It’s hard to believe, but we have already reached the end of the second season of Marvel’s Loki on Disney+. I guess time flies when you’re, well, you know. We’ve seen the TVA destroyed, Loki gain control of his own time-slipping abilities and even Sylvie working at a McDonald’s. But now, it’s time for this ride to come to an end.
The sixth and final episode, titled “Glorious Purpose,” opens where we left off, with Loki arriving back at the Temporal Loom before Timely goes out into the radiation. He watches as things go horribly wrong, like he knew they would, and ask O.B. what they could have done differently. O.B. simply tells him “we took to long.”
That begins a montage of Loki slipping back and trying to speed things up again and again, only to achieve the same result. What’s the definition of insanity again? Eventually, Loki tries going back further in time to speed up the whole process. He even tries to enlist the help os Miss Minutes, but only appears to confuse everyone in the room. Still he gets the same result.
He goes back even further, to the moment O.B. meets Victor Timely. Loki hijacks O.B.’s presentation of his model of the loom and explains everything much faster. The conversation culminates in Loki asking O.B. how long it would take to teach him everything he knows about mechanics, physics and engineering. O.B. answers “decades,” but Timely chimes in with “centuries.” So, after Loki pauses momentarily, we get a note that reads “Centuries Later.”
Loki, now every bit as brilliant as O.B., launches the mission to fix the loom with a new sense of urgency. He throws out every bit of information he’s learned from countless attempts at fixing the loom and the team powers through the process. Timely fights his way out into the radiation and this time it works… but only momentarily. They start to get some bad readings. Timely explains that the branches are expanding at an infinite rate and there is no fix for that. Defeated, Loki watches the TVA be destroyed once again.
This time, he slips back to the moment before Sylvie killed He Who Remains. He tries to convince her not do it, which begins another time loop of him trying to stop her. Eventually, He Who Remains pauses Sylvie in time and asks how many times Loki has been through this. He reveals that this was always a part of his plan and that the Temporal Loom is simply a failsafe designed to keep the sacred timeline safe and destroy all others. Loki has two choices: kill Sylvie and let He Who Remains continue to monitor the flow of time or break the loom and begin a war that will result in the death of everything.
Loki slips back to the moment he met Mobius and asks him for advice. He tells a story of two hunters who went after a variant whose existence was going to be responsible for the deaths of 5,000 people. After learning that the variant was just an 8-year-old boy, he hesitated to prune the him, which allowed the branched timeline to keep growing and resulted in the deaths of several other hunters. The hunter’s partner had to step in and prune the variant. It’s clear Mobius is the hunter who hesitated and he reveals that his partner was Renslayer. He explains that she knew the hard thing to do was the thing that had to be done and he tells Loki that you simply have to choose your burden. Loki stands and shakes Mobius’ hand and time once again begins to unravel.
Loki finds himself back in the branched timeline as it’s dying, like we saw in last week’s episode. He pauses time so he can speak with Sylvie and explain what’s going on. She realizes that Loki has to kill her before she kills He Who Remains in order to stop this chaos from happening. She argues that everyone should be given the opportunity to fight for their own free will, urging him to destroy the loom and begin the war of He Who Remains’ variants.
Loki slips back to the Temporal Loom one more time. As the team prepares their mission, he goes off on his own and heads out into the radiation, locking the door behind him to keep Sylvie and Mobius from following. He walks down the gangway towards the Loom, transforming into a much more classic Loki look along the way. Once he reaches it, he uses his magic to destroy the loom.
The result is the infinite timelines taking the form of something very similar to vines. O.B. points out that the branches are dying but one by one, Loki takes hold of them and uses his magic to keep them alive. He opens a rift and looks back at his friends one last time before heading into it with the vines in hand. Once through, we see Loki make his way to what looks like a throne at the end of time, very much like the one that belonged to He Who Remains. With the many branches still in his hands, he takes a seat. Loki has chosen his burden and he finally has his throne. The god of mischief has now become something much bigger. He appears to be the god of time. With a burst of power, we pan out to see that the branches form what looks a lot like Yggdrasil, the world tree, which we’ve seen explained in the mythology surrounding Thor in the past. If Loki has, himself, now become Yggdrasil, it would be as though he sacrificed himself to save the infinite timelines and essentially created the multiverse. Boy is that gonna go to his head.
We then get back to the TVA where everyone is working to get back to normal operations. O.B. is even trying to bring Miss Minutes back online. Casey and B-15 head to the War Room, but not before the latter checks in on Mobius. He tells her he has reports on variants of He Who Remains and that none of them know about the TVA yet. He does however mention that one of them “caused a bit of a ruckus on a 616 adjacent realm but they handled it.” He is of course referring to the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the battle with Kang in the Quantum Realm.
Mobius meets with B-15 again outside the War Room and informs her that he’s leaving. He finally wants to go see his real life on the branched timeline. Before she leaves, B-15 asks him “are you scared?” to which he replies “oh yeah.” The threat of this war is very real for them right now.
B-15 enters the War Room where she will begin helping to plan the next steps for the TVA, O.B. opens a case of brand new TVA Guidebooks and we see a young Victor Timely working at a desk with no package being delivered to his window. We then see Renslayer waking up in the void after she was pruned several episodes ago. She looks around and sees panel from the TVA partially covered by some brush. Suddenly, there’s a growl and she is engulfed in a purple glow as she looks up at what we can only assume is Alioth. I guess He Who Remains’ old guard dog is still on duty after all.
We then see Don, the variant of Mobius, wrestling with his sons in their front yard before they all go inside. The camera pans to reveal Mobius watching them from a distance. Sylvie shows up to comfort her friend. He asks where she’ll go and she shrugs. For the first time ever, they truly have a choice in how to live their lives. Mobius says he is just going to wait there and “let time pass.” Those words echo as we see the vines of time lead us to Loki sitting on his throne and the season comes to a close.
This is one of the strongest finales in the MCU to date and as a standalone project, Loki remains one of the MCU’s best. However, I can’t help but feel just the slightest bit disappointed that this season didn’t do much to progress the larger narrative toward the next big event. We now know the variants of He Who Remains are out there and a war is coming. That’s exactly what we knew after the first season. The only difference now is that Loki has the burden of protecting the infinite timelines. A simple post-credits scene involving one of the many variants of He Who Remains taking that first step toward the next Avengers film, a la Thanos in various post-credits scenes, would have been enough to let eager Marvel fans know what’s coming and ease their increasing impatience. Still, this finale and this season as a whole were incredibly well acted and well written and gave us some of the best storytelling in the 15 years of the MCU.
The complete second season of Marvel’s Loki is now streaming on Disney+.