Well, we made it to the end. This is it, the big finale. I usually like to open these up with some sort of thesis or wider commentary, but that doesn’t really feel necessary here. I did include spoilers, though. There are so many spoilers.
Loki seemed to make people feel like they were on a real adventure. There were characters we felt for and major stakes to become invested in. I know some people will say it’s dumb to become so entranced by a comic book show released by a giant megacorporation, but here’s what those people refuse to recognize: Everything is dumb. And nothing really matters. So if a TV show can distract you from the strain of human consciousness and constant hum of the world, then so be it.
Let’s finish this.
After much adventuring and the introduction of highly merchandisable characters headed for a Funko Pop! shelf near you, Loki and Lady Loki have arrived at the home of whatever is behind the Time Variance Authority (TVA). Naturally, it is a spooky haunted house floating around in outer space.
Miss Minutes suddenly pops up. She alludes to the all-power puppet master as “He Who Remains.” I like that the more powerful a person becomes, the more we abandon normal naming conventions. Like, eventually Oprah will end up with her own Tetragrammaton.
To simplify things, we will simply refer to this time being by the initials HWR for the time being. Word play.
Miss Minutes offers the Lokis the choice to stop digging and return peacefully to their timelines with their respective greatest wishes granted. Loki gets the Infinity Stones. Lady Loki gets the life she always wanted. Also they get to remain together. It’s basically the deal from The Matrix.
Since the show needs to happen, our heroes press on. Finally, they meet He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), who is super casual about the whole thing. He’s even eating an apple, which is cinematic shorthand for “I am really chill.”
It was previously announced that Majors would be appearing in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp movie as time-hopping supervillain Kang the Conqueror. I guess this episode will serve as his grand introduction so that he doesn’t have to take 30 minutes to explain his full backstory to Paul Rudd, another person who lives beyond time.
After easily avoiding multiple stabbing attempts from the Lokis, HWR explains that he already knows everything that is going to happen. Using this omniscience, he then spoils the ending of the episode. What a true villain.
Seriously though, that would be an incredible fourth-wall breaking move. To spoil your own series finale at the beginning of the series finale.
Anyway, HWR claims to have set the course for the Lokis to find him. This is all part of his plan. Interesting.
Meanwhile, TVA troops track Hunter B-15 to an Ohio high school in 2018 where they find a variant of Judge Renslayer. Simultaneously, the Renslayer we know debates Mobius on the nature of free will in an organized society before she hops through a portal. These plot points don’t really get paid off in this episode, but I want you to know that I know.
Back in the main plot line, HWR explains to the Lokis that long ago, he and his variants were the first to discover the existence of multiple dimensions. Naturally, he began contacting his other selves and sharing knowledge to improve the multiverse. That was until the more sinister variants broke that peace, leading to all-out multiversal war.
HWR also explains that the smoke monster from the previous episode was a creature he captured capable of consuming space and time. Through experimentation, HWR was able to weaponize this power to end the war and isolate a single, orderly timeline.
HWR tells the Lokis they can either accept the rule of the TVA or allow his worse variants to spread chaos throughout the multiverse. One devil or infinite devils.
In a bit of a twist, HWR proposes that the Lokis take control of the TVA and allow him to peacefully retire. Thus his reason to lead the two Lokis to his hideout.
With a sudden rumble, HWR announces that they have reached the “threshold.” Now even he is uncertain of what will happen next. This is the great unknown.
Majors plays this role with the giddiness of a kid whose friends just arrived for a sleepover. Juxtaposed against such a dramatic moment in the storyline, there’s a certain eerie nature to the performance. Luckily, he manages to remain subdued enough to avoid falling into the trope of the hokie, playfully unhinged bad guy. (Gestures vaguely at Jared Leto’s Joker.)
Lady Loki is undeterred and stabs at HWR. Loki restrains her. They spar a bit before each stating their case. Lady Loki wants to bring down the TVA. Loki wants to consider taking control. It’s a question of the known versus the unknown.
They can’t come to an agreement and resume sword fighting. And to be honest, I really need their relationship to work. I’m not really invested in many things these days. I live a godless life with minimal personal relationships. My country is fractured, and the planet is growing uninhabitable. I just really need these fictional characters to kiss.
Lady Loki and Loki reach a standoff. He refuses to kill her. She refuses to kill him. Loki drops his weapon and, with a sword at his throat, pleads with Lady Loki. They kiss. A sad 33-year-old man in Washington, D.C. cheers in his living room. (That’s me!)
But twist: Lady Loki pushes Loki through a time portal. He arrives back at TVA headquarters. Dammit. Why can’t we have nice things?
Lady Loki approaches HWR, and from hell’s heart she stabs at He Who Remains. In his final moments, HWR chuckles and tells Lady Loki, “I’ll see you soon.”
Multiple timelines begin to branch off, a thick neural network of realities. This is our heroes’ lowest moment. If anything, this series has set up something massive for the rest of the MCU. The implications here are staggering.
Back at TVA headquarters, Loki rushes to the library. There he finds Mobius and B-15. But Mobius doesn’t recognize Loki. Oh no.
Loki looks out over the expansive structure and sees a massive statue of HWR. He’s in an alternate timeline. One that HWR has already conquered. That’s a pretty big cliffhanger to end on.
Luckily, we get a mid-credits sequence informing us that Loki will be back for a second season. Thanks to all of you who have followed along. I hope I’ve provided some sort of enjoyment throughout all this. It’s been fun.
Until next time, here’s Loki’ing at you, kid.
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