams in terror that he might get crushed.
He agrees to show them where Sylvie is, and she’s working in a 1980s McDonald’s. This part goes off the rails a bit. Loki and Sylvie’s reunion is emotional, with Loki unable to get any of his words out in front of the girl he clearly loves. It’s a great moment, undercut by the forced nature of the McDonald’s tie-in. Apparently, this was conceived before McDonald’s agreed to it, though it’s still embarrassingly shoehorned in.
X-5 is uneasy though, claiming that everyone is about to die. Once pressed by Loki, X-5 reveals General Dox’s plan, to bomb and cull all of the branches currently overwhelming the TVA. But Dox’s goals aren’t rooted in pragmatism, they’re rooted in an ideological desire to fulfill the TVA’s old mission. Loki and Sylvie go on an underwhelming action spree to defeat Dox, though they aren’t in time to save all the branches.
They return to the TVA, where B-15, Mobius, Casey, Loki, and Sylvie stare in disbelief at what’s just happened. It’s a harrowing moment, though undercut by the fact that the second episode of the first season bombed the sacred timeline, which feels like a repeat. It remains to be seen how this affects the show going forth. Sylvie leaves, furious. She offers a new perspective on the moral debate introduced in the first episode. She says the TVA is incapable of change, it’s rotten to the core and must be destroyed. Perhaps she’s right.
Despite an underwhelming ending, ‘Loki’ season two episode two delivers an episode that allows Loki to be who he is, with him and Mobius still engaging like an old married couple, and offers a new perspective on the moral debate that was interested in episode one.