Surprise! The finale of Loki isn’t a series finale, after all. The TVA-touting series was renewed for a second season, and thank goodness. While “For all time. Always” certainly did answer some pertinent questions, it mostly opened doors for films and set up season 2.
The most important aspect of the episode was also its best: the addition of Johnathan Majors as… Well. We know he’s Kang, and he even cheekily refers to himself a “conqueror,” but the show only calls him “He Who Remains.” Whether or not this is to save the reveal for his Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantum appearance, it ups the tension well.
I Paved The Road
In a twist everyone should have expected, the Big Bad on the other side of Alioth the cloud had been waiting for them all along. Once Sylvie and Loki muster up the courage to open the doors of the creepy castle, they are greeted by Miss Minutes. She enthusiastically welcomes them to the Citadel at the End of Time and offers them a happy ending courtesy of He Who Remains.
Of course, they immediately reject it despite being tempted by the promise of a timeline where they can be together. But if that sounds appealing, they thankfully get another shot at it after coming face to face with
Kang He Who Remains. Sylvie immediately goes for the kill, but his knowledge of the future has allowed him to program him TemPad to avoid every blow.
He proceeds to unspool the origins of the TVA for their benefit, claiming he was once a 31st century scientist. Having discovered stacked universes living alternate timelines, he established contact and ushered in an era of peace and progress… Until certain of his variants got too big for their britches and tried to take over the multiverse. From then on chaos reigned as an all-out war ensued.
Thankfully, he met with a creature made from the tears of the universe; a cloud that could annihilate space and time. With Alioth by his side, he restored order and created both the Sacred Timeline and the TVA. Naturally, he sees himself as a benefactor and his victims or puppets as necessary collateral damage. And he wants to offer Loki and Sylvie the opportunity to keep perpetuating that damage.
You Can’t Trust And I Can’t Be Trusted
This is an impossible dilemma provided he’s telling the truth. As He himself says, “If you think I’m evil, wait until you met my variants.” If Loki and Sylvie take him down, they may unleash versions of him that are far more deadly. But if they take his offer, they will be in charge of pruning innocent people and timelines. Not to mention of controlling the Minutemen like puppets.
Despite the episode feeling like an exposition dump at times, Majors is so charming in the role that it keeps the viewer captivated. Especially once they cross the threshold, and he no longer knows what will happen next because it all depends on our heroes’ choice.
The choice is pretty heartbreaking to watch, with Sylvie and Loki battling each other when they can’t come to a mutual decision. Loki – a natural born trickster – believes in the truth of Kang’s words. But Sylvie – tired of being tricked all her life – can trust neither him nor even Loki. In the end, Sylvie wins out and stabs He Who Remains. Interestingly enough, he seems relieved to be done and promises to see them again soon.
Loki, meanwhile, is decidedly not relieved. Not only is the timeline in chaos, but the Minutemen don’t even remember who he is. And let’s not forget the life-sized statue of He Who Remains adorning the TVA in this new timeline.
Then miss minutes returns to Ravonna with files that she did not ask for but that He who remains thinks will be more useful. Mobius returns to confront Ravonna. She tries to call security but… B-15 finds the teacher who became Renslayer in 2018. Ravonna feels betrayed by Mobius but he wants to work together. They each threaten to prune each other but don’t, so she goes in search of free will.
The timeline branches, and Möbius just watches it happen with B-15. “For all time. Always.” Loki is very sad.
The TVA and Loki start running. Minutemen report to the armory… Möbius and B-15 no longer know who Loki is and instead there is a statue of Kang.
- Mobius and Ravonna almost patched up their broken friendship, and it was clear she regretted pruning her old friend. In fact, she felt betrayed by him – which is interesting to explore.
- B-15 was a real hero back at the TVA, tracking down the original Renslayer before she became a Judge, and preparing to face any odds.
- We last saw Ravonna heading to find “free will,” but then the timeline shifted. What was she looking for and where is she now?
New episodes of Loki drop Wednesdays on Disney+.