This week on Loki, the series may or may not have ended. The Season 2 finale was not declared ahead of time to be a series finale, but it’s got all the hallmarks of one. Well, it’s got some of the hallmarks. It also left us with several wide-open story threads that simply weren’t mentioned at all in the final two episodes of the season–there are at least three characters whose fate after this season isn’t very clear at all.
Warning: The remainder of this article will be spent describing spoilers from the Loki Season 2 finale.
Now that Loki has the ability to time travel whenever he wants, he spends the first half or so of this episode pulling a Live, Die, Repeat–he’s living through the destruction of the Temporal Loom over and over again, each time getting a little bit closer to success. He spends literal centuries doing this, learning everything that Ouroboros and Victor Timely have to teach him about all this quantum physics stuff, before eventually realizing it doesn’t matter. Nothing they do will save the Temporal Loom, which always collapses under the weight of an expanding multiverse.
So Loki tries instead to save He Who Remains from being killed by Sylvie in the Season 1 finale. He makes a few dozen, or hundred, attempts at this–at that moment, Sylvie is not interested in anything Loki has to say, and he doesn’t want to kill her. But eventually He Who Remains pauses time during one of these attempts, and directly addresses the present Loki and taunts him for not figuring out the problem yet. Apparently everything that has happened in Season 2 was part of his original plan before he died
The issue, He Who Remains says, is that Loki and the other TVA folks don’t understand the purpose of the Temporal Loom, which was built to prune all the extra timelines in the case of He Who Remains’ death. The Loom was built to maintain one timeline, not a multiverse. It does the same thing He Who Remains did, but it’s the automated version.
Everything in Season 2, it turns out, happened in order to teach Loki about how difficult it is to manage all these timelines without a strong hand at the top. He Who Remains said they had a relatively stable reality because he sat there at the end of time wrestling with it all, and he can’t simply be killed and forgotten–he has to be replaced.
So Loki does just that. He goes back to when the Loom explodes and let’s it happen, then he walks out into the temporal radiation unshielded, transcends reality, and becomes the fully powered Loki, God of Stories, boss of the multiverse. Now he’s the new He Who Remains, and he’s keeping an eye over the multiverse with the help of the TVA–but not Mobius, who decided to go to Ohio and stalk his other self.
It’s kind of a poetic ending, but it doesn’t make any sense. Like nearly every Marvel movie and show since the start of 2021, it feels like half the plot was filmed and then ripped out of Loki Season 2. Renslayer was barely relevant this season at all outside of the Chicago episode, and the last time we saw Hunter X-05, in the fourth episode, he flashed green Loki eyes before never being referenced again.
There are dangling threads like that all over. I’d wager Loki got his planned ending, but I’m not sure anybody else did. And the result is I have a lot of questions. And while I’m concerned that many of them will never have answers, I’m gonna ask them anyway.