Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Loki and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And just like that, the MCU has been blown wide open for tons of madness for the rest of Phase 4! So what did Loki do, or not do?
After five weeks of playing with the idea of the multiverse, Loki’s season finale (yes, season finale as everyone’s favourite god of mischief will be returning for a second season) finally takes the MCU where fans have been predicting it will go since WandaVision premiered back in January with some universe shattering events. Anything I want to say about the finale is going to be covered in the spoiler section, because there is a lot to talk about, but as with the rest of the series, it is a fantastic episode! The writing is phenomenal, the performances are stellar, and the visuals are astounding!
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen the season finale of Loki, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in the season finale…
The episode begins with voice over from the films and other series of the MCU, set to Steve and Peggy’s song “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”. It’s the perfect opening given what goes down in the episode, and gives new meaning to the song’s lyrics.
After the opening, we come to Loki and Sylvie outside the castle, taking a moment before entering. However, the universe has other plans for our two characters, as the doors open by themselves, inviting them into the castle.
In the entrance hall, Miss Minutes appears! After welcoming Loki and Sylvie to the Citadel at the end of time, Miss Minutes informs them they will be meeting the mysterious individual who has been operating the TVA: He Who Remains. He Who Remains is the individual who created and controls all, and He Who Remains wants to make Loki and Sylvie an offer. He Who Remains can make some creative adjustments to the Sacred Timeline to allow both Loki and Sylvie to exist with everything they want. Sylvie does not believe the offer can be real, and Loki believes that he and Sylvie are in charge of their own destinies. Miss Minutes, with some sass, says “sure you do” in response to Loki and disappears, leaving Loki and Sylvie alone in the Citadel.
Back at the TVA, Renslayer is downloading files. Miss Minutes appears and apologizes for the delay and completes the download. Renslayer opens the files, and tells Miss Minutes that they are not what she requested, but Miss Minutes tells her that “He” thinks these files will be more helpful.
As Loki and Sylvie embark further into the Citadel, they come across an elevator. The doors open, revealing He Who Remains, portrayed by Jonathan Majors. He Who Remains invites them to his office, and in the elevator Sylvie attempts to kill He Who Remains, but He Who Remains disappears before she can.
Now, at this moment, Marvel fans are freaking the FRIG out! If you have been following casting news, you know that Jonathan Majors has been cast as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania. So it is Kang the Conqueror controlling the TVA… but the episode never names him. Keep reading as the plot thickens….
As Renslayer is reading through the files in her office, Mobius enters unannounced. Renslayer is surprised to see that Mobius is there, but she says that if anyone would be able to make it back from the Void, it would be Mobius. Renslayer then apologizes to Mobius for pruning him, saying that she could not let him go after he sided with Loki as it would get in the way of her mission. Renslayer calls out for her guards to help deal with Mobius, but Mobius informs her that it won’t work as the entire TVA now knows the dark secret about their existence.
Ohio, 2018. B-15 is being chased by TVA agents, and their chase ends in a school office. B-15 tells them to wait, as a woman enters the office. It is Renslayer before becoming a variant and joining the TVA, and the TVA agents recognize her immediately, allowing B-15 to explain what is actually happening at the TVA.
Back in He Who Remains’s office at the Citadel, He Who Remains begins to reveal everything that has been happening. He Who Remains tells Loki and Sylvie that he was behind every step of their journey that brought them to him, and that he knows what is going to happen. To prove that, He Who Remains pulls out a transcript of what Loki and Sylvie have said so far and what they will say next. Sylvie, once again tries to kill He Who Remains, but fails. Loki does not believe any of this, suspecting that He Who Remains is manipulating them. He Who Remains tells Loki it’s fascinating that Loki jumped to manipulation, and then questions whether Sylvie can trust Loki, in an attempt to create a divide between them.
We then return to Mobius and Renslayer at the TVA. Mobius tells Renslayer it’s time for the truth to be shared with the TVA. Renslayer however believes there was a reason for the lie, despite what Mobius thinks after his experience in the Void. Renslayer is sure that pruning helps bring stability to the Sacred Timeline and that chaos would exist without pruning. Mobius however thinks that free will would exist, not chaos. Clearly hurt by this betrayal, Renslayer asks why Mobius is doing this, as she opens a Time Door. Seeing the Time Door open, Mobius tells Renslayer he won’t let her escape, however she knocks him out with the pruning rod and escapes through the Time Door.
Back at the Citadel, He Who Remains continues his speech for Loki and Sylvie. He Who Remains says that he understands Loki and Sylvie’s moral objections to the TVA and its methods, but he believes his mission is pure. Without him and the TVA, He Who Remains is certain that everything will burn. Loki, sensing fear in He Who Remains, asks what he is afraid of? The answer: himself! So Loki asks what all viewers are wanting to know, who is he? He Who Remains responds by saying that he has been dubbed with many names and that he is not as simple as a name. However, one of the names he has gone by is “conqueror”.
He Who Remains then reveals his life story to Loki and Sylvie. He tells them that before the TVA in the 31st century, a variant of himself lived on Earth and discovered that there were universes stacked on top of each other. Across these universes, variants of himself learnt the same thing, and they made contact. While there was peace to begin with as they shared technology and knowledge across the universes, some variants were not pure of heart. One in particular had plans to conquer, and the peace erupted into war with each variant fighting to preserve their universe and destroy all other universes. This war almost destroyed everything. However, He Who Remains encountered a creature created from the tears in reality, and harnessed its power and weaponized it and ended the multiversal war. That creature was Alioth. He Who Remains then isolated his timeline and managed the flow of time to prevent any further deviations from the timeline, and created the TVA and the Time-Keepers to do this.
