Loki season 2’s Marvel Cinematic Universe connections explained

(L-R): Eugene Cordero as Casey, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Jonathan Majors as Victor Timely in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.
(L-R): Eugene Cordero as Casey, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Jonathan Majors as Victor Timely in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL. /

Analyzing the new season of the Disney Plus show Loki and identifying how it fits into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Loki is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney Plus series to receive a second season order. Even though the show’s primary setting exists outside of ordinary time and space, its affiliation with the larger franchise is discernable.

Loki’s sophomore effort picks up where its rookie year left off, with Loki back at the TVA, only things have perceptibly changed. We quickly find out that he was not kicked into an alternate dimension in season 1’s concluding moments, Loki instead is time-slipping from the past to the present, and, at one point, even the future at the time headquarters.

Loki season 2 was full of MCU connections

Loki must reconnect with his friends while enlisting some new blood to help with the dilemma, specifically Ouroboros (or O.B. for short). But Mobius is still Loki’s right-hand man; when interrogating X-5 in the second episode, Mobius gets frustrated and angry, to which Loki recalls a time when he was so mad at his brother and father that he launched an alien invasion on Earth and his rage caused him to throw Iron Man out of a window. MCU fans undoubtedly remember that happening in the first Avengers.

When traveling back to a 1970s movie premiere, one can recognize a poster featuring Kingo from Eternals. He was a member of the thousands-year-old team who went on to become a Bollywood movie star. Then at the World’s Fair in 1890’s Chicago, there is a poster featuring the lineup of entertainment that includes a performer named Ferdinand Lang. Could this be a distant relative of Scott Lang’s?

At the World’s Fair, Loki comes across wooden statues of Thor, Odin, and Balder. In both Norse and Marvel mythology, Balder the Brave was Thor’s other brother, yet by the way Loki questions Balder’s inclusion in the trio of sculptures, we cannot be certain that the MCU would keep that familial tie if the Asgardian hero is ever to be depicted in live-action.

A rebranded He Who Remains/Kang enters the scene for the tertiary chapter. After Kang’s conquering was squashed by some bug-sized heroes in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the post-credits tag revealed one of his variants, Victor Timely, being discovered by Loki and Mobius. This episode circles back to that scene and pushes the Kang narrative forward. The Quantum device he developed in the 1800s looks like a model of the multiversal vehicle he sat in during Quantumania.

In the fourth episode, Loki explains to Sylvie his attempt at a personal redemption arc; Loki references Thor’s path during the first film, describing how his banishment to Earth humbled the God of Thunder and shaped him into becoming better. While Thor navigated his hero journey in that singular narrative, Loki has the more challenging task of converting his villainous ideologies into a multiversal savior of sorts.

In the penultimate chapter, all of Loki’s acquaintances are reverted back to a timeline outside of the TVA. When Casey is escaping from Alcatraz, he says if they get caught, they will be gutted like fish. At Loki’s first humorous interaction with Casey in Season 1, Loki threatened to gut him like a fish, to which Casey replied “What’s a fish?”. During his drop-in on Mobius, Loki spots him embracing the personal watercraft lifestyle (selling the vehicles at a store) – Mobius discussed his affinity for jet skis in the first season.

Another callback to the previous Loki run is when O.B. tells Loki to take control of his time slipping and Loki looks a bit foolish, conjuring powerful poses while failing to accomplish anything. Something quite similar happened when Loki initially arrived at the TVA and quickly found out that his magic did not work there.

In the finale, Loki revisits past scenes from the show to try to prevent the destruction of the TVA. The most important event is Sylvie killing He Who Remains at the end of the first season, which brilliantly allows for an additional exchange between Loki and that supremely engaging version of Kang. Loki eventually takes matters into his own hands to save his friends – he tells Sylvie he knows what to do “for her, for all of us”, which paraphrases a sentiment he echoed to Odin before his final fall from Asgard in the first Thor.

Once Loki takes hold of the timelines, he essentially recreates the World’s Tree that was detailed in the Thor film as the foundation of all the realms. Loki’s transformation is now complete; he sacrificed everything for his friends and the timelines and has never before appeared more god-like.

Of course, the persistence of unlimited branched timelines means that He Who Remains is no longer the only Kang around in the multiverse. The TVA is looking out for these variants and Mobius even tells B-15 that there was one version that caused a ruckus, but it was handled. This correlates to the events of Quantumania, where Ant-Man and Wasp prevented Kang from conquering. But there is an incalculable amount of Kangs to contend with, setting the stage for the next Avengers epic – The Kang Dynasty.

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With such a transcendent culmination to the god of Mischief’s story, Season 2 feels like the perfectly tragic end to Loki’s personal journey. As the overseer of time itself, perhaps Loki will be called on to interfere in either Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars.