Tom Hiddleston's eccentric trickster first began time-slipping in the early moments of Episode 1, and since then fans haven't had a clear answer as to exactly what was happening or how it worked.
Then, the game changed in the final moments of Episode 5 as the show’s second season approaches its last episode.
Loki Season 2 Episode 5's Time Travel Reveal Explained
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Loki Season 2, Episode 5.
In the closing moments of Loki Season 2, Episode 5, the destruction of the TVA spreads to the branches, eventually consuming everything and everyone except for Loki himself.
In a moment of anguish and isolation, Loki time-skips back to just before the desolation, which leads him to reveal to OB (or the version of him on the timeline, at least) that the trick to mastering his time-skipping lies in the "who."
While that might seem confusing at first glance, an earlier discussion with Sylvie along with a quick look back at Episode 1 gives some key insights that tie it all together.
In a bar on Sylvie's branched timeline, she asks Loki what it is he really wants. While Loki initially offers that he wants to stop He Who Remains and then save the ailing TVA, Sylvie draws out of him his true motivation: he wants to save his friends.
Ultimately, he just doesn't want to be alone.
In the minutes leading up to this moment, Loki timeslipped to various branched timelines where he met Hunter B-15, Casey, OB, and Mobius in their original forms. These people, his friends, are the people for whom Loki would do anything, and they're the reason he's time-skipping, even when he doesn't know that.
Back in Episode 1, Loki's first ever timeslip is when he encounters versions of his friends who don't recognize him. As the despair of it washes over him, he jumps forward in time to a later version of Casey who does recognize him.
When he then goes to pursue Mobius and skips back into the past, he ends up skipping directly into the room with the future Mobius, once more finding the friend he was seeking.
Ultimately, Loki's ability to jump through time stems from the connection he has to the people around him, which enables him to—as OB mentions—do what should be impossible.
The how and why are both answered in the who: Loki's friends and his connection to them are what enable him to move through time and space to do whatever it takes to save them.
How Will Loki 'Change the Story?' In the Finale?
Before he left the versions of his friends that he'd found on the timeline, Loki tells OB he's going to "change the story." What could he be planning?
The answer to that likely lies in the moment he skipped back to. Just before the episode abruptly ends, Loki slips back to the final minutes of Episode 4, where he stands at the top of the stairs leading out towards the Temporal Loom.
In all likelihood, Loki will prevent Victor Timely from meeting a rather untimely demise, taking the Throughput Multiplier with him on another jump back to when Mobius first traveled out to the Loom in Episode 1.
At that point in time, the Temporal Radiation that obliterated Victor was low enough for Mobius to get out to the Loom, and would enable him (or more likely Loki) to get out to the Loom to activate the Multiplier.
Exactly what ramifications this might have for the wider story remains to be seen. The Multiplier was intended to allow the Loom to handle more timelines, so it seems likely the end result will be the continued existence of both the TVA and the various branched timelines that will be required to continue the Multiverse Saga.
Whatever struggles and sacrifices await will only be revealed when the finale of Season 2 of Loki premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 9.