Loki season 2 has often felt more like a fantasy stage for Marvel’s next big crossover event than an extradimensional character study of its eponymous trickster god. From its very first episode, however, Lokimade it clear that for all its time jumps and temporal nature, this was still a story about Loki finally discovering his true purpose after several lifetimes of not knowing who or what he wanted to be.

There is a solemn finality in the path LokiMarvel’s second season is ending, which feels like both the conclusion of the series and a sign of a major, lasting change that will have far-reaching consequences for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Viewed from one perspective, it’s hard to see this season’s finale – “Glorious Purpose” – as a completely satisfying conclusion that ties everyone together. LokiThe mysterious sons of Time Variance Agency, Kang and the other variants of Loki.

But when we look at the final like LokiIt’s a way of spelling out some of the big ideas that were first mooted in the series premiere (with which this episode shares the name), “Glorious Purpose” works as a stunning bookend for this chapter of Loki’s life, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for what comes next.

This review contains spoilers for the first season of Loki. For our first review, go here.

Owen Wilson as Mobius, Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Eugene Cordero as Casey, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, Ke Huy Quan as OB and Tom Hiddleston as the role of Loki.

LokiThe first season of focused largely on Loki (Tom Hiddleston) himself as he embarked on extradimensional journeys of alternate self-discovery. But the series’ second season feels much more like an ensemble show that attempts to highlight what keeps people like Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosako) going even when It seems that reality itself is unraveling. .

Season 1 revealed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) as the true source of much of the chaos threatening the greater MCU and established that his death would lead to the end of all things. But there was no reality in which Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino) would rest until she took revenge on He Who Remains for orchestrating her apocalyptic upbringing, and Loki couldn’t bring himself to stop her – in partly because they are variations of each other, but also because they seem to be into something that vaguely resembles love.

In the wake of the Kang variants of He Who Remains which debuted in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniait seemed at first that Loki‘s second season could have built towards a future that the villain hid or ignored. This was especially true as this season introduced a brilliant, clumsy, and technologically limited variant of Kang known as Victor Timely, whose altruism made him appear to be the only version of Kang capable of saving the TVA without having a obvious ulterior motives.

More than its uncanny resemblance to Kang and He Who Remains, what made Timely such a fascinating part of this season was its connection to eccentric TVA technician Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan). Although Timely is destined to become a Kang – the MCU’s next big villain – Loki presented Timely and Ouroboros as two genius minds who chatted with each other across time, space, and different realities in a way that shouldn’t have been possible.

Jonathan Majors as Victor Timely.

The question of how Timely’s 19th century earth studies could have directly led to Ouroboros writing the TVA guide (which then traveled back in time and first gave a young Timely the inspiration to pursue his inventions) has raised the interesting possibility of the two being more deeply existentially connected. Loki spent much of its first season insisting that, despite their physical differences and unique backgrounds, there was a kind of undeniable kinship between Loki and Sylvie that spoke to the fact that they were both varied expressions of similar fundamental experiences, such as feeling apart from one’s family.

In its last episodes, LokiThe second season of almost seemed to imply that this type of relationship could also exist between Timely and Oroboros, which would have been a notable beat in itself, but especially considering the rumors that Marvel was considering a recast of Kang in the wake of the legal issues of the Majors. But rather than pivoting to a new Kang, or even introducing Kang into the picture in a major capacity, “Glorious Purpose” instead goes out with a bang meant to remind you who the hell the show is about upcoming films.

Narratively, the way “Glorious Purpose” zooms in on Loki – who can now control his time slip to jump back and forth at will – as he slowly realizes that there is no way to save all timelines branched and that the temporal loom transmits the truth. from what He Who Remains told him in season 1. No matter how many jumps Loki makes to specific points in the timeline where his actions could change destiny and make the impossible possible, reality begins to sink in. crumble only moments after its arrival.

Throughout two seasons, Hiddleston has played some of his strongest roles as Marvel’s God of Mischief, but there’s poignancy in Loki and Sylvie’s reunion at the end of time where he jumps for the prevent from killing the one who remains who seems distinct. The episode’s repeated revisiting of the same scenes from slightly different perspectives quickly drain momentum from sequences where Loki and the gang scramble to send Timely to save the loom. But every time Loki tries and fails to stop Sylvie from killing the One Who Remains at the end of time, it becomes clearer that “Glorious Purpose” highlights the futility of trying to change the perspective of someone who doesn’t doesn’t want to do it. be changed.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

“Glorious Purpose” also highlights how Sylvie has been quite direct and consistent about her desire to live out her days after killing He Who Remains, even if it meant only having a short time before everything in her new reality came crashing down. ceases to exist. But rather than presenting Sylvie in a nihilistic light, “Glorious Purpose” presents her determination and a sort of mirror for Loki to see how he too can choose to follow his heart, knowing that he might not succeed.

While the idea that Ouroboros may be a variant of Kang is interesting, “Glorious Purpose” follows Timely along the catwalk trying to save the Temporal Loom enough times to make it seem like the Majors might be again a little longer. But in the context of Lokiit seems like there’s no scenario in which Timely would be the one to save the day because, again, this is Loki’s story.

As subtle as this season has been in exploring the nature of free will, it was obviously going out of its way to avoid suggesting that perhaps Loki, an Asgardian god, might be better suited than Timely, a human man , to go on a trip. exit into cosmic space to improve a machine. But when “Glorious Purpose” sets out to live up to its name and give Loki his big hero moment, it lands despite its bluntness because of how powerfully it speaks to Loki’s self-proclaimed desire to protect his friends and his fear of being alone.

This season featured far fewer fantasy variations of Loki than the first, but “Glorious Purpose” makes up for its lack of classic Richard E. Grant Loki as Loki trudges down the catwalk to magically contain the explosion of the craft to weave temporally. At a time when Marvel’s VFX production was wildly inconsistent, seeing Loki going big with a transformation sequence set against the backdrop of a glowing, dying multiverse, full of decaying timelines and absolutely nailing it, it’s a delight. It’s a little difficult to understand exactly what’s going on and why Loki is suddenly able to pull off a feat so enormous that you’d almost expect to see it happen in a movie. But it’s beautiful and its general meaning is quite simple.

The new multiverse with Loki at its center.

“Glorious Purpose” establishes that by taking each of the timelines of the multiverse and weaving them together on the ruins of the throne of He Who Remains at the End of Days, Loki has seemingly become a new type of Keeper of Time. The finale doesn’t make clear what role Loki – whose magic is what brings the timelines back to life – plays in their continued existence beyond the bond that connects them all together. But as he returns to a TVA that is now focused on monitoring all Kang variants scattered across the multiverse (Lokiverse), it looks like this will be a big part of the MCU’s new normal for at least a while .

There are a lot of reminders in this episode that everything that has happened this season is inevitably going to lead to the outbreak of a war none of which LokiThe characters in – with the exception of He Who Remains – are ready to be involved. But rather than promoting the next Marvel project, “Glorious Purpose” ends with Mobius and Sylvie emphasizing how their freedom, for now, is inexorably linked to Loki’s sacrifice.

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