Contains spoilers for Episodes 1 and 2 of Loki and also of 2021 Nebraska Football. Proceed at your own risk.
Episode 2 of Loki gets everyone moving. While Episode 1 was interesting, it was also largely trying to set up a very complicated system of timekeepers and timecops and Loki and Owen Wilson. The overall backstop of an all knowing Time Authority that can do what it pleases is a bit off-putting - like, did these guys just hang out and watch Thanos this whole time? The show does lean into this a bit and makes you wonder whether they really are a bunch of all-powerful beings, or just an elaborate trick.
In any event, Episode 2 gets Owen Wilson and Loki really working together like buddy timecops. To recap Episode 1, an alternative Loki is trapping and killing TimeCops (they aren’t really called TimeCops in the show, but I used to love a good Jean-Claude Van Damme movie so it is a natural fit). Owen Wilson taps Loki to help the cause, because Loki would be helpful in finding alternative Loki, despite everyone knowing Loki is a deceitful trickster. Much of the drama from the show is seeing whether Loki will be on the up and up.
Episode 2 gets Loki proving his mettle. While at first he gets caught lying to Owen Wilson, he eventually figured out Alternative Loki is hiding in a timeline of impending disaster. After all, the whole point of the TimeCops is to make sure everything goes forward as intended. To compare, imagine an NCAA playoff system designed to reward the top teams in college football. Of course, every once in a while the top teams aren’t that great and other teams are better than expected. When that happens, you need some sort of all-powerful committee to ensure the proper flow of football commences. Thus they retcon the season to ensure the proper top teams are rewarded. Purely hypothetical, of course.
So Loki does some research and figures out that Alternate Loki is hiding in a disaster zone. They put their heads together and figure out that the hiding spot is in an Alabama mall in 2050 that is about to be destroyed by a hurricane. Loki and That Woman From Lovecraft Country meet Alternate Loki, who has a nifty trick of being able to possess people he touches. After some fisticuffs, we get to the big reveal. Alternate Loki is a woman, and she wants to blow up the TimeCops’ TimeLine, She disappears into some other time, and Loki ignores Owen Wilson and follows along. We are left wondering - who is Loki? A villain? A hero? A bit of both? And who are these TimeKeepers to be telling people how they ought to behave, anyhow?
All in all, a fun episode. Not earth shattering, and I have an ongoing complaint that the series is too dark. Not like the themes are too dark, but that actual filming is too dark. I turned the brightness up on my television to the max, and it still looked like that one Game of Thrones Episode where you couldn’t make out anything. Still, lots of fun - I’ll give it a solid 8/10.
Fun. Not exactly the calling card of Nebraska football these days. It’s not that they’ve been garbage - they have landed in the 50’s on F+ in each of Scott Frost’s three seasons. That’s a competent, if unexceptional team. How do you judge Scott Frost as a coach? A good coach? A bad coach coach? A bit of both?
What is the timeline for the Cornhuskers these days? Tom Osborne was hired in 1973 and coached for 25 seasons and never won fewer than nine games. His final season led to a perfect 13-0 record and Nebraska’s last national championship, led by quarterback Scott Frost. The Nebraska faithful would prefer this timeline go on into perpetuity, but that wasn’t the way things turned out.
Osborne retired after that championship, and assistant Frank Solich took over. Solich only had six season for the Cornhuskers, yet won at least nine games in five of them and even appeared in a national championship game. While hardly bad, he didn’t meet the Tom Osborne standard, and he was shot off to the Ohio Bobcats, where he stills coaches sixteen years later.
The TimeKeepers next anointed Bill Callahan to head the team. Callahan wasn’t far off from coaching the Raiders to a Super Bowl. Callahan isn’t remembered as a successful coach for Nebraska, but he did have two winning seasons, which is two more than Scott Frost has landed. They even won a bowl game and finished the season ranked in his second season. Still, he was shot back to the NFL after four seasons, and is currently flubbing around as the OL coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Bo Pelini was the next call, and his tenure was marked by a lot of cussing and actually, a lot of wins, too. Like Tom Osborne, Bo never hit fewer than 9 wins in any full season, and while his teams were never great, they were consistently pretty good an finished the season ranked in every season but one. Of course, he was also a live wire and was famously heard talking about the fans being fair weather and ominously asked where they would be when he was gone.
We found that out in 2015, when he got sent off to Youngstown State and Mike Riley was pulled over from Oregon State. Riley had an all right start, going 6-7, then 9-4, but his third season was putrid as the team dropped to 101 on F+ and was all around terrible. He was shot into the sun, and the last entry on Wikipedia had him as a quarterback coach in the XFL, so perhaps that was for the best.
That leads us to our present timeline, where Scott Frost is still looking for a winning season, not to mention a return to Nebraska glory. He should have a decent squad this year, returning quarterback Adrian Martinez and a lot of defense. But the schedule is rough - Oklahoma is in the noncon, and they play Sparty, Michigan, and OSU in their crossover games. There aren’t a lot of games where you feel confident penciling in a Husker victory.
While a 3-0 start looks doable, and 4-1 could happen, the last seven games are rough. They should sneak in a couple more wins at least, which means Nebraska football looks like they will go 6-6 this year. Will the TimeKeepers be satisfied with this development, the first bowl trip in the Scott Frost era? I guess you’ll just have to tune in next season and find out.