REVIEW: Loki – Season 2, Episode 3, “1893”

If for no other reason, “1893” is probably the best episode of Loki’s second season (so far) because it actually moves the plot forward. The plot isn’t great, and the show is still a chore to sit through, but halfway through this run, there is finally momentum. There are some good ideas, though, and one scene I quite enjoyed.

With the Temporal Loom blowing up (or whatever the hell is going on; something bad), Loki and Mobius must track down Miss Minutes, the only one who can stabilize the TVA’s computers so OB can fix the problem. They find her through Ravonna Renslayer, whom they track to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. But Ravonna is there for a reason, and Loki soon finds another version of Kang, who’s meddling with multiversal science.

“1893” begins with Ravonna, who’s been missing so far this season. She finds herself in 1868, answering a summons from Miss Minutes, who is hiding in the past (and still a talking AI clock). Miss Minutes has an offer for the wayward time cop: perform a simple task, and she will sit at Kang’s right hand. All Ravonna has to do is slip a package through a window. This isn’t a bad scene; I like the simplicity of Ravonna’s task, selling her soul by dropping off a parcel. One of the fun parts of time travel stories is how the smallest action can have earth-shattering consequences, and even for someone who knows that, the risk/reward ratio seems too great. I also enjoy how Miss Minutes, who was just a goofy special effect in season 1, is slowly growing more sinister; she’s aligned with Kang, and it’s becoming clearer what that entails. This is also the reason why Loki and Mobius find them in Chicago twenty-five years later and why the world is in so much trouble: the mere delivery of a package.


After another dull scene of sci-fi mumbo jumbo from OB (I’m rooting for Ke Huy Quan as much as anybody, but do we really have to pretend this is some great role for him?), Loki and Mobius find themselves in 1893, but they see something more worrying than Miss Minutes or Ravonna Renslayer: another Kang variant. This one is named Victor Timely, and he’s a kooky scientist demonstrating advanced scientific knowledge on stage at the World’s Fair. This is the post-credits scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and in context, it’s exactly what it looked like at the end of the movie. See, that package Ravonna shoved through an open window was a guidebook to the TVA written by He Who Remains, the Kang variant from season 1. This was that Kang’s fail-safe plan – to activate another variant of himself and create a replacement, with Miss Minutes and Ravonna Renslayer guiding him along.

And it’s easy to see why this one was chosen; Victor Timely is almost the same character as He Who Remains. He’s a goofy clown who dances around like an idiot and makes silly voices. I don’t understand why so many people like this; the next big Marvel villain is a complete joke once again, with no menace or gravitas. And you can’t even argue that he’ll become a force to be reckoned with because we’ve seen what he becomes in He Who Remains. Watching Loki pretend to be afraid of him is annoying, but even worse is when the writers acknowledge the criticisms of their Kang by having Mobius give them voice. It’s another “We know it’s stupid, so it’s not really stupid” dodge, and it works no better here than it does elsewhere. This is the third version of Kang we’ve seen (outside of the Council of Kangs from the Quantumania mid-credits scene), and it’s another dud.

Loki 1893

But, as I said, “1893” does move the season’s plot along, and a big piece of that is finally introducing the new Kang, ineffectual though he may be. Loki and Mobius deduce that they can use Victor Timely and his machine to fix the problems with the Temporal Loom and save the TVA and the rest of the timelines. But Timely is a con artist more than he is a genius inventor, and he’s soon in a race across the fairgrounds with some dangerous men he’s just swindled, with Loki in pursuit. Then, Sylvie arrives with murderous intent. So, things are happening, but they’re convoluted and not all that interesting, the latter because the show won’t allow them to be. Loki wants Timely alive, and Sylvie wants him dead, so a prolonged discussion where Loki tries to convince Sylvie to back off ensues. There’s no tension because we know they’ll never let Loki defeat Sylvie, so it’s just a lot of talking until Loki and Timely escape. It’s then a series of double-crosses; Timely betrays Ravonna, Miss Minutes makes demands of Timely, Ravonna traps Miss Minutes, and everyone ends up in a Mexican standoff in a warehouse.

Sylvie is a big problem for the show, and that’s more evident in “1893” than it’s ever been. She’s opposed to Loki, and she’s dangerous because she’s so single-minded and sure of herself. But they won’t fully go down this road and make her a villain, so she and Loki have to keep dancing around each other, never really fighting or trying to stop each other. Ravonna doesn’t have this problem because they’re allowing her to be a villain; they could go back on this, but for now, she’s okay. But Sylvie is an added complication that lifts out of the story because they won’t give her a firm place in it. I wonder if part of their reticence is that season 1 essentially made her the protagonist, with Loki as a passenger on the adventure she was driving. Now, they’re stuck with her, so they’re trying to find things for her to do without invalidating the first season (which they should because it sucked). The only ways forward for the character are to make her join Loki’s team or resign themselves to making her a bad guy that Loki must defeat. The second option is much more interesting, so they definitely won’t do it, but there’s nothing to do but hope.

Loki 1893

The other good things about “1893” are minor, unfortunately. First, I’m happy they’re finally showing off more of Loki’s powers. The show did this last week, too, but it’s good to see Loki coming into his own a bit as the God of Mischief, using illusions and magic as weapons. (Braeden Alberti talks about this on his YouTube channel.) We’ve seen the illusions in the movies, but Loki disappearing people in puffs of smoke is new to the MCU, and it’s very cool – although it would be cooler if this were a proper Loki who didn’t bring them back in silly ways. I also enjoyed the scene where Loki looks at images of his family, the Norse Gods. It shows his longing for his family, something I hope comes back, preferably in a better movie or show. The gag about Baldur is funny, and I like seeing Loki’s pride come out just a bit. (“Thor isn’t that tall.”) This is the tragedy of Loki; the show has some good ideas, but it doesn’t know how to execute them or see them through to satisfying completions.

Loki – "1893"

Plot - 7
Acting - 6
Progression - 8
Production Design - 8
Entertainment - 7



“1893” moves the plot forward and has some nice moments, but it introduces another embarrassing version of Kang, doesn’t know what to do with Sylvie, and bores instead of doing anything exciting.

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