Kaboom. That’s the sound of many heads exploding as the Loki season finale just answered a lot of questions, then left a whole blanket’s worth of threads dangling for the future. Which, fortunately, we’re going to see. Naturally, beyond this point, there are big spoilers
In a thrilling, and, in keeping with this show’s style to date, talky finale, Team Loki managed to avoid the big CG-clash trope in favour of the person who is really behind the TVA explaining what we need to know going forward. And, yes, had a bit of a fight – and a kiss! – between Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie. Somehow, though, we’re not sure those crazy kids are going to make it, especially if she keeps kicking him into different timelines.
With last week’s episode guiding the Lokis (and us) to this point, the finale, For All Time. Always. crossed the threshold, and also tackled what is going on at the TVA, too.
Though there was 100% less Alligator Loki (which dismayed us), this finale stuck the landing, while suggesting the next leap, building on what we’ve learned about Loki, Sylvie and the rest to enhance how we engaged with the story.
It’ll be a long wait for more (though the ramifications will echo in the big screen MCU too), so let’s dig into the questions…
So, Who Is “He Who Remains”?
Meet Kang! Sort of… Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors makes a meal of the character, and writers Michael Waldron and Eric Martin give him a buzzing, info-crammed, but never dull set of speeches outlining exactly who this is. While Kang has been rumoured for some time (heck, Majors was heavily tipped as the character in his casting for Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania), we get a semi-confirmation here.
It appears that Waldron and his writers are combining both Kang (who has a rich Marvel comic book history) and the character known as He Who Remains, who is credited with creating the Time Keepers). He outlines his history, having discovered the other variants of himself and how that degenerated from peaceful co-operation to all-out reality war. How he built the TVA to police all that, and why he wants Loki and Sylvie to take over for him. Oh, and that he knows all that will happen… Up to a certain point. He also dresses snazzily and has a sophisticated TemPad, even if he can’t seem to keep hold of it.
Sylvie kills this version of the character, but as he’s already explained, there are many, many variants of him out there, and he’s being set up as a potential big bad going forward in the MCU, so there’s plenty of chances for him to cause chaos going forward. Of course, he claims to be preventing chaos by pruning variants and snipping branching timelines, but like Sylvie, we’re naturally suspicious. And don’t forget that creepy “see you soon” sign off. We’ve yet to meet whichever version of Majors’ character will be the “official Kang”, and we’d guess that’ll be saved for one of the movies, be it Quantumania or TBD.
Where Is Our Loki?
Hero Loki? Prime Loki? Whatever he’s called, the main Hiddles-Loki of the show is now in an alternate timeline, and specifically in a branch of the TVA that – aside from looking exactly like it and featuring versions of Wunmi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15 and Owen Wilson’s Mobius – is quite different from the one he knew. And then there is that Planet Of The Apes-riffing final twist of the statue… Not three Time Keepers, but one Ka… He Who Remains. Cue reaction video!.
This other timeline should prove to be trouble, but at least he’s in a place where he can find a TemPad and figure out more of what’s going on. And while this B-15 and Mobius might not know who he is, he has a slight advantage over them, having met their doubles in his own timeline. Perhaps his real glorious purpose is forging friendships across time?
Where Is Ravonna Renslayer Off To?
Mobius and Hunter B-15 digging into the judge’s human past as the principal of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, previously hinted at by the presence of a pen from the school in her TVA office. The Ohio State University diploma hanging above her desk reveals her name to be Rebecca Tourminet, which is a name that the comics’ Renslayer has used as an alias). With her entire world turned upside down, Ravonna flees the TVA, going in search of free will, or whoever is really in charge. Ravonna also has a relationship with Kang in the comics, so it sounds like that could end up happening here.
How Does This Tie Into The Wider MCU?
Just as WandaVision ended up moving Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch to a place where she’ll meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange and appear in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier opened the door for a new Cap film, so Loki‘s finale plants seeds that will grow into the films. We know that Marvel Studios is increasingly looking to play in the Multiverse, and Sylvie’s actions open up that whole can of variant worms, including for Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s rumoured alt-universe fun.
Oh, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Hiddleston is also apparently going to crop up in the Doctor Strange sequel, though that is far from confirmed as of yet (even if the actor was conveniently in London while the movie was being made).
What Happens Now?
Season 2, folks! As confirmed by that stamp during the credits, Loki will indeed be back for a second run, though no date has been given yet. Exactly what might happen is a secret, and will tie into both the movies going forward and how we leave the story here. We firmly expect Sylvie’s story to be picked up, and Ravonna’s, while Hiddles-Loki will flit between the movies and TV.
Other potential stories – a Miss Minutes origin episode? More with the Loki variants (even if they’re dead, we could see them in other timelines)? And Mobius finally getting on a jet ski, of course.
Why was Alligator Loki not in this one?
Why? Why? WHHHYYYYY???? We demand to know. Perhaps they really are setting up that spin-off. Or a whole Ali-Loki movie! Come on… Give the people what they want, Marvel!
For more, you can listen to Empire’s weekly Spoiler Special Podcast Episodes about the show by signing up for the feed here. You’ll also find an interview with Sophia Di Martino on that feed, but if you want to read some highlights, head here.