SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the Loki Season 2 finale. Click away now if you do not want to know how the episode unfolds.
Strap in, because the Loki Season 2 finale is quite the doozy.
Episode 5 left many questions still to be answered. It ends with Tom Hiddleston’s titular character, who has just learned how to control his time slipping, returning to the moment right before Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors) is ripped to shreds while trying to amplify the temporal loom.
Well, as Episode 6 opens, Loki stands back and watches it happen again before asking O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) what they did wrong. O.B. says they weren’t fast enough. So, Loki thinks he just needs to get everyone to hustle.
He proceeds to return to that moment over and over again, rushing through the instructions for putting the multiplier into the loom, trying to get Victor to have some pep in his step. But no matter how fast they go, Victor gets turned to spaghetti every single time. Finally, Loki realizes they don’t need to move faster in that moment. He needs to go back to an earlier moment.
Loki then time slips back to the moment that Victor and O.B. first meet. He speeds through their introduction and tries to get O.B. working on the multiplier using Victor’s prototype, but O.B. is a bit cautious, because he still doesn’t fully understand how to solve the problem since he and Victor haven’t brainstormed. As much as Loki would like to help in this moment, he’s not the expert in theoretical physics. Or, is he?
Loki asks O.B. how long it would take for him to learn everything O.B. can teach him about the subject. He says decades, and Victor thinks it would take centuries. Good thing Loki can come back to this exact moment at any time.
So, Loki does spend a few centuries learning the ins and outs of theoretical physics. Finally, he returns to that moment with a plan, as well as the knowledge to execute it — and what do you know? For the first time, Victor is able to make it down the gangway and launch the multiplier into the temporal loom. Just for a moment, the team revels in their success.
But before long, the readings are off again and the loom is overloading. Victor realizes that the branches are expanding at an infinite rate and, because there is no way to scale for infinite, there is actually no way to solve this problem. The loom will always fail. That’s when Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) realizes this was doomed to happen as soon as the timelines started branching.
Ding! That’s the light going off in Loki’s head realizing that he needs to return all the way to his and Sylvie’s encounter with He Who Remains at the end of time, just as Sylvie is about to kill him. Loki tries everything he can to convince Sylvie she can’t kill him, but she doesn’t listen. She kills He Who Remains, or Loki kills her. Loki refuses to kill Sylvie, even after countless rewinds and attempts to convince her.
After who knows how many tries, He Who Remains pauses time. “How many times have you been at this?” he asks Loki.
It turns out, his “see you soon” in the Loki Season 1 finale was a bit more literal than one might have anticipated. He reveals that he never would have sat by and let Sylvie kill him, except he knew it would always come back to this moment anyways. He unpauses Sylvie, only for Loki to pause her again. A new trick up his sleeve, presumably as he has learned to control time.
“And what makes you think this is the first time we’ve had this conversation?” Loki ponders. Looks like Loki knows what needs to be done, and He Who Remains has even confirmed it, but he’s so far unwilling to face it.
He Who Remains tells Loki that the loom is a failsafe and, when it is overloaded, it deletes the branches that aren’t supposed to be there — which is everything but the Sacred Timeline. So when it explodes, the Sacred Timeline still exists…but the TVA is collateral damage. Easy enough to fix, he says. But no matter what, Loki is destined to lose.
That is not an answer the God of Mischief is willing to accept, though. He decides he’s going to destroy the loom, even though He Who Remains warns that it will start a war that no one survives…not even the Sacred Timeline. But Loki is determined.
He time slips again, this time going to the very, very beginning. We’re back at Season 1, Episode 1 and Loki is being interrogated by Agent Mobius. Loki cuts him off, anticipating the question he’s going to ask, and redirects the conversation. He asks how Mobius finds comfort despite having to choose who lives and who dies, but Mobius insists there is no comfort to be found at the TVA.
Mobius tells a story of a time when he was tasked with pruning someone who would be responsible for 5,000 deaths that were not part of the Sacred Timeline. When he arrived at the point where he needed to prune the culprit, he realized the target was an 8-year-old boy. He hesitated, and another hunter stepped in. That hunter was Ravonna Renslayer. Ultimately, Mobius tells Loki, he needs to choose his burden.
Suddenly, that timeline is being shred apart and Loki is back in A.G. Doug’s (aka O.B.) workshop right as that timeline is turning to spaghetti. He pauses time to have a moment with Sylvie and, as he starts to explain all that he’s been through, she guesses where this is all leading. She knows Loki will need to kill her if he plans to keep He Who Remains alive, but she also warns him that doing so will strip free will away from everyone who would ever set off a nexus event on the Sacred Timeline. But, Loki wonders, what is the point of free will if everyone dies?
Sylvie reminds Loki that sometimes he might have to die fighting, and it’s okay to destroy something as long as there’s something to replace it with. Now, Loki has a plan.
He once again time slips back to the moment right before the temporal loom explodes. Before anyone can stop him, he opens the bay doors and runs out onto the gangway toward the loom. As he walks, he transforms into God Loki, horns and all, and uses his powers to destroy the loom.
As he stands among all the dying branches, he begins to grab hold of them and walk toward a rip in space, bringing all the branches into the end of time. As he gathers the branches, he walks toward the throne at the citadel, once occupied by He Who Remains, and takes a seat. The branches glow back to life and…it appears Loki is the new keeper of time.
A black title card appears, letting viewers know this is “after,” though there’s no timeline for when, exactly. But time works differently in the TVA, so who knows.
TVA is up and running as usual, though all the branches are running up and down (through Loki) as opposed to sideways like before. The new timelines weave together and branch off, resembling a tree, implying that they all can finally co-exist. Could is be the World Tree (aka Yggdrasill) that connects the Nine Realms?
Mobius is tracking new He Who Remains variants, making sure they’re kept at bay and they don’t learn of the TVA. As he and B-15 are headed to the war room, he reveals he’s leaving. He wants to return to his timeline and see what he’s been working so hard to save.
As he stands across the street from his (well, Don’s) home in Ohio, Sylvie appears. They both agree it’s weird to have Loki gone, and Sylvie says she doesn’t know where she’s off to just yet. Mobius decides to stay there and take it all in, at least for the moment.
Meanwhile, O.B. has developed a new edition of the TVA handbook and, in a flash to 19th century Chicago, no one is dropping one through young Victor Timely’s window. The last interesting bit includes Renslayer, who was sent to the Void. She wakes up in Alioth’s presences and takes in her surroundings, but the eyebrow raising part is when the wind brushes aside the grass to reveal a bronze insignia that says “for all time always” — much like the one in the TVA.
The episode ends with the camera panning through the millions of timeline branches to reveal Loki’s face. While he’s not quite smiling, he seems to be satisfied with his solution.