Friday, October 13, 2023

REVIEW: 'Loki' - Loki Requires Sylvie's Assistance to Understand and Defeat the Growing Threat to the TVA in 'Breaking Brad'

Disney+'s Loki - Episode 2.02 "Breaking Brad"

With the TVA on the verge of a temporal meltdown, Loki and Mobius will stop at nothing to find Sylvie.

"Breaking Brad" was written by Eric Martin and directed by Dan DeLeeuw

Loki is the god of mischief. He's not meant to be a hero. He's suppose to be a villain enacting pain and suffering on millions of people. However, he saw a true glimpse of power. Everything that happens at the TVA is far more consequential than anything in the life he left behind. He was given an opportunity for a life with more meaning. He and Sylvie were destined to find He Who Remains. The TVA wasn't always an ally during that mission. Moreover, they had a difference of opinion once they found the man truly in control. Loki found something that he felt the urge to protect. Sylvie still had a thirst for vengeance. All she's ever wanted was to live a life of her own without constantly looking over her shoulder. She didn't exactly have that while she was working at McDonalds in 1982 Oklahoma. However, it was a refreshing change of pace. She finally had free will even though she knew hunters from the TVA would eventually find her.

Loki received a glimpse at the future. He knows Sylvie will return to the TVA. The destruction of this agency appears to be the overarching threat for the season. O.B. is still trying to find a solution to prevent the temporal loom from overlording with all the new timelines. Pruning them has always been the solution before. That's no longer an option. Those lives deserve to be explored and lived. Sylvie once represented the greatest threat to the TVA. That's no longer true. She holds answers to some of the great mysteries. Everyone wants the information she carries. However, the various branches invite chaos that will ultimately produce the variants of He Who Remains. That influence looms over everything. Loki finally has a cause worth fighting to defend. He has allies willing to aide him. They all seek greater understanding after being lied to for their entire lives. They exist in service to the TVA. It serves no purpose to wonder what their lives could have been. The lives they were taken away from on the sacred timeline no longer belong to them.

Hunter X-5 takes the opportunity to grab ahold of the spotlight. He found Sylvie. That wasn't the ultimate goal of General Dox though. She sought to prune the time branches in one fell swoop. The search for Sylvie was merely a distraction to keep Loki and Mobius busy. The two sides disagree over what is the biggest threat. It's their job to respond. For Dox and her allies, it's solely about maintaining the sacred timeline as a singular entity. For Loki and his allies, it's the danger posed by He Who Remains. Their mission was created by the one variant trying to prevent others like him from waging multiversal war. That's seemingly inevitable. It could lead to the destruction of the TVA. Sylvie wants nothing to do with the conflict. She isn't living up to her full potential in the life she has found. She is allowed the peace that comes from basic human interactions. That's freeing. That's what she deserves. The future dictates so much more from her. She has to fight to defend the destruction of the timeline. As such, she is never given the time to just be. That's what she wants more than anything else.

Mobius isn't plagued by the idea of what his life could have been. He can handle it if the truth was bad. If it was good, that only places doubts on what he must do. He can't live in the desperation for answers. X-5 became movie star Brad Wolfe. That appears as the life he wants to explore forever. In reality, he's armed with the technology to play around in time. He seemingly makes his own fate. He annoys Loki and Mobius. He knows precisely how to aggravate them. Loki has to torture the prisoner to get any answers out of him about Sylvie. However, his nervousness upon his return to the timeline ultimately reveals much more of what's going on. At the TVA, he's safe from what Dox is set to do. When he delivers Loki and Mobius to Sylvie, he's vulnerable. He's at risk of being completely erased. He doesn't want to be one of the billion people pruned from existence. That's the extent of this conflict. Dox succeeds as well. She's quickly taken into custody. Loki and Sylvie are a powerful team when they combine their talents. They become something incredibly good and influential. They remain on their separate journeys. Loki provides support for Mobius. They fear for the future of the TVA. Sylvie remains selfish. Her pursuit of those ambitions isn't inherently dangerous though.

Dox's actions may ultimately given O.B. more time to find a solution to the TVA's imminent destruction. He's also realizing just how much of the agency was designed solely to be functional for the person who created it. Miss Minutes is the all-knowing A.I. program. She served as a convenient resource for He Who Remains to engage in this environment while maintaining his secrecy. With her offline, the TVA agents have to rely on their own expertise to prevail. They have created aspects of this remarkable technology. They aren't defenseless. They are also realizing the limits of their skills. That's daunting especially in the face of the threat before them. B-15 is horrified upon seeing the massive loss of life. Sylvie is moved by that display too. The responses still differ. That's a crucial development. Some people are lost in the complexity of time. They can't wrap their heads around all that is possible. Others seek to control it and exert their influence over every decision. Loki doesn't know all that the future brings. He just knows he needs Sylvie. It makes little sense to the outsiders who see their romance as falling in love with oneself. It's complicated. It somehow works. The connection is still there once they see each other again. The threat to the TVA shouldn't be Sylvie's burden to carry. Loki provides a personal connection to the agency. So much is at work that carries those personal touches beyond the vast expanse of time. Evil still exists. And now, Loki is trusted in trying to preserve fate for so many lives. That's a remarkable transformation. One where he is now able to provide guidance when others are struggling and in need of feeling grounded once more.