If the season two premiere of Marvel’s “Loki” felt like a bit of a fever dream for you, don’t worry, that’s what’s supposed to be happening. Because, according to executive producer Kevin Wright, crafting this season was all about “straddling the line between intrigue and confusion.”
The episode, now streaming on Disney+ picks up almost exactly where season one left off, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returning to the TVA only to find that Mobius (Owen Wilson) has no idea who he is. That’s because, as we learn, Loki was kicked into the past, before he and Mobius even met. From there, Loki starts “time slipping” — something that’s supposed to be impossible within the TVA — to different points, apparently on the same timeline.
That’s about as concisely as we can sum it up though, because from there, the timelines and branches get pretty interconnected, characters start jumping around, and it’s…a lot. But, everything we see and learn in episode one is strategically explained — or not explained — according to Wright.
“If you explain too much the audience has — it feels like they have to carry it,” Wright told TheWrap.
That said, the writers and creatives are trusting the audience to file away bits and pieces of information that seem nonsensical at the time, because they will come into clearer focus this season. They aren’t deliberately trying to confuse you.
“The thing that was always most important to us was — we are taking big concepts, we’re getting into time loops, and timey-wimey stuff starts happening big time in this — but it was always about how simply, when needed, can we explain that in a line or two of dialogue, that audiences go ‘OK, that kind of makes sense. I’m gonna put that in the back of my brain as it keeps moving on,’” Wright said.
He added, “We would always look at the script and go, ‘Is this confusing? Or is it intriguing?’ Which sounds dumb, but you know it when you see it. And so that’s one of those things where if it ever felt like it was a little confusing, we would figure out, OK, well maybe we need a little one more line here. More often than not, it was about removing lines.”
Wright noted that he and Hiddleston, who also serves as an executive producer on the series, always tried “to keep it simple where we can,” and then relied on the directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead to help them with “straddling the line between intrigue and confusion.”
“This is the Justin and Aaron thing; if you pull out enough, and you leave it intriguing and the filmmaking is competent enough, the audience goes, ‘I know they want me to track that. I’m going to track it and I’m going to file it away and I trust that they will pick up later,’” he said. “I think ep. 1 has a little bit of a tease of something there, where that happens with what Loki sees in a future.”
Indeed, Loki does catch a glimpse of Sylvie back at the TVA in the future, before immediately getting pruned by some unseen person. It’s just one of many breadcrumbs from the premiere that fans should make a mental note of.
Season two of “Loki” is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes premiere every Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT.