Well here we are at the edge of time…in the MCU. Loki has proven to be the most significantly consequential offering in Marvel’s universe since Avengers Endgame, living up to its potential and realizing many theories about where all this was heading in its finale.
The season finale of Loki was somewhat slow and ultimately predictable. It was also absolutely fantastic.
It was slow because it mainly centered on an extremely lengthy conversation with Kang the Conqueror, though it was fascinating for its entire duration, given that the fate of infinite universes was at stake. It was predictable because we knew how it had to end with the coming multiversal direction of the MCU, already teased in Spider-Man and Doctor Strange sequels. And yet it was still amazing to watch it unfold before our eyes.
The theories were correct. The main behind the curtain was indeed Kang, or at least some version of him. By the end of the episode, that Kang is dead, killed by Sylvie to trigger the Multiverse unfurling, and yet it’s clear that by the time Ant-Man 3 rolls around where Kang is supposed to be the main villain, it’s probably going to be one of his more evil, possibly more blue variants that shows up.
This version of Kang was uh, unexpected, for lack of a better term. Scatterbrained and manic, though what he said did make sense as he explained the choice set before the two Lokis. Kill him and unleash a multiverse of chaos, or keep the “safe” dictatorship in place where everything is pre-ordained and free will doesn’t exist. But the Lokis would get to be in charge.
Our main Loki, for once, doesn’t seem to want the throne but believes Kang that the current system is better than the alternative. But Sylvie? She’s having none of it, and boots Loki out to what appears to be one of the newly created infinite alternate universes (where no one at the TVA recognizes him), and kills Kang herself.
This is it, this is the trigger for the entire Phase 4 of the MCU. Yes, we’ve dabbled here before, but this feels like the main kick-off point, and what happens after this is the main attraction after the previews.
Marvel is about to air “What If…?” which is not just a fun animated thought experiment of hypothetical Marvel scenarios, but likely a glimpse into actual alternate worlds that were created as a result of the timeline fracture. Then this year, Spider-Man: No Way Home will definitely be dealing with the Multiverse with past FOX universe Spider-Men and villains coming to play. All of this leads to Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, the title that suggested we knew this ending to Loki was coming all along.
So yes, I do think this was predictable. There were way too many clues all pointing to both Kang and that this was the moment that the timelines diverged to create the Multiverse, and that Loki would be responsible. We just got the Loki wrong. But it doesn’t matter. The way this unfolded was masterful, and I thought it was really the only way this season could have ended, given the rest of Phase 4 to come.
What’s not clear is where Loki season 2 fits into all this, and what that will deal with. If we’re waiting a full year for that, it would actually be airing after Doctor Strange, but likely before Kang shows up in Ant-Man. I think there are too many gaps that need to be filled in before we can make any further predictions about where Loki goes next. It’s the first show where we actually have to ask where season 2 is heading, because WandaVision isn’t getting one, and Falcon and the Winter’s Soldier’s follow-up is Captain America 4.
In the end, I think you could probably classify Loki as the best Marvel series to date, and clearly, the most important in terms of grand universe shifts. It’s a new era for the MCU, both in terms of the arrival of the Multiverse, but also with its TV offerings finally being as significant to the grand storyline as the films.
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