Loki’s finale picks up right where episode five left off, with Loki and Sylvie approaching the castle at the end of time, seeking whoever is behind the TVA and the sacred timeline. Meanwhile, Mobius and B-15 are back at the TVA headquarters looking to overthrow Judge Renslayer and burn the TVA to the ground.
The finale of Loki is by far the best finale of a Disney+ Marvel series. The consistency of this series has been staggering to say the least. Most series have at least one bad episode, one plot line that feels tacked on for time or just to misdirect fans or the series just fails to stick the landing. All of these issues have plagued the previous two Marvel series. Loki falls victim to none of these previously seemingly guaranteed trappings.
The only real issues with the finale falls under the umbrella of nitpicks. At times, the episode feels slower paced than a finale should be, lacking action, but this slower pace is to enhance the impact of the absolutely massive final moments. The action that is on display is also not edited very coherently. It consists of cuts every half second, or so, until its end is quickly met, sometimes editing around the impact of characters getting hit in order to keep the nonexistent kinetic energy flowing. Again, these critiques are minimal and barely impact the overall speculation of the episode, which is that it is essential viewing for MCU fans and a general audience alike.
The rest of this review will contain full spoilers for the finale of Loki.
A review of this episode would not be worthwhile without a discussion of the entry of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). His MCU debut was announced over a year ago, but for the upcoming Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. That announcement came far too early for that film’s release date, so speculation has run rampant for where Majors would debut first with Loki being the most-likely. Majors was initially cast as Kang the Conqueror, a role he will surely fill for real in the MCU and in the series going forward. Yes, the series going forward; as revealed in the mid-credits scene, Loki has been renewed for a second season.
Majors portrays He Who Remains as an insane and eccentric all-knowing man. Below his eccentricity is a pain and longing for death as he’s lived for eons. His performance ranges from child-like wonder to a man on the brink of a depressive episode. In short, he nails it. It’s great that he nails it too, considering the majority of the episode is him monologuing to Loki, Sylvie and the audience. He’s a true scene stealer, something that hopefully translates to the rest of his appearances going forward, though this variation of the character’s demise makes this less of a sure-thing.
The rest of the cast is also fantastic, though in mostly reduced roles; this is Majors’ episode and the cast knows it. Mobius, B-15, Judge Renslayer and more, all receive little screen time in comparison to Loki, Sylvie and He Who Remains.
Loki and Sylvie’s brewing romance receives some closure, though that comes with universe altering consequences. With Sylvie kissing Loki, she made her decision to kill He Who Remains; it’s both a sad and monumental conclusion. Killing him means the beginning of the MCU’s multiverse, something that’ll be expounded upon in What If?, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In previous reviews of this series, the possibilities of what the MCU could become in its fourth phase, something that hasn’t been clear, or at least foreseeable until now, has been discussed. Loki’s finale opens up the MCU in such fascinating and intriguing ways that it’s truly hard to comprehend. The writers, directors and producers of this connected universe can truly do anything they want at this point; they can choose to continue the main plot of the universe or go in the complete opposite direction and introduce us to another universe of possibilities altogether.
They’re already starting to do just that with What If? next month and they’ll obviously just keep building on it from there. What Marvel has managed to accomplish here is nothing short of extraordinary, a fully connected universe with branching timelines and offshoot universes that a general audience can fully understand.
As for the next season of Loki, there’s no use in trying to make predictions. By the time it releases, most-likely in a couple of years, the MCU landscape will have already changed drastically again. By then, the Eternals will be part of the Universe, we could have multiple live-action Spider-Men on screen together, Wanda could have her kids back and Thor will be fighting alongside a female version of himself. This universe is moving at a million miles per hour with no sign of slowing down, so it’s time for audiences to strap in.