So that is He Who Remains’s story. And while he says he may sound evil, he claims he is nothing compared to his variants. He further goes on to claim, based on the millions of lifetimes he has lived and all the scenarios he has played out, this is the only way to maintain order in the universe. Which leads him to the proposition he makes to Loki and Sylvie: they can kill him and destroy the order he has created, or Loki and Sylvie can take over and control the Sacred Timeline. He Who Remains says that he is old and tired, and that Loki and Sylvie are the right people to take over.
As Loki and Sylvie digest the He Who Remains’s proposition, a storm is brewing outside. Time is branching in different directions based on what Loki and Sylvie options, which is when He Who Remains admits that he does not know what happens past this point in time. While Loki does believe He Who Remains, Sylvie views this as another manipulation to guarantee a specific outcome. He Who Remains denies the manipulation, and in fact says he loves the honesty, as it feels like a fresh start.
Instead of thinking about her decision, Sylvie makes another impulsive attack against He Who Remains. However, Loki stops her. Loki wants to discuss the decision they face, but Sylvie does not want to, leading to the two of them facing off against each other. As they fight, Loki attempts to plead with Sylvie, trying to explain his view of the situation, but Sylvie is intent on taking down Loki if he is going to continue to stand in her way. The fight ends with Sylvie holding her blade to Loki’s throat, with Loki pleading with her saying he knows how she feels as he has been there himself. However, Loki says that he does not want to hurt her or the throne, he just wants her to be okay. Then, Loki and Sylvie finally kiss. But Sylvie uses this as a distraction to turn Loki around and shove him through a Time Door, sending him back to the TVA.
With Loki banished back to the TVA, Sylvie turns on He Who Remains and asks if he will beg for his life. Instead, he laughs and Sylvie stabs him before he gives his parting line: “see you soon”. As He Who Remains dies, the branches of the Sacred Timeline begin disappearing outside the Citadel as Sylvie has determined the course of time.
The TVA monitors are creating nonstop warnings given all the deviations created by Sylvie’s actions. As Mobius and B-15 watch the screens, Mobius says that there is no turning back now.
We then cut to Loki at the TVA after being sent through the Time Door by Sylvie. You can see the anguish on his face after being betrayed by Sylive. But Loki bottles this emotion, and runs off looking for Mobius. He finds Loki and B-15 in the archive room, and tells them that he and Sylvie made a terrible mistake, that everything was planned and that someone is coming to make war. Mobius tells Loki to calm down…says that Loki is an analyst and asks what his name is!?! Yes, Mobius does not recognize Loki or know who he is! After this startling reveal, Loki turns around expecting to see the stone statue of the Time-Keepers that was in the TVA’s archives, but instead sees a giant statue of He Who Remains.
Cut to black. And no post credit scene either, only confirmation of Loki’s return in season 2! We are left with this world shattering revelation, and it could be a while before we get any answers as to what is going on.
So, the multiverse has arrived in the MCU and all madness is breaking out across multiple universes as a result. And we can thank the Hulk for this due to him not wanting to take the stairs! Well… that was Kang’s plan all along, but it’s still fun to blame the Hulk for it. This is easily one of the most important events in the MCU that is definitely going to have a ripple effect on upcoming films like Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (which Loki is now rumoured to appear in), and Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, as well as the general direction of the MCU for the remainder of Phase 4. Based on the final scene, it appears that Loki has ended up in an alternate universe given the startling changes to the decorations of the TVA and Mobius having no recollection of who Loki is. So what is happening in the universe that Loki left? Where did Renslayer go through the Time Door? What’s next for Sylvie after killing He Who Remains? Will Mobisu be able to lead the TVA to deal with the destroyed Sacred Timeline they are facing? And what dangers are awaiting in the new universe Loki finds himself in? I think it’s going to be a while before we get some answers, as this is only the beginning of the multiverse madness that is expected to be a central aspect of Phase 4.
As myself and many fans had guessed, Kang the Conqueror was controlling the TVA all along, even though the show is very careful not to call him Kang at any point in the episode. While it may not have been the version of Kang we were expecting, he has made his menacing debut in the MCU. Majors was brilliant in his portrayal of this version of Kang, mixing intellect with madness to create a character that sent chills up my spine. I cannot wait to see his performance in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania as he will be a more evil version of Kang, and whatever future Marvel project he appears in, because I suspect that the many Kang variants are going to be an integral big bad for the rest of Phase 4.
Beyond the obvious world altering effects of the Kang reveal and the Sacred Timeline being blown apart by Sylvie’s decision, the season finale of Loki has made another development in the MCU for another project that is rumoured to be in the works: Young Avengers. So far in Phase 4, we have been introduced to many characters that eventually become prominent in the Young Avengers: Billy and Tommy Maximoff in WandaVision, Eli Bradley in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Kid Loki in the fifth episode of Loki. We know that Katie Bishop will be making her debut in Hawkeye later this year, and that Cassie Lang has been recast with Kathryn Newton taking over the role, indicating a larger role for Cassie in the future of the MCU. But there is another character indirectly introduced as a result of Sylvie killing He Who Remains: Nathaniel Richards aka. Iron Lad. In the comics, Richards is a young variant of Kang who becomes the Iron Man character for the Young Avengers, to put it simply. With all of the Kang variants being unleashed due to the events of the season finale, it is very possible that Richards could be one of these. With all of these characters popping up, it is a great amount of groundwork for the eventual Young Avengers show or film we will see in the MCU!
And like that, another Disney+ Marvel series has ended. However, this is the first series with a second season on the way. Based on what went down in the finale, fans will be eagerly awaiting for season two to begin and for the story to play out across future MCU projects. But for the time being, we will have to wait to find out what happens next for Loki.
Thank you for checking in every week for my Loki recaps, and don’t forget to check back in August when the next Disney+ Marvel series What If…? begins!