Loki‘s season finale pulls back the curtain on the true master of the TVA. “For All Time. Always.” starts with the Marvel Studios logo accompanied by voice-overs from Sam, Thor, Ant-Man, Loki, Captain Marvel, and Korg from previous MCU adventures. A dazzling shot of the sun swoops out to reveal galaxies, nebulae, and spinning black holes that coalesce to radiant light circling an asteroid. The voices of Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, Greta Thunberg, and Malala Yousafzai are heard. The shot ends with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) standing before the castle atop the asteroid.
Opening credits roll. Loki and Sylvie walk to the entrance. The circle of dazzling light and colours frame the background. Sylvie hesitates, “I need a moment. I just need a second to get my head straight.” The door slowly opens to reveal a gothic chamber with gigantic statues. As they proceed cautiously, Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) pops up before them, “Welcome to the Citadel at the End of Time.”
Miss Minutes “congratulates” them on a long journey. “He Who Remains” is “impressed” by their efforts. Loki asks, “Who is he?” Miss Minutes responds, “He created all and he controls all.” Miss Minutes has brought them a “deal” so they can be reinserted “back into the Timeline.” They “won’t disrupt things” and “the TVA can continue their vital work.” Miss Minutes offers Loki victory over the Avengers at the Battle of New York, killing Thanos, leadership of Asgard, and even the Infinity Gauntlet itself. She promises Sylvie “a lifetime of happy memories.” They can be “two Lokis in the same place.”
Sylvie scoffs, “It’s fiction.” Loki agrees, “We make our own destiny now.” Miss Minutes laughs, “Sure you do. Good luck with that.” She disappears and they continue on. At the TVA, Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is in her office downloading files to a TemPad. Miss Minutes pops up, apologizes for the delay, but gives her different files than requested, “He thinks you will find these more useful.” Ravonna asks, “Who?”
At the Citadel, Loki and Sylvie come to another gothic chamber. Some of the statues have been destroyed. A door slowly opens. They draw their swords. He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), wearing a purple tunic, sits before them laughing with an apple, “This is wild! Two Lokis in the same place.” He eats his apple and acknowledges that Miss Minutes’ name for him is “a little creepy.” He invites them to “his office.”
In an elevator, they stand behind him with swords still drawn. He eats his apple nonchalantly. Confirming he’s “flesh and blood human.” Sylvie tries to kill him, but He zips away in a flash and reappears behind her laughing. She continues to attack but He evades her before vanishing. The door opens to his office. He’s waiting, “Come on in.”
He Who Remains trots to his desk and pours them tea. He asks them to sit down. His office has a fireplace, long bookcases, and windows to the circling Timeline above. He continues to be highly amused by their presence. They sit down warily, still holding their weapons.
At the TVA, Mobius (Owen Wilson) enters Ravonna’s office. He’s carrying a baton. Ravonna asks if “he’s going to prune her.” Mobius chastises her for lying. He knows “her secret.” The scene cuts to a school in “2018 Fremont, Ohio”. B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) lures the squad of Minutemen chasing her into an office. Hunter U-92 is stunned when a woman who looks like Ravonna walks in, “What are you doing in my school?” B-15 acknowledges this isn’t Ravonna Renslayer. The Hunter realizes she is a Variant.
At the Citadel, He Who Remains tells Loki, “You are a flea on the back of a dragon for one hell of a ride.” Loki threatens him, “You lost.” Sylvie attacks him at his desk, but he easily flashes away laughing. He Who Remains pulls out sheets of paper from a book, “You can’t kill me. I already know what’s going to happen.” Just like the TVA, Loki reads everything they have said and are going to say on the log. “It’s a parlor trick,” claims Sylvie. He’s “using a TemPad” on his arm.
“But how do I already have it loaded up?” He “knows it all” and “has seen it all.” He’s watched every step of their journey. Sylvie still refuses to believe him. He cuts her off. He “paved the road” for them to get there. They “just walked down it.” He tosses them more sheets of paper with the outcome. Sylvie wonders then “why are they here.” He acknowledges “it’s to be changed by the journey.”
Loki calls this “a game” and “manipulation.” He laughs, “That’s where your head goes.” He asks Sylvie if she is even “capable of trusting anyone at all.” At the TVA, Mobius promises to tell everyone “the truth.” Ravonna says the lie “is a necessary one.” They argue the concept of “free will” as she packs hurriedly. Mobius mocks her for calling them “friends for all time.” He accuses her of “betraying him”, but she snaps back. He “threw it all away for a couple of Lokis.”
Ravonna readies her TemPad. Mobius “cannot let her get away.” He wants her to stay and help “change things.” He arms his baton. Ravonna warns that “even with that, you’re no danger to me.” Mobius lunges, but she easily snatches the baton and kicks him to the ground. Mobius gingerly gets up expecting to be pruned. Ravonna disarms the baton. She grabs her briefcase and opens a portal. Mobius asks, “Where are you going?” Ravonna replies, “In search of free will” and vanishes.
At the Citadel, He acknowledges their anger at “the deception.” But continues that without it “everything burns.” Loki questions why “he is so afraid?” He has been “dubbed many names, a ruler, a conqueror, a jerk.” He sits and touches the device on his hand. A silver liquid plops onto his desk and tells his story.
