Warning - This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Loki.
Marvel Studios did it. In only its third Disney+ show, it has set up the over-arching storyline of the MCU for the next half-decade.
Watching the timeline branch out and continue to flourish and explode was astonishing imagery, and it is the perfect visual representation of the scope and weight of what just happened.
KANG THE CONQUEROR MAKES HIS DEBUT
Seeing Jonathan Majors as "He Who Remains" (aka. Kang the Conqueror) was monumental. And, he was right, it’s not at all what was expected—at least, probably not for many fans. The blue-face-masked timeline Warlord was nowhere to be seen. Instead, fans got a peppy, more upbeat Kang, one who knew he had won everything and cared only to keep his infinite Variants at bay. Whether it was all truly good-intentioned, well, that’s in the eye of the beholder.
Of course, Kang saw everything coming. Loki and Sylvie making it all the way to him was no surprise—he was looking for someone to replace him. This was a neat and unexpected turn of events, one that adds some unique context to everything that has happened in the show.
With as victorious and in control as Kang was, he was clearly ready to call it quits. Though, as he admitted, he’ll be right back where he ended at some point in time. Majors did a great job at laying the groundwork for his character. His portrayal was intriguing, to say the least, as the intimidation came more from what he was trying to stave off.
These, of course, are the worst versions of himself; those that will likely go on to be the villain in the next big Avengers film alongside many others—such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantrumania and Loki’s second season. Fans can expect to see much more of Jonathan Majors as he gets to express his range by bringing to life Kang in his many forms.
Marvel truly has free rein in interpreting Kang at this point. Fans didn’t get the classic, most widely known version of the character with endless Variants of himself, but it’s all but given that something akin to that version will come in time.
What we did get was a loose take on Immortus, which is no surprise given how well his entire situation lined up with that of his in the comics.
LOKI AND SYLVIE'S BOND GROWS AND CRACKS
While most of the time was spent introducing the audiences to the yet-to-be properly named Kang, let’s not forget that this is Loki’s show. So, It’s a good thing it had a great moment that tied many themes of the show together as well as that deep connection that both Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie have.
Seeing the two fight each other was successfully heartbreaking as no one truly wanted to hurt the other, yet both remained steadfast in their mindsets. Out of the handful of action sequences in the show, this one turned out to be arguably the best one. The emotional circumstances behind it were the cherry on top.
Hiddleston’s line about him not being able to be trusted and Sylvie not being able to trust hit hard. It was the perfect encapsulation of the show’s exploration of Loki as a character. Topped only by Sylvie’s manipulative betrayal of a kiss—proving that love is indeed a dagger; a metaphor that worked out surprisingly well.
It’s hard to believe that this will be the last fans see of Sylvie, or this exact Sylvie that fans have known since her introduction in “The Variant.” At least she made it out of the season alive, an outcome that certainly wasn’t an absolute. In a way, she might even end up being a more antagonistic threat going forward—even though her motives may be unclear. It is a little disappointing, however, that even by the end of the season, viewers still have no idea what her nexus event was.
As for the Loki that fans have been following since episode one, the character development that he has seen this season is unmatched by any of his previous appearances. Just simply the way he begs Sylvie to believe him, even seemingly truthfully claiming that he doesn’t care about having a throne.
Seeing the defeated and heartbroken Loki back in the TVA is all the more impactful when put against where Loki was at the end of The Avengers. This is truly a changed Loki—something many probably didn’t think was ever possible for a Loki. Revonna Renslayer certainly didn't think so, though she really wasn’t there to see his drastic changes.
RAVONNA, MOBIUS, AND HUNTER B-15 IN THE TVA
Revonna Renslayer made some big moves in the finale in her one lone scene. Aside from putting Mobius on the floor, walking through that time door was clearly her first step toward finding the Kang that will likely shape her for the rest of her time in the MCU. She has an intense need for everything she had done at the TVA to mean something.
Her initial scene with Mobius provided emotional depth to what these two friends have gone through, and how so much has changed since the beginning of the show. Even better was how different the two see and deal with everything while having the same new knowledge.
Honestly, there wasn’t much time dedicated to the two of them throughout the show, but their performances during their confrontation were phenomenal and brought a lot more to their dynamic. When it came to Mobius’ plan of attack, however, it made no sense. It's unsure what he expected to happen. At first, it seemed like he may have had a trick up his sleeve, and then, well, he didn’t.
Who knows what Mobius’ next step is. With Loki seemingly meeting an entirely different Variant of Mobius and possibly the TVA as a whole, there’s no real way to guess how he will ever find the one he knew. It’s a huge dangling thread, so there’s no way it won’t be solved and or addressed head-on in the second season. It's a shame fans didn’t make it on the other side of the finale with additional Loki-Mobius moments.
As for the straggler character B-Hunter 15, she really didn’t amount to much in the finale aside from her awkward way of revealing the truth to one lone TVA hunter. Did she have to do that for every member? Surely there was not only a better way of doing that for the TVA as a whole but also of visualizing it for the audience. Needless to say, Hunter B-15 did not end the season on a high note.
WRAP-UP OF LOKI SEASON 1
As exciting as everything was when it came to "He Who Remains" and the explosion of the multiverse, the show’s finale fell into the same trappings as nearly every other episode has: lots of exposition. Far too often the show finds itself simply giving the audience exposition and explaining things instead of letting the plot itself unfold on its own.
Yes, that new information may be exciting, such as Kang’s whole ordeal, but that doesn’t change the fact that most of the show is characters spouting exposition to each other. It’s a shame that the writers couldn’t find a better balance overall. But, hey, the MCU now has its next big bad.
“For All Time. Always” gave fans everything they wanted when it came to what the show’s many clues hinted at in Kang the Conqueror. A surprising amount of answers were also given away, though the writers were sure to replace all the ones answered with several new ones—much like the branching timeline that fans watched blossom into chaos.
Who would have guessed that a show such as Loki would go on to be one of the most important Disney+ shows for the entirety of the MCU? With the finale for both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier having faltered in their closing episode, Loki may come out on top as the best Disney+ finale fans have had yet.
All episodes of season 1 of Loki are streaming now on Disney+.