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Loki: For All Time. Always

"We've made a terrible mistake."

I imagine those of you who are not comic savvy or read trades about upcoming projects relating to which part an actor has been cast in, are probably scratching your head over what the heck just happened. I’m gonna try and explain, but hold on, this is kind of complicated.

To quote MovieBob; “Comics Are Weird!”

Okay, so the guy at the end of time, the one who remains, is none other than Kang, often called Kang the Conqueror. Or rather he is a version of Kang that outsmarted his other variants and set up a singular timeline that eliminated other versions of himself so as to avoid turning into the big bad. This paradoxically turned himself into a villain by subjugating thousands of people who did nothing except exist as versions outside his chosen timeline by creating the TVA.

Yeah, that paragraph made my head hurt, too.

It is both incredibly interesting and vital that this happened on Loki. For one, this is probably the set up for the next ten years of Marvel films, as Kang could easily be as big as Thanos. Two, this series is reaching a lot of people, because as one of the big favorite characters, Loki is a must watch for most fans of the MCU. Lastly, as confusing as this whole episode was in aggregate, it seems like they are streamlining Kang’s origin so as to not be quite so labyrinthine and impossible to explain.

In short, here is the run down. Kang, also known as Nathanial Richards (yes, possibly related to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four) is a 31st century scientist that discovered the multiverse and decided to use technology to play with it. At least one of his variants became a multiverse-spanning dictator, by conquering pretty much everything in every universe. He frequently travels back in time to adjust things to suit his purposes, and correct his timeline so that he remains in power.

I won’t go much further into who Kang is, because honestly, the MCU has a history of altering villains to suit their storytelling needs. What is important is that this guy in purple is a big deal (I guess purple in the MCU equals big bad… huh.)

So what actually happened in this episode?

In short it was an origin story, not only for Kang, but also for Sylvie, Ravonna (who will absolutely come back, and is frequently associated with Kang in the comics), Mobius, B-15 and possibly Miss Minutes (not sure if she will continue but wouldn’t that be amazing). Not to mention we now have a very different Loki, who may be even more of an active hero than he would ever have been in the prime MCU, who is still in love with himself, but at least it is a separate person for once.

So, I actually like Loki and Sylvie as a couple. That may sound a bit strange considering they are technically the same person, but in practice they aren’t, really. Sylvie is a fascinating and complex character, and everything that has happened in the series led up to her actions in this finale. She does love and trust Loki, but she had to act, and I have a feeling that one action will be a major plot point for everything to come. It also feels like a moment in time that we may even see again in the future (comics love doing things like that).

The legacy of this series will be the consequences of those actions. Of what Sylvie has wrought, of Loki and his transformation. Of who has been unleashed on the multiverse. While WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier were consequential to the MCU, this series was essential. I’m now officially looking forward to this phase of the MCU, because they have now proven that they are going for something completely different from the Infinity War Saga.

Bits:

The normal Marvel fanfare and opening "previously on" were replaced with voiceovers from the MCU and important people in history signifying the main timeline and how it was shattering. And it was brilliant.

There isn’t really an after credits scene. It was simply a tag letting us know that Loki will get a second season.

If you would like a more indepth explanation of who Kang is, see this video: Big Picture Classic - DON'T BLAME ME, I VOTED FOR THANOS! ("Kang The Conqueror" Explained)

So I imagine Loki was protected somewhat from the timeline shift created when Sylvie killed Kang, which is why he remembers what is going on while Mobius and B-15 have no memory of Loki or the events of the series (at least for the time being).

The statue replacing the Time Keepers is none other than Kang the Conqueror in his full costume sans silly helmet.

Quotes:

Ravonna: "If anyone was ever gonna make it back from The Void, I suppose it was gonna be you."
Mobius: "Oh, well, you know, one's man Void is another man's piece of cake."

Sylvie: "Well, if you think it's a bad idea, I'd prefer you to speak your mind."
Loki: "No. Nothing to say."
Sylvie: "That would be a first."

Loki: "Both of us...together on the Timeline."
Miss Minutes: "It's crazy, but he could make it work. All of it. Everything. Exactly the way you've always wanted. And you can have it all, together."
Sylvie: "It's fiction."
Loki: "We write our own destiny now."

This was a fabulous, albiet confusing finale that did exactly what was needed. It set up a huge cliffhanger for season two, and set the stage for the entire next phase of the MCU.

4 out of 4 Men Behind the Curtain

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.

19 comments:

percysowner said...

I'm not sure if Loki was protected from the timeline change or if he actually got thrust into a new different timeline. Either is possible at this point, I think.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I did not like the way Kang was played by Jonathan Majors. I’m sincerely hoping that was an active directorial choice, and not how the character will be, if he’s going to be next decades Big Bad. (I already miss Josh Brolin… his Thanos was genius). That being said, I would be *thrilled* if Thor and Loki reunited at some point.

Billie Doux said...

Serena, I agree. It was like he was deliberately overacting.

One thing I liked a lot during all of the exposition was the way Loki and Sylvie kept looking at each other, as if they were reading each other's minds.

Samantha, thank you *so* much for the Kang stuff. I really had no idea who he was.

Anonymous said...

The scene and the line reading of ''Buddy.....Im Tired'', sent me into an existential crisis.

This Kang suited the show and was what he needed to be here. Those worried about this version will remember him fondly when the others show up.

Samantha M. Quinn said...

