Loki Season 2 has often felt more like a whimsical set-up for Marvel’s next big crossover event than an extra-dimensional character study of its eponymous trickster god. However, since its first episode, LokiHe’s made it clear that for all its timeline jumping and temporality, it’s always been a story about Loki finally discovering his true purpose after multiple lives of not knowing who or what he wanted to be.
There is a solemn purpose in the path LokiThe second season comes to an end that feels like 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 a certain perspective, it’s difficult to see this season’s finale – “Glorious Purpose” – as a wholly satisfying conclusion that unites all the LokiThe mysterious threads about the Time Variance Agency, Kang, and Loki’s fellow variants.
But when you look at the ending like LokiIn the way it spells out some of the big ideas first teased in the premiere of the series (whose name this episode shares), “Glorious Purpose” serves as a surprising bookend to this chapter in the life of Loki, and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for what comes next.
This review contains spoilers for the first season of Loki. For our initial review, go here.
LokiThe first season focused heavily on Loki himself (Tom Hiddleston) as he embarked on extradimensional journeys of alternate self-discovery. But the show’s second season has felt much more like an ensemble show that tries to highlight what keeps people like Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosako) going even when it seems like reality itself is breaking down. undoing .
Season 1 revealed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) as the true source of much of the chaos threatening the larger MCU and established that his death would lead to the end of all things. But there was no reality in which Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino) rested until she got revenge on He Who Remains for orchestrating her apocalyptic upbringing, and Loki couldn’t stop her, in part because they are variants of each other. but also because they seem to be into something vaguely resembling love.
Following the Kang variants of He Who Remains making their grand debut on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniainitially it seemed LokiThe second season could have been building toward a future that the villain was hiding or unaware of. This was especially true since this season introduced a brilliant, clumsy, and technologically limited variant of Kang known as Victor Timely, whose altruism made him seem like the only version of Kang capable of saving the TVA without having obvious ulterior motives.
More than his uncanny resemblance to Kang and He Who Remains, what made Timely such a fascinating part of this season was his connection to eccentric TVA technician Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan). Even though Timely is destined to become Kang, the MCU’s next big bad, Loki framed Timely and Ouroboros as two genius minds conversing with each other across time, space, and different realities in a way that shouldn’t have been possible.
The question of how studies of a 19th century Earthly Timely could have directly led to Ouroboros writing the TVA guide (which then traveled back in time and first gave the young Timely the inspiration to pursue his inventions) raised the interesting possibility of the two of them being more deeply and existentially connected. Loki It spent much of its first season driving home how, despite their physical differences and unique origins, there was an undeniable kind of kinship between Loki and Sylvie that spoke to them both being varying expressions of similar core experiences, like feeling outside the family.
In its last episodes, LokiThe second season almost seemed to imply that that kind of relationship could also exist between Timely and Oroboros, which would have been a notable success on its own, but especially considering the rumors that Marvel is considering a recast of Kang following Kang’s legal troubles. Majors. But instead of pivoting to a new Kang, or even bringing Kang directly into the picture in a major capacity, “Glorious Purpose” goes out with a bang meant to remind you who the show has always been about, upcoming movies be damned. very successful.
Narratively, the way “Glorious Purpose” approaches Loki, who can now control his time slip to jump back and forth at will, while slowly realizing that there is no way to save all the lines of time branches and 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 moments in the timeline where his actions could change fate and make the impossible possible, reality begins to unravel moments after his arrival. .
Across both seasons, Hiddleston has delivered some of his strongest performances as Marvel’s god of mischief, but there’s a commotion at Loki and Sylvie’s reunion at the End of Time, where he jumps in to prevent her. kill He Who Remains who feels different. The episode’s repeated repetition of the same scenes slightly Different perspectives quickly sap the momentum of the sequences in which Loki and the gang fight to send Timely to save the Loom. But every time Loki tries and fails to stop Sylvie from killing He Who Remains at the End of Time, it becomes clearer that “Glorious Purpose” is pointing out the futility of trying to change the perspective of someone who doesn’t want to. be changed.
“Glorious Purpose” also highlights how Sylvie has been pretty direct and consistent about wanting to live out her days after killing The One Who Remains, even if it meant having little time before everything about her new reality ceased to exist. But rather than presenting Sylvie in a nihilistic light, “Glorious Purpose” shows her determination and is a kind of mirror for Loki to see how he too can choose to follow her heart, knowing that he may not succeed.
While the idea of Ouroboros perhaps being a variant of Kang is interesting, “Glorious Purpose” follows Timely down the runway trying to save the Time Loom enough times to make it seem like Majors might be around for a little longer. But within the context of LokiThere doesn’t seem to be any scenario where Timely is the one who saves the day because, again, this is Loki’s story.
As subtle as this season has been in exploring the nature of free will, every effort was obviously made to avoid suggesting that perhaps Loki, an Asgardian god, might be better suited than Timely, a human male, to undertake a journey. Cosmic spacewalk to upgrade a piece of machinery. But when “Glorious Purpose” manages to live up to its name and give Loki his big hero moment, it comes despite its abruptness 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 whimsical variants of Loki than the first, but “Glorious Purpose” makes up for the lack of classic Richard E. Grant Loki as Loki trudges down the runway to magically contain the explosion of the Time Loom. At a time when Marvel’s visual effects output has been wildly inconsistent, see Loki going big with a transformation sequence against the backdrop of a glowing, dying multiverse full of decaying timelines and pulling it off is an absolute delight. It’s a little difficult to understand what exactly is going on and why Loki is suddenly able to perform a feat so enormous that you’d almost expect to see it in a movie. But it is magnificent and its general meaning is quite simple.
“Glorious Purpose” establishes that, by taking over each of the multiverse’s timelines and weaving them together over the ruins of the throne of He Who Stands at the End of Time, Loki has seemingly become a new kind of Guardian of Time. . The ending leaves it unclear what role Loki, whose magic is what brings the timelines back to life, plays in his continued existence beyond acting as the nexus that connects them all. But as he returns to a TVA that is now focused on controlling all the Kang variants spread 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 many reminders in this episode that everything that happened this season will inevitably lead to the outbreak of a war that none of LokiThe characters in, except for The One Who Remains, are ready to be attracted. But rather than promoting Marvel’s next project, “Glorious Purpose” focuses on Mobius and Sylvie to emphasize how their freedom, for now, is inexorably tied to Loki’s sacrifice.