“Eons ago, a variant of myself lived on Earth in the 31st century. He was a scientist that discovered there were universes stacked on top of his own. At the same time, other versions of us were learning the same thing. They made contact, and for a while, there was peace. They shared knowledge. Using the best of their universes to improve the others. However, not every version of me was so pure of heart. New worlds were new lands to be conquered. The peace between realities erupted into all out war.”
Sylvie interrupts, “Then the Time-Keepers came and saved us all.” He laughs, “Nope this is where we diverge from the dogma.” One of his variants encountered Alioth, “a creature capable of consuming time and space itself.” He “harnessed the beast’s power, weaponized it, and ended the Multiversal War. I “isolated our Timeline, and managed its flow to prevent any further branches.” Hence, “the TVA, Time-Keepers, and a highly-efficient bureaucracy…ages of cosmic harmony. You’re welcome.”
He Who Remains leaps on his desk and plops down before them, “I keep you safe. If you think I’m evil, just wait till you meet my variants. That’s the gambit, stifling order or cataclysmic chaos. You can hate the dictator, but something much worse can fill the void.” He sits behind his desk again, “I’ve lived a million lifetimes. I’ve gone through every scenario. This is the only way.”
Sylvie calls him “a liar.” He laughs and then gestures grandly, “You have two options. You kill me, destroy all this, you don’t just have one devil, you have an infinite amount. Or you two run the whole thing.” Loki wonders why he would “give up control.” He admits to “being tired and old.” The “game is for the young.” He has been looking for a replacement. But “if they do kill him”, they “will unleash Multiversal war.” He offers them a “return to the TVA and be its benevolent rulers.”
Sylvie is still furious, “It was personal to me.” He groans, “Grow up Sylvie. You’re a murder and a hypocrite. We are all villains here.” Suddenly a thundering shake rattles the Citadel. He Who Remains is no longer flippant, “We have just crossed the threshold.” The rumbling increases. He “fibbed earlier.” He knew everything “to a certain point.” That point “was ten seconds ago.” The Timeline surrounding the asteroid begins to branch. He “has no idea how the rest of this is going to go.”
Loki is stunned, “So you’re going to just sit there and let us decide what happens?” He grins excitedly, “Take over my work, or you plunge a blade in my chest and an infinite amount of me starts another Multiversal War. And I’ll just end up right back here.” Sylvie doesn’t believe him. He “loves all of this honestly, it feels like a fresh start.” He takes the TemPad off his arm and puts it in front of them.
Sylvie lunges to kill him, but is yanked back by Loki. He wants to “talk about this.” Sylvie attacks again, but is deflected a second time. The two Lokis battle each other as He Who Remains watches in delight. Loki “believes him.” Sylvie thinks it’s a lie that “a million boogeymen will show up if they allow free will.” He warns them “to hurry, the Timeline is branching.” Loki begs her to stop. Sylvie accuses him “of wanting the throne.”
Loki promises he does not. Sylvie curses herself for trusting him. Loki implores her, “This is bigger than our experience.” She asks, “Why aren’t we seeing this the same way?” Loki sadly replies, “You can’t trust and I can’t be trusted.” They fight viciously again. Sylvie knocks Loki back with her magic. But he reappears in front of her when she races back to the desk. “We cannot get this wrong,” begs Loki. With swords at each other’s throats, Sylvie says, “Kill me and take the throne.” They continue fighting acrobatically.
Sylvie throws Loki down. He appears again in front of the desk, but drops his sword. Sylvie puts her blade to his neck. Loki tearfully admits, “”I’ve been where you are. I feel what you feel. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want the throne. I just want you to be okay.” Sylvie drops her sword. They share a passionate kiss. She casually spins around to the desk and takes the TemPad, “But I’m not you.” Sylvie opens a portal to the TVA, and then pushes Loki through.
Sylvie uses her magic and smashes away the desk. He Who Remains continues laughing. “Aren’t you going to beg for your life?” Sylvie stalks towards him. She plunges her sword into his chest. He gasps for air with a big smile before dying, “See you soon.” Sylvie collapses to the ground crying. The camera swoops through the window above as the Timeline branches erratically in many directions.
At the TVA, B-15 and Mobius watch the monitor as the Timeline branches out of control. The red line has been crossed at multiple points. They whisper together, “For all time…always.” A grieving Loki steadies himself. He runs through the chaotic TVA. He races towards B-15 and Mobius. They see “sixty-three new branches, but he doesn’t want them to stop it.”
Loki sputters out his story, “We did it. We freed the Timeline. We found him beyond the storm. He’s terrifying. He planned everything. He’s seen everything. He knows everything. Countless versions of a dangerous person are coming. We need to prepare.” Mobius stops him. He and B-15 don’t recognize Loki, “Aren’t you an analyst?” A stupefied Loki recoils in shock. He looks outside and shudders. The statues of the Time-Keepers have been replaced by He Who Remains…as Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
In a mid-credits scene, a file is stamped that Loki will return for a second season on Disney+.
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