I'm under the distinct impression that this is a singular version of the Kang character, and other versions will be different. I bet they will play with it until they get him perfect, because unlike Thanos there are about five hundred trillion of these guys out there waiting their turn to be the big bad.

Mikey Heinrich said...

I genuinely considered for a minute or two whether or not they were revealing that Miss Minutes had been the big villain all along. I'm still not sure whether that would have been stupid or awesome. Possibly both.

I am also a fan of MovieBob's work. I enjoyed your shout out and link.

This is probably TMI, but I would absolutely hook up with myself if a variant of me happened along. I mean, just for the feedback alone. 'Oh, ok, that doesn't work like I'd been thinking it did... I should avoid doing that. Ooo, that's surprisingly effective, make a note to circle that one in more often', etc.

Too much information? Yeah, that was probably too much information.

TJ said...

WandaVision was fantastic.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was great.

But Loki was just out of this world (it really was!). Absolutely adored it.
It may have something to do with the fact that Tom Hiddleston is the awesomest person in this multiverse...

So here is what I don't understand (I again agree with Captain Janeway that timetravel equals headaches).

So, is there now multiple TVA's? And Loki returned to a different one?

Does this mean that 10 years of Marvel films means nothing, because now we are starting from scratch...or multiple scratches?

Or is it just me being like Captain Janeway...

TJ said...

Oh, and I agree with Serena and Billie. Didn't like the way Kang was performed here. But as I understand it, we will have multiple different Kang's now, so the others may be a bit more...well, better.
I just hope the actor has the range for it.

Baz said...

Agreed that I wouldn't want the next 10 years to be the Kang we just saw, but let's be real. This Kang was insane due in large part to the fact he had spent millenia by himself pruning the timeline. The other Kangs won't have that experience and will be VERY different people I would expect...

Mark Greig said...

WandaVision remains my favourite of Marvel's Disney+ show, but I think Loki has had the strongest finale out of all of them.

I really liked Majors as this version of Nathanial Richards, but I expect we'll see many different variations of the character over the next few years. ​

Anyone else wondering if this is all going to lead up to Secret Wars? (the Hickman one, not the original)

Rob said...

I'm just hoping this doesn't rule him out of a second season of Lovecraft Country...

Anonymous said...

Lovecraft Country is cancelled. Sorry.
This didn't do it for me as a finale. Too much tell and not enough show put simply.
The bad guy spent too long monologuing. Okay we get a second season cool.
I like that Loki found love with himself..sort of. No, Sylvie was her own being and very cool.
Well at least they kissed. And universes were born? Ha.

Anonymous said...

Mikey Heinrich said... "This is probably TMI, but I would absolutely hook up with myself if a variant of me happened along"

Mikey, to read another example of this idea, check out David Gerrold's short novel "The Man Who Folded Himself" (1973). At the time, it was probably the ultimate time-travel story, with multiple versions (I almost wrote "variants"!) of the main character appearing together, including a female version. A fun quick read, if a bit adolescent in its philosophy (possibly YA before YA was a thing).

BTW, Gerrold was the author of the Star Trek TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" (along with many other less well known TV episodes).

Anonymous said...

So the Avengers going back in time really did trigger a new apocalypse.

Tim said...

Thanks for the (as usual) great reviews.

Personally I found Loki as a series patchy, at best. There were a couple of great eps in there (hello, Journey Into Mystery) but also some dogs (yes, Lamentis, I'm looking at you).
The finale was anti-climactic, slow and far too talky - I was half expecting He Who Remains to be revealed as Basil Exposition.
I realise that the whole glorious purpose of this show was to set up Phase 4, which it achieved, but better pacing, direction and, above all, scripts would have made for a more enjoyable and satisfying story (now looking meaningfully at WandaVision).

The series leads were all excellent though.

Hopefully S2 will be an improvement.

Josie Kafka said...

Mikey: to piggyback on Anonymous's comment above, I'd like to recommend the completely bizarre Heinlein short story "...All You Zombies" for the ultimate self hook-up.

I was confused by Kang (thank you, Samantha, for explaining!) but also extremely pleased by how this show did not spend an absurd amount of time with a Big Fight With Flying Elements the way every Marvel movie and (recent) TV show seems to end. I really, really, really appreciated that.

Billie Doux said...

Josie, thanks -- I was going to mention the Heinlein story "...All You Zombies." David Gerrold is a good writer, but "The Man Who Folded Himself" sounds a lot like "...All You Zombies."

Interestingly, David Gerrold also based his famous Star Trek episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles," on Robert A. Heinlein's novel, The Rolling Stones. The tribbles in that novel were called flat cats and it was exactly the same -- they reproduced uncontrollably. Gerrold didn't give Heinlein credit and said that he had "forgotten" Heinlein's novel. Heinlein was gracious about it.

Mikey Heinrich said...

This has been the absolute BEST internet advice thread of all time. :) Thanks guys, I'll check all those out.

sunbunny said...

Having now finished Loki...meh. I still don't like the Sylvie/Loki romance. Not for moral reasons or anything, I just feel like they lack chemistry. Which is weird because I thought Hiddles had that with everyone.

THANK YOU for the rundown of Kang the Conqueror, I had no idea who this random dude was. Enormous 'hidden Mickey' behind him while he monologued.

Because this is where my mind always goes, does a multiverse war pave the way for mutants??

Nothing in this entire series affected me as much as Mobius not knowing Loki at the end. :'(