As the Loki variants’ quest to find the mastermind behind the Time Variance Authority (TVA) comes to an end in Episode 6 (For All Time. Always). The highly acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe show unveils the origins of the TVA and (officially!) unleashes the Multiverse.
Starting with the “Glorious Purpose” theme, the intro consists of overlapping dialogues from renowned personalities such as Neil Armstrong, Malala Yousufzai, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and even MCU characters like Thor, Steve Rodgers, Vision, and finally Sylvie.
A Tryst with the End of Time
After Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) escape the clasps of Alioth in the Void, they reach a castle resting on top of an asteroid called the Citadel at the End of Time. Inside, it’s revealed that Miss Minutes is more than just TVA’s in-house AI program; she’s the “eyes and ears” for the mysterious entity controlling the TVA. In exchange for the Lokis stepping back and allowing the Sacred Timeline to remain — sacred, they can be reinserted into the Timeline and granted their desires, such as winning the Battle of New York, killing Thanos, and forgetting the trauma of being on the run your whole life. But they’ve come too far to be swayed away now. Ironically, the existence of two Lokis in the same Timeline is what the TVA is working against — so how powerful is the person-in-charge, and more importantly, who are they?
The chief of the TVA is revealed to be He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), more familiar to the Marvel audience as a variant of Kang the Conqueror, set to make his debut in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’. Although never referred to as Kang during the episode, his identity is confirmed in the ‘Assembled’ documentary episode.
An omniscient entity, he possesses a script for all past, present, and future events – making it impossible for Loki and Sylvie to attack him, despite their multiple attempts.
His intentions for forming the TVA were circumstantial to the Multiversal War of the 31st century, where his parallel selves fought to conquer other Timelines. Curious about the origins of Alioth, he began examining and experimenting on it to harness its power and end the War. But this was the only Timeline that could be restored to normalcy; hence, the Timekeepers, the bureaucratic organization, deceit, and manipulation to ensure cosmic harmony until now.
He gives them two choices: the Loki variants can either finish what they started while risking another Multiversal War or take over the TVA. With his newfound conscience, Loki wants to believe He Who Remains, but Sylvie’s vengeance consumes her. Their conflicting opinions boil down to their core incompatibility; Sylvie can’t trust, and Loki can’t be trusted. This moment also coincides with crossing the time threshold, which means everything going forward is unpredictable — no scripts. And so begins a battle between the two selves, although we do witness flashes of love and selflessness from Loki, who just wants Sylvie “to be okay.”
In an unexpected turn of events, the anticipated Loki-Sylvie kiss does happen — but it’s just a cover to mask Sylvie’s betrayal, who sends Loki back to the TVA using the Tempad (backtrack to Episode 5 where Sylvie was afraid Loki would betray her), and finally turns He Who Remains into He Who Remain(ed). His last words, “I’ll see you soon,” are an eerie nod to his upcoming appearances in the MCU, possibly foreshadowing the chaos that will ensue.
Back in the TVA (Time Variance Authority) HQ
Mobius (Owen Wilson) returns to the TVA with the knowledge that the Timekeepers don’t exist and all Analysts and Hunters are indeed Variants themselves. He’s compelled to rework the TVA into something better, or at least something moral. Being a purist, Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) chooses to believe there must be a “glorious purpose” behind this manipulation and is adamant about protecting the TVA’s legacy.
The theme of betrayal isn’t unique to the Loki Variants; Renslayer is prepared to prune Mobius if it ensures he won’t be an obstacle in her path. But Mobius isn’t going down so quickly – with the help of Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), they track Ravonna Renslayer pre-TVA, where she was the principal of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School. A diploma above her desk reveals her name to be Rebecca Tourminet (more on that later). A group of Minutemen raids her office, presumably trying to alter her origins, and therefore her time in the TVA.
Meanwhile, Renslayer teleports to an undisclosed location, possibly to find He Who Remains and put her plan in action.
So, What Happens Next?
The Sacred Timeline starts branching out excessively, much to Mobius and B15’s horror. Loki tries to warn them about the consequences and what he discovered at the Citadel. Instead, we get a game-changing cliffhanger in which they have no memory of Loki, and the Timekeeper statue has been replaced by a statue of (you guessed it) He Who Remains/Kang.
This could mean 2 things: either Loki was sent to a different timeline based on He Who Remains’ Tempad or all Timelines are glitching due to the Multiverse opening.
A post-credits scene officially confirms Loki Season 2. We can expect to see the dangerous Variants of Kang aforementioned, and a heated Multiversal War like nothing we’ve seen before.
This episode has been monumental for the MCU. It provides an apt precursor for upcoming MCU projects like ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,’ ‘What If…?’ and ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ all expected to explore different timelines and their possibilities.
As for the comic references, Rebecca Tourminet, aka Ravonna Renslayer, was a love interest for Kang. Sneaky and well done, right?
There’s also a clever ‘WandaVision – Loki’ fan theory making the rounds. It highlights that the moment Wanda becomes the Scarlet Witch is in sync with the “crossing of the threshold” at the Citadel. When Agatha falls to the ground, He Who Remains drops a figure on his desk simultaneously. If that isn’t enough, the timestamps during these scenes are exactly the same as each other. These connections make perfect sense given the rumors that Loki may appear in ‘Multiverse of Madness,’ featuring Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff.
With Loki and Sylvie’s next steps up in the air, the waiting and theorizing for Loki Season 2 is going to be intense but definitely worth the wait. Until the next time-hopping adventure!
Loki is a 2021 Television Series created by Michael Waldron for Disney based on the Marvel Comics Characters. It stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino in the lead roles.