Spoilers for the entirety of Loki Season 2.
Loki is a hero.
The season finale—and most likely series finale—of Loki premiered on Disney+ this past Thursday, November 9th, and what a spectacular finale it was. The entirety of Season 2 has been a rollercoaster, full of both fun and funny moments, as well as epic and meaningful story arcs for the characters. As a Loki fan, I could not be more satisfied with how things were resolved for the TVA gang.
The TVA gang—or the Time Team, as the fandom has taken to calling it—truly becomes a team this season. Where Season 1’s relationships occasionally felt stilted and rushed, Season 2 allows for the growth and development Marvel fans have come to love about MCU friendships. Loki and Mobius are clearly best friends; they know each other so well that watching them work as a pair is incredibly satisfying. Some of the season’s best moments come from their good-natured bickering. (Mobius telling Loki that his “time slipping” is horrific to watch is a favorite scene of mine.) It is also meaningful to see Mobius completely accept Loki for all that he is. So much of Loki’s arc across the MCU has been about his desperate search for identity and understanding. No wonder he would sacrifice his own happiness to save his friends, now that he knows what it means to have true friends.
The rest of the Time Team brings so much to Season 2. Now that she is allowed to be herself, Hunter B-15 is a compassionate, likeable character well-suited to leadership. She is the level-headed voice of reason in the group. Casey grows from a minor side-character into a full-fledged part of the team, one of the few people ready to help Loki in his quest against He Who Remains right from the start. Sylvie undergoes her own transformation this season, finally finding happiness. And of course, there is O.B., everyone’s favorite madcap, basement-bound scientist. He adds just the right amount of humor to so many life-threatening sequences—and seeing him as a science fiction writer in one of the alternate timelines is priceless.
Outside of the Time Team, Rafael Casal’s Brad is one of the show’s standout villains this season. The episode that most heavily featured him, “Breaking Brad,” is my personal favorite of Season 2. His speech to Loki about heroism and Loki’s true nature becomes even more meaningful in the wake of the finale.
Speaking of villains…Loki features some of the darkest, most disturbing acts of villainy we’ve seen across the MCU. Ravonna Renslayer really does murder her fellow TVA workers by placing them in some sort of compression box. Miss Minutes really does look gleeful as she watches Renslayer do this. (She also tries to become Victor Timely’s girlfriend, but that’s too disturbing to get into here.) Having Renslayer stuck at the end of time and subsequently devoured by Alioth, a temporal guardian from Season 1, feels like a very fitting end to her character. She has been ruthless from day one. Mobius’s story about the ease with which she pruned a child when they first started working for the TVA is proof of that.
The one semi-villain who does not impress is Victor Timely. Even if we disregard the controversy surrounding Jonathan Majors, Timely is neither likable nor unlikable. It’s hard to feel any sort of reaction to him when Majors plays him like a caricature.
“I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” Who would’ve thought that, eleven years later, Loki would accept the burden of his true purpose in an act of selfless compassion?
Loki’s transformation into the god of stories is hinted at throughout Season 2, but it was the official Thor Instagram account that provided the final clues. Throw-back videos to Loki’s past appearances in the MCU—videos that call him a king—began to pop up on the account just before the release of Episode 5. Each clip was accompanied by a very simple caption: a clock emoji. Hence, by the end of Episode 6, it only feels natural that Loki will take the throne at the end of time. (Shout-out to the series’ composer, Natalie Holt, for creating the perfect soundtrack for this epic scene.)
Fans who know their Norse mythology will recognize two important elements of the Loki finale that call back to the character’s origins. One: the branches of time weave together into a tree, much like Yggdrasil, the so-called “world’s tree” in Norse culture. Two: there is an emphasis on the cyclical nature of stories. An ouroboros is a snake eating its own tail, representing unity and infinity in Norse mythology. Eagle-eyed fans will note that this is, of course, the full name of the character O.B. But that is not the only ouroboros present in Loki. The series premiere and the series finale share a title: “Glorious Purpose.” In this way, both the show and the character of Loki have come full circle.
Seeing Loki step into his new role with grace, peace, and incredible power is moving. At last, he knows his purpose. He is willing to accept the role that only he can bear because it will mean rescuing his friends from nonexistence. In the end, he chooses to sacrifice his own happiness to keep the multiverse from being destroyed. It’s the perfect bookend to the end of the first Thor film, right down to his dialogue: “I know what kind of god I want to be. For you. For all of us.”
Even if we never see Loki in a future MCU project, knowing that he is present at the end of time—that he is the one holding the multiverse together behind-the-scenes—is enough for this Loki fan. The MCU’s best villain has become one of its best heroes.