What to Watch Verdict
'Loki' takes a swing for the fences that has huge implications for the greater MCU but ultimately sacrifices its own story.
💥 The sunsabitches did it.
💥 An absolutely stunning episode. Just gorgeous.
💥 This episode isn't about Loki or Sylvie. It's an extended introduction to Kang, and that's hugely unfortunate.
Y'all. They did it. It feels like all the Mephisto shenanigans with WandaVision made it seem completely impossible that the big swing for the fences reveal would be Kang the Conquerer. But, here we are! Loki and Sylvie successfully enchant their way past Alioth to the castle only to find the one and only "He who remains." The one, the only, the creator of the sacred timeline.
"Stifling order or cataclysmic chaos," He Who Remains" (Jonathan Majors) tells Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino) as he monologues his way through his history and what's to come should he fall. Jonathan Majors gets an extended introduction that will leave fans hugely excited about what's to come for Kang and all of the hell he's about to unleash on the MCU. But the big, glaring, problem is that this show isn't about Kang the Conquerer. Loki is, you guessed it, meant to be about Loki (and Sylvie), and the Season 1 finale hardly manages to be about them at all. What it does manage to be is absolutely stunning from start to finish. The TVA's classic aesthetic is a really pretty juxtaposition against the cosmic colors of He Who Remains' realm.
There's very little action in "For All Time. Always." The primary offering there is a quick but adequately choreographed battle between Loki and Sylvie as the two have a crisis over what to do. Loki believes that they should believe He Who Remains and consider that it may be right for the two of them to look over the timeline. Sylvie can't contemplate a universe where they don't kill him where he stands — even if it does mean that infinite versions of him will crawl out of branches and create a certain Multiverse of Madness. Sylvie can't trust and Loki can't be trusted, but the two do manage to agree on one thing: neither variant wants to hurt the other. When Loki tries to throw his body in the way in an attempt to get Sylvie to think about their scenario for a moment, she hurls him back to the TVA and finishes the job. He Who Remains is dead. Now there is only Kang.
But the death of He Who Remains comes with an unexpected consequence. Several things occur just as He Who Remains promised — the timeline fractures, and we see that Kang has taken over. But history as we know it also seems to be shattered. When Loki sprints to best buddy Mobius (Owen Wilson) for help, neither he or B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) remember the trickster. The last few moments of "For All Time. Always." reveal a towering statue of Kang dominating the TVA, so things are about to get real interesting ahead of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
Will Loki have a Season 2?
In the last moments of "For All Time. Always." Loki reveals that there will, indeed, be a Season 2 of the series. Disney will undoubtedly share details on that news in the coming days, but we know that Hiddleston's Loki will return. Seems safe to assume Mosaku, Wilson, Di Martino, and other key players in the series will be coming back to the madness as well. The real question is where in the now shattered timeline the story will fall. It could be that they filmed more than we knew when shooting this first season, and have something to offer prior to Doctor Strange in March of 2022. Or — and this one is far more likely — we'll catch up with the Variants sometime before the third Ant-Man installment in February of 2023.
We'll see! For now, we have a very-interesting-to-the-MCU but ultimately unsatisfactory ending to a chapter on our hands. I look forward to seeing what happens to those crazy Lokis in Season 2!
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.
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