SPOILERS FOR SEASON ONE EPISODE SIX OF LOKI
Episode: “For All Time. Always”
Loki has come to an end in an episode that shook me to the core. I had no idea where they were going to go with the story and when it was revealed, I was utterly shocked.
The normal Marvel Studios title card was different. Instead of the Marvel fanfare they always play, we hear voices…lines from the MCU. We hear Cap, Vision, Captain Marvel, and a bunch of others as the camera pans across the universe and we end at the sacred timeline.
Loki and Sylvie are at the castle at the end of time, ready to kill the person behind the TVA, the man behind the curtain, if you will.
And when Miss Minutes popped up out of nowhere, I legit jumped. Then, she was sinister as could be.
I had dismissed the idea of Kang the Conqueror. Sure, there were a ton of Easter eggs that seemingly were pointing to Kang, but I was sure that the ending would be a Loki variant as He Who Remains. I thought Richard Grant would be your answer. Or King Loki from the trailers. I felt that by introducing Kang, they would not be paying off the threads of the entire series that they have been building toward since episode one.
Then, the door opened…and there he was.
Jonathan Majors had been cast as Kang the Conqueror for Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania and when that door opened and Majors sat before them, I shout that they were doing Kang. I really did not believe it was going to happen. Majors, dressed in Kang’s green and purple iconic clothes, immediately began chewing the scenery and any concerns I had went away.
Let me touch on this now, because the arrival of Kang did not affect the story arc of Loki, it just readjusted it. I felt as if Loki needed to confront an evil Loki as the man behind the curtain to complete the arc. Instead, what he does to complete the arc is confront Sylvie. Their debate showed the wrap up of the story, one we did not really know we were following. Loki realizes that he cannot be trusted and that Sylvie did not trust him- and was not capable of trust. So when Kang presented them with an option, a choice that he did not already know the outcome, it played on both of their arcs. The writing here was sublime and masterfully brought it all back to Loki and Sylvie while introducing to the MCU audience the next big bad of the franchise.
I have been a supporter of the Loki/Sylvie relationship since it was starting to look that way, but I have to say that the kiss felt awkward and somewhat …yuck for the lack of a better term. Having that kiss be the trigger to the final decision was a blow to Loki. He had been building up to tell Sylvie how he felt about her, and she prioritized something else instead. Sylvie was not ready to put aside her life’s work to accept the temptations presented by Kang.
When she shoves Loki back through the time door, we could tell what was going to happen. I mean, we all knew that this was the path, right? We knew the sacred timeline was going to unravel in this show considering all the Spider-Man: No Way Home stuff with the other timeline villains and the rumors of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s inclusion in the movie plus the Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness movie and the next series What If…? all depending on their being a multiverse. Still, seeing it happen was something to behold.
Then, the show tossed in the old ‘Planet of the Apes’ ending that caused a ton of emotions. When Mobius says to Loki, “What’s your name?” I thought I might break. Then, there was the statue of Kang, front and center.
When the black scene came after this image, it was nearly a crushing blow. Leaving the show with this uncertainty at the end with Loki and Mobius broken and Loki, once again, all alone, which was his greatest fear, everything was made up for in the mid-credit scene when Marvel officially announced that…
This finale was not at all what I expected. It was unlike any other Marvel finale in that it was more of a debate, a morale decision that placed our heroes on opposite ends and placed the entire MCU in its path. They say how the MCU will be changed forever a lot of times, but you cannot deny that this episode changed the MCU moving forward.
I loved this series. Where does it fall among the others? That is hard to say. I think it may be just behind WandaVision, but not by much and after I let it digest some more, it may surpass it.
Next up: Starting August 11… What If…?