Loki Season 2 has often felt more like a whimsical starting point for Marvel’s next big crossover event than an extra-dimensional character study of its eponymous trickster god. But from the first episode, LokiI made it clear that despite all the hopping back and forth between the timeline and the right time, it was always going to be a story about Loki finally discovering his true purpose after several years of not knowing who or what he wanted to be.
There is a solemn end to the road LokiSeason 2 is drawing to a close, making it feel like a series finale and a sign of major and lasting change that will have far-reaching consequences for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Viewed in a certain light, it’s hard to see this season’s finale — “Glorious Purpose” — as a completely satisfying conclusion that ties together both… LokiMysterious topics related to the Time Variance Agency, Kang, and Loki.
But when you look at the end as… LokiIllustrating some of the big ideas first introduced in the series premiere (which this episode shares its name with), “Glorious Purpose” serves as a stunning conclusion to this chapter of Loki’s life, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for what comes next.
This review contains spoilers for Season 1 Loki. For our initial review, go here.
LokiThe first season of the series kept its focus largely fixed on Loki (Tom Hiddleston) himself as he embarked on extradimensional journeys to discover an alternate self. But the series’ second season felt like an ensemble show trying to shed light on what keeps people like Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosako) going even when reality itself seems to be slipping away. .
Season 1 revealed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) as the true source of much of the chaos threatening the greater MCU and established that his death would spell the end of everything. But there was no reality in which Sylvie (Sofia Di Martino) could rest until she got revenge on He Who Remains because he orchestrated her horrific upbringing, and Loki couldn’t stop her — in part because they were so different from each other. But also because they seem to be in something vaguely resembling love.
In the wake of Kang’s variants of He Who Remains debuting to great success in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum ObsessionIt seemed like that at first LokiPerhaps the second season of the series was heading towards a future that the villain was hiding or was unaware of. This was especially true as this season introduced the cool, bumbling, technologically limited version of Kang known as Victor Timely, whose selflessness made him seem like the only version of Kang capable of saving the TVA without him having any obvious ulterior motives.
More than his uncanny resemblance to Kang and He Who Remains, what made Timely a great part of this season was his relationship with TVA’s eccentric technician Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan). Although he’s set to become Timely Kang – the next big bad thing in the MCU – Loki He framed Timely and Ouroboros as two genius minds who were talking to each other across time, space, and different realities in a way that was never supposed to be possible.
The question of how Timely’s terrestrial studies from the 19th century could have directly led to Ouroboros writing the TVA guide book (which then went back in time and first gave the young Timely the inspiration to pursue his inventions) raised the intriguing possibility between the two of them deeper, more An existential connection. Loki Much of its first season was spent emphasizing that, despite their physical differences and unique backgrounds, there was an undeniable kind of kinship between Loki and Sylvie that spoke to their diverse expressions of similar core experiences like feeling outside of family.
In his last episodes, LokiSeason 2 almost seemed to indicate that this kind of relationship might also exist between Timely and Ouroboros, which would have been a notable win in itself, but especially so given the rumblings about Marvel Consider recasting Kang after Majors’ legal problems. But instead of focusing on a new Kang, or even bringing Kang into the picture in any major capacity, Glorious Purpose goes out with a bang meant to remind you who this show has always been about, movies to come be damned.
Narratively, the way “Glorious Purpose” zooms in on Loki – who can now control the slippage of time to jump back and forth at will – as he slowly realizes that there is no way to save all the branching timelines and that the Time Loom conveys the truth. What he told him is what sticks in the first season. No matter how many jumps Loki makes to specific moments in the timeline where his actions can change fate, and make the impossible possible, reality begins to unravel only moments after his arrival.
Throughout both seasons, Hiddleston has done some of his strongest work as Marvel’s God of Mischief, but it’s a poignant take on Loki and Sylvie’s reunion at The End of Time as he jumps in to stop her from killing He Who Remains that feels special. Repeated episode of the same scenes from slight The different viewpoints quickly drain momentum from the sequences as Loki and the gang scramble to send Timely to rescue the Loom. But every time Loki tries and fails to stop Sylvie from killing whoever remains at the end of time, it becomes clear that “Glorious Purpose” indicates the futility of trying to change the perspective of someone who doesn’t want to. Be changed.
“Glorious Purpose” also highlights how Sylvie was completely upfront and consistent about wanting to live out her days after killing He Who Remains, even if it meant only having a short time before everything about her new reality disappeared. But instead of casting Sylvie in a nihilistic light, “Glorious Purpose” hobbles her resolve and serves as a mirror for Loki to see how he too can choose to follow his heart, knowing that it may not work.
While the idea that Ouroboros might be a clone of Kang is a nice idea, “Glorious Purpose” follows Timely down the corridor trying to save the Temporal Loom enough times to make it seem like Majors might be around a little longer yet. But in context Lokithere seems to be no scenario where Timely is the one to save the day, because this is, once again, Loki’s story.
As thorough as this season has been in exploring the nature of free will, it’s pretty clear that it was going out of its way to avoid suggesting that perhaps Loki, an Asgardian god, would be better suited than Timely, a human man, to go on a journey. Walk through cosmic space 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 lands despite its abruptness because of how powerfully it speaks to Loki’s self-proclaimed desire to protect his friends and his fear of being threatened. Single.
This season featured far fewer strange Loki variants than the first season, but “Glorious Purpose” makes up for its lack of Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki as Loki walks down the aisle to magically contain the explosion of the Temporal Loom. While Marvel’s VFX output has been wildly inconsistent, it can be seen Loki It took off in a big way with the transformation sequence set against the backdrop of a glowering, dying multiverse filled with deteriorating timelines and proved to be an absolute delight. It’s a bit difficult to understand what exactly is going on and why Loki is suddenly able to perform an act so massive that you’d expect to see it happen in a movie. But it’s cool, and its general meaning is fairly straightforward.
“Glorious Purpose” proves that by taking both the timelines of the multiverse and weaving them together on the ruins of the Throne of He Who Remains at the End of Time, Loki has seemingly become a new kind of keeper of time. The ending doesn’t explain what role Loki – whose magic is what brings the timelines back to life – plays in their continued existence beyond serving as the link that binds them all together. But with her return to TVA now focused on monitoring all of the Kang variants spread across the Lokiverse, it looks like this will be a big part of the MCU’s new normal for at least a while.
There are plenty of reminders in this episode that everything that’s happened this season will inevitably lead to a war that no one saw coming. LokiCharacters – except He Who Stays – ready to be drawn into. But instead of hyping up Marvel’s next project, “Glorious Purpose” closes in on Mobius and Sylvie to emphasize how their freedom, right now, is inextricably linked to Loki’s sacrifice.
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