This review contains spoilers for the Season 1 Finale of Loki!
This is the last time I will say it- if you stopped watching Loki because you got “bored”, you NEED to get back on it right now!
Loki found solid footing back in episode 4 and hasn’t slowed down since. This show is, out of the three MCU shows we have seen so far, going to be the one that has the most significant impact on everything- especially the MCU films. So, if you plan on watching any MCU films in the future, watching Loki is a must!
In last week’s episode, we saw Classic Loki sacrifice himself to help our Loki and Sylvie reach their goal and we saw Loki and Sylvie walking to a citadel. Was this the Citadel at the End of Time? Is the evil mastermind actually within that citadel?
Last warning for spoilers for the Season 1 Finale of Loki!
The short answer: YES. Yes, this is the Citadel at the End of Time, and yes, the “evil mastermind” is in that citadel. We have moments building up to this, such as Loki and Sylvie walking through the castle cautiously, Miss Minutes telling them that “He Who Remains” wants to make a deal with them, and seeing Loki and Sylvie both turn down options to “win” or “succeed” in a new timeline. I really love seeing how determined Loki and Sylvie are to write their own destinies now; while both of their characters are growing at different rates, this is one commonality the two Loki variants share.
I absolutely LOVED He Who Remains. I’m a sucker for villains that are casual about their plans and, for lack of a better way of putting it, are just… vibing. He is so laid back about everything, even as he talks about how egotistic he and his other variants are, even when he tells Loki and Sylvie why he does what he does. I mean… I’ve never heard anyone be so casual about a multiversal war caused by their own variants.
Yup, you read that right- a multiversal war! Sound familiar? Doctor Strange’s Multiverse of Madness? Exactly! If you are planning on watching that film at all, you HAVE to watch Loki because they are setting up half that film right there on your television screen! Apparently, He Who Remains is a variant himself, and through his many eons of living, he and his other variants tried to live in harmony together, but eventually, that didn’t last, as some of his not-so-nice variants always ended up wanting to take over and rule everything. So, in order to prevent this, he escaped, solidified this current timeline, and decided to maintain it so that his other variants couldn’t ruin it. Hence, the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and all the horrible things they do!
I loved seeing how much our Loki has grown since the start of this show. At the beginning of the show, Loki would’ve reacted to He Who Remains’ speech by wanting to take over his place and rule himself. The Loki we knew in episode 3 would’ve wanted to kill He Who Remains without another thought, much like Sylvie still desires to. And yet, the Loki we know now in this season finale? He actually LISTENS to He Who Remains. He takes into account something larger than Sylvie, something larger than the himself he knows and recognizes that regardless of whether He Who Remains is lying or not, the cost is too great if he is telling the truth. In this moment, Loki made himself a true hero.
I said it in my last review: I’m not a fan of Loki, as an overall character, being a hero. Nonetheless, I can’t deny how well-written Loki’s character growth has been this season and how satisfying it is to see actual growth that holds for Loki- no more last second “Oh I still wanna rule muahhaha!” reveals (thank god). I understand why they have written Loki this way in the show and why he is now a hero. It’s the only way this character would have continued in the MCU (we still have comics for villain/anti-hero Loki, right?).
Alas, as Loki has grown significantly in his character development… Sylvie has not grown as significantly. He Who Remains gives them both an ultimatum: either take over his job and rule the timeline themselves and manage it while he retires, or…. Kill him and unleash all his variants on the timeline. Sylvie doesn’t believe a word he says, not because it’s implausible to her, but because she doesn’t want to believe it. I mean, think about it: if Sylvie believed everything this man was saying, it would mean there’s a justification for all the pain and suffering she has been through. She can’t fathom that right now- she cannot accept that her pain and suffering had a purpose, and she doesn’t want to. So she lashes out, and as Loki defends He Who Remains and tries to reason with Sylvie to just stop, think, and listen, Sylvie sends Loki back to the TVA at the last second (even after a kiss, self-love and self-heartbreak to the max anyone??) and kills He Who Remains. As he dies, He Who Remains whispers out:
“See you soon”.
Now, before we talk about what the hell “see you soon” means here, let’s check in on what else happened in this episode, in between He Who Remains and such. Mobius went to visit Ravonna, begging her to help him re-invent the TVA and threatening to prune her if she chose otherwise, while Ravonna easily put him down when he did try to prune her and escaped to god knows where. We also found out that Mobius and Hunter B-15 have begun exposing what the TVA really is to other TVA Agents- we end up meeting Ravonna herself before the TVA got her, back in 2018. To me, this means she is possibly a “recent” pick up on the timeline, which intrigues me significantly because of how “high up” she was in the TVA as “Judge” Renslayer. I wonder how and why she became the almighty Judge so “quickly”. Either way, Ravonna herself is interested in this as well, and I’m expecting this plot to continue in Season 2 of Loki.
So, in between all that, any guesses on what He Who Remains meant by “See you soon”?? Well, Loki is back at the TVA, and all hands are on deck there- the TVA knows that something is happening but is unsure of what. As Loki runs to try to find someone he knows or something he can do to help, he runs into Mobius and Hunter B-15 talking about all the new timeline branches that are being created- how is this happening? Well, of course, Loki knows, and right after he tells Mobius and B-15 exactly what is happening and how He Who Remains’ variants are coming, Mobius looks Loki dead in the eyes and asks:
“Take it easy. You’re an analyst, right? What division are you from?”
Well, if you’ve watched any time-travel show before, then you know exactly what that means! The new timelines are already solidifying, hence Mobius and B-15 not remembering who Loki is. This is also confirmed when we see a statue that is supposed to be of the Timekeepers actually look like He Who Remains. Crap here comes that Multiversal war huh??
The best part of this whole thing is that Loki himself didn’t cause this, for once, and yet Loki DID cause this- because Sylvie is the one who killed He Who Remains and she is a Loki variant. How wild is this??