The first season of Loki featured many Variants of Marvel's God of Mischief but mainly focused on two. The first was a version of the one familiar to MCU fans as played by Tom Hiddleston, only this one escaped with the Tesseract during the Time Heist in Avengers: Endgame , resulting in his arrest by the Time Variance Authority. The second was a female Variant preferring to go by the name of Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino.
Sylvie was taken by the TVA as a child but managed to escape and spent her life on the run, always managing to avoid recapture by the organization. It's only when the aforementioned Loki Variant joins the team that they finally manage to track her down, but the two take a liking to each other and decide to take down the TVA together.
After several episodes of Loki and Sylvie meeting and developing a bond, their relationship was seemingly thrown away at the end of the season finale , " For All Time, Always," when the latter kissed the former only to promptly send him back to TVA headquarters (which actually turned out to be a TVA of a different timeline).
This, along with Sylvie's last words to Loki of "but I'm not you" demonstrated how even though they may be the same person, their life experiences have set them on wildly different trajectories.
A NEW LOKI
The Loki team has made it abundantly clear that they wanted to make sure that in bringing the character back for a new project, they weren't retreading old ground.
In the movies, Loki always cycled through working with someone and subsequently betraying them, rinse and repeat until his death in Avengers: Infinity War (granted, this description doesn't include all the motivations and nuance that made Loki's film arc well-rounded, but those are the basics of his mindset and actions).
The tricky part of this was making sure the journey the audience had already gone on with Loki still mattered in some way, so viewers didn't feel like their time had been wasted.
How they did this was to have Loki kickstart his growth arc in the series by witnessing the events of his post- Avengers appearances, making him want to break free of his "set path" of being a villain and causing pain and suffering to others.
By the end of the first episode, Loki knew he couldn't go back to the timeline, and the line "I can't offer you salvation, but maybe I can offer you something better" from Mobius opened up a world of new possibilities for Loki.
His main arc of the series involved him learning to trust and develop positive relationships, first with Mobius and later with Sylvie. In the penultimate episode, Loki shut down the idea of betraying Sylvie by saying "that's not who I am anymore" and ended the season by assuring her he didn't care about power, only her wellbeing.
SYLVIE, YOUR LOKI IS SHOWING
Sylvie may be a Loki Variant, but her life differed dramatically from that of the show's main one.
The TVA arrested her and erased her timeline, meaning she was completely on her own after her escape and was unable to form a proper relationship with anyone until she met Loki. Even then, that didn't quite work out, as her experiences hindered her ability to trust. While Loki was able to overcome those issues, Sylvie was not, at least, not yet.
In a way, even though Sylvie is always attempting to distance herself from her status as a Loki Variant, this season showed her to be quite similar to Loki in the first Thor movie.
As Loki director Kate Herron has said when discussing Season 1, “Sylvie is sort of where our Loki was in Thor . She’s driven by revenge, pain and anger."
A LOKI ROLE REVERSAL
If Sylvie has been established as being in a similar position to the one Loki was in at the start of his time in the MCU, Loki is in a position closer to that of his brother .
Some have commented that Loki ended his arc in the movies in the same position in which Thor started his: brash, bold, and wanting to be a hero but not always for the right reasons.
Loki ends up in a similar position after watching his life play out in the Time Theater in the show's first episode, meaning the series allows the audience to see him move beyond that point and develop into more of a true hero, much like they did with Thor in his early film appearances.
By the end of the series, Loki has allowed himself to be vulnerable with others, but Sylvie still isn't there yet. As Loki says, she can't trust, and he can't be trusted, leaving them at an impasse.
Before, it was Thor trying to get Loki to live up to his potential as someone good and heroic, and now, it's Loki doing the same for Sylvie. He ultimately fails, just as Thor did at first. Similar to the brothers after the first Thor movie, the respective journeys of Loki and Sylvie are only beginning...
SEASON 2 OF LOKI
Assuming Season 2 of Loki picks up where the Season 1 cliffhanger left off, Loki and Sylvie will begin the new set of episodes in separate places - both physically and emotionally - with Loki at the TVA headquarters of an alternate timeline and Sylvie either still inside the Citadel or off somewhere else.
Sylvie will most likely want to avoid facing Loki again; she has now realized that he was correct that killing He Who Remains was an unwise decision that wouldn't make her feel any better about the way her life has gone, but she hasn't had enough emotional development to be able to overcome her pride and/or guilt over the matter.
Loki will have a lot on his plate in terms of getting back to the TVA he knows and stopping the many Variants of He Who Remains, so it's unclear whether finding Sylvie again will be a top priority of his.
Regardless, it seems inevitable that the two will meet up again at some point, likely after both of them experience more hardships and growth on their own.
When that time does come, however, one of the big questions will be whether Loki will forgive Sylvie for tricking him and what she caused afterward. This basically boils down to whether the incident between the two in the finale proves to damage his ability to trust her (and potentially others) or if he is able to take the positive experiences and lessons he has learned and forgive her.
It's clear from his words in the finale's last scene that Loki takes some responsibility for what happened in the Citadel, which may point toward him forgiving Sylvie more easily. Whether he does from the start or if it takes a while, he surely will have by the end of Season 2.
As for Sylvie, she clearly has a lot of growing to do, and hopefully, her recognition of her huge mistake will prove to be the catalyst of that development. There were brief glimpses of it throughout Season 1 in some of her scenes with Loki, but she ultimately fell back on her initial mission and what she was used to doing her whole life.
Now that Sylvie's philosophy has failed her and left her with nothing, it's time for her to try something new and open up to others. After all, there's no way she can hide from this new problem forever or deal with it on her own.
Ultimately, Loki 's two central Variants are going to reconcile eventually, but they'll most likely have to face their own battles in the meantime. Maybe this will make them realize the importance of their unique bond, with Sylvie finally learning to trust, and Loki learning to forgive.
All six episodes of Loki 's first season are available on Disney+.