Episode 2 of season 2 asks the fundamental question of the series: Who is Loki, really, and who does he wish he could be? When Mobius and Loki attempt to question X-5 about the whereabouts of Sylvie in the timeline and why he vanished from the TVA, he doesn’t bat an eye. In his best good guy voice, Loki screams, “There are lives at stake,” causing X-5 to call out the irony of hearing those words come out of Loki’s mouth when he’s responsible for so much misery himself. Loki is almost pretending to be the hero just as the other variants who work at the TVA, including Mobius, try to ignore the fact that they have all been plucked out of their own timeline to serve the greater good and protect the all-important Sacred Timeline.
X-5 rightly points out that Loki is always the problem and “every time we’ve ever found a you,” trouble is right around the corner. It doesn’t matter what outfit he puts on, the real Loki is still wearing his cloak and horned helmet. The villainous costume of the Loki of old even makes a quick appearance early on in episode 2 in shadow form when Loki captures X-5.
The real stinger comes when X-5 mentions Loki’s adoptive mother, Frigga (Rene Russo), who died at the hands of the Dark Elves thanks to a miscalculation by Loki in “Thor: The Dark World.” Out of all the terrible things Loki has done, being responsible for Frigga’s death hits closest to home and may be something he can never come back from. But remember, this version of Loki stole the Tesseract and was then picked up by the TVA before he experienced his mother’s death and before the events of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” So, maybe this Loki isn’t just biding his time until he can play the villain. Maybe he still has a chance at redemption.