by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Loki – Episode 6: For All Time. Always
The MCU is changed forever as Loki bows out with a jaw dropper of a finale. For All Time. Always sees Loki and Sylvie arrive at destiny’s door as they finally unravel the mystery of the TVA.
After the beautiful chaos of last week’s episode, Loki’s finale took our breath away from the start and didn’t let the tension drop for a second throughout. Each episode of Loki, including the finale, works so well as an installment in a grander narrative, but also a standalone tale. For All Time. Always feels like the conclusion (of sorts) to a story of Loki, while also feeling like a wild MCU movie that sets the stage for so much more to come.
The opening moments of the finale evoked The Wizard of Oz. Loki and Sylvie have been through thick and thin together on this journey and are finally at their destination’s doorstep. Who is behind the curtain? What are his / her / their intentions? Well, questions were answered (and posed) with the introduction of Jonathan Majors as Kang. This was surprising to say the least. Yes, we knew that Majors would play Kang the Conqueror in the MCU, but to see him be introduced in such a fashion here was spectacular. Loki puts criticisms regarding the lack of implications that WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier aside by blowing the MCU wide open in this finale. The finale, and Loki overall, are absolutely necessary viewing moving forward in this sprawling universe.
There’s so much to unpack with Kang’s introduction in the show. For starters, Jonathan Majors absolutely steals the show here. While it was a bit of a shame to see Hiddleston and Di Martino somewhat sidelined or overshadowed in their finale, Majors’ performance is simply captivating from start to finish. The actor has impressed in projects like Lovecraft Country and The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and continues to showcase his talent on this new stage. Majors plays the character with a frightening nonchalant attitude. We anticipate some gruesome monster at the end of this tunnel and, instead, the man behind it all is a self professed “jerk,” a man who looks like he’s wearing a purple bathrobe as he toys with the fabric of reality. And it’s with Kang that we’re given an explanation of what’s going on with the TVA and the stakes at hand if he is dislodged from his throne. We already know that projects like Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home will be delving into multiversal matters and it seems as if that door has been blown wide open by Loki. And, it’s a testament to the incredible writing of this season that the complex plot regarding time travel, free will, and multiverses is told in an approachable and comprehensible way throughout.
Kang aside, the resolution of other plot threads and themes in this finale was mixed. Loki and Sylvie are given fantastic moments together as they deliberate the fallout of Kang’s reveals and it’s tragic to see these two characters who love each other so dearly see this situation so divergently. Nonetheless, I wish the episode spent a bit more time with these two characters and wrapped up their journeys this season a little tighter. The same could be said for Owen Wilson’s Mobius, who has been a highlight throughout Loki, but fizzled out by the season’s conclusion.
And, despite ending rather abruptly and abstractly, Loki’s finale leaves you desperately wanting more. There are so many questions left standing about the multiverse and the state of the TVA that we’re so desperately awaiting answers for now, which is a great sign for a TV show heading into its (now announced) second season.
Loki closes out with a bang – answering many questions, while posing many others. The introduction of Jonathan Majors’ Kang was the highlight of the episode as the mystery of the TVA was unveiled and we were introduced to the next big bad of the MCU. Although it would’ve been nice to see more time spent wrapping up Loki, Sylvie, and Mobius’ arcs, Loki’s finale provides plenty of brilliant character work and moments that affirms this series is easily one of the best installments in the MCU yet.
Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios