Loki: Season Finale Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On the season finale of Loki, For All Time, Always, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) meet the man behind the curtain of time and the MCU’s next big villain is formally introduced.
So, after surviving the Void and enchanting Alioth to show them the Citadel at the End of Time where the person/being behind all of this resides, Loki and Sylvie are really at the end and it’s kind of a breathtaking moment. It’s easy to take the little “previously on” recap that takes place before each episode for granted because it’s just regurgitating information we already know. Here though, it actually works well in building up everything that led us here. From Loki’s growth in understanding their own identity to Sylvie’s path of vengeance, there’s a lot this journey has been building up to. Not to mention, there are still so many questions about the TVA, the Timekeepers, and the future of the MCU left unanswered and the finale gets right into things by showing the true purpose of a seemingly unimportant character – Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong).
It turns out Minutes is more than just a cutesy mascot/A.I. for the TVA and is really a way for the one behind everything to keep tabs on the TVA. She’s pretty much a mouthpiece for him that only gives Ravonna (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) the information he wants her to know and offers a deal for Loki and Sylvie. In order to keep them from heading towards the one behind everything, Minutes offers the chance for Loki and Sylvie to exist in a timeline of their own where they can stop running, defeat the Avengers, kill Thanos, and rule everything. It’s a delightfully sinister turn for Minutes that’s very enjoyable. As expected, they immediately pass since like them, we want to see who’s really behind all this, and we finally get an answer.
Before we get to it though, it’s worth talking about what’s happening at the TVA since it could have ramifications for the second season. The TVA is spiraling as the news is spreading that they’re all just variants. There’s a great moment of Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) showing another TVA hunter a version of Ravonna that’s a school principal, which is oddly fitting, that really signifies that nothing will be the same. The reunion between Ravonna and Mobius (Owen Wilson) takes a bad turn as Ravonna’s determination for understanding her purpose makes her go on her own and leave the TVA. There’s definitely a possibility that she will likely become a villain for the second season given how this finale ends and this season has done a great job establishing a villainous arc for her.
Now, throughout the season, there’s been a lot of speculation as to who Loki and Sylvie were going to find at the end of all this. For a long time, Mephisto was a big candidate and although actor Jonathan Majors, who is slated to play Kang the Conqueror, repeatedly denied his involvement with the series, many still suspected Kang was going to show up in the Citadel. However, the real answer is that Majors has been deceiving us from the start as he eventually appears, but not as Kang, rather as He Who Remains. He Who Remains is the one who keeps the sacred timeline sacred and although Sylvie and Loki are ready to cut him down, he delivers an explanation for everything.
So, He Who Remains was once a scientist in the 31st Century that discovered multiverses and began to communicate and create peace between different timelines through interacting with other variants of himself. However, peace didn’t last long as some of his variants, including Kang the Conqueror, wanted to conquer all of the multiverses and thus the Multiverse War began. Left with few options, He Who Remains decided to create a sacred timeline where his variants couldn’t interfere and created the TVA to police the timeline to stop it from branching. Now, with Loki and Sylvie in front of him, He Who Remains gives them a wild ultimatum. Either they can let him live and take his offer to control the TVA or kill him as they intended to and create branches that will likely attract the likes of Kang and cause another Multiverse War.
Majors’ performance is nothing short of award-worthy with the sheer dominance and intelligence he brings that’s legitimately terrifying. The stakes are higher than ever, and Majors makes that very clear in a wild and slightly insane performance. He’s even got Loki a little scared and it’s understandable since they’re seeing a destructive power that’s greater than anything they’re ever encountered. It’s such a perfect way to build Kang as a threat even greater than Thanos and fans should enjoy the charismatic charm that Majors brings with He Who Remains, because he’s not going to be that nice when we see him as Kang.
The ultimatum that He Who Remains presents to Loki and Sylvie is unfortunately what drives them apart as Sylvie is determined to believe that he’s lying while Loki is absolutely afraid that what he’s saying is true. Frankly, it’s tough to blame Sylvie for thinking that He Who Remains is lying since he’s offered plenty of deals already and talked about how he lied about knowing everything. He Who Remains is honestly just a viewer at this point since even he is unsure of how things are going to play out and he doesn’t really care. Clearly, this gets under Sylvie’s skin and regardless of Loki’s begging, pleading, and even sharing a kiss, Sylvie decides to kill He Who Remains.
I can already feel the sweat and shakes going through Doctor Strange right now knowing that he has to deal with a multiverse of madness in the near future. That last line from He Who Remains of “see you soon” is absolutely perfect and leaves you just about as shook as Loki is. Loki has never looked as scared and genuinely petrified as they do now and things are even worse when they’re transported back to the TVA. However, it’s not the TVA he’s used to as Mobius and Hunter B-15 don’t recognize them. At this point, it’s hard to say why, but with the last image of the series staring at a statue of someone who I imagine is Kang, I get the vibe that we’re not in the TVA we’ve gotten to know and are closer to Kang than ever before.
Loki delivers a flawless finale that not only tests the resolve of Loki and Sylvie and delivers the best villain introduction in the MCU, possibly in all comic book adaptations, but it creates lasting ramifications for the MCU down the road that will be the definition of multiverse madness. Kang the Conqueror is coming, and this finale makes him no laughing